Bait and Switch

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.

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grey enlightenment
5 years ago

One can argue our tripartite form of Government is set up to create and foster ‘awful, ineffectual’ politicians. It’s better to have pols do as little as necessary to keep the system running, but no more, and piss off both sides than be overzealous. Looking back at history, governments and politicians that were too effective tended to be really awful.

Duck Enlightment
Duck Enlightment
5 years ago

Boehner daughter is married to a rastafarian…

james wilson
james wilson
5 years ago

I don’t see the referenced article as interesting. He sounds like a Beltway twat on a Sunday show. If the Republican sniveling is as bad as he makes out–not saying it isn’t–it’s time for conservatives, all 52 of them, to piss all over the Republicrats, and very publicly. It is better for them to announce to their districts that they are going home and giving DC to Harry and Barry than participate in this charade. Sovietized internet, illegal amnesty with unearned billions in tax payouts, gun control by edict, secret treaties with nuclear Iran. Just go home. Harry Reid, never… Read more »

5 years ago

My favorite term in government is gridlock. Thank god they can’t agree on much, we couldn’t take much more. The conservative caucus needs to stand firm and those who do not join need to be singled out for a primary challenge and get gone. It may take a few cycles but only by keeping track of voting records and purging rhinos do we stand a chance. John Boehner is a terribly weak speaker with no charisma and no ability to unify the party. What a shame.