As The Washington Times observed this morning, there is a growing feeling among conservative Members of the House that Speaker John Boehner has to go.
We called for Boehner’s replacement the day after the election in which Republicans lost seats in the House because establishment Republican leaders, like Boehner, ran a content-free campaign that ignored the conservative agenda and left Democrats free to launch their “war on women” trope and other specious attacks without rebuttal by the GOP.
The need to replace Boehner has gained urgency as the Speaker has fumbled the “fiscal cliff” negotiations with President Obama and the Democrats.
With Boehner as the lead Republican negotiator, you would never know that the federal government has a spending crisis and that it has been growing ever since Barack Obama took office.
Boehner has allowed the Democrats to frame the argument strictly in terms of class warfare and raising taxes on the wealthy. Cutting spending or deficit reduction never even make it into Boehner’s talking points, let alone on to the nightly news.
Boehner’s response to this and other conservative criticism is not to reframe the debate, but to attack conservatives and punish members of the House Republican majority who might have the temerity to urge a different course.
Representatives Tim Huelskamp, Justin Amash, Walter Jones and David Schweikert were all ousted from their committee posts because they voted and spoke against Boehner’s constant abandonment of conservative principles.
For his part, Huelskamp remains committed to his principles and told Boehner: “It was no secret when I was assigned to these committees two years ago that I would hold Washington to a higher standard when it comes to getting our fiscal house in order and restoring government to its proper size and role.”
Likewise, Walter Jones said, “I’m not going to sacrifice my integrity for anyone or any party… It’s the price you pay. I didn’t come up here to be a puppet for anyone. And I think the public back in my district, which is the most important, has seen I’m willing to do what I think is right.”
What Boehner and the rest of the Republican establishment seems to have forgotten is that thanks to their failed leadership, if just 16 members of the Republican conference abstain from voting for Boehner as Speaker in January, he will be one vote shy of the 218 necessary to re-elect him as Speaker.
Just 16 principled Republicans could change the world.
The House switchboard is (202) 224-3121. Please pick-up the telephone NOW, call your Congressman and ask him or her to abstain from voting for John Boehner as Speaker -- or better yet, to vote for a principled conservative, such as Representative Tom Price of Georgia, Jim Jordan of Ohio or one of the principled conservatives who were punished for sticking to their principles: Tim Huelskamp, Justin Amash, Walter Jones or David Schweikert.