Every week on Monday morning, the Council and our invited guests weigh in at the Watcher’s Forum with short takes on a major issue of the day, the culture or daily living. This week’s question: What Is Your Reaction To John Boehner’s Resignation?
Virginia Right!: I won’t shed a tear.
The Noisy Room: Yipee! And good riddance. I’m partying and doing a snoopy dance. The only thing I cringe over, is who will take his place? They will try and shove Kevin McCarthy on us.
The Razor: It takes a big man to cry. It takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
JoshuaPundit: Oh dear, why now? Why not five or six years ago?
I think what’s going on here is pretty obvious to me at least. Boehner didn’t actually ‘resign,’ but with elections not far away, the GOP establishment is finally getting a clue about how deeply angry GOP voters are at them for their betrayal of what they were elected to do. And Boehner was an easy sacrifice, especially since the votes were there to oust him. The fact that there’s a well paid position working on Jeb Bush’s campaign greased and ready for him tells the rest of the story.
McConnell may be next to get the axe.
The GOP establishment will try to put one of their own in charge who lacks Boehner’s baggage and Kevin McCarthy is said to have the inside track. I doubt he will make it unless he makes some solid commitments to House conservatives. We’ll see…
Don Surber: I met him around 2005 when he was Education chairman. He was smooth and in command. Future speaker. He was part of the Gang of Seven as a rookie congressman, and co-authored the Contract With America.
This is a sad end. It was time.
The Independent Sentinel: He ran the House like a dictator, so all I have to say is Hasta La Vista baby!
Maggie’s Notebook: Interesting to think that the Speaker doesn’t have to be a Congressman. It can be a civilian. Never has been, but it could be. I can’t wait for Boehner to be gone, but if ANY part of this leadership is elected, I don’t think much will change. The entire leadership needs to go.
Nice Deb: Somebody mentioned Tom Coburn, the former Senator from Oklahoma who recently retired as a possible candidate. He was the most conservative member of the Senate, but not a bomb-thrower and was widely respected. Not that it will happen, but it’s nice to dream (while Kevin McCarthy is shoved down our throats.)
Bookworm Room: Let me begin with the fact that Progressives on my Facebook thread are shattered that the man they view as the least awful Republican has left the House and are already having nightmares about the inevitable Tea Party fanatic who will replace him. Here are slightly edited quotes (to preserve the author’s privacy) highlighting their horror:
Progressive #1: “The Tea Party is made up of hate-filled ultra conservative religious fanatics and domestic terrorists. They were a Trojan Horse the GOP thought it could control in the fight against Democrats, but they simply split the GOP. It serves the GOP right but damages America.”
Progressive #2: “The most fanatic right wingers kicked him out, and I can’t imagine who will be the next Speaker, so it’s scary. This is very bad for the Republican Party.”
When it comes to Progressives, with a few exceptions, I operate on the Groucho Marx principle: Whatever you’re for, I’m against it. Their shock and fear over Boehner’s departure is a strong indication that his departure is a good thing. Reviewing Republican responses doesn’t change my mind.
Among Republicans, there are pragmatists who say that, given Obama’s refusal to work with a Republican Congress, there was little Boehner could do, so he shouldn’t be the scapegoat for the GOP’s weakness and Obama’s strength. More ideologically committed people say that the least that Boehner could have done was to be a spokesman for conservative ideas — such as pointing out that it is Obama who is flouting the majority of Americans through his refusal to accommodate any legislation that doesn’t match his minority political view.
I happen to agree with the latter view. I therefore believe that Boehner’s right to leave. The only people whom he made happy were those on the Left who gloried in his failure either to carry through legislation or to be a spokesman for conservative ideas.
Laura Rambeau Lee, Right Reason: Recent polls show that a sizable majority of Republican voters are extremely unhappy with Speaker Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell for not being strong voices for conservative principles. Despite being delivered majorities in the House and Senate they have been weak and ineffective in their ability to rein in a lawless President Obama.
Riding the wave of a Tea Party success in getting out the vote in 2010 and winning a Republican majority in the House, John Boehner convinced conservatives he would work to undo Obamacare and champion conservative policies. His promises were successful in winning the Speaker position. Since then, he has done nothing to keep his promises to undo the damage our country has suffered under the Obama presidency.
The question is, has he removed himself from the office to protect the establishment GOP in the upcoming 2016 elections, or has he come to the realization… perhaps after meeting the pope… that he is on the wrong side of what is right for America? One thing is certain; he did not have the fortitude or conviction to do what needs to be done to correct the disastrous course we are on as a country. Hopefully the new speaker will be a true conservative and not one of the establishment GOP the party continues to push on the American people.
The Glittering Eye: I think that Speaker Boehner did about as well as could have been expected under the circumstances and the opprobrium heaped upon him by Tea Party conservatives has been largely undeserved.
I also think that the odds are about 3:2 that a long string of disappointments is continuing for the Freedom Caucus and their supporters. Boehner’s successor won’t be a Freedom Caucus member. It’s more likely to be Kevin McCarthy of the California 23rd district and he will prove very similar to Boehner. There will continue to be compromises they despise in the name of continuing to govern.
The eventual Republican presidential candidate whoever he or she may be will not be nearly confrontational enough to suit them. They’ll object strenuously to some of the positions he or she takes.
The key problem is as it has always been. You can’t take the White House with Tea Party voters alone. There is no hidden groundswell of support just waiting for a candidate conservative enough.
Well, there you have it.
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