BlogIn the LoopNews

Athens Congressman Calls Himself ‘Anarchist’

This New York Magazine illustration lists Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) as one of the “anarchists” in the U.S. House. Also pictured are Reps. Paul Broun (R-Athens) and Tom Graves (R-Ranger).

No, not like your crusty punk neighbor with the Against Me! T-shirt and the dog-eared copy of Bakunin.

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) is fundraising off a recent New York Magazine article that accuses him and other tea party Republicans of intentionally sabotaging the federal government.

The Republican fringe has evolved from being politically shrewd proponents of radical policy changes to a gang of saboteurs who would rather stop government from functioning at all. In this sense, their historical precedents are not so much the Gingrich revolutionaries, or even their tea-party selves of a few years ago; the movement is more like the radical left of the sixties, had it occupied a position of power in Congress. And so the terms we traditionally use to scold bad Congresses—partisanship, obstruction, gridlock—don’t come close to describing this situation. The hard right’s extremism has bent back upon itself, leaving an inscrutable void of paranoia and formless rage and twisting the Republican Party into a band of anarchists.

Under the heading “‘Anarchist’ – And Proud of It,” Collins, who represents part of Athens, sent supporters an email Sunday asking for donations so he can keep on being an obstructionist.

Is it more important to you that a Republican or a conservative represent you in Congress?

This article is one of many in recent months that have noted the changing face of the U.S. House of Representatives. The author identifies me as a rogue agent of conservatism who isn’t content with the status quo in the Republican Party.

On that point, he is 100 percent right about me. My goal in Congress isn’t to be just another Republican vote. My goal is to be YOUR voice in the U.S. House.

The principles and policies promoted by Republican leadership often line up with my values and yours. But on some issues, such as raising the debt ceiling, I just don’t agree with leadership. I’m happy to vote against leadership when they’re wrong, and I’m glad to be part of a growing number of Members who share that sentiment.

Increasingly, American voters are sending individuals to Congress who are more committed to conservative principles than earning favor with leadership – members like me who are more concerned about what the folks back home think about their voting record than what Republican leadership thinks.

Anyone who has looked at my voting record can see that I vote the conservative line, not the party line. I’m going to maintain that record as long as I have the honor of serving you in Congress, but to do so, I need your continued support.

Collins’ Northeast Georgia district is one of the most conservative in the nation, and most of his constituents hate the government. He’s owning a liberal-media criticism and banking that tea partiers associate “anarchist” with “anti-government,” not “left winger.”