Steven Hayward Wrong: Peter Ferrara Right on Boehner - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Steven Hayward Wrong: Peter Ferrara Right on Boehner

The other day, over at Powerline Steven Hayward took issue with Peter Ferrara’s excellent piece in The American Spectator on the need to replace Speaker Boehner.

Hayward makes the case for Boehner…a case that is essentially refuted yet again this morning by the Heritage Foundation in a Morning Bell missive that begins:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Republican leaders have done it once again. Their latest fiscal cliff proposal capitulates on core conservative principles, yielding woefully inadequate concessions from President Obama in the process. Will they ever learn?

Apparently not. What in the world is going on with Paul Ryan?

But I digress.

What Hayward ignores (and for the record, Steve Hayward is a biographer of the Reagan era) is that Reagan had the political clout to get House votes from Democrats. Today, Obama has little chance of getting House GOP votes. These are apples and oranges situations. Obama could sit there all day trying to be Reagan by studiously making phone calls to opposite party House members… and hell will freeze over before they go with Obama, at least in the vast majority of circumstances.

Hayward also forgets one other thing. In the middle of all this in March 1981 RR was shot. By the time he returned to the podium in the House to press his case he was seen as a national hero for surviving Hinckley with such courageous and humorous aplomb. By then, added to his genuine mandate from the election, enough House Democrats just threw in the towel.

But while some Democrats did indeed despair about O’Neill, O’Neill was popular with his base precisely because he never gave up in his fight with Reagan. By the fall of 1982, at the height of the recession the GOP went straight at O’Neill with one ad in particular… …this one. Notably, it didn’t work. The GOP got clobbered in 1982. Tip was a pretty popular guy with Democrats.

Boehner’s problem is that he is doing with Obama exactly what Tip O’Neill refused to do with Reagan. Which is to say — caving on fundamental principle.

This is why Peter Ferrara was so spot on in his criticism of Boehner and why there is a felt need to replace the Speaker.

In short, Peter Ferrrara gets it. Steve Hayward, alas, does not. Not to mention John Boehner.

Perhaps Hayward should go back and read his own books?

Jeffrey Lord
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Jeffrey Lord, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is a former aide to Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. An author and former CNN commentator, he writes from Pennsylvania at His new book, Swamp Wars: Donald Trump and The New American Populism vs. The Old Order, is now out from Bombardier Books.
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