Rep. Katie Elmers (R-NC) is in great trouble apparently. The titanium-ribbed conservative Tea Party favorite came into Congress vowing to blaze a trail through government waste, determined to return power to states and localities while carrying a banner emblazoned with the old Thoreauvian proverb--"that government is best that governs least." She was a favorite of the right, one of Sarah Palin's own "mama Grizzlies." And, through three terms as one of her state's reps, she's done what she came for.
Except, not everything her right-wing constituency deemed truly righteous.
As Jamielle Bouie writes in Slate, she didn't position herself far enough to the right in their meticulous scorebooks:
A close ally to former House Speaker John Boehner, she backed both debt ceiling increases (in 2011 and 2013) and was a skeptic of the 2013 shutdown, eventually supporting the deal that reopened the government, preserving the Affordable Care Act against right-wing demands. Aligning herself with constituents and Republican leadership, she backed a limited immigration proposal that gave “earned legal work status” to some number of unauthorized immigrants. She voted to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, which supports thousands of jobs in her district (and is opposed by conservative libertarians), and removed a provision from an anti-abortion bill that would have required rape survivors to report a rape to police in order to get an abortion after 20 weeks.And that kind of behavior is enough to draw the truly believers out of the weeds once more and seek her skin for being, well, if not a leftie, sure as anything a supporter thereof. Fear often does wildly unconventional things, but whatever it does accomplishes rarely calms the fearful soul. That the Tea Partiers would hang a target on one of their own seems totally understandable when sheer-cliffed principal is touted as the only way to govern.
Add to that, the tendency of some of those on the right to play the God card as if they alone had Him in their hand.
Locally, a Republican primary poses something of a choice, even though, heaven and Sioux County (sometimes mistaken for each other) know all three are conservatives. One is just more so. One is the only true God-fearing man in the bunch because only he holds the God cards.
Check this out:
The "Sioux County Conservatives" claim Jeff Vander Werff isn't one of them and therefore all other Sioux County conservatives (their numbers are legion) should certainly not vote for him. These particular "Sioux County Conservatives" don't tell voters who to vote for, but they are making a campaign out of making sure that one of the candidates, at least, Jeff Vander Werff, is not one of them, but instead "one of them," meaning a wolf in sheep's clothing, a (pardon the language) moderate.
It's insane. It really is. It's absolutely insane.
What 150 years of life in Sioux County, Iowa, should have proven to everyone who lives here is that, often as not, especially here among the children of Dutch Calvinists, the perfect is the enemy of good.
Here's how Bouie says it:
This relentless drive for ideological purity, itself tied to a broad prohibition against compromise with anyone outside a narrowly defined tribe of fellow travelers, has done nothing but paralyze the Republican Party’s ability to accomplish anything from the routine maintenance of government to larger policy goals.And he's right--in South Carolina, in Sioux County, and in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave. What's happening here too is perfectly insane. (Note the adverb.)