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The House of Representatives will be making a mistake of historic proportions if it even entertains the ridiculous notion that Bob Livingston might be the man for the job of speaker.

Listen to why this man of no vision believes he should get the job.

In announcing his challenge to Newt Gingrich last week, the Louisiana Republican called Gingrich a “revolutionary” who helped engineer the GOP takeover of the Congress. By contrast, he described himself as a “pragmatist” who could pass the legislation that people wanted.

“Making sure that the trains run on time is part of the job,” he told Reuters. “Assessing, setting and articulating a compelling and practical agenda is another.”

So, I guess what Livingston is saying here is that he’s the guy we need to keep the trains running on time. Hmmmm. Interesting analogy — especially given that the origination of this popular phrase came to describe the work of Benito Mussolini.

Now, I don’t know about you, folks, but I don’t think the most serious problem facing America in 1998 is tardy trains. Nor do I think the biggest problem Congress has is in passing too few laws.

The biggest problem, by far, for both the country and the Congress is that we have strayed far from the constitutional provisions and the limits on government set forth by our Founding Fathers.

In fact, just about every time Congress passes a new bill, our individual rights are further compromised and eroded. Take Livingston’s own proud achievement — the emergency spending bill approved last month. When Congress gives money away for extra-constitutional purposes, it must come from somewhere. Congress doesn’t have any money of its own. It raises money by taking it — by force, by coercion — from you and me.

This is a concept evidently way over Livingston’s head. It apparently was even beyond the understanding of Gingrich, that “revolutionary” man of vision who fought so hard to ensure the International Monetary Fund would get $18 billion more from U.S. taxpayers.

If we are to have any hope of saving this country — and I use that term “saving” advisedly — the next speaker of the House must be a person who, first and foremost, respects and reveres the Constitution. After all, these guys all take an oath to uphold it. They ought to understand it and live up to it. Bob Livingston is not that man. Nothing in his past gives us any reason to believe that he would be a better speaker than Newt Gingrich. And that’s what this country requires at this time — someone far, far better than Gingrich. On the contrary, Livingston would be a big step in the wrong direction.

Earlier this year, Livingston announced that he planned to leave Congress after his 11th term to become a lobbyist. A lobbyist! In other words, he would have spent 22 years in Congress and now it was time for him to combine the skills and contacts he had developed in that position to enhance his own personal fortune.

He reversed that decision so he could position himself for the speaker’s post in 2000, when Gingrich had planned to step down.

This sounds like the reasoning of a man who is just looking out for No. 1 — not the best interests of America. It sounds like a man interested in only two things — wealth and power. Don’t we have enough people like that in Washington without elevating one more to the second most powerful office in the country?

Bob Livingston, my goodness. So this is what it has come down to in America in 1998. We have such a dearth of leadership that the “loyal opposition” is considering the possibility of promoting a pragmatic, consensus-building, power-hungry technocrat to counter the slickest, most dangerous demagogue who has ever occupied the White House.

Personally, I think a vote against the pork-laden 1999 Omnibus Appropriations Bill should be a prerequisite for anyone under consideration for the speakership. Unfortunately, none of the names put forth to date qualify. Bill Archer of Texas and Chris Cox of California are both honorable men and far better candidates for House speaker than Livingston, but they are both guilty of yes votes on that monstrosity — that wealth transfer that cost Gingrich his job and U.S. taxpayers $500 billion, a bill that socialist Bernie Sanders voted for with glee.

I’ll give you the names of a few courageous leaders who did oppose it: Dana Rohrabacher of California, Bob Barr of Georgia, Henry Hyde of Illinois, Philip Crane of Illinois, David McIntosh of Indiana, Roscoe Bartlett of Maryland, Steve Largent of Oklahoma, Ernest Istook of Oklahoma and Ron Paul of Texas. How about one of them? Are none of them up to the task? That’s my short list. And Bob Livingston ain’t on it — not even close.

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