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Mitch McConnell Is Not John Boehner

Mitch McConnell Is Not John Boehner

By Wednesday, 07 October 2015 05:26 PM Current | Bio | Archive

House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation has sprinkled blood in the water, and now sharks are circling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

I believe deposing McConnell would be a grave mistake, likely helping President Obama’s agenda in Washington.

Here’s why: McConnell is not Boehner. In fact, McConnell has been the real block against Obama’s radical agenda all along.

Conservatives tend to lump the Republican leadership together with one brand — “the GOP establishment.”

But a careful examination shows a much more nuanced picture.

So, let’s “talk” Boehner first. He has been a good conservative but his leadership skills have been lacking.

When Boehner first became speaker in 2011, he did a great job by stopping Obama’s juggernaut and setting the ball up for a Republican win in 2012.

When Mitt Romney failed to deliver, the ball fell back in Boehner’s hands.

But Boehner became complacent. One former member of Congress described Boehner to me as being all about “functionality.”

“I’m here, you’re here, so what?” he said, expressing the speaker’s view of the world.

Boehner had little interest in building a strong consensus among his GOP caucus or developing a new one by reaching across the aisle to join with moderate Democrats.

That takes real work. 

Boehner also has also been uncomfortable being the frontman for the party. He doesn’t like the press — and not just the liberal press. He’d much prefer a quiet night at his favorite Italian restaurant drinking merlot, smoking a Marlboro Light, and chatting with Ohio friends than being on Fox News with Bill O’Reilly.
In another era, Boehner’s approach may have worked. But the Republican Party is in real crisis.
We need only look to the other side of the Capitol building to find strong leadership in the person of Mitch McConnell, a staunch conservative. He has near-unanimous support within his caucus because he keeps everyone on board, communicating effectively with his members.

This is the reason Obama and Hollywood poured millions into McConnell’s recent Kentucky Senate race in an effort to defeat him.

Recently, Grover Norquist, the best tax fighter the GOP has in Washington, told me McConnell has been  “brilliant” in his legislative maneuvers, describing him as “tough and uncompromising” against Obama’s overreach.

As Norquist explains, it was McConnell who forced Obama to agree to budget caps that cut $2.4 trillion over the next 10 years. The caps drove federal spending down from 23.6 percent in 2010 to 20.8 percent in 2015.

Norquist credits McConnell for almost single-handedly ending Congress pork-filled earmarks and making “85 percent” of the temporary Bush tax cuts permanent.  This stopped a $500 billion-a-year tax hike that would have hit us on Jan. 1, 2013.

In my mind, the key reason there is a GOP Senate accomplishing these things is due to McConnell.

I know some Republicans are not happy that Congress appears to do “nothing” against Obama. But there are real constitutional limits to what lawmakers actually can do.

The Senate also has its filibuster rule, which undermines the GOP’s majority. But if McConnell waived the filibuster rule, it would create a dangerous precedent if the Democrats were to gain control of the chamber again.

There is no doubt that the House needs new, vigorous,  articulate leadership in its speaker.

But on the Senate side, Mitch McConnell has my full vote of confidence.

Christopher Ruddy is CEO and editor of Newsmax Media Inc. Read more Christopher Ruddy Insider articles — Click Here Now.

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House Speaker John Boehner's resignation has sprinkled blood in the water and now sharks are circling for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. I believe deposing McConnell would be a grave mistake, likely helping Obama's agenda in Washington. Here's why: McConnell is not...
mcconnell, boehner, conservatives, congress, ruddy
Wednesday, 07 October 2015 05:26 PM
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