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Is John Boehner in Trouble?

Is John Boehner in Trouble?

Speakership in jeopardy

For what is being called the first time ever, those closest to Speaker of the House John Boehner are expressing serious concerns about Boehner’s future in the chamber’s top spot.

John Boehner has been challenged before; back in January, Texas firebrand Louie Gohmert put his name in the hat for the top spot; two dozen members of the caucus turned their backs on Boehner, but as has happened before, the opposition wasn’t nearly widespread enough to oust him from power. Then, at the end of July, North Carolina Mark Meadows filed a “motion to vacate the chair” in what he said was an effort to get Republicans talking about the sharp divide between leadership and a small group of conservatives. Right-leaning advocacy organizations again took up the charge, encouraging followers to contact their representatives to demand change.

And now, we have this—a Politico exclusive featuring both on- and off-the-record comments expressing doubts about Boehner’s ability to lead the caucus.

Via Politico:

“That’s a personal decision he has to make. I don’t know why he would want to, personally,” said Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), when asked whether Boehner would run again. “But I do think that he feels, in his heart of hearts, he feels like he’s doing what’s best for this country — regardless of what the political consequences are. That says something about somebody.”

Talk of Boehner’s possible demise is as old as his speakership, of course. The mild-tempered Ohio Republican has experienced wild swings in his political fortunes, going from hero to Republican-in-name-only in a matter of days. Earlier this year, roughly two dozen Republican lawmakers voted against his bid for a third term as speaker. Each time, Boehner has survived and returned to health.

But consider what he faces this fall: a quixotic but determined fight to defund Planned Parenthood, a potential government shutdown, a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling or risk default, and a contentious showdown over highway spending. Boehner’s aides say they expect a vote to oust him, formally known as a motion to vacate the chair.

Boehner allies privately acknowledge the daunting challenge. “Who knows?” one ally said when asked if Boehner could beat back a coup attempt. “I don’t know. I don’t know how you change this dynamic.”

I don’t know how you “change this dynamic” either. Commentary on the situation in Congress is on a downslide—which makes me believe that the only way to change the dynamic is for Boehner to accept the challenge, but come out swinging. As the Politico piece points out, many of Boehner’s allies are frustrated by critics’ tendency to gloss over the things that leadership has managed to accomplish:

Set aside the constant threat of rebellion, Boehner insiders argue, and you have one of the most productive sessions of Congress in a long time. The speaker negotiated a permanent change to how doctors are reimbursed under Medicare, which they say will save more than $200 billion without raising taxes. He shepherded through the House the biggest free trade agreement in decades. And, Boehner’s friends point out, the Select Committee on Benghazi that he created exposed Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server — a controversy that’s dogged the Democratic front-runner for months and shows no signs of going away in 2016.

Critics are too quick to gloss over just how challenging an environment Boehner has navigated, the speaker’s allies maintain.

“I don’t think any other speaker could’ve gotten anything more out of this White House,” said House GOP chief deputy whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).

“Look at what we’ve been able to do in the time we’ve been in the majority, with a Democratic president who has had a backstop of a U.S. Senate for the most part controlled by Harry Reid,” added Rep. Pat Tiberi, a close ally of Boehner, explaining the speaker’s message to the GOP rank and file. “Despite that challenge, we’ve cut discretionary [spending]. We had a significant mandatory spending program reformed in the ‘doc fix.’ That’s pretty significant.”

For many conservatives, though, “pretty significant” isn’t enough—and it’s possible their concerns have resonated, at least as far as GOP strategy is concerned. Both aides and lawmakers have expressed doubt over whether Boehner will run for another term as Speaker at all.

This will play out, probably in a fashion neither as dire nor as hopeful as the party or the base currently believe. If Boehner does field a challenger, I would encourage conservatives to vet that challenger as harshly and as thoroughly as they have criticized Boehner over the years. If these insiders are right, and a change of leadership isn’t just necessary, but coming, pulling the trigger on the first smooth talker to promise a “change in how Washington works” could prove more frustrating for the grassroots agenda than waiting out the leadership’s current slow-march strategy through the last year and a half of Obama’s time in the White House.


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“Look at what we’ve been able to do in the time we’ve been in the majority…”

I do not consider surrender much of a record.

Speaker “Weeper” has got to go.

The Conservatives don’t want someone who can navigate a challenging environment. Conservatives want someone who is going to stand on principle and say “THIS FAR, NO FARTHER!!!”

The decline of the Republic has been that Boehner (and fellow GOPe types) have been willing to say “oh, those darned Democrat members, they just won’t vote for what we’re doing, so let’s not do it.” What they have then done is give up on CONSERVATIVE principles to the benefit of Marxist policies.

NO! No, no, no, no NO! That is not what we, the BASE, VOTED FOR in the 2010 and 2012 elections. We (the BASE) voted for principled LEADERSHIP. That means that you go out there and say “This is what our BASE elected us to do, they have give us a sacred trust. We must honor that trust by standing firm on the principles they sent us here to espouse.”

The best thing that could happen in the 2016 elections is that each and every one of the GOPe “Moderates” draws a primary TEA PARTY challenger, and that those challengers hammer again and again and AGAIN the GOPe cowardice to take on the big issues (Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts, balanced budget, debt ceiling, IRAN nuclear negotiations and EPA/WOTUS/Coal).

Boehner needs to stop whining and weeping about how the Senate was controlled by Harry Reid, and needs to start saying “our voters sent us here for X, and BY GOD we’re going to send a bill stating X to the Senate. If the Senate refuses to act, or the President vetoes, THAT’S FINE, IT’S JUST MORE POLITICAL DAMAGE THAT CAN BE DONE.

What a fucking joke.

“The speaker negotiated a permanent change to how doctors are reimbursed under Medicare, which they say will save more than $200 billion without raising taxes.”

More budgetary bullshit to try and make numbers sound big. Medicare has a projected 100 TRILLION FREAKING DOLLAR DEFICIT. $200 billion is 0.2% of that total. Five thousand more changes like that and maybe we’ll break even. FIX IT, stop fiddling around the edges you RINO.

“He shepherded through the House the biggest free trade agreement in decades. ”

You wrote the bill in secret, refused to let people read it until the last minute, and when people did read it they called you on the fact that it paid back your crony backers and shipped even more manufacturing jobs overseas. RINOism and crony capitalism at its worst.

“And, Boehner’s friends point out, the Select Committee on Benghazi that he created exposed Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server — a controversy that’s dogged the Democratic front-runner for months and shows no signs of going away in 2016.”

‘That he created’? Congress had to FORCE him to do it. He did it as lip service to the base, he didn’t care one bit about it. Now that they’ve actually proved wrongdoing he’s trying to take credit for it.

Oh, you forgot ‘complete and total capitulation in allowing Obama to flip the finger at immigration law’.

    JoAnne in reply to Olinser. | September 8, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    Reminder – there are grandmothers reading this blog. We don’t use that word here. Thank you.

      Shane in reply to JoAnne. | September 8, 2015 at 5:01 pm

      As a reminder this is a blog, not the three television stations, that we were stuck with for much too long controlled by the bastion of free speech the FCC.

      I understand your concern about speech but this is the wild, wild interwebz. As grandmother, whom I can make the assumption that has seen far worse than this, please browse with caution, so that your blushing sensibilities might stay intact.

      Helen in reply to JoAnne. | September 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

      Sometimes people have to just call it like it is….

“Is John Boehner in Trouble?”

Sure as hell is with me.

Along with that lying SOS in the Senate, and their buddies in leadership generally.

AND my local “conservative” rep. Kevin Brady, who I will work to replace, along with John Cornyn.

Boehner and the United States Chamber of Commerce are no friends of the middle class or true conservatism.

    You just NAILED it.

    The National Chamber of Commerce (NCC) and their members’ Establishment-Affiliated Non-Profits is a central hub of the nation’s business-side high rollers who pull the strings of Establishment Elected Officials such as John Boehner & Lindsey Graham with payoffs of Campaign contributions & Non-Profit Orgs’ financial support.

    The NCC insists on illegal amnesty & out of control H1B visas to lower wages (thus increased profits) of middle class Americans in order to facilitate switching to cheaper labor costs of non-American H1B workers & illegal immigrants.

    We, the American middle-class, are being phased out by the bipartisan efforts of the DEM-GOP Establishments.

NC Mountain Girl | September 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm

Boehner’s days have been numbered since the last minute challenge to his Speakership was mounted last December. He may survive Meadow’s motion, but he is unlikely to be reelected by the caucus in 2017.

I expect that sometime later on this Fall Boehner will announce he will not run for reelection in order to spend more time with his family.

buckeyeminuteman | September 8, 2015 at 4:30 pm

I moved to a northern suburb of Dayton, OH last fall and found myself in Boehner’s district. I couldn’t bring myself to vote for him so I pulled the lever for the Democrat, whoever he was. I couldn’t decide who the lesser of two evils was…

Everything I tried to write about Boehner seemed to come out profane for some reason…

Spell check wants to change Boehner to Boner. Nice call spell check.

Gohmert and Labrador have been promising twice what they can deliver for a long time. There is nothing new here from Politico, which is hardly surprising for an organization whose payroll is met by the Obama Administration. They just want to sow discord in the ranks. They love Trump for doing the same.

Politico sells their daily email news summary to several executive agencies, including the White House, for six figures EACH. Their founders were all charter members of Ezra Klein’s Journolist email propaganda ring, designed to protect Obama and Democrats by managing how news is reported (and as Klein admitted, it never went away, just re-formed after being outed). Whose interests do they serve?

– –

The history of conservative rebellions in the House is not one of great success. Gingrich was ultimately replaced by the moderate conservative Hastert. Cantor’s lifetime 95 ACU rating lost to McCarthy as Majority Leader with his 76, and the seat filled by Brat, whose public statements put him around 70.

Boehner was the 8th most conservative member of the House from 2001-10, the decade before he became Speaker (who doesn’t traditionally vote). You think you will replace him with someone more conservative? Really?

Or is it just like two year olds throwing a tantrum where they break their own toys?

    gasper in reply to Estragon. | September 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    There are two C words: Conservative and Compromise. There are some things you do not compromise on. R can stand for Republican or Reasonable. There are times you don’t want to be reasonable. There are two P words: Principle and Prick. When you lose your principles in the big fight you become a prick. I understand you’re pragmatic…but many of us are not. We want this shit hole flushed and there’s a whole lot of elephant turds floating in the tank. You can vote 20 times on bullshit issues and be conservative, then give away the farm on one major issue by being a reasonable, compromising prick.

      platypus in reply to gasper. | September 9, 2015 at 12:35 am

      Wow. You really stated the whole mess very clearly. Nicely done. Maybe he will re-read your response a few times over the next week and understand the lesson it is trying to show him.

      There is a universe of difference between real world and theoretical world.

    Voyager in reply to Estragon. | September 8, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    Ultimately, he has failed in the major battles of his day.

    He may have secured tax neutral tweaks to Medicare, but under his leadership, the House and Senate permitted the President to set the Middle East on the path to nuclear war, with less than 1/3 of the chambers supporting him. One of those is simply more important than the other.

“If you can keep your head, when all about you
are losing theirs, and blaming it on you….”
R. Kipling

There are those who seem to think that a bare majority in one of the Houses of Congress in the United States is a magic wand for passing legislation. This, despite the fact that legislation requires the approval of both Houses of Congress and either the approval of the President or sufficient votes to override a veto.

What Boehner accomplished was to put a stop to the rest of Obama’s legislative agenda. That was significant.

    Barry in reply to Valerie. | September 8, 2015 at 8:13 pm

    “What Boehner accomplished was to put a stop to the rest of Obama’s legislative agenda. That was significant.”

    OK, Valerie. Please name some of Obama’s agenda that Boehner put a stop to. Or one.

With the second GOP Debate looming, here is a dissertation on Trump Supporters, Trump Haters, Trump Curious and the RINO Media hacks who wage war on voters.

It is written by John Nolte at

Jonah Goldberg and the Anti-Trump Bourgeoisie

    Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | September 8, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Now, see, here’s the problem with that (well, one, anyhow)…

    Bourgeoisie is the Collectivist term of derision for “middle-class”…which the Collective HATES.

    Goldberg is a solidly middle-class guy, and a decades-long contributer to REAL conservative ideas. So calling him Bourgeoisie isn’t like calling him a dirty name or anything. It’s like saying he has a dog. He does.

    Goldberg wrote a piece (which I hope to read tonight) on how T-rump is not a conservative. Apparently Nolte disagrees. I’ll get around to that maybe tonight, too.

    The “Conservative” Tree Sloughs have one, as well. Meh.

    The irony here is that anyone…remotely…thinks the T-rump has the BEST read on ANY-FLUCKING-THING related to middle-class America. He’s a freaking OLIGARCH, and has been a crony capitalist his life entire. He’s BIG GOVERNMENT Collectivist thinker, and a hater of market economics.

    But, if you disagree with Goldberg, fisk him yourself. Don’t belch others thoughts on this. Especially someone too dim to understand “Bourgeoisie” and its use by the Collective.

      If you had bothered to read the article before critiquing the headline you would clearly understand why Nolte specifically included the word ‘Bourgeoisie.’

      He used it to push back on Goldberg’s use of the Marxist epithet ‘Proletariat’ to smear middle-class voters who are supporters of Trump.


      “Among those Goldberg describes as the “Trumpean Proletariat” (for some reason the anti-Trump crowd love Marxist references) there are plenty of high-profile Trump supporters attacking the other GOP candidates. But no one in this group — and this is important — has gone so far as to attack and marginalize the everyday voters who oppose Trump.

        Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | September 8, 2015 at 7:56 pm

        You know, I scanned that Nolte piece and I can’t find any context that supports your bullshit.

        Funny that…

          Oh? What bullshit, specifically, might that be, Rags?

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2015 at 8:24 pm

          DUH! What YOU wrote, putting words in Nolte’s mouth. Which he didn’t say in any context related to “Bourgeoisie” as a counter-point to Goldberg.

          Here’s the first reference I find to Bourgeoisie in NOLTE’S words (not his apologist…you)…

          GOLDBERG: Karl Marx coined the term lumpenproletariat to describe working-class people who could never relinquish their class consciousness and embrace the idea of a classless socialist society. Hence, they were useless to the revolutionary cause. I’m no Marxist, so I don’t buy the idea that anybody — never mind a whole class of people — are beyond persuasion. But I am tempted to believe that Donald Trump’s biggest fans are not to be relied upon in the conservative cause.

          NOLTE: Let’s begin by helping our friends among the GOP bourgeoisie with The Obvious:

          As ALWAYS, I invite people to read for themselves.

          First of all, lets get on the same page, K?

          noun: bourgeoisie; plural noun: bourgeoisies

          1. the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes.

          2.(in Marxist contexts) the capitalist class who own most of society’s wealth and means of production.

          noun: proletariat; plural noun: proletariats; noun: proletariate; plural noun: proletariates

          1. workers or working-class people, regarded collectively (often used with reference to Marxism).

          synonyms: the workers, working-class people, wage earners, the working classes, the common people, the lower classes, the masses, the rank and file, the third estate, the plebeians; the lumpen, the lumpenproletariat;

          derogatory: the hoi polloi, the plebs, the proles, the great unwashed, the mob, the rabble; sheeple

          Now, granted, I didn’t skim the article… I actually read it. My commentary was my own takeaway of what Nolte is getting at.

          So, to be precise:

          Excerpt Of Nolte’s article:

          (Nolte): To his credit, Goldberg doesn’t hurl names at Trump’s supporters but his sneering (and surprisingly clueless) incredulity does boil them down to unthinking, knee-jerk cretins

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2015 at 9:07 pm

          …WHICH is ONLY what Nolte tells us HE thinks of Goldberg’s piece.

          Which he lavishly tortures and departs from, along with making very free with the truth.

          People should read both pieces.

          But let me revisit my earlier observatioin: if you want to except to Goldberg, do it. Don’t just ape someone else.

      John Nolte directly interceded on twitter during my last twitter battle with the actor Nick Searcy (a high-profile Anti-Trumper and confirmed basher of voters who support Trump) by addressing both Searcy & me by name.

      I was giving Searcy holy hell for calling me a ‘Trump Humper’ and neither of us would retreat. Finally, Nolte said to us both… “you are both idiots.” Searcy withdrew from the confrontation shortly after that.

        Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | September 8, 2015 at 7:58 pm

        Name-dropping…???? Again…????

        You are just SOOOOOO special…!!!


          It happened and it is pertinent to the subject of the article.

          Why do you think I am on twitter?

          To post pictures of my parrot?

          I am at political WAAR with Liberals and RINOs.

          Many people interact with high-profile people every day on twitter. It’s not that big of a deal. Not all high-profile people want to interact with everyday people and some love to do it.

          Like I said… it’s not that big of a deal.

          Frankly, I have a lot of twitter convos with a lot of people, a few high-profile, many are just average American folks, and a rare few are some seriously evil people in both the high-level and dime-a-dozen categories.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2015 at 8:30 pm

          No. I really do feel sorry for you. Like I said the other day. I have profound pity for you.

          Well thank you for that kind pity, Rags. I can always use more pity. You are so sweet! lol

          I pray for you to stop making such fuss about others who just wont bow down and flee when you roar you lionly roar at them.

          It kinda reminds me of a movie character in the Wizard of Oz who tried to scare people. But, unlike him I do not believe you are in any way, a coward. You are the opposite of a coward.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | September 8, 2015 at 9:22 pm

          Except I’ve never…not once…tried to silence you.

          Unlike you. You’ve tried it several time, in several ways.

          You really HATE that in won’t work, I know. You’ve told me repeatedly.

          I have *never* tried to silence you, Rags.

          Hell, you are a prized ‘straight man’ for adding my commentary on the blog.

          You can ask the Professor… not once have I ever lodged a complaint or went complaining about you or anyone else to the higher authority of the Professor or anyone else who works on this blog. That, is the truth.

          Gotta go… have a great evening.

“Is John Boehner in Trouble?”

God, I hope so!

Suggested criteria for any replacement: 1) non-smoker, 2) does’t breakdown in tears at the drop of a hat, 3) less of a tan than Snookie, 4) has read and understands the Constitution.