Speaker Boehner: Democrat Dissenter
On March 3, after repeatedly huffing and puffing in support the Republican position on one of the major issues of the 2014 election, John Boehner predictably went back on his word, betraying conservatives on a signature campaign promise: to rein in President Obama’s unconstitutional and lawless actions in support of lawlessness. This was Boehner’s final surrender, ceding the last vestige of the immense power of the purse that a majority of voters sent Republicans to Washington to exercise. In ratifying law-breaking by both the president and millions of aliens, he removed any lingering doubt that he is the Democrat-preferred Obama-Pelosi House Speaker.
A headline in The Hill, said it all: “Dems vow to protect Boehner from conservative coup.” This headline and the accompanying Mike Lillis story validate and vindicate articles recently published here, here and here. Democrats now consider Boehner to be their puppet in a one-party leftist dictatorship ruling against a conservative country. So it was no surprise that, when conservatives protested this latest Boehner betrayal, Democrats rallied to reciprocate the vast aid and comfort he had given them.
Reflecting media bias, Lillis echoed a longstanding and oft-repeated distortion of reality:
Boehner, who has grappled with dissent from the Tea Party wing since he took the Speaker's gavel in 2011, has seen opposition to his reign grow this year, even as he commands the largest GOP majority since the Hoover administration.
This remarkable statement must leave Tea Partiers tearing their hair out. It was only through the efforts of the Tea Party that Boehner became Speaker at all. He owes his position to them; they are not there by his sufferance. It was their reinforcements arriving after the 2010 election that provided the Republicans with their majority. By default, Boehner happened to be the senior RINO party hack already there.
As for growing opposition “even as [Boehner] commands the largest GOP majority since the Hoover Administration,” that majority was obtained because victorious Republicans campaigned on a message of opposition to President Obama’s abuse of power, especially on two critical issues: the Obama-Pelosi takeover of the health care system and the legalization of law-breaking by millions of aliens. It would be stunning if Boehner, Pelosi or Obama could cite a single Republican Representative who campaigned in support of illegal immigration or what swiftly became Obama-Boehner Care.
The painful truth is not that Boehner must “grapple with dissent” but that those who elected him must confront his relentlessly dishonest and dictatorial dissent from the issue positions on which they campaigned.
Even worse, this is not a just Speaker with an “R” after his name who does the bidding of Democrats. This is the de facto Democrat Speaker, using the Pelosi-type high-handed and duplicitous tactics to further policies of the Democrats. Indeed, Pelosi actively collaborated with Boehner on the latest betrayal of Republican voters.
Consider the key roll call vote surrendering to Obama/Pelosi on amnesty for massive law-breaking. As “proof of the discontent,” Lillis notes that 167 Republicans opposed Boehner. This does not do justice to what really happened. That was 167 out of 242 voting Republicans – an astonishing 69%.
When 69% of Republicans vote against 31%, just who is dissenting from whom? This is not “discontent” on the part of a fringe rump group; it is wholesale disapproval by the Republican Party mainstream -- a mainstream that somehow has managed not to control its own party.
In addition, 182 of the 257 House votes for the surrender were provided by Democrats. That’s 71% of the total -- an astounding 100% of voting Democrats! When a recorded vote on one of the major issues of the last election gives a Speaker 71% support from the opposition party and a mere 29% from his own, just which party does he lead? Does he lead at all, or is he led by the nose? After all, Boehner did the bidding of every single ecstatic voting Democrat. Pelosi “proudly” celebrated!
The Boehner House majority is now overwhelmingly Democrat, with the difference supplied by a RINO minority of all Republicans.
We have come a long way from the days of House Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert, who promised to prevent a vote any matter opposed by a majority of his caucus, a promise renewed by Boehner himself. According to Hastert: “If you … rely on the minority to get the majority of your votes, then …you’re not running the shop.” He added that it was best to “make sure your people are on board on any major piece of legislation ….” Hastert applied this rule if his party’s division was 51% to 49%. Boehner, by contrast, used unanimous Democrats to defy a 69%-31% Republican vote against him.
One reading Lillis might be tempted to feel sorry for Boehner. Poor John Boehner. Those whose votes resulted in his becoming Republican Speaker won’t even stay silent while he defies their wishes, views, and interests by transmogrifying himself into leader of the Democrats.
Before shedding too many tears, however, remember that this is the same man who, when possible, ruthlessly disciplines Republicans who defy his wishes, stripping them of chairmanships and exiling them to House Siberia. This is the same man who not only broke his pledge to honor the Hastert Rule but also approved use of a very rarely used rule in order to ram through a bill that an overwhelming majority of Republican colleagues and voters opposed.
Finally, as Lillis makes clear, without Democrat support, no attempt to oust Boehner can succeed at this time. Now, as before, the main goal of the loudest protesters is to protect themselves against their own votes to make Boehner Speaker in the first place.
For example, Lillis quotes Matt Salmon and Jim Jordan. Salmon: “sad day for America … If we aren't going to fight now, when are we going to fight?” Jordan: “The point is to do what we told the voters we were going to do.” Also, Rep. David Schweikert pronounced himself heartbroken.
Can the protests of these and other representatives be taken seriously if they actually voted for instead of against Boehner when their votes really would have counted? Just look at the roll call vote. Any claim of surprise proves either dishonesty or incompetence. Conspicuously absent from all the whining were any expressions of regret for having voted for Boehner or any promises never to do so again in the future.
In 2016, apart from the presidential election, no single contest will have greater impact than the one in the Ohio 8th congressional district. If conservatives are really serious, shouldn’t they immediately start a campaign to defeat Boehner in his home district? First, a true conservative should announce a primary against him. But if that fails, what alternative is there but to vote for his Democrat opponent? Conservatives could descend en masse upon Boehner’s district to persuade voters there that, no matter what Boehner may say or do from now on, he must be defeated -- either by a genuine conservative Republican or by a junior Democrat who can do little harm.
After the amnesty debacle, there can be no doubt that Boehner is not even a RINO; he is the next-best-to-Pelosi front-man for the far left Democrats.
Lester Jackson, Ph.D., a former college Political Science teacher, views mainstream media suppression of the truth as essential to harmful judicial activism. His recent articles are collected here and here.