Texas Think Tank Toasts GOP Freshmen

Early risers got a chance to start the second day at CPAC by quaffing champagne mimosas and rubbing shoulders with a group of freshman GOP representatives. The reception was hosted by the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation, a think tank founded in the 1980s by Dick Armey and dedicated to “Advocating lower taxes, fewer regulations, and a smaller, less-intrusive government.”   Greeting the mimosa drinkers was IPI President Tom Giovanetti, who once complained that Republicans “blew it” in the 1990s when they got a congressional majority and failed to fire all the Keynesians from the Congressional Budget Office.

IPI pushes a libertarian economic agenda: no estate taxes, privatized social security, etc. Giovanetti urged the new members of Congress to rely on his scholars for free expertise on free-market-oriented health and technology policies. Incidentally, Newt Gingrich spoke at the group’s “Reclaiming Liberty” event last November, at which he lavished praise on Rep. Louie (“a terrific national asset”) and evangelist James Robison (“an amazing person.”)Gohmert
But I digress. The CPAC reception featured several GOP freshmen who took turns talking about why they ran for office. Most said they ran to secure America on behalf of their children and/or grandchildren; two had personal beefs with the Obama about family car dealerships that were lost when GM was reorganized as part of the federal bailout.
Not surprisingly, each of the members praised National Republican Campaign Committee chair Pete Sessions for overseeing the big GOP gains in the House. Sessions’ remarks were notable primarily for what may be the single least inspiring evocation of “American exceptionalism” ever uttered: “an idea and a thought process that we need to buy into.”