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“Whip” It? Not likely to make a difference in tomorrow’s Speaker vote

“Whip” It? Not likely to make a difference in tomorrow’s Speaker vote

Boehner likely to return to leadership

Tomorrow’s vote for Speaker of the House will bring a welcome end to what has become our long national right-wing nightmare.

According to reports from multiple sources, Boehner has drawn more fire this time around, and can expect to lose as many as 20 votes when the chamber finally votes.

“Washington is broken in part because our party’s leadership has strayed from its own principles of free market, limited government, constitutional conservatism,” new Rep. Dave Brat of Virginia wrote Sunday on the conservative website

“While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for speaker,” added Brat, who shocked the GOP establishment by toppling then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a primary last year. Brat had once said he would back Boehner.

“I want us to have [a] leader who is willing to stand up for conservative, religious principles I believe in,” North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones told a home-state newspaper Saturday, citing Florida Rep. Daniel Webster as a potential alternative.

So far, Boehner’s two announced challengers are Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert and Florida Rep. Ted Yoho — both long-shot candidates at best. Gohmert said he would fight “amnesty tooth and nail,” while Yoho said Boehner is part of the “status quo.”

Big words from a small group of fighters, but it doesn’t look like their efforts have drawn enough support from those who we expect to support Boehner. Here’s what the vote breakdown looks like right now, courtesy of WaPo:

Screen Shot 2015-01-05 at 6.01.38 PM

The anti-Boehner coalition needs 29 votes to force a second ballot; they currently have 10.

At this point in the game, last-minute whipping against a very powerful legacy candidate seems like a desperate strategy; so why put the party through the pain of an 11th hour standoff?

One Virginia blogger points out the inconvenient truth (emphasis mine):

Simple – they want press coverage. They’re getting it. They want their names in the news, and they want disaffected conservatives and libertarians to flock to them and give them money. It is the most base of political moves – taking a stand on a show vote where the outcome has been predetermined and trying to claim to be some kind of principled fighter for conservatism, liberty or what have you. It’s sad, really. And what’s even more sad about it is that so many people – especially Republican activists – are taking what’s happening at face value and thinking that these guys are doing good.

If they truly believed what they were saying – that John Boehner doesn’t deserve to be Speaker – they had every opportunity to mount a real campaign for Speaker in November and they chose not to. What is happening now is pure political theater – the kind that so many Republican activists have told me time and again they are tired of.

Right-wing faction angst aside, this is an important point that many are willing to ignore in favor of yearning for an ideal outcome. There’s nothing wrong with opposing Boehner for Speaker; I think there’s a fair argument both for and against his return to leadership, and our Representatives have every right to engage in that conversation. But this opposition movement doesn’t feel productive; it feels like a manufactured standoff.

No one on either side of this fight has emphasized that a change in leadership is a huge deal. It involves not only a personnel shuffle, but a major shift in floor strategy. Boehner may not be the perfect candidate, but anyone seeking to replace him should also take the time and energy to make a persuasive argument on behalf of their own candidacy.

A talking point is not a persuasive argument, and that’s all I see running across my screen at this point.

We’ll be providing full coverage of the Speaker vote tomorrow morning. Until then, The Hill has an updating Whip list you can check out.


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“long national right-wing nightmare”??? So you believe that smaller, Constitutional government and fiscal responsibility are a nightmare? Are you sure you’re posting on the correct website here?

    JimMtnViewCaUSA in reply to snopercod. | January 5, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    I was assuming that I had overlooked a “/sarc” tag or something. Maybe not.

    He means a nightmare FOR right-wingers, not caused by them.

    Don’t understand how a misunderstanding gets four upvotes.

    LEEJAN in reply to snopercod. | January 6, 2015 at 9:42 am

    Evidently it has gone unnoticed that we have a committed America hater in the White House. There was NOTHING that congress could accomplish while O was in control. Further, as long as O is in the White House he will have his way. In the meantime we continue to destroy our own elected republicans who were chosen by their constituents.
    Certain loudmouths want to do the choosing for the entire country, it would seem.

Amy, the difference between now and November is the Cromnibus. Boehner, having assured conservatives he’d seen the light, once again turned traitor on them, duplicitously shepherding the massive spending that is Cromnibus, which caves to Obama in almost every possible way, through to passage.

A very substantial chunk (Pat Caddell’s polling suggests 1/3rd) of the Republican party has simply found that to be the last straw, and has concluded that Boehner has to go. And if he doesn’t go, the Republican party is going to fracture.

For you, utterly without evidence, to characterize principled conservative opposition to Boehner’s fecklessness as simply an attempt to grab headlines and donations is exactly the kind of cheap shot and demonstrates exactly the kind of traitorous fecklessness which has made Boehner so unpalatable. I urge you to stop that kind of nonsense.

If Boehner is not ousted, I hope Ted Cruz or Scott Walker proves to be America’s version of Nigel Farage.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Wisewerds. | January 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm

    Also, I think it has to do with the number or new members coming in, I was only able to get in touch with my new reps office for the first time today and introduce myself.

Shorter version of the linked article: “Sit down and shut up”.


Is “Amy Miller” the pen name of Squeaker Boehner or Pee Wee Prebus?

Nine full paragraphs of alternate reality. What a bizarre post.

If this corrupt a-hole remains as Squeaker, there WILL be a permanent third party, and there WILL be a third party candidate in 2016, unless Ted Cruz or Scott Walker is the GOP pick.

I believe the perception is that those chosen to lead: 1) are more concerned about the press’s opinion of them than they are about our opinion, and 2) are more intent on listening to lobbyists than to us.
This is not leadership – it’s pandering. It leads to decisions that do not support conservative principles. It cannot even be considered pragmatic leadership because they have the strength to win, but do not have the moral will to fight for their party’s beliefs. In the end we are asking: What do they believe?

NC Mountain Girl | January 5, 2015 at 8:51 pm

There is an incredibly high cost to any ambitious Congressman who allows his name to be floated as an alternative to a sitting Speaker. I suspect many such ambitious people are closely watching the whip count. At some number of dissenters short of 29 one of them may make a move. Let a couple of unexpected names hit the list of those who are thinking about dumping Boehner and the entire situation could become a preference cascade as the perception takes hold the Speaker’s remaining days can be counted on one hand.

For Boehner’s days are numbered. I do not doubt that. He was almost certainly elected Speaker in 2010 to be a placeholder until one of the impressive class of young conservatives acquired enough experience to take over. Leadership ranks were thin after the 2006 debacle and Boehner was one of the least tainted by association with the corrupt Hastert pork machine. Nor do many of those elected between 2008 and 2012 owe Boehner much for he didn’t do all that much to recruit and help candidates until the 2014. The problem is that none of the young Turks from 2010 is quite there yet. And do the ones with such ambitions want Boehner to be replaced with someone who might be a lot harder to beat when they do feel they are ready in 20167 or 2018?

There are some giant killers in waiting = people who got to Congress by challenging Republican incumbents who had lost their way. I doubt that support for Boehner in January 2015 means these people have sold out. It is more likely to mean their support has been heavily modified with a for now

    Candidates. The key is always good candidates for high public office. Show the House a candidate that might be more effective, and suddenly the situation changes. Anyone who is interested in melting the phone lines should take care to have a short list of candidates to push.

    I will say that most of the ire agains Boehner should really have been directed toward Harry Reid, but there is no reason to suppose that Boehner has a lock on the office of Speaker of the House.

Henry Hawkins | January 5, 2015 at 11:10 pm

“No one on either side of this fight has emphasized that a change in leadership is a huge deal. It involves not only a personnel shuffle, but a major shift in floor strategy.”

Um, that is EXACTLY why they are trying it, to change out leadership and make way for a shift in floor strategy. The current ‘strategy’ has resulted in the full funding of Obamacare for a year, a GOP plan to raise the federal gas tax, and numerous other abject failures by the Boehner ‘strategy’.

The current leadership has shown a willingness to fight only one opponent – its own conservative base. I called my rep (Walter Jones R-NC) and told his staff they can kiss my vote goodbye if he doesn’t oppose Boehner on Tuesday.

What a myopic and naive take on the effort to unseat Boehner. Yikes.

All of you conservatives are just going to have to face the fact that Boehner has a great tailor.

Ms. Miller’s definition of a “long national right wing nightmare” is obviously sickening. The problem is the proprietor of Legal Insurrection doesn’t think so because he continues to host Ms. Miller.

It’s hard to believe Boehner is as great a backstabbing coward and a-hole as he is, but Doug Ross sums it up quite well:

Here are the top ten votes where Boehner caved to the establishment.

1. Repeal ObamaCare

Boehner voted against a full repeal of ObamaCare, the most destructive single law to American liberty in recent memory.

2. Stop IRS Targeting

Boehner voted against a bill to stop the IRS from targeting individuals based on their political beliefs, such as when the agency disproportionately targeted conservative non-profits before the 2012 elections.

3. The Massie Amendment

Boehner opposed an amendment by Rep. Thomas Massie that would have blocked the NSA from collecting Americans’ telephone metadata without a warrant.

4. Delay ObamaCare’s Individual Mandate

Boehner voted against a one-year delay of the ObamaCare individual mandate that is hurting millions of Americans.

5. Raising the Debt Limit

Boehner supported suspending the debt limit until March of 2015, with non accompanying spending reforms.

6. Keep the IRS Off Your Health Care

Boehner voted against a bill that would have blocked the IRS from enforcing or implementing ObamaCare.

    I have a question. Was he really against those things, or did he vote against so he could lay a motion to reconsider on the table? I believe that is standard practice.


7. REINS Act

Boehner voted against the REINS Act, a bill that would have required a vote in Congress for any major new regulation.

8. The CRomnibus

Boehner supported the more than $1 trillion spending bill crafted in secret behind closed doors.

9. Audit the Fed

Boehner vot
ed against conducting a full audit of the Federal Reserve Bank for the first time in history.

10. Stopping the EPA’s Overreach on Water

Boehner voted against reining in the Environmental Protection Agency over a controversial regulation that would give them unprecedented authority over many types of ground water.

The record is clear. Boehner has failed conservatives again and again. We need a Speaker who will consistently stand up for a principled liberty agenda.

Call your congressman and demand a vote against Boehner tomorrow.

Karen Sacandy | January 6, 2015 at 9:29 am

This article is appalling. Appalling.

“At this point in the game, last-minute whipping against a very powerful legacy candidate seems like a desperate strategy; so why put the party through the pain of an 11th hour standoff?”

The “party” through the “pain.” The “party” isn’t an animal, it’s a tool of political organization. Just a tool.

The flat head screwdriver has been an abysmal failure, it’s time to go to the crowbar – the big 3-foot long one – because we need ALL the leverage we can get.

Boehner has been a pernicious negotiator, been utterly without spine, and been beneath the dignity of his manhood. He has deliberately set up the GOP to lose in negotiations.

I assume, and pretty safely, that the author has never been in combat. We have Americans, in the very beginning of their adulthood, who have lost feet, hands, arms, legs, head injuries, brain injuries, for less than what these 10 or 20 representatives are fighting for.

Our combat soldiers show bravery under fire and I expect our representatives to show common sense under comfortable conditions such as they have. No one is directing any live fire at them.

Despite this, despite the clear need for Boehner to be replaced, only a handful or two have come out to support replacing him. Why? Not because they want the spotlight – but because they are AFRAID of it. The vote is not secret, so Boehner and all the rest of leadership can aggressively punish them in POLITICAL ways – meaning no one is going to lose a hand or a leg, but maybe a committee position. Anyone who fears losing a committee position over saving America, doesn’t deserve the position to which he was elected. Ted Cruz had the right perspective when he said, “I didn’t want to go to Washington because I needed 100 new friends.”

I’m not going to school this author on why Boehner needs replaced. Those paying attention and those that love America, know why, and know the urgency of it.

I will say this: Boehner has pulled at least one surprise vote. When I remember the Constitution’s authors meeting for months sequestered in Philadelphia, all discussing and weighing all the pros and cons of each word and sentence in it, and all discussing thoroughly for hours on end each part and the ramifications, Boehner’s method of legislating revoltingly illustrates that we are now governed as if the country is a fast food, rather than 300 million people carefully charting their common destiny.

Boehner wouldn’t bother me so much if he failed doing what the citizens wanted but he failed by defying the citizens and joining the establishment GOP(RINO’s) and the Democrats.

I’m done supporting the GOP and will only support candidates that act constitutionally!

The Republicans are afraid of a Bombastic Speaker like Newt Gingrich. However, despite Gingrich’s bloated opinion of himself, he rammed through MANY, MANY GOOD PIECES OF LEGISLATION, whether designed with the Contract with America or other Republican ideas. Boehner will probably return as Speaker of the House, simply because of Democrat Votes: He’s the Best Republican Speaker that the Democrats could ever have.

Henry Hawkins | January 6, 2015 at 11:04 am

Per polls, 60% of Republican voters want Boehner out. Meanwhile, less than 10% of Republican House members are projected to vote against Boehner. Consider that math and tell me the GOP leadership is not disconnected from its own people? Screw the people, the GOP serves other masters.