Of course I emphatically with my agree with my partner's post, Syria? No. No. NO! It's seldom that we here at TP@P find ourselves in step with the majority of the voters although I'm a little uneasy being on the same side as Ed Schultz, Rep. Trey Grayson, and the code pink crowd. I am conservative both philosophically and tactically. In other words I generally prefer to play a safe hand rather than risk the losses that sometime come from inter party bickering. I chose Lugar over the Tea Party challenger Mourdock as I back Mitch McConnell over his so called Tea Party challenger Bevin. Parenthetically neither Mourdock nor Bevin have any history of championing constitutional, limited government.
As Mrs. Hoosierman can tell you, even my patience has its limits. Push has come to shove and in my estimation it's showdown time. Two critical issues are on the table and Speaker Boehner is on the wrong side of both. The Speaker has a unique opportunity to defund Obamacare and to keep the country out of any military involvement in Syria. In both instances he is capitulating. If not now when? When will the Speaker find a back bone? If the Speaker was willing to trust DOD Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's judgment for 6 years during the Bush years why not now. Both Secretary Rumsfeld and former UN Ambassador John Bolton oppose US involvement in Syria as do 60% of the American voters. A clear plurality in every reputable poll favors the defunding of Obamacare. Political cover abounds to fight these two fights yet the Speaker chooses to side with Obama against not just the Tea party, not just the Republican Party but a majority of the electorate. To borrow a bit of Obama's eloquence, he has to go.
Boehner is not neutral on the Syria question. His spokesman said that he “expects the White House to provide answers to members’ questions and take the lead on any whipping effort”. He will be carrying water for Obama. Republican Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy has not signed on but Majority Leader Eric Cantor, whom I have disliked since his 2009 vote to unconstitutionally claw back bonuses paid AIG employees, is quite naturally sleeping with the enemy. Who's side are these people on and where the hell are their principles? The more cynical among us think that Obama has turned to the Congress not out of his love for the constitution but simply to spread the blame when the voters unleash their wrath. It is cold politics with all too cute and clever ploy to save the in party from another well earned mid term shellacking.
I once had a principled congressman who served for ten years before being voted out in 2006 in a wave of anti-Republican sentiment brought on by the likes of Boehner and Cantor and other great pragmatists. He scored the hat trick! Congressman John Hostettler voted against the $51.8 billion aid package for relief and recovery from Hurricane Katrina, No Child Left Behind, and the Iraq War.
"In January 1996, Hostettler was one of 17 Republicans who voted against a legislation supported by House Speaker Newt Gingrich that ended a federal government shutdown. After the vote, Gingrich canceled plans to visit Evansville for a fund-raising event for Hostettler. Gingrich offered to reschedule, but Hostettler turned him down, saying "I cannot allow my fund raising to be tied in any way to specific votes."
After leaving office and refusing his pension rather than pursue a career on K Street, Hostettler came home and got his old job back as an engineer for a local utility. We call that principled here.
On the Senate side, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to sign on to military action. To be fair he is facing a primary challenge from faux a Tea Party candidate Matt Bevin and it may be more politics than principle guiding the senator nevertheless he is one the right side of history.
Dumping the Speaker of the House is not a game for sissies. Careers can get cut short. Favored projects can be removed from spending bills. Committee assignments can go awry. There is a broad yearning for more combative political leadership. If Gingrich lost his job for over playing his hand Boehner deserves to lose his for not playing or for playing partner to the opposition. It's time he had something to cry about.