Here’s an interesting article on the fate of John Boehner. A few things come to mind reading this. One is just how awful at his job Boehner has been since the start. Being Speaker is a tough job and made tougher when you are a Republican. The press is always looking to undermine you and the opposing party will use that to cause mischief. A Democrat speaker has a loyal press corp and a pleading opposition.
Boehner has made his task more difficult by making war on the conservative wing of his caucus. It’s a strange and self-defeating strategy that has led to a number of embarrassing defeats. Tip O’Neil, the best speaker in my lifetime, always avoided these showdowns. Instead, he found the votes needed in advance. When his preferred choice was going to lose, he made a big show of “letting his members voter their conscience.”
In contrast, Boehner appears to be an idiot. He can’t count to 218.
The other thing I find fascinating is the casual revelation of the bait and switch the GOP runs on their voters.
Members of the recently formed “House Freedom Caucus” offered multiple proposals to leadership that they believe would have drawn enough Republican votes to keep DHS funded and not left Boehner dependent on Democrats. Boehner, though, chose not to support the plans.
One conservative member, who asked for anonymity to speak frankly, said the mood of his colleagues will depend on how Boehner handles himself over the next week. If he tries to put a “clean” DHS funding bill on the floor for a vote, or doesn’t make overtures to conservatives, anger could boil over, the Republican said.
We’re suppose to take from this that the 52 members of the Freedom Caucus are the conservatives in the party. That means 193 other Republican members are something other than conservative. Did the voters of Fred Upton’s district (MI-9) think they were getting a non-conservative when they elected him? Bob Goodlatte (VA-6)?
I’m thinking most GOP voters went to the polls thinking their guy was a good conservative. Maybe not on every issue, but at least 90% of the time. Yet, the leadership and Boehner operate as if the conservatives are mostly a nuisance and a trivial minority of their caucus. By extension, it means they think you, the guy voting for them, are an idiot.
My own view is the parties are just the two faces of the ruling class. They run a good cop-bad cop routine on the public and take turns occupying the big offices. Voting, therefore, is a waste of time. Still, I take some pleasure in seeing that old drunk get the business from the handful of politicians with anything resembling respect for their voters.