Boehner v. the Freshmen: Debt Ceiling Battle Lines Are Drawn
(The New American) -- by Joe Wolverton, II --
Despite being swept into the office of Speaker of the House atop a wave of newly elected Republican Congressmen, John Boehner (R-Ohio) may be sensing that, more often than not, this wave is crashing in on him and threatening to drown his little empire.
Quite a different feeling from the day when 87 Republicans worn sworn in as Congressmen for the first time in 2011 and John Boehner rejoiced to welcome this freshman class of colleagues. On that heady day Boehner rightly reckoned that he would soon be handed the Speaker’s gavel and, with it, control of the House of Representatives and of the policy agenda of the Congress specifically and the federal government generally.
The debt “crisis” has Speaker Boehner wondering if the troops have received the marching orders, however. John Boehner is an old-school, wheeler dealer who knows just how much grease to put on the skids. These Tea Party-backed recruits, however, are a dogmatic corps who are committed to sticking to their guns at all costs. Not exactly the sort of esprit de corps Boehner advocates.
As one article summed up the situation: “Mr. Boehner is struggling like few recent Speakers before him to reconcile his own deal-making Republicanism with the no-compromise determination of his Class of 2010. His own leadership may be at stake.”
Similar dispatches are being published throughout Tea Party nation.
“A go-along, get-along Republican” who “doesn’t have stomach for a fight.” Those were the words used by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips to describe Speaker of the House John Boehner after Boehner cut a deal with Democrats earlier in the year to keep the federal government funded.
That demonstration of Boehner’s pliability on principle so outraged much of the Tea Party coalition that reports from the various Tea Party outposts suggest that the movement will back a challenger to Boehner in the 2012 elections...
When word percolated up that Speaker Boehner was negotiating with the White House to present a package to reduce spending that included a $1 trillion tax increase, the freshmen stood firm and the Speaker had to cease the parley and trot back reluctantly to his own (unfamiliar) battle line.
A former Republican colleague of Boehner's explained the relationship thus: “The freshmen know why they were sent [to Congress] and they know full well they were not sent there to raise taxes. They were sent there to cut spending and restrain the growth of government.”
Time is running out for Speaker Boehner to rally the troops and assemble the 218-member force necessary to pass a ceiling-raising bill through the House of Representatives. Under other circumstances, the Speaker may have been able to count on a number of Democrats siding with him in any measure that increases the ability of the federal government to economically enslave the middle class, but given that any Republican-sponsored bill is likely to include some cuts in the size of the government, their alliance is doubtful...MORE...LINK