It’s time for a change: a Reagan not a Ford should lead the House GOP. Clearly John Boehner is not up to it.
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“And you can quote me.”
Boehner’s appalling views can be summed up in a one word description: Surrender. As the Times notes, he tried the same cave-in routine last year! The House Republicans may have won a resounding re-election the other week. But… hey… who cares? Speaker Boehner, in the spirit of all those Republican House Minority Leaders from the 40 years when House Republicans were in the political wilderness, sees his role as doing deals with Democrats and then playing golf with the President.
If John Boehner had been leading Britain in May of 1940, all of England would now be speaking German.
What Speaker Boehner is doing here is the old moderate Republican shuffle that just failed yet another moderate Republican presidential nominee — again (make that again and again and again). Only days ago Mitt Romney was crisscrossing battleground states saying how he would work with Democrats, how bipartisan he intended to be.
Three million Republican votes vanished on election day. Say again… three million Republicans who had voted for John McCain in 2008 refused to follow Romney’s closing argument of bipartisanship. It was the presidential version of the GOP loss of the House in 2006 — when angry Republican voters took out their wrath over a once-reform minded GOP Congress sliding into Washington insiderdom. Sending the House GOP packing and letting Nancy Pelosi have her run of the place. After all, why go for the cheap copy when you can have the real thing?
Three points. And context.
Point One: What John Boehner is doing here is exhibiting a classic case of the Inside-the-Beltway GOP moderate mindset. Despite receiving a mandate from voters, Boehner is set to make the mistake that always confuses cooperation with compromise. Let’s go back a ways to show how this perpetual losing game works.
More people today probably remember the late President Gerald Ford for his presidency than the bulk of his career as a Michigan Congressman and House Minority Leader. Ford’s real ambition was never to be president — it was to be Speaker of the House. He never made it. Why? Because as House Minority Leader he did exactly the same thing John Boehner is doing today — racing as far from conservative principle as possible.
What was Ford’s idea of how to lead the House Republicans?
He wrote it all up in his memoirs years later, saying this:
Since 1960, the party had swung to the right. Zealots had taken over key positions and they seemed to believe it was more important to nominate a candidate who was ideologically pure than to find someone who could win an election… I wondered how we could best restrain the flood of Great Society legislation that would be coming our way soon.… I (was) viewed as the more liberal of the two candidates (the other being incumbent Leader Charlie Halleck)…. Ever since Kennedy had become President in 1961, House Republicans had been on the defensive.… We simply had no right to shout “No, no, no” unless we had come up with better solutions….
What were Ford’s “solutions”? Notice a key word that Ford used. The word is “restrain” — as used in this sentence: “I wondered how we could best restrain the flood of Great Society legislation that would be coming our way soon.” Jerry Ford wasn’t about defeating the Great Society — staking out the conservative principles involved and fighting for them. He was about restraining, moderating. His “solutions” revolved around more of the same as LBJ’s Great Society — only, in Ford’s words “better, less costly, more practical ideas” on federal aid to education, national health insurance, and yes, one of these “better” ideas was a tax increase.
What happened? How did the House GOP fare when they simply rolled over for the liberal agenda and offered Ford’s “restrain” approach? The Republican membership of the House merely kept on ebbing and flowing for another thirty years! With Ford and his successors playing the Inside-the-Beltway game until Newt Gingrich arrived in the late 1970s. Gingrich realized instantly that something akin to Stockholm Syndrome seemed to be holding House Republican Leaders in a trance. Being the Republican Leader meant going-along-to get along, copying Democrats by offering some version of the same programs except less so, followed by rounds of golf with the Democrats’ Speaker of the moment.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online