John Boehner

Novak on McCain

By on 12.14.06 | 10:26AM

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.

The GOP, abhorring competition and detesting surprises, likes to establish its presidential nominee well in advance. I first appreciated this in 1996, when Robert J. Dole's candidacy was dying after he barely won in Iowa and lost New Hampshire, Arizona and Delaware. He then won eight of eight primaries on a single Tuesday. When I asked a Dole adviser how this happened, he said it was ''Dole, Inc.'' repelling outsiders seeking the nomination, Steve Forbes and Pat Buchanan.

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.

Boehner’s Win

By on 11.17.06 | 11:48AM

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.

They Haven’t Learned A Thing

By on 11.13.06 | 7:33AM

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.

Reader Mail

The Short Goodbye


Readers bid adieu to corrupt-and-pork big government Republican losers. Also: The man who plays Truman. Boehner fades. Conservative-Libertarian reconciliations. Plus much more.

Reader Mail

Moving On


The recovery continues and tomorrow the sun will rise even brighter...before the clouds return. Also: Libertarians and conservatives. Amerabia. Plus much more.

Re: The Pence Campaign Begins

By on 11.8.06 | 9:32AM

Phil: Compare Pence's candor with John Boehner's disingenuousness. This is from the statement Boehner issued late last night.

"I've said since January during my run for Majority Leader that that we as Republicans must return to the spirit of '94 and its focus on reform. The American people strongly supported our ideas and agenda in 1994, and they still do. We made progress this year by instituting greater fiscal discipline, rejecting some $45 billion in wasteful Democrat spending, enacting comprehensive earmark reform, and continuing to provide tax relief, but clearly we must do more and we must do better.

That's right, blame the Democrats for wasteful spending under the Republicans' watch.

Reader Mail

La Cage Aux Foley


Reactions to Ben Stein's "Hypocrisy, Democrat Style." Are Republicans "sick and disgusting"? Plus much more.

Senate Votes

By on 8.1.06 | 11:33AM

Some legislative dope off of the Senate side.

One reason not to count out a successful vote in the Senate on both ending the Death Tax, pension reform and some other tax issues is the number of tax and tax credit issues tacked onto the pieces of legislation by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and House Leader John Boehner.

Frist actually deserves more credit, because while reporters were running around worrying about Republican political failings, Frist and his leadership team were pushing through appropriations bills with far too few earmarks to Senators' likings. Now the Death Tax and minimum wage bill have some earmarks to meet the needs of Democrats. If they vote that bill down, it is doubtful they get a shot at them for the rest of the year.

It is still a 50-50 proposition that they get it through, but the comparatively unlarded approps bills will be interesting to see move onto the floor later this year.

Another byproduct of the minimum wage bill is that some Senate insiders think they will have a shot later this year at some decent fixes to the Medicare system.