Sure, we don’t get to have the privilege of kicking House Speaker John Boehner out of Congress ourselves, but at this point I think conservatives will take what we can get.
Embattled Speaker John Boehner, who rose from bartender’s son to the most powerful man in Congress, will resign at the end of October, ending a tumultuous five-year tenure atop the House of Representatives.
The sudden announcement from Boehner came as conservatives were circling with a threatened coup attempt — a showdown he felt he could win, but one he and his allies thought would do serious harm to the institution.
Boehner was visibly emotional as he exited a meeting with Republicans surrounded by security guards. At a news conference hours later, he was, by turns, emotional and visibly relieved.
“Last night I started thinking about this, and I woke up. I said my prayers as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this. As simple as that,” Boehner said.
Boehner’s resignation does come as a bit of surprise, but in light of the current atmosphere in the GOP, it makes sense. While Boehner shouldn’t be described as a liberal or even moderate (his stated policy positions are conservative – even if his leadership has not been), he is most definitely the heart of the GOP establishment. As the conservative wing of the GOP has been growing and thriving in recent years, they’ve often found themselves frustrated not by Democrat opposition, but by GOP establishment reticence to change. This friction between the GOP establishment and the conservatives have made the last few years of Boehner’s tenure extremely tumultuous.
Conservative think tank and the center for conservative activity, Heritage Action, released a statement on Friday that is likely being echoed by conservatives across the country.
“Americans deserve a Congress that fights for opportunity for all and favoritism to none. Too often, Speaker Boehner has stood in the way. Today’s announcement is a sign that the voice of the American people is breaking through in Washington. Now is the time for a principled, conservative leader to emerge. Heritage Action will continue fighting for conservative policy solutions and we look forward to working with the new leadership team.”
While conservatives celebrate Boehner’s decision today, the question now becomes: who will take his place leading the GOP in the House? The most likely candidate is Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who is next in line and part of the next generation of Republicans… but McCarthy is also an establishment man; his election would signal business as usual for the GOP. (McCarthy was Boehner’s right-hand man in Congress.) If the conservative wing of the House GOP can unify behind one candidate, there may have a good chance of forcing a more conservative option onto the establishment. Neither side will likely be able to get their favorite candidate to fill Boehner’s shoes… but they may be able to compromise on a candidate who will be demonstrably more conservative and more active than Boehner was.
At least, that’s what we’re hoping.
What we don’t want to see is a GOP death struggle in the months leading up to the primary season. The GOP MUST come together now so that we can be as ready as possible for the 2016 Presidential campaign. We cannot afford to cannibalize ourselves, not at this point, when we are so close to consolidating conservative power in D.C. If we want to fix the damage that has occurred over a decade of Democrat leadership, we must keep Congress and win the White House. However, we must also have more conservative leadership willing to risk the wrath of the media while forcing through conservative reforms.
Replacing Speaker Boehner with a doctrinaire conservative who has the guts to fight for conservative principles is vital if we are to move the nation forward from the mess that is the Obama era.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com