It was a real pleasure to speak with former Congressman George R. Nethercutt, Jr. He holds a unique place in American history, even if I repeatedly screwed it up on Sunday night! I said Mr. Nethercutt was the first and only man to unseat a sitting Speaker of the House. He was in fact the first person to do that since 1860. Mr. Nethercutt was a member of the Republican Revolution Class of 1994, unseating Speaker Tom Foley in the process. I thought this would be a great week to check in with Mr. Nethercutt to get his perspective on the Freshman Class of 2010, aka “Tea Party Terrorists”. He shared some fascinating insight about the 1994 class, especially when he talked about how they lost their way as cutters and reformers. According to Mr. Nethercutt, the House leadership wanted a generational change in Congress and they felt te way to do that was to bring home goodies, aka pork, to their districts. The lure of Washington DC culture was too much and over time, they became part of the problem and not the solution.

We also talked about his book, In Tune With America. Here is a portion of an op-ed in USA Today that Mr. Nethercutt authored with former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Celebrate America by learning about her

One study showed that only about 35% of Americans can name all three branches of the federal government, let alone state what they do. More evidence may be found simply by watching the “Jaywalking” segment of The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, which reveals glaring examples of the lack of basic civic literacy of those interviewed.

Today, cultural movements within the United States continue to undermine our reverence for the founding documents, taking a swipe at all that has come before our modern culture. A June 9 news report chronicled the story of one Virginia publishing company putting warning labels on such iconic documents as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Federalist Papers, foolishly asserting that they do not represent “modern thought” or adequately take into account social issues on which the United States has evolved since our country’s beginnings. It’s time America got back to basics.

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