The Red State blog's battle against the House GOP leadership has earned notice at The Hill newspaper and elsewhere, and John Boehner reportedly is feeling the heat. For those to whom this is a new topic, a recap: To replace ethically questionably John Doolittle on the Appropriations Committee, the House GOP leadership appointed.... ethically questionable (and major porkmeister) Ken Calvert, despite MULTIPLE questions about earmarks that just so happen to benefit his real estate investments and despite an old arrest for consorting with a prostitute. Erick Erickson of Red State, a highly respected conservative blog, is leading the charge, which is being endorsed by a growing number of other conservative bloggers, to insist that the House GOP actually live up to its promises on ethics and earmarks. After all, it's not as if these guys didn't get their butts kicked last fall in large part because of their horrible ethics and out-of-control spending... now is it? Scroll down through the posts in the link above to get a fuller report on all this. It's well worth watching.
According to Bob Novak, Representative Jeff Flake, of pork-busting fame, has been booted off the House Judiciary Committee. The official explanation by Minority "Fearless" Leader John Boehner is that Flake criticized the GOP leaderhisp on TV. The unofficial and more likely explanation is that his valiant efforts to fight wasteful spending annoyed the GOP
members Barons of the House Appropriations Committee.
Truth be told, I have to agree with Boehner's decision to remove Flake from the Judiciary Committee. Flake should not have that kind of job. He should have Boehner's.
Robert Novak explains today that the anointing of John McCain as the GOP standardbearer for 2008 has begun, just as it did for Bob Dole in '96 and for President Bush in 2000.
Viewing Republican presidential campaigns through this lens finds the corporate party selecting one candidate -- and invariably nominating him. It has nothing to do with ideology.
No kidding. It's the same behavior that returned Trent Lott to power, and kept John Boehner over Mike Pence for House Minority Leader.
Damn! I wish I had remebered this earlier! This from the pen of John Boehner three years ago:
Even though we share many ideological similarities, Republicans are not libertarians. Libertarians are generally more hostile to government involvement of any kind on any level; Republicans share this antipathy to the extent that wherever and whenever possible, power (wrongly usurped in the first place by Democratic leaders) should be devolved from the federal government to the hands of states and localities.
But Republicans also are far from being purely conservative. A conservative would like to see the government shrink; a Republican does too, but -- in acknowledging political realities (a new defensive posture after September 11th for one) and the multitude of stakeholders in government after years of liberal control -- has often had to settle for simply slowing its rate of growth. Republicans have accepted such realities as the burdens of majority governance.
It's almost as though last Tuesday never happened. According to Robert Novak:
In private conversation, Republican members of Congress blame Majority Leader John Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt in no small part for their midterm election debacle. Yet, either Boehner, Blunt or both are expected to be returned to their leadership posts Friday. For good reason, the GOP often is called "the stupid party."
In fact, the voting records of Boehner and Blunt are nearly identical to Pence's and Shadegg's. The difference between them was demonstrated last Thursday when Blunt went to the Heritage Foundation to campaign for his retention as whip. He delivered a defense of earmarking, echoing the House appropriators' claim that the elimination of earmarks would do "nothing but shift funding decisions from one side of Pennsylvania Ave. to the other."
Read it all, as they say.