Boehner Calls Tea Party ‘Knuckleheads’, Wants Rule Change to Squelch Their Influence


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Hat/Tip to Todd Beamon at Newsmax.

Back in the good old days of the Cold War, the Soviet Union relied on their Politburo to help them rule with an Iron Fist.

How’s that song go, again? Oh yeah!


:::Everything old is new again!:::


Well it looks like that rule by Iron Fist is alive and well in the Republican Party, at least in the House, anyway. It looks like Johnny Boehner won’t be caught all embarrassed again when it comes time to vote for the Speaker of the House for the next Congress. See, they have a private caucus in which they vote for candidates for Speaker of the House, then they bring it to the floor for a vote, presumably so that everyone can vote the same way again.

Except for last time around, when a dozen Republicans (Tea Party Candidates, mostly) voted against Boehner. He didn’t lose, but boy, oh boy did it make him mad.

Now he’s back, and loaded for bear – Tea Party Bear, that is. Nope, Johnny and the rest of the House Leadership can only manage to play hard ball with folks in their own party. God forbid they actually went after Democrats with the same zeal, the same hunger.

House Republicans are considering a plan on selecting future speakers in an effort to avoid the embarrassing vote surrounding John Boehner’s re-election last year.

“There’s a real concern that there’s between 30 and 40 people that would vote against the speaker on the House floor, so they’re trying to change the conference rules to make sure that doesn’t happen,” a GOP member familiar with the proposal told The National Journal on Friday.

Under the plan, any Republican who votes on the House floor against the nominee for House speaker that is chosen by most of the GOP members during their private leadership elections would be stripped of their committee assignments for that Congress.

The floor vote for House speaker takes place in January, the National Journal reports, and the leadership elections occur in November.

At the start of the current House session in January 2013, a dozen Republicans voted against Boehner’s re-election. He wasn’t ousted, but it infuriated the Ohio GOPer’s allies — saying that no dissention had occurred during the conference elections.

The objections also were seen as an affront to the traditional process of keeping internal disputes within the conference private, the Journal reports.

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“There are members frustrated with other members about what happened last time,” a senior Republican said.

That little dust-up led to more tangles with the Tea Party members in the House. And once again, Boehner took decisive action.

The embarrassment on the House floor followed another squabble among Republicans in December 2012, when Boehner and other top leaders kicked four outspoken conservatives off key committees for failing to toe the party line.

And earlier this week, Boehner characterized the Republicans in the House as unreliable.

“On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing,” he said on Tuesday at the International Franchise Association’s conference in Washington. “You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.

So let’s get this straight. John Boehner and the House Republican Leadership care more about keeping themselves in positions of authority and power, than actually allowing the Representatives in the House do what they’ve been elected to do by the folks in their home districts – and that is represent them and their wishes.

No! We can’t have that. We can’t have Congressmen running willy-nilly all over our nation’s capital, voting the way that their home districts wish for them to. Hell no! We can’t have that!

But don’t give up the ship just yet. Those rascally House Tea Party folks may be firing a warning shot over the bow of the leadership.

But conservative House Republicans are discussing their own proposal — one that would push the November leadership elections back until after the “lame-duck” congressional section ends in December, the Journal reports.

One House conservative described that plan as a possible pre-emptive strike to warn leadership not to consider any critical legislation during that 15-day period between the midterm elections in November and the start of the new Congress.

However, don’t get too excited. Boehner has spent years entrenching himself in the top spot in the House and he won’t be giving that gavel up easily.

Regardless of which plan moves forward, it is clear that Boehner will most likely be nominated for a second term as speaker, the Journal reports. No one is expected to compete with Boehner for the post in the next Congress, let alone defeat him.

Boehner, 64, who has been in the House since 1991, essentially solidified his position at the top with the realignment of the House leadership after Eric Cantor stepped down as majority leader in July. He lost the Virginia primary to Dave Brat in June.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, has considered challenging Boehner, but it most likely will not happen because of the shake-up.

Read the full story here.