Jeb Hensarling thinking of challenging Boehner for Speaker this fall?

posted at 5:21 pm on June 20, 2014 by Allahpundit

Via Jamie Weinstein, House conservatives have cried wolf too many times for me to take this too seriously.

But … maybe there’s a strategy here? Maybe? Dude?

In truth, Hensarling allies explain, he had been taking seriously the encouragement to run in November. But he needed to go through an exhaustive process—meeting with advisers and colleagues to discuss strategy, and more important, discussing the decision with his family. That process, Hensarling always thought, would not need to commence until late summer or early fall…

After close consultation with his family and friends last week, Hensarling surprised those close to him by suggesting that his obstacles—which they thought were prohibitive to his seeking a top leadership post—were overcome in the deliberation process…

[I]n fact, people close to him started reading between the lines of that statement—“not the right office at the right time”—and wondered if Hensarling was up to something. Maybe he didn’t want to challenge McCarthy for leader this week, they whispered, because his grand plan was to challenge Speaker John Boehner in November.

“I think he’s going to run in November,” a House Republican and longtime Hensarling ally said this week. “And if he runs, he runs for the top spot.”

Three possibilities. One: It’s true! We’re going to have an all-out brawl within the GOP for the future of the House in five months. If conservative voters turn out in droves in the midterms, maybe the establishmentarians backing Boehner will conclude that there’s no resisting the party’s ideological trend any longer. Better to bow to Hensarling, keep Kevin McCarthy in place as majority leader to be a moderating force on the leadership, and go from there. Okay, but … apart from notable tea-party wins over Cantor and, maybe, Thad Cochran, centrist Republicans actually did awfully well holding off conservative challengers this spring. Mitch McConnell, the right’s biggest target, won with ease. The establishment, backed by business money, is in no mood to make accommodations with the right at the moment, especially after the shutdown. (Remember this post, from the last time righties started whispering about knocking off Boehner?) This is not going to be a bloodless coup. And if there’s going to be a fight, it stands to reason that the guy who’s already banked 218 votes twice for Speaker has the advantage.

Two: The Speaker talk is a big fake-out from Hensarling fans. What he really wants is majority leader, but if his allies start whispering about challenging Boehner, maybe centrists will get nervous and try to accommodate him with a lesser position. As long as Boehner gets to decide what does and doesn’t reach the floor, establishmentarians may feel okay with replacing McCarthy with Hensarling as an olive branch to the right. The party needs to be unified for 2016, after all, and that would help do it. The problem is, Boehner’s allies in the House and their friends in the Chamber of Commerce absolutely insist on passing comprehensive immigration reform before 2016 and Hensarling could make that impossible as majority leader. Cooperation on that point may be their price for abandoning McCarthy. If Hensarling plays ball on some sort of amnesty, they’ll consider him. If not, war.

Three: This is all nonsense, pushed by tough-talking conservatives to try to scare Boehner into retiring but with nothing actually behind it. Like I say, they’ve cried wolf before in the name of impressing grassroots tea partiers. At what point do we stop believing them and start treating them like posturing blowhards? Philip Klein wonders:

The way things have gone in major legislative battles over the past several years (such as with the debt ceiling, government funding bills, and the “fiscal cliff” tax deal) is that House conservatives have consistently voted against compromises. This has led House leadership to cut deals that can pass the House with the help of Democratic support.

This dynamic has allowed House conservatives to maintain a ruse. They can go back to their constituents and perpetuate the myth of themselves as brave freedom fighters standing up for conservative principles against a wobbly GOP leadership that’s gone native in the Washington swamp. Meanwhile, because House leadership cut deals, House conservatives didn’t have to deal with the consequences of bond markets freaking out because Congress never raised the debt limit, or of a taxpayer backlash because rates went up on all income levels once all of the Bush tax cuts expired.

Conservative House members would no longer have it so easy if staunch conservatives were to seize control of House leadership. So, at the end of the day, they’re perfectly happy with the Boehner-McCarthy team.

Matt Lewis thinks conservatives won the war over Eric Cantor but “lost the peace” now that Kevin McCarthy’s replaced him, but Klein’s point is that they haven’t really lost. They like being out of power because it lets them maintain their purity while ensuring that the House doesn’t do anything too risky like hitting the debt ceiling. Is that what this latest Hensarling rumor is about — a cheap way to show righties that they’re super serious about taking Boehner out this time while knowing that they don’t have the numbers to beat him? And don’t really intend to try?


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Strike while the iron is hot.

Too bad Allah doesn’t like the idea.

formwiz on June 20, 2014 at 5:24 PM

Anyone’s better than weepy Boner..

sandee on June 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Hensarling is strongly against amnesty. Would greatly prefer him to Boehner or McCarthy.

bluegill on June 20, 2014 at 5:25 PM

Will it happen before or after his retirement?

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 5:27 PM

The more I see conservatives in the house the more I see them speak loudly and carry a little stick. Very disappointing. Time to make the move once and for all, go out on a limb, challenge Boehner with the big guns and Take Over The House!

Franklin100 on June 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Is that what this latest Hensarling rumor is about — a cheap way to show righties that they’re super serious about taking Boehner out this time while knowing that they don’t have the numbers to beat him? And don’t really intend to try?


Nope!

This is the way it’s done in the big leagues.

You don’t try to hold people’s feet to the fire before the election when they are still raising campaign funds.

You don’t launch a suicide attack on the leadership just because Cantor screwed the pooch.

You plan. You wait. You get the election behind you.

Then you start your battle in earnest.

PolAgnostic on June 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

PolAgnostic on June 20, 2014 at 5:28 PM

Patience is the key.

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 5:31 PM

After these up coming elections we will need a fighter in there who will fight tooth and nail,its gonna be ugly,the current speaker is not up to the task.

creek on June 20, 2014 at 5:32 PM

From Animal House:

You f-ed up you trusted us!

I say it time say:

RINOS….dead men!

SmallGovtGuy on June 20, 2014 at 5:34 PM

HUGE! Start working it now. Just to remind us VERY STRONGLY why we dislike this crying, drinking, smoking, “principles of immigration” pusher, watch it and weep: https://hotair.com/archives/2014/04/25/video-boehner-mocks-gop-opponents-of-immigration-reform/

anotherJoe on June 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

The problem conservatives have in getting leaders elected is the shutdown. They proved themselves to be kamikazes, and nobody trusts a kamikaze. Boehner and McCarthy suck, but at least the members know those two aren’t going to walk them off a cliff. So in a secret ballot election the establishment is going to have the advantage.

Mark1971 on June 20, 2014 at 5:35 PM

apart from notable tea-party wins over Cantor and, maybe, Thad Cochran,

And maybe Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander. I hope.

cat_owner on June 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Boehner suddenly realizes what time it is…

oscarwilde on June 20, 2014 at 5:41 PM

And maybe Pat Roberts and Lamar Alexander. I hope.

cat_owner on June 20, 2014 at 5:37 PM

Lamar Alexander, whose primary is on August 7th, is for an internet tax and voted for Rubio’s amnesty bill. Worst though, is his complete lockstep agreement with Obama and the leftists on “climate change” and the radical EPA anti-coal agenda: http://www.nationaljournal.com/energy/lamar-alexander-unveils-his-maverick-gop-vision-for-energy-future-20130529

http://www.redstate.com/diary/jayp/2013/07/27/senator-lamar-alexanders-fishy-voting-record/

anotherJoe on June 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Jeb Hensarling thinking of challenging Boehner for Speaker this fall?

YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, YES, …….. to infinity!

MicahStone on June 20, 2014 at 5:48 PM

anotherJoe on June 20, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Hopefully he loses, but doesn’t seem like Joe Carr is running a very effective campaign. I think Milton Wolf has a better chance against Virginia’s third Senator, Pat Roberts.

cat_owner on June 20, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I will leave the party and never come back if John Boehner is reelected as Speaker of the House. I’m that disgusted with the man and his enablers.

joekenha on June 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Hopefully he loses, but doesn’t seem like Joe Carr is running a very effective campaign. I think Milton Wolf has a better chance against Virginia’s third Senator, Pat Roberts.

cat_owner on June 20, 2014 at 5:48 PM

You may be right. I went to Joe Carr’s website, and was taken to a landing page emphasizing that Lamar “protected Obamacare funding.” Well, that was related to trying to get out of the shutdown. Regardless of what you think about that, it’s NOT the most effective approach. The voters know that it was related to the shutdown, and Alexander could be easily forgiven on that.

I implore Carr to immediately desist from emphasizing more “routine” Alexander votes like on the debt ceiling, and STRESS up front what are immediately and unequivocally huge negatives for Alexander: 1) his vote for Rubio’s amnesty, and 2) Alexander climate change position. Seriously, Cantor proved that amnesty is a huge pull, and conservatives across the board typically get very upset with the leftist climate change position. Those 2 points show that Alexander is a virtual Democrat. The landing page should be changed, immediately! I haven’t seen his ads, but I imagine if the landing page is indicative of the entire campaign that the ads are not optimal. I’ll look for the ads now.

anotherJoe on June 20, 2014 at 6:05 PM

I will leave the party and never come back if John Boehner is reelected as Speaker of the House. I’m that disgusted with the man and his enablers.

joekenha on June 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

Good idea. Say, you do realize unless you are dishing millions their way they don’t care, right?

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 6:12 PM

anotherJoe on June 20, 2014 at 6:05 PM

Totally agree with you. Could be wrong, but I get no sense his campaign is gaining traction. Contrast that with Milton’s Facebook page, where you see him constantly at rallies, and with supporters.

Milton has lots of charisma too. I know that shouldn’t matter, but how you come across to voters really does make a difference.

cat_owner on June 20, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Okay, but … apart from notable tea-party wins over Cantor and, maybe, Thad Cochran, centrist Republicans actually did awfully well holding off conservative challengers this spring.

Not sure how you can say that, AP. Put it in historical context — an upstart faction of the Republican party has run and won seats held by establishment Republicans who have wielded all of the power of the party and incumbency over a dozen times in the past four years – against the party, against overwhelming funding disadvantages, name recognition, and all of the other levers which incumbents control to enormous effect.

Is it not unprecedented?

Jaibones on June 20, 2014 at 6:37 PM

The two top GOP leaders should not be from very blue states. California and Ohio have given Obama the White House for two terms.

HellCat on June 20, 2014 at 6:49 PM

Anybody that leans more to the right of this piece of garbage is a step in the right direction.

Diluculo on June 20, 2014 at 7:07 PM

If we get to late October and it looks like a Republican wave, I wouldn’t be surprised to see conservatives vote Democrat in a few spots just to flush (pun intended) some of the dead wood. Might be tough to get rid of cry baby Johnny but old Mitch is clinging to a low single digit lead and a few thousand votes cast to ‘get even’ could solve a lot of problems. Just sayin’….

Kidfromjersey on June 20, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Good idea. Say, you do realize unless you are dishing millions their way they don’t care, right?

Bmore on June 20, 2014 at 6:12 PM

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

After that comment, you need to change your handle to “Bless” (and in case that slipped by you, read it B-less)

fabrexe on June 20, 2014 at 7:53 PM

Such discussions may be somewhat premature. If Boehner, McConnell, et. al. either keep their word and pass Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders, formally agree to keep Obamacare and just tweek it, or back down over the refusal by the Administration to produce subpoenaed evidence that we KNOW they are lying about being lost; there will be no Republican Speakership to contest.

Subotai Bahadur on June 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

Three: This is all nonsense, pushed by tough-talking conservatives to try to scare Boehner into retiring but with nothing actually behind it.

We have a winner! But I doubt this move is to scare Boehner. It’s a move to get some clout. Nobody has the guts to vote against Nancy Boy Boehner

Brock Robamney on June 21, 2014 at 12:17 AM

Such discussions may be somewhat premature. If Boehner, McConnell, et. al. either keep their word and pass Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders, formally agree to keep Obamacare and just tweek it, or back down over the refusal by the Administration to produce subpoenaed evidence that we KNOW they are lying about being lost; there will be no Republican Speakership to contest.

Subotai Bahadur on June 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

That sounds reasonable, I think.

sohumm on June 21, 2014 at 3:04 AM

Such discussions may be somewhat premature. If Boehner, McConnell, et. al. either keep their word and pass Amnesty and Permanent Open Borders, formally agree to keep Obamacare and just tweek it, or back down over the refusal by the Administration to produce subpoenaed evidence that we KNOW they are lying about being lost; there will be no Republican Speakership to contest.
Subotai Bahadur on June 20, 2014 at 11:14 PM

One thing that was great about Ted Cruz’s stand against Obamacare is that it exposed the neostatists in the Republican Party. Which now we see is the majority of the leadership and committee heads. It’s time to either stand up or let it burn. I’m fine either way

Brock Robamney on June 21, 2014 at 7:39 AM

I will leave the party and never come back if John Boehner is reelected as Speaker of the House. I’m that disgusted with the man and his enablers.
joekenha on June 20, 2014 at 5:55 PM

I keep seeing posts like this, and usually the Zack Mayo society stays put

Brock Robamney on June 22, 2014 at 5:37 AM