Oh, the treachery of John Boehner.
I just got an e-mail from Congressman Tim Huelskamp. He is one of the three that John Boehner booted off of key committees because of their public disagreement with the leadership.
I have heard several protests from conservatives over this move by Boehner, but I disagree with a key point of theirs, in that I do not have a problem with efforts to enforce party discipline. What I find despicable about Boehner’s move is not that he has disciplined some of the troops, but that he disciplined them for adhering to the single core Republican principle – Republicans do not raise taxes. He is disciplining them for integrity, for loyalty to the same campaign pledges that surely every Republican House candidate made, either explicitly or implicitly, that they would hold the line on tax increases.
I like the idea of enforcing party discipline. I admire the Democrats for their use of it, to push their agenda. But the Speaker should employ it to promote Republican principles, not Democrat ones.
In his e-mail, Congressman Huelskamp called on Speaker Boehner to reveal the scorecard he used to determine which House members he would discipline. He wrote, “Speaker Boehner attempted to deny that there was a secret scorecard, but just the opposite is true. He said there was ‘No scorecard or any other single criteria’ used to remove me from my committees. Stated in other words. He’s saying that he used a scorecard and some other criteria as well. It’s just another twisted phrase used to mask their real intention–shut off members of Congress who refuse to allow Washington to spend us into oblivion.”
I’ve been stewing over the weakness of Speaker Boehner’s language in his dealing with Obama and the rest of the Democrats on this so-called “fiscal cliff” (though it’s more like a fiscal pothole compared to the true money problems of the country). They accuse Republicans of holding middle class tax cuts hostage to their tax cuts for the rich. Why doesn’t Boehner accuse Democrats of holding the tax cuts hostage to their class warfare? Because that is what is going on. And why doesn’t he accuse them of not really wanting a deal? We know from past behavior that the Democrats would just as soon raise taxes on everyone. It’s an easy sell to make that argument. It was a Democrat, Bill Clinton, who pushed those tax rates. Are Democrats now saying they don’t like those tax rates? That’s not credible.
But you see, Boehner is not really angling for the most conservative deal he can get from the Democrats. No, he appears to be angling for the most liberal deal he can sell to his fellow Republicans, which is what he has done before. The audience for his statements is not the American people or even Democrats. The purpose of his statements is to appear to fellow Republicans like he is really fighting. Then, when falling off the cliff is imminent, I believe he will cave as much as he feels he can get away with and tell his fellow House Republicans that it is either this deal or disaster, because he was fighting all the way as hard as he could, don’t you know.
Oh, it makes me sick. I hope the Republicans revolt.
Hey, I have an idea: Huelskamp for Speaker. He’s already been blacklisted so it’s not like he has anything to lose by challenging Boehner.
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