Skip to comments.John Boehner struggles to keep up with base
Posted on 09/17/2009 6:20:41 PM PDT by counterpunch
Minority Leader John Boehner spent much of last week trying to persuade a stubborn Rep. Joe Wilson to apologize to the House telling associates he needed to get to Wilson before the weekend to elicit an apology.
But as the days dragged on, Boehner had to back off: Wilsons spine was stiffened by $1.5 million in campaign contributions, the Democrats anti-Wilson rhetoric had become increasingly extreme, and the South Carolina Republican was rapidly accumulating support from the conferences dominant right wing.
At some point, he realized he had no choice but to get behind Wilson because thats where his conference was going and he was just so angry that the Democrats had pushed this thing so far, said a GOP aide with knowledge of the situation.
Like a surfer riding the heavy waves before a hurricane, Boehner, a conservative with a penchant for compromise, has spent the past few months trying to harness the anger of the GOP base without allowing his conference to veer too far to the right.
But never were the strains of that balancing act more apparent than during the Wilson vote, as the Ohio Republican tried to juggle his commitment to bipartisan civility with his responsibility to a besieged member of his conference.
Its very hard these days to be a leader like John Boehner who tries to find the middle ground, said former Connecticut Republican Rep. Chris Shays, one of the last Northeastern moderates, who was beaten by Democrat Jim Himes last year.
Hes a conservative, but hes less conservative than his base, Shays added. And hes got to lead a party that has been so battered and beaten that its incredibly angry angry at whats going on in the country, angry at the way its being treated by the majority.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
This disconnect is why voters still don't trust the GOP. It's time for Mike Pence as House Republican Leader.
Boehner presided as Majority and then Minority Leader over two consecutive historical losses for the GOP. It is insanity that he is still leading the Republicans in the House. He is the reason the GOP appears directionless.
The GOP desperately needs new leadership, particularly in the House, if they hope to capitalize on the public discontent with 0bama and the Democrats.
Mike Pence for leader NOW! Before the Republican party -- and the American people -- miss their opportunity.
Pence, Wilson, Steele, Beck, Giles, O’Keefe and DeMint—Keep on fighting on!
Before attacking Boehner too much this is from Politico who has been trying to split Republicans. I am not defending but saying before careful of Politico.
Boehner was on Friday defending Wilson and saying he apologized once which was enough.
Boehner’s title should be “Demiocrats Liason to the Republican Party.”
>> At some point, [Boehner] realized he had no choice but to get behind Wilson because thats where his conference was going... “
Boehner went limp on us. Again. It’s time to pull him out of there, IMO.
Boehner could take a lesson from Joe Wilson. Think of the money he could raise if he acted more like a Conservative.
An excellent idea!
I totally agree with you. Boehner didn’t have what it took to defund Acorn last year (see: http://republicanleader.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=104602); but two complete novices were able to do it without any the money, power or media influence of Boehner. Time to get rid of the dead wood.
Ledru-Rollin had nothing on Boehner.
I actually think Boehner is pretty conservative personally, but he’s caught a bit of Beltwayitis, not an uncommon malady and very catching, it seems. Maybe the way we got behind Wilson will help him see the light.
Stand up for what’s right, don’t back down, and screw the left because they will certainly screw you. And if you don’t see what’s at stake, or you don’t have the fight in you, move over.
I hear Beltwayitis is rampant in the tanning salons.
Hey, John Boehner, in case you haven’t noticed, we are taking our party back! Do things our way, or go away!
It would be more accurate to say that he has a tiger by the tail.
Maybe the way we got behind Wilson will help him see the light.People have been saying "maybe this will make Boehner see the light" everytime, since as long as he's been 'leader'.
I know, counterpunch. Hope over experience.
I want to keep everyone who can be effective and dump everyone who can’t. Still trying to feel out who they are.
Hope over experience.Wasn't that 0bama's campaign slogan?
Republicans: Desperately trying to keep up with their conservative leader constituents.
Only by comparison to a group like the GOP could Rep. Wilson be said to have a “spine;”
what sort of gutless weenie would in a moment of extreme agitation inadvertently tell the truth, then apologize for it???
If they don't begin doing that within the next 60 days or so, then they risk being voted out of office in 2010, whether they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, or whatever.
Future generations of Americans will either live free or in bondage to big government. It is up to 2010 voters to begin to assure their future in liberty.
And hes got to lead a party that has been so battered and beaten that its incredibly angry angry at whats going on in the country, angry at the way its being treated by the majority.
Maybe it was a majority last November but it sure seems to me that WE are now the majority.
Pence has grown quite a bit in the past couple of years... and good for him. He would be a better leader in the House than what we currently have...
But please keep in mind that Congressman Pence carried the water for an ill advised and just plain silly Bush inspired illegal alien Amnesty proposal back in 2006/2007.
I’ll forgive Pence for this mistake and trust him to be a innovative Conservative leader in the future.
Note: Pence was one of the few Republican leaders who attended the 9/12 March on DC - a big plus in my book.
Its very hard these days to be a leader like John Boehner who tries to find the middle ground,
How’s that McCain strategy workin’ for ya’?
Boehner is a limp D***. He needs to step aside..It’s a new ballgame and we need a new pitcher.
There's a communist in the White House.
IMHO Boehner is a lot like Trent Lott. My view of Trent Lott was that he was a handsome, narcissistic, ladies’ man, clothes horse, God’s gift to women, with a perpetual suntan, who may not comb his hair as often as The Breck Girl, but other than that......
Thank you. When I replied to Nervous Tick I felt a little squeamish, even though I have felt strongly for a long time about my opinions of Lott and Boehner. Your remark reassured me that I wasn’t too far off the path!
I, for one, have had enough of them 'acting' like Conservatives.
Their 'acting' lasts only until reality demands action, then they revert to true form which continually moves 'the center', for which they seem to be constantly searching, farther and farther to the left.
Precisely why both Boehner and Cantor need to go.
There's a communist in the
White House Whore House. (Just to bring it up-to-date)
Boehner showed where he stood when he voted for the bailout he himself called a crap sandwich. He goes along to gets along, and that works in some situations. It doesn’t work well when the house, senate, and white house is controlled by the most militant democrats in the modern era. Reid, Pelosi, and Obama.
Call your doctor immediately if you have a Boehner that lasts more than four years.
Well, I think a lot of Republicans carried water for Bush, including Rush Limbaugh. I don't remember where Rush was on the amnesty issue, but I do know he was very supportive of Bush until the election losses of 2006.
Note: Pence was one of the few Republican leaders who attended the 9/12 March on DC - a big plus in my book.
That's a big plus in my book too. Let's just hope that the Republicans don't forget they are conservatives the next time they gain a majority. And none of this mindless talk about compassionate conservatism. That is redundant. Conservatives are compassionate by nature. But they don't have false sentiments about being compassionate. And they don't subscribe to squishy utopian fantasies about the future.
Paging Dr. Pence!
Rush was totally opposed to any amnesty.
And the two best sets of balls of all of them.... Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. DeMint is excellent as well in the Senate.
Rush also very vehemently opposed Bush when he went wobbly, and cozying up to the swimmer on education. Whole lot of issues, from the start of his presidency. Were you not listening?
OK, thanks for the clarification. But Rush also carried a lot of water for Bush until the 2006 elections. After Republicans lost the majority in Congress in 2006 Rush said that he would not have to carry so much water any more for the Bush administration. In a sense, I think he might have been relieved.
Boehner and the NRSC’s support of Crist: two reasons I cannot call myself a “Republican”.
Either the Republicans didn’t get the message from the Tea Parties and Town Halls, or we didn’t deliver the message explicitly enough.
We’re going to give our Republican Reps and Senators the message directly: dump Boehner, and stay the hell out of GOP primaries!
Support Conservatives, promote Conservatives. Toss the RINOs aside!
And that my FRiends is precisely what the problem is. There is no TRYING to find middle ground with the Socialist/Democrats of today.
This ain't your fathers Democrat Party we are dealing with today.
The Democrats of today are under the rule of Socialist forces that weren't in days of yore. The House has approximately 70 members declared as Progressive Caucus. That's code speakey for Commie's. Those that aren't members of the Progressive Caucus are mostly sycophants with a few of the Blue Dogs all that are left of what could have been once considered a reasonable Political Party.
LucyT where's that link my friend? I misplaced it. Sorry 'bout that heh heh.
When was the last time Democrats compromised or tried to move away from their base in a phony pursuit of moderation? I am so sick of this garbage I can just projectile vomit. Another obligatory BS piece whining that Republicans are moving “too far to the right,” along with the stupid comment from RINO Shays. It’s all so pathetic and contrived it’s not even funny anymore. One thing liberals fear is Republicans who stand on their principles. Imagine if Wilson did not apologize at all he would have raked in $10 million by now. When and if Politico interviews Reid or Murtha on why they don’t denounce the moonbats that are running their party then wake me up.
I always get a sincere hearing when I call Boehner's office to give them the long version.
They are never condescending, never patronizing, never interruptive or argumentative.
Politico can kiss my ass.
And of course my apology is there for them as well.
As far as I am concerned Boehner is a creep. Him and the rest of the Bush era Republican Party leadership did their best to force amnesty for millions of illegal aliens on the American People.
Obama’s plan is to transform America. If Bush, Boehner and the rest had succeeded the result would have transformed the nation too. Twenty-one million Mexicans with dual citizenship would have been voting the Democratic Party ticket.
That makes the Republicans position on amnest even worse. They also refused to close the borders. We have no idea who entered America illegally and that is criminal after 9/11.
Now Boehner wants Wilson to apologize? Wilson was right. Obama is a monumental liar. He lies every day and is apparently oblivious to the fact that his lies often contradict each other.
I am disgusted by the flowery nonsense that these politicians adopt when perpetrating their betrayals of the American people. “My honorable friend” used to describe a politician on the other side of the aisle who is definitey not a friend is particullarly disgusting.
In fact there is absolutely nothing honorable about most of these parasites. I applaud Wilson. The truth is something in short supply in Washington. He spoke the truth and apologized for stating it in that format. Now Boehner wants him to grovel. Like I said. Boehner is a creep.