In the height of the 2010 mid-term elections, the Tea Party surge forcefully took back the House of Representatives, thrusting Ohio native John Boehner into the nation’s third most powerful position. Boehner owes his speakership to the small conservative group, but he has chosen to abandon the very constituency that brought him to power in the first place.
John Boehner is infamous for drawing lines in the sand and then leaping across those lines to go for a swim in the ocean. He is spineless, ignorant, and frankly, under-qualified to lead the people’s House. His tactics are shrewd, calculating, and often times despicable. He is a weak leader and he lacks the ability to negotiate effectively. This point has been highlighted by the recent fiscal cliff talks. John Boehner signed Grover Norquist’s pledge not to raise taxes, but he has already gone out and offered President Obama over $800 billion in tax increases. He then turns around and ridicules any member who refuses to violate their promise to the American people.
John Boehner’s latest move has ruffled the feathers of the conservatives in the Republican Party. In the process of determining new committee assignments, Boehner ousted Kansas Representative Tim Huelskamp from the agricultural and budget committees. Huelskamp stated that he was relieved of his assignment due to disagreements with the House leadership on key votes. His votes were considered to be too conservative, so Boehner kicked him off the committee. Huelskamp was replaced with several of Boehner’s hand chosen moderates, which is very reminiscent of FDR’s court packing scheme.
I wish that Boehner would utilize this strength that he shows towards his own party members against the Democrat opposition. He has no problem standing up to the conservative members of the house, but he will fold and even cry whenever he deals with the Democrats. It is troubling that Boehner expects each Republican in the House to vote exactly the way he wants them to vote. Each individual congressman is supposed to vote in the best interest of their constituency, not however Boehner tells them to vote. His bullying has gotten out of control, and it is time that we take some serious steps towards replacing him.
With Boehner just being reconfirmed as the Speaker of the House last month, there is little we can do for the next two years. However, I admire Representative Louie Gohmert’s bold move several weeks ago to nominate Newt Gingrich to replace Boehner (the Speaker of the House does not have to be a sitting member of the House). Unfortunately, nobody else in the House seemed to want to take a stand against Boehner, and Gohmert was the only recorded vote for his nomination of Gingrich. It is sad that so few people are willing to break from the establishment and stand up for the American people. An interesting idea that is often not considered is for the conservative members to push back against Boehner’s bullying by threatening to caucus independently, which would threaten Boehner’s status as Speaker of the House. While this could threaten Boehner’s power, it would also swing too much power over to the Democrats, so it is unlikely that it will be implemented. But if enough conservatives get angry, they may just caucus independently.
To promote a suggestion from Mark Levin, I fully support Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker for Speaker of the House. For the past several months, Levin has toyed with the idea of having Scott Walker challenge John Boehner for his position. Levin has had Scott Walker on his show several times and has pitched the idea to him on several occasions. Walker always laughs it off, but there comes a time when the American people need somebody to step up and seriously challenge Boehner. We have two years to form a coalition to replace Boehner, assuming we hold the House in the 2014 mid-term elections. We need to start planning now.
President Obama is playing John Boehner for a fool, and rightfully so. Obama has set up the situation so that no matter what happens in regard to the fiscal cliff, the Republicans will take the blame for hurting the middle class. If John Boehner had any courage whatsoever, he would author a bill in the House in which he slashes the two middle class income tax rates, while leaving the two upper rates alone. It would easily pass the Republican controlled House, and it would be pushed over to the Democrat dominated Senate. A move like this would completely turn the tables, and the Democrats would be forced to answer to the American people as to why they opposed a middle class tax cut.
John Boehner has many options at his disposal, but he is too scared to use them. Instead, he’d rather just purge the conservatives from important leadership positions so that he can freely make deals with his buddies across the aisle.
Jeffrey Max | Texas Wesleyan University | @JeffMaxxx