Will GOP Extremists Be Able to Dislodge Boehner From The Speaker's Chair?
In 2012 a dozen Republicans voted against him. Because the DCCC refuses to back, Tom Poetter, the Democrat running against Boehner in OH-08, Boehner has no worries about the kind of surprise Eric Cantor had. So he's been able to spend-- up until the June 30 FEC reporting deadline-- $14,164,990 on helping other Republican candidates… buying friendship and support. He's grateful enough to Israel, to make him the only Member of Congress from a district with a neutral PVI to not face his own NRCC electoral challenge. Funny how that works and how Congress' most corrupt members, regardless of party affiliation, scratch each other's backs.
One of the Republicans who is backing Boehner, Indiana right-wing extremist Marlin Stutzman estimates that as many as 50 disgruntled Republicans could vote against him, enough to drive him out of the Speaker's chair. But, as Stutzman told Fuller, "it’s hard to beat somebody with nobody." And right now the extremists don't have a plausible candidate to replace Boehner. Ryan is too cautious and chicken-shit to take the chance and Texas crook Jeb Hensarling is also afraid that if he takes on Boehner and fails, his House career will get flushed down the toilet.
Hensarling communications director Sarah Rozier told CQ Roll Call her boss “doesn’t find speculative conversations about leadership elections to be a productive exercise,” and that he “intends to support the speaker candidate that receives the support of the Republican Conference.”At least half a dozen far right fanatics and teabaggers likely to win in November-- Glenn Grothman (WI), Jody Hice (GA), John Ratcliffe (TX), Mark Walker (NC), Barry Loudermilk (GA) and Gary Palmer (MI)-- have pledged to their voters that they will not back Boehner for Speaker. Worth keeping in mind that this is base politics and that several conservative Democratic candidates, particularly in backward red districts, have pledged to got against Pelosi if they get elected, although it's not likely any of them will be. (We'll look at one, West Virginia Blue Dog Nick Casey, first thing tomorrow morning.)
“And at this point he expects that person will be John Boehner,” she said.
In other words, Hensarling vs. Boehner is a long shot.
“I just don’t see it,” Rep. Tom Cole said of a Hensarling challenge. “That doesn’t mean he won’t run for speaker at some point. But again: Jeb plays by the rules. And if you’re going to run for speaker, it’s awfully late to mount that.”
Cole didn’t see anyone posing a legitimate challenge-- “Boehner is safer than all the gold in Fort Knox,” he said-- and he thought the opposition from the congressional newcomers was exaggerated. There is a lot of pressure, he said, on new members to not “go out there on your very first vote and embarrass yourself.”
The Oklahoma Republican said there’s already an effort underway from state party officials and national GOP figures to rein in the newcomers.
And that’s what many of the would-be Republican rebels seem to miss. As much chatter as there is about a coup, Boehner allies have their own plans for gumming up any plots against the speaker.
One senior aide said even if Boehner doesn’t secure the votes on an initial ballot, there’s no guarantee Republicans would, as opponents expect, halt the inaugural festivities and hold a special conference meeting. Conservatives have long believed that if they could deny Boehner a first-ballot victory, the conference would be thrown into chaos and a legitimate challenger would emerge.
Instead, leadership could simply hold the vote open, twist arms, maybe even hold another vote immediately after the first. Or hold many successive votes, until someone caves.
The point is: Boehner and his allies control the process. Even if his opponents could prevent him from becoming speaker on a first ballot-- something that hasn’t happened since 1923-- the situation is unlikely to go down as the conservative rabble-rousers envision.
There has also been discussion, first reported in May by Politico, and expanded upon recently by National Journal, of punishing anyone bucking the party line. But a senior GOP leadership aide told CQ Roll Call the idea of formally stripping rebels of their committee assignments is “not currently under consideration.”
As long as Republicans manage to navigate the lame duck, it seems Boehner’s speakership isn’t in any real danger.
Of course, the lame-duck session will be tricky, as Congress battles over whether-- and when-- to debate and vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq and Syria. Boehner is presented with choices that are certain to anger at least somebody. And Congress still has an omnibus spending bill to address by Dec. 11.
And then there are the GOP conspiracy theorists who believe Boehner has been waiting for the lame duck to pass a comprehensive immigration bill.
“If he pushes an immigration bill, it’d probably create more opposition than anything else he could do,” Jones told CQ Roll Call on Monday.
The North Carolinian, who swears he won’t support Boehner come January, has been meeting with a small group of conservatives-- about seven-- looking to oust the speaker. But he insists opposition to Boehner extends much deeper into the conference.
Jones said he “thought” there were other groups talking. It’s just that those groups don’t appear to be talking with each other.