Over the weekend, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) astonished many of us when he decided to announce that House Republicans would be digging in and preparing to fight Senate Democrats on funding Obamacare. I have never been more surprised at John Boehner than I was watching him give this response about what plans the House Republicans had in mind.
“I, working with my members, decided to do this in a unified way,” the speaker said — with demands to defund, delay or otherwise alter the Affordable Care Act. And the fact is, this fight was going to come, one way or another. We’re in the fight. We don’t want to shut the government down. We’ve passed bills to pay the troops. We passed bills to make sure the federal employees know that they’re going to be paid throughout this. You’ve never seen a more dedicated group of people who are thoroughly concerned about the future of our country… It is time for us to stand and fight.”
My question is this. Is John Boehner serious? He has never been a consistent conservative, frustrating many on the right time and again. He is seen much more as a pragmatic right-leaning moderate who votes conservative when convenient, but can often be found voting with leadership from both parties. His leadership of the Republicans in the House is the clearest evidence that the House Republicans are still a predominately moderate group, though House Republicans have been trending more conservative in recent years.
Until now, Boehner’s biggest claims to fame have been his consistent tan (even though he’s from Ohio and spends much of his time in Washington, D.C.) and his often tear filled speeches. If he’s being honest, and we are indeed about to witness the Republican Party grow a spine… this will likely end up as his defining moment as Speaker of the House. Win or lose, Boehner may now be entering his most important days as leader of the House Republicans. This is not a time for timidity. This is the time for Republicans to grow resolute and stiff-necked.
Now more than ever, Boehner and the House Republicans need to be hearing from us to offset the gnashing of teeth they will be hearing from Democrats and the media. The howls from the liberal media will be loud and they will shrill. Their demands will cause some of the weaker links to bend and threaten to break. So we, their constituents, need to call and reassure them that they are indeed doing the right thing.
Obamacare could be the sack of bricks that breaks the back of traditional American exceptionalism – Republicans, conservatives… we cannot afford to let it take root. Stand now. Dig in now. Fight now. Tomorrow may be too late.
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