Then again, maybe not.
Remember all those articles about Boehner planning to take revenge on Republicans who had opposed his Speakership? Remember how he was going to take away their committee positions as punishment? And remember how angry a great many people on the right got about it?
I wrote this post about it at the time. But the next day I wondered:
…[T]here’s no real evidence that the retribution [by Boehner against his conservative enemies] is occurring…
Now, I’m not saying it won’t happen. As I’ve written before, politics ain’t beanbag and people with power tend to reward those who support them and punish those who don’t. But it’s interesting that nothing much has really happened yet and yet we get all these reports that it’s happened or will happen. Who is making the reports? The MSM. Since their goal is to heighten the discord on the right, they have every motivation to spread rumors that will do just that.
I’ll wait for something clearer before I will believe it’s happening. Again, I won’t be surprised if it happens. But it may not.
Now comes this article in National Journal entitled: “Boehner Foes Get Gavels, Not Punishment,” and subtitled “The speaker’s allies are annoyed that GOP rebels are getting top subcommittee slots.” Here’s an excerpt:
As Republicans try to foster unity at a joint retreat here, frustration is boiling over among allies of House Speaker John Boehner that his biggest detractors are being rewarded with promotions, even after trying to overthrow him in a coup earlier this month.
The latest controversy comes as Rep. Louie Gohmert, who directly challenged Boehner for the speakership, announced on Thursday that he was given the chairmanship of the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee…
Boehner’s allies have been much more eager to exact revenge against his opponents than the speaker himself has, and leadership sources have said that while Boehner is angry at his foes, he does not think public retribution is the best long-term move.
Gohmert is only the latest Boehner foe to receive a gavel. Because of that, several members described a thick air of tension within the House GOP Conference, a feeling a second Republican House member described as a blanket hanging over the GOP’s three-day retreat, which ended Friday.
The only constant seems to be the constant carping within the Republican Party. Boehner certainly doesn’t appear to be doing what was rumored. Perhaps the reports that he was taking revenge were merely efforts to stir up reactive anger on the part of conservatives.
Or perhaps Boehner was in fact planning the rumored revenge, and changed his mind when he saw the outraged reaction. It’s hard to know.
However, I would caution all conservatives (and I include myself in this group) to be alert to the very real possibility that the press is trying to fan the flames of your ire, and that you are sometimes being manipulated.
[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]
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The adult response to the “revolt” would be “I hear you.” Boehner is a smart guy.
Boehner wants to go out on his own terms. He knows there are members of the class of 2010 who want to be Speaker some day. He also knows they know they aren’t ready to mount a serious challenge yet. He may even have a favorite picked out. So he’s keeping them close until he decides to retire from Congress in two to six years.
The media are Democrat operatives with bylines (TM Instapundit). Democrats take revenge. The media project this Democrat M.O. onto Republicans, and that becomes the new narrative.
Unlike Obama, Boehner understands election results. He’s going to put in a team that will be the best to undo the Obama agenda.
Boehner has never retaliated against those who oppose him in the Caucus, which is one reason why so many feel free to do so openly. Try to imagine Democrats doing such a thing in public to Tip O’Neill or Jim Wright. Sam Rayburn would have had their hides tanned and hung on his wall. Bill Paxson resigned after failing in a conservative coup against Gingrich.
His thinking is long term. He needs a united caucus over the next two years to get things done and keep Obama busy with vetoes and Democrats having to cast uncomfortable votes. Boehner understands that the only way we can reverse the excesses of the Obama years is with a Republican President AND Congress, and he is working to that goal.
His critics are people with short-sighted tunnel vision.
The punishment for the unsuccessful challenge of Boehner’s Speakership is that Boehner continues as the Speaker. Yay.
How’s that working out? He won’t allow a vote on the late term abortion ban bill, doesn’t have the votes supposedly, and two female GOP-ers (Ellmers & Walorsky) withdrew support – despite having fully supported it 3 years ago. Three years ago they even supported the part they now claim is a deal killer. This in a political climate where even lib pollsters find that a consistent 58-62% oppose abortion and/or abortion restrictions. Polling women only gets the same 60% across most polls.
Nope, too risky for today’s GOP. Morals and principles are fine and dandy and 60% is a landslide number in an election, but nope. F**k them babies, we got seats to hold.
Ellmers has disappointed many NC voters for her many other RINOish ways after pretending to be a Tea Party candidate to get elected. Looks like she’s in like Flynn with the GOP establishment, aka, Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.
Boehner’s handling of this late term abortion bill has been a total comedy. Basically, if it involves a process and/or any risk at all, Boehner is worse than worthless. He gets kudos for inviting Bibi to speak to a joint session, but that’s a simple invite, no process, and no risk. That Boehner can handle. As could have the House janitor.
Boehner will wait before exacting any revenge. But we need to remember that it is conservative House members who opposed him, of course, and Boehner was marginalizing conservative members long before the speaker vote.
“But Henry, Boehner gave Gomert the Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chair!”
Yes, that’s the chairmanship so many of our nation’s greatest political leaders have used to springboard into power. /sarc
CLUE: Being made chairman of the House Natural Resources Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee IS punishment. For a great conservative, Texas guy like Gomert it’s like being made Assistant Hall Monitor or Chief Coffee Intern.
Couple of points in addition.
1. Boehner’s word is not good–see the 72 hour rule.
2. A “power analysis” of these chairs (as Henry noted) should be done (by somebody with the time to do it). Per Levin, the RSC as just gutted by Boehner.
3. Assuming Boehner has seen the light. He is not a championship quarterback. Compare Newt’s offensive play against Boehner’s slight of hand.
“…and that you are sometimes being manipulated.”
I am sure that is deliberate understatement and I can surmise the reason, a good one.
Most of what bloggers and other citizens respond to daily or so is propaganda, what someone wants us to think and become irate or complacent regarding, both base emotions. Who was it not long ago said, paraphrasing, the news is what we do not hear, the rest is propaganda? Propaganda’s very purpose is manipulation: queue the “protest” groups for this or that manipulation of citizens’ conscious and unconscious thoughts. Nazis were simple, they just killed you. Communists want to mess with your mind, then kill you.
Offering his opponents chairmanships may be an olive-branch on Boehner’s part. It’s an acknowledgement of “nothing personal, just business”, and while it may not (or may, who knows?) make allies out of his opponents, it also gives them something to do besides hassle him.
Worst-case scenario: nothing changes, and the Boehner-hecklers will still heckle.
Best-case scenario: these outspoken critics of the 0bama administration have a chance to use their various chairmanships to investigate and challenge 0bama’s policies, and the GOP comes out stronger as a result.
Then again, I read Henry Hawkins’ take above, and can see that point of view, too.
Personally, I’m tentatively calling it a good move on Boehner’s part, but I’ll withhold final judgment until we see how this goes.
I don’t trust him; I hope I am wrong.
I predicted that under this GOP congress:
1. Obamacare will be funded and not repealed
2. Amnesty will occur and the border will not be secured
3. Taxes will increase
4. Debt will increase
5. Deficits will increase.
6. IRS Scandal will not be resolved
7. Benghazi will not be resolved.
8. (other stuff I am too tired to recall at the moment) (:
That is what is at stake, not who bangs on a desk with a wooden mallet.