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 Breitbart.com.
“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:
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.DONATE
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