When I heard that John Boehner invited the freshman congressmen to a meeting, I knew it would not be a welcome to DC, meet and greet. Many of the newcomers were not supported by the Republican Party and some Republicans still believe that if the Tea Party had stayed out of it, they would have won a few more seats.  Although I am sure that Boehner congratulated them on their victories, the real purpose of the meeting was to explain that regardless of what they ran on, this is how it really works if you want to get anything done in Washington.  And, of course, to shore up votes for the leadership posts which were predetermined by which old white guy's turn it is to lead.

We can hope that the freshmen will continue to stand up for the policies that got them elected, but it is hard to fight a decades in power political machine.  For anything different to happen in Washington, the old white guys have to be open to new ways of doing things.  The special interests have to stop buying votes and the congressmen have to stop allowing themselves to be bought.

Each bill should be about one thing instead of adding pages of pork spending to get others to vote for the bill.  The same pork projects should be handled by the appropriations committee and not be attached to a bill that is totally unrelated. When these projects have to stand on their own, a huge number would be rejected.

The Congress should be subject to all of the same laws they make for the Country.  If they cannot exempt themselves from certain programs and laws, they might actually read the bills.  If they read them before they vote, the outcomes would be different.

The Republicans have a terrific opportunity to cement their power for years to come, if they give Americans what they think they were voting for.  It will be evident very soon if it is business as usual in Washington.  If it is, and nothing changes, the People will rise up and organize a third party that will make the changes America wants in their government.

The Tea Party was extremely effective in sharing the consistent message of limited government, balanced budget and free markets and Americans rallied behind their candidates.  And that was just the first round.  Now that they have had lots of practice, think about the waves the Tea Party can make in 2012.

Republicans have this great mandate to change the way things are done in DC.  If they fail to deliver, they will be held accountable and 2012 will truly be the year of great change.

leslie edwards                                                                        Environmentally Aware, Socially Conscious, Politically Active real estate agent

leslie@leslieedwards.com    www.SOuthMetroAtlantaMLS.com