In a press conference Thursday, newly re-elected Speaker John Boehner railed against conservative portrayals of him as “spineless or a squish”. The anti-Boehner heat has been particularly intense since the November election, and in a surprising turn, the heat has not abated since he survived a surprisingly strong rebellion in his re-election for Speaker.
I Am Captain Conservative!
Naturally, it’s the kind of thing he can get away with saying at such an event: a press conference populated largely by leftist Beltway reporters, safely in Washington where Boehner is among his own true constituency, far, far away from the people in Ohio that he is purports to represent. Also far, far away from people who would laugh themselves silly at some of his claims. Presumably his point was to claim that conservative hatred of him was unfounded and unjustified, but listen to these things he felt free to say to a friendly audience.
- It does pain me to be described as spineless or a squish.
- During my years here when I voted, I have the eighth most conservative voting record in the Congress.
- I’ll tell you what pains the most is when they described me as the establishment. I am the most anti-establishment speaker we’ve ever had.
- Who was the guy that got rid of earmarks? Who’s the guy who believes in regular order? Me.
- Who believes in allowing more members to participate in the process from both sides of the aisle? Me.
No, He’s General Disaster
Right. Here in the Heartland, free of the toxic K Street stench of dirty money and bought influence, we beg to differ:
My conservative voting record
Who cares. Honestly. Whatever he voted for as a regular member does not excuse his wretched deeds as Speaker. That’s like an axe murderer saying, “well, I was pretty good in elementary school”.
I’m not spineless
Time after time, he will do everything possible to avoid a government shutdown, so as to avoid media blame for it. In doing so, he refused to stand firm, allowing the country to go for what is now 6 years without a budget. The famous words “We control one-half of one third of the government. We can’t impose our will on the Senate” came from his lips.
He refuses to create House Select Committees with special powers, for IRS political targeting of conservatives, for Fast and Furious, and Benghazi(well, that one he finally did, 20 months after the fact) in spite of obvious and egregious abuses, lying, and stonewalling from the Administration.
I’m not a squish
So as to not get into the weeds with defining conservatism, let’s use just a working field definition: smaller government, low regulation, personal freedom, lower taxes, more government accountability, consent of the governed, and law and order. (Oh and lots of racism and religious violence too, but that’s another topic)
By that working standard, how’s Boehner done at the helm of one-sixth of the government? Has he defunded Obamacare? No. Lowered spending? Only if you count raising the national debt by $6 trillion, funded by bills and continuing resolutions that his House has passed. More personal independence? How about at least 40% of Americans (numbers are all over the 35-49% range) on some form of government assistance. Personal freedom? The IRS and the NSA have trampled individual rights like a stampeding herd of elephants, with scarcely a raised eyebrow from the man who holds their funding in his hand. Continuing resolution surrender after debt ceiling battle after shutdown confrontation, he’s gotten no concession that ever mattered. More business and economic freedom? Sure, if all your employees work less than 32 hours a week, and you manage not to run afoul of the EPA goon squads.
Boehner has actively thwarted the will of voting Americans who launched two landslide elections primarily to halt government spending, overreach, and lawlessness. This Cromnibus, Boehner’s own creation, was jammed through precisely to avoid allowing the newly elected conservative wave to come in and block the president’s actions.
You know what they say: squish is as squish does.
I am not the Establishment
Whatever Establishment he proposes to not be a part of is hard to say. But the Establishment that rules the House with an iron fist, listens only to K Street lobbyists, Chamber of Commerce, and the news media while ignoring the will of the citizens and openly mocking conservative principles, that Establishment he is at the epicenter of.
I ended earmarks and re-established regular order
Whatever. What is our national debt level now again?
I allowed more members to participate, from both parties
What does that even mean, and it’s relevant to what? Has that stopped profligate spending, Amnesty, Obamacare, IRS abuses, or an out-of-control president?
A New Game Is On
So Boehner is now lying big to try to position himself as acceptably conservative. Why bother? Now that he’s been re-elected and is already fortifying his position, what’s the point? He can do his squishy, spineless Establishment thing. Conservatives cannot touch him, cannot stop him, cannot move him to change his agenda.
Yet he has been moved to do this, and there is a reason. Stay tuned. That’s the next article.