David, I was thinking the same thing when I read the Novak piece this morning. It just shows you how powerful the impulse is in
Washington to avoid rocking the boat and reinforces what a rare moment in history 1994 was. One big issue I'd take with Novak's article is where he says that Shaddegg, Pence, Blunt and Boehner have near identical voting records. Let us never forget that Shadegg and Pence both voted against the Medicare prescription drug bill and No Child Left Behind while Blunt and Boehner voted for both bills. This is no small matter as those two bills remain the most prominent symbols of big government Republicanism. As I noted in my column last Friday, Boehner not only voted for NCLB, but he sponsored the legislation, later saying "it was one of the proudest accomplishments of my tenure in Congress." Also, NCLB is up for reauthorization next year. Given that Democrats now control Congress and NCLB is President Bush's pet project, having Boehner in charge of House Republicans would mean zero resistance to the further expansion of the federal role in education. This would be an absolute disaster for limited government conservatives.
Let's just hope Novak is wrong and the Pence/Shadegg team can take over.