The GOP Committee Purge and the "Asshole Factor"

Weigel
Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Dec. 13 2012 1:35 PM

The GOP Committee Purge and the "Asshole Factor"

People take their whacks at Politico for basing dishy stories on anonymous quotes. Praise be unto Jonathan Allen, whose dishy story about the "purge" of House conservatives from powerful committees is based on the quote of the day/week. It's one of two stories with this quote.

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

In a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Study Committee on Wednesday, Amash and Huelskamp argued that they had been unfairly targeted for their conservative voting records, complaining that the leadership used a “secret scorecard” to rate their loyalty.
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, a conservative who is close to party leaders, told them that the “asshole factor” came into play in the Steering decision.
“He said that it had nothing to do with their voting record, a scorecard, or their actions across the street [meaning fundraising],” Westmoreland spokeswoman Leslie Shedd told POLITICO. “It had to do with their inability to work with other members, which some people might refer to as the asshole factor.”
Advertisement

A little bit of background is probably useful here. Last Monday, Amash and Huelskamp learned that the House steering committee had kicked them off of the powerful Budget committee. Both of them had voted against the 2013 versions of the Ryan budget, which was embarrassing, but both had generally given the leadership votes when they needed them. According to my sources and some other folks' reporting, the steering committee used lists of the Amash/Huelskamp voting records to make their decisions. The purged duo wants to know what votes, exactly, were on that -- which votes were considered important?

They have not been subtle about asking. The day after the "purge" they cooperated with a ton of reporters and gave public remarks at the Heritage Foundation. Amash has burned up Twitter with questions about the vote list. He's modeled his career after that of Rep. Ron Paul, but his tactic here is very un-Paul like -- he's shaming Republicans for denying him an influential role in policymaking, unsatisfied with working outside.

The leadership's response? Stay outside, asshole.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals

Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again

The XX Factor

I’m 25. I Have $250.03.

My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.

The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I’m 25. I Have $250.03. My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

George Tiller’s Murderer Threatens Another Abortion Provider, Claims Free Speech

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 21 2014 3:13 PM Why Countries Make Human Rights Pledges They Have No Intention of Honoring
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 21 2014 5:57 PM Soda and Fries Have Lost Their Charm for Both Consumers and Investors
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 21 2014 2:23 PM A Data-Packed Map of American Immigration in 1903
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 21 2014 3:03 PM Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 21 2014 1:02 PM Where Are Slate Plus Members From? This Weird Cartogram Explains. A weird-looking cartogram of Slate Plus memberships by state.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 1:47 PM The Best Way to Fry an Egg
  Technology
Technology
Oct. 21 2014 5:38 PM Justified Paranoia Citizenfour offers a look into the mind of Edward Snowden.
  Health & Science
Climate Desk
Oct. 21 2014 11:53 AM Taking Research for Granted Texas Republican Lamar Smith continues his crusade against independence in science.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.