OLC’s Response

I received an email response from Tom Zawistowski, President, Ohio Liberty Council. I posted it for readers and will comment this evening. I do appreciate the response.

Dear Brian,
I would like to take this opportunity to followup on the Press Release sent out yesterday concerning the selection of Ohio Senator Rob Portman to the “Super Committee”. Some leaders in the Ohio Patriot movement wrongfully jumped to various conclusion like this release represented OLC support of the “Super Committee” or support of Rob Portman’s past record or support of the debt ceiling deal that Rob Portman voted for in the Senate or support of the Republican party. None of which is true, or was stated in our release, or was intended or implied.
What we did say is that we have a relationship with Senator Portman and we are glad that we do, because at least we will have the opportunity to communicate with him about what the “Super Committee” does or does not do. The point is that, regardless of Portman’s previous record, it is better to have a voice in these negotiation than to not have a voice because that is an opportunity for us to affect change.
I spent a large part of my life coaching various sports at the high school and collegiate level. I learned a long time ago that you don’t win games or championships by bemoaning the fact that the players you have on field do not have the capacity to do the things you want them to do, or by belittling them because they are not the players you think they should be. You win games and championships by understanding the abilities of the players that you have on the field at that moment, and then finding a way to use whatever skills they have, regardless of how limited those skills may be, to defeat the other team.
Few of us would have picked John Boehner to be the person to represent us in debt ceiling negotiations. We did not have that choice. We could not choose Jim Jordan. So, you do the best you can with the player you have in the game at that time. Does it do any good to scream at him and blame him because he is not Jim Jordon? No. Did we get what we wanted from him during the debt ceiling debate. No. Did we influence him to do things he otherwise would not have done in those negotiations.

Absolutely. Did we move the direction of the debate away from spending and toward cutting spending. Yes. Did we win. No. Did we lose. No. We’ll call it a tie, and based on the players we had on the field we were lucky to get that. (Need to do a better job of recruiting players next year!)
Likewise, we did not decide to put Rob Portman on the “Super Committee” instead of Jim DeMint. He is not Jim DeMint and will never be Jim DeMint, but he is the player we have in the game to represent us because he will take our call and read our letter and listen to our case. Are we going to get everything we want because Rob Portman is on the “Super Committee”? No chance. Can we get some of the things we want because Rob Portman is on the Committee? Possibly. Rob Portman has a record that contains many things that we do not like. It also contains votes we do like. The question is, do we have the ability to affect Rob Portman’s thinking by making our case and defending our positions with facts? That is on us, not Rob Portman. We need to find a way to help the only player we have in the game to win the game for our team.
For those of you who are always concerned about endorsing a candidate or supporting a candidate or being affiliated with a candidate because we will get blamed for what they do, that is nonsense. Our release did not say Rob Portman is our man and he will do what we say. We would not go that far if Jim DeMint or Jim Jordan was named to the committee because we can not “control” what another human does, we can only “influence” what another person does – just like a coach. I am confident that Rob Portman will provide us the opportunity to make our case and do our best to influence the decisions of the committee. However, no matter what the “SuperCommittee” does, we will exercise our opportunity to make clear what our position is on those decisions and then go on to fight the fight in the House and Senate to either support or defeat those decisions.
Best Regards,
Tom Zawistowski
Ohio Liberty Council

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