House Speaker John Boehner’s time with the big gavel may be coming to an end in the next week or so. The Hill reports some Republican lawmakers think they have a shot at getting Boehner out, if the government shutdown over the funding of Planned Parenthood doesn’t happen.
“That’s what tells you there’s something afoot. You know there’s some drops of blood in the water, because all the sharks are starting to circle,” said one conservative lawmaker who backs Boehner’s ouster.
The key word in all this is “may” because there’s no guarantee it will happen. North Carolina Congressman Mark Meadows does have a measure on trying to get the speaker position vacated so there can be a new one, but that takes votes. Whether that’s the case or not depends on the source. Boehner says he does, but South Carolina Congressman Mick Mulvaney says otherwise because he isn’t sure how Democrats would vote. Of course, Boehner decided to make some pretty laughable comments about his tenure as a Congressman to POLITICO last weekend (emphasis mine).
“Garbage men get used to the smell of bad garbage. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right? You can teach yourself to do anything, especially if you’re committed to a cause. I came to Washington to fight for a smaller, less costly and more accountable government…I don’t think they understand I’m as conservative as they are. When I voted regularly, I had the eighth most conservative voting record in Congress. And the idea that I’m the establishment, that I’m some RINO, is just laughable. It really is.”
It’s comments like that which are why conservatives and libertarians don’t trust the GOP leadership to actually do something on issues they care about like the debt ceiling, Planned Parenthood, etc. Boehner has supported plenty of bills which don’t reduce the size of government and has refused to listen to those who do. Boehner threw his support for the bailouts, the Farm Bill, CRomnibus, Obamacare funding, and also allowed the Trans Pacific Partnership to pass. He’s also cracked down on Republicans who don’t go along with leadership, instead of possibly sitting down and listening to them on why bills expanding government aren’t good. The detriments of a Boehner speakership outweigh the pluses.
It’s true Boehner is dealing with a Senate which doesn’t have 60 Republicans and a White House which is in the arms of a Democrat, but it doesn’t mean the House is paralyzed on its job. Boehner could easily push colleagues to pass legislation which makes the government smaller, knowing it won’t pass the Senate because of Democrats. Republican Senate candidates could then run on the fact Democrats are keeping legislation from being done, which could convince voters to put more GOPers in office to get the bills passed. The same goes for whoever the GOP presidential nominee is. The idea of “Hey if you vote for me and make sure the House and Senate are GOP, we’ll get bills done! Promise!” might work.
The are still questions as to who would replace Boehner as Speaker? Would the GOP House accept House Speaker Kevin McCarthy or should they? He’s still pretty establishment and might not be an improvement. Should Paul Ryan be considered for Speaker, even though he pushed the bailouts Cromnibus, the Farm Bill, and was the one who brokered a deal with Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray on spending caps? Raul Labrador, Justin Amash, and Thomas Massie would all be great Speakers, but do they have the votes? The same goes for Dana Rohrbacher. There should also be pause for conservatives at some the Republicans rumored to be interested in taking over for Boehner. The Hill’s list includes several not very “freedom and liberty” Republicans.
GOP Rep. Daniel Webster, the former Florida state House Speaker, told The Hill some colleagues have been encouraging him to make a second bid for Speaker. And other GOP sources said former Chief Deputy Minority Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) and Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.) could launch potential leadership bids.
This is the problem with wanting to kick Boehner out, even if he deserves to thrown out of the speaker’s chair on his ear. If the replacements are just as bad as Boehner is already, then how are things any better? There’s got to be a smarter strategy than, “Oh I hate you get out!” and this is something a lot of people forget. This isn’t saying there shouldn’t be a coup, but there’s got to be the right replacement. Right now there doesn’t appear to be one. There’s nothing wrong with fighting against Boehner and the establishment, in fact they should be fought every single time they try to do something which won’t reduce the size of government. But the voters and grassroots activists also need to pay close attention to what’s going on in Congress. The activists can then message how establishment Congress members are trying to dupe the electorate and convince voters to go for a more “freedom and liberty” candidates. Then the growing rebellion against Boehner won’t be one that just rears its head every full moon, but something which goes from a trickle to a roar. It’s getting closer, but it may not be quite there yet. Still, if the #DefundPlannedParenthood push does get Boehner out, kudos to the GOP House for revolting. It just depends on who the replacement is.