I’m always hesitant to do this because the one thing all
politicians have in common is that given enough time, they will disappoint
you. That’s only rational, of course,
given that they are human and fallen like the rest of us. And given the moral cesspool that is Washington,
D.C., the temptations and opportunities to fall into corruption or to compromise
one’s stated values is immense.
But to this point, I am thoroughly impressed with Navy SEAL
turned Representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas.
Not just his policy positions which I already appreciated, but his
demeanor, his willingness to engage even as a freshman, and his – to this point
– dignified but direct approach to his colleagues.
When the shutdown was depriving many government workers of
their paychecks, Crenshaw very publicly had his Congressional pay withheld in
fairness. When others unwilling to make
that sacrifice, like his colleague Representative Ilhan Omar (yes, the one
fending off her past anti-Semitic remarks), criticized the move as a virtue-signaling
publicity stunt, Crenshaw answered perfectly:
“To my Democrat colleagues who are also (rightfully) withholding your pay during the shutdown—your colleague @IlhanMN would prefer you stop virtue signaling and end the shutdown,” Crenshaw wrote. “Can we have a serious discussion about border security now? That’d be great.”
It wasn’t rude, but it was direct and dignified: other
Democrats are doing exactly the same thing (withholding their pay) and it’s the
right thing to do. It also provides an
incentive to discuss and negotiate rather than posture for power. Impressive.
Equally impressive was his direct handling of the man the
media was desperately trying to make into the second coming of Barack Obama, Bob
(“Beto”) O’Rourke. When asked about the
relevance of the U.S. Constitution in contemporary society, O’Rourke
“I think that’s the question of the moment: Does this still work? Can an empire like ours … still be managed by the same principles that were set down 230-plus years ago?”
While that ambiguous, non-committal equivocating finds a
home in liberal academia, and perhaps plays as nuanced thinking to the voters
of a Democratic presidential primary, the ex-Navy SEAL Crenshaw didn’t have
time for it:
“Anybody who questions the validity of the Constitution — whether it works in the modern era — should never be president.”
Bingo. Nothing cheap about it; just honest, direct, and accurate.
So let me just say that while I think it would be disastrous
for Republicans to model the same flavor-of-the-month desperation their
Democrat counterparts embrace in pushing unprepared, unqualified individuals
into the national spotlight, to this point there’s reason for the right to be
hopeful if Crenshaw represents the face of their future.