How to elect a conservative-leaning speaker of the House

Mark Levin asked his listeners on Friday who should be supported for speaker of the House.  There is Kevin McCarthy, Boehner's #2, whom Mark Levin calls "Eric Cantor with ten fewer IQ points."  There is Daniel Webster, who is said to be very conservative but isn't really.  And now, apparently, there is Jason Chaffetz, who is somewhat conservative but who, as one of John Boehner's loyal minions, temporarily booted Mark Meadows from a committee assignment to punish Meadows for disloyalty to Boehner.

McCarthy is said to have most of the votes he needs to win.

Given that, Levin asked his listeners whom they would vote for.  He had some heated exchanges with callers and seemed rather dissatisfied with the suggestions he received – to put it mildly.

Well, let me make my own suggestion.  From their records, Chaffetz, Webster, and McCarthy are not solid conservatives.  Nonetheless, conservatives in the Freedom Caucus should interview each and ask all of them if they will be willing to risk a government "shutdown" to defund any of the following: abortion funding, Obamacare, Obama's illegal amnesty, or any other issue that is key to them.  The Freedom Caucus should stress that they are looking not for symbolic, standalone votes on these topics, but for real votes attached to the budget or debt ceiling increases to fight for Republican priorities.

If one of the candidates actually agrees to confront Obama legislatively, in a real way, on some of these topics, the caucus could support that candidate for speaker.  If the candidate goes back on his word, the caucus could move to declare the speakership vacant again and do to the new Speaker what they did for Boehner.

If none of the candidates will concretely, in writing, promise to confront Obama using the budgetary tools at their disposal, then the Freedom Caucus should abstain from the vote in the Republican conference.

Keep in mind that there are not one, but two votes for Speaker.  First the Republican conference votes to select its candidate, and then the entire House votes.  The presumption is that on the second vote, all Republicans will vote for the Republican candidate.  But if the Freedom Caucus stay together as a bloc, they can threaten not to vote for the Republican candidate for speakership, denying him the post, since Democrats will be voting for the skeletal Nancy Pelosi and nearly all Republicans would be needed to beat her.  This tactic would put pressure on the Republican nominee to agree to confront Obama on at least some matters.

The Freedom Caucus is numerically too small a minority to elect one of its own as speaker, but it does have the numbers, if it stays together, to extract important concessions from the next speaker.

Don't hold your breath for any of this to happen. I expect that the Freedom Caucus will settle for some vague promises and get quickly betrayed, and all will continue as usual.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Mark Levin asked his listeners on Friday who should be supported for speaker of the House.  There is Kevin McCarthy, Boehner's #2, whom Mark Levin calls "Eric Cantor with ten fewer IQ points."  There is Daniel Webster, who is said to be very conservative but isn't really.  And now, apparently, there is Jason Chaffetz, who is somewhat conservative but who, as one of John Boehner's loyal minions, temporarily booted Mark Meadows from a committee assignment to punish Meadows for disloyalty to Boehner.

McCarthy is said to have most of the votes he needs to win.

Given that, Levin asked his listeners whom they would vote for.  He had some heated exchanges with callers and seemed rather dissatisfied with the suggestions he received – to put it mildly.

Well, let me make my own suggestion.  From their records, Chaffetz, Webster, and McCarthy are not solid conservatives.  Nonetheless, conservatives in the Freedom Caucus should interview each and ask all of them if they will be willing to risk a government "shutdown" to defund any of the following: abortion funding, Obamacare, Obama's illegal amnesty, or any other issue that is key to them.  The Freedom Caucus should stress that they are looking not for symbolic, standalone votes on these topics, but for real votes attached to the budget or debt ceiling increases to fight for Republican priorities.

If one of the candidates actually agrees to confront Obama legislatively, in a real way, on some of these topics, the caucus could support that candidate for speaker.  If the candidate goes back on his word, the caucus could move to declare the speakership vacant again and do to the new Speaker what they did for Boehner.

If none of the candidates will concretely, in writing, promise to confront Obama using the budgetary tools at their disposal, then the Freedom Caucus should abstain from the vote in the Republican conference.

Keep in mind that there are not one, but two votes for Speaker.  First the Republican conference votes to select its candidate, and then the entire House votes.  The presumption is that on the second vote, all Republicans will vote for the Republican candidate.  But if the Freedom Caucus stay together as a bloc, they can threaten not to vote for the Republican candidate for speakership, denying him the post, since Democrats will be voting for the skeletal Nancy Pelosi and nearly all Republicans would be needed to beat her.  This tactic would put pressure on the Republican nominee to agree to confront Obama on at least some matters.

The Freedom Caucus is numerically too small a minority to elect one of its own as speaker, but it does have the numbers, if it stays together, to extract important concessions from the next speaker.

Don't hold your breath for any of this to happen. I expect that the Freedom Caucus will settle for some vague promises and get quickly betrayed, and all will continue as usual.

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.