Brat Doesn’t Sell Out

Photo from Rep. Dave Brat's Facebook page
Photo from Rep. Dave Brat’s Facebook page

Today, fellow Shenandoah Valley political blogger Lynn Mitchell wrote a piece lamenting the fact that John Boehner donated $10,000 to Representative Dave Brat’s campaign last year only have to Brat vote against Boehner for Speaker of the House yesterday.

As Ms. Mitchell puts it, Brat “was happy to pocket the Speaker’s $10,000 donation to his campaign and then proceed to kick him in the teeth, so to speak, by not voting for him in Tuesday’s election for Speaker of the U.S. House.”

Personally, I think this is excellent news.  Just because John Boehner made a sizable donation to Dave Brat, that shouldn’t mean that Boehner now owns Brat’s vote.  Doesn’t a legislator owe far more loyalty to the people he is supposed to be representing in Congress than his party leadership?  I certainly hope so.

As a result, some establishment Republicans are suggesting that Brat return Boehner’s donation, but I recommend against this course of action.  Instead, it should serve as a useful reminder to people like Speaker Boehner that mere money shouldn’t buy unquestioned loyalty.

This incident reminds me of a donation Ron Paul received from a white supremacist during his 2008 president run.  Although some people insisted Paul return the money, instead he kept it.  As his spokesman said, “Dr. Paul stands for freedom, peace, prosperity and inalienable rights.  If someone with small ideologies happens to contribute money to Ron, thinking he can influence Ron in any way, he’s wasted his money.”

Kudos to Representative Brat for his stance!

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