John Boehner needed resigning.
His leadership has consisted of acting as an intermediary in the ongoing surrender negotiations of the conservatives we elected to Congress and the president we were trying to circumscribe. If Donald Trump wrote a book on the Art of the Deal, Boehner could write one on the Art of the Sellout.
Boehner's style consisted of advocating a conservative policy, putting it to a vote in the House, passing it, and waiting for the Senate to defeat it. Then, instead of negotiating with the president for half a loaf or working to build common cause with some Democrats for a partial solution, he just caved in and went home.
He never understood that capitulation was not a strategy.
Now, the House has a real chance to elect principled leadership in its chamber. All House Republicans must accept one indisputable fact:
If it were not for the Party's conservative wing, they would not have the majority.
No matter how annoying are their frequent demands for ideological purity and their highly principled issue positions, the fact remains that for every House committee chair or leader, it is the votes of the conservatives that have enabled their leadership.
So the old formula won't work anymore. We will not accept electing conservatives only to be sold out by closet liberals.
Do the Democrats refuse to repeal Obamacare? OK. But how about forcing on-the-record votes in both houses on some specific sub-issues where the Democrats will find it hard, very hard, to vote no like:
- Repealing the medical device tax (which hits a lot of companies in Democratic districts).
- Repealing the "Cadillac tax" on comprehensive insurance plans, a tax of up to 40% of the premium that will hit most union plans.
- Repealing the requirement for comprehensive insurance and specifically saying that people don't have to buy policies that cover maternity benefits for men, sex change operations, psychological help, addiction therapy… unless they want to.
- Lowering or repealing the fines for not buying insurance.
A creative House floor leader would know how to use amendments to fracture Democratic unity and enlist the instinct of self-preservation of Democrats to win partial victories.
We conservatives often say we want to find a new Reagan for president. Well, for House Speaker, let's find a new Gingrich.
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