John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Boehner Will Be Ousted! [Fact or Myth?]

Posted on October 15, 2013
Boehner Will Be Fine

Boehner Will Be Fine

If 60 Republican Members of the House join 160 Democratic Members vote for whatever final package that comes from the Senate, John Boehner is out as Speaker of the House.

Or so goes the speculation.

It’s all bunk.

Was Tip O’Neill ousted as Speaker when he allowed the Reagan economic program to pass the House in the early 1980’s?

Was Nancy Pelosi ousted as Speaker when she allowed Iraq war funding to continue, despite overwhelming Democratic opposition?

No.  Because, they had the support of the vast majority of their respective caucuses.

And so does John Boehner.

I remember vividly when rebels came up with a cockamamie plan to oust Newt Gingrich.

They had 20 members or so who wanted to offer a privileged resolution to vacate the Speaker’s chair, thereby forcing a vote on Speaker of the House.

What they didn’t have was a replacement for Gingrich.  When it became clear that the only real replacement for Gingrich was Dick Gephardt, the plan collapsed.

Newt wasn’t going to just give up his seat, and he had more votes than any other Republican, despite his many gaffes and mismanagement of the House.

John Boehner hasn’t had any Gingrichian gaffes.  He is a voice of reason and calm.  He keeps lines of communication opened to everybody.

He has managed the House about as well as anybody else could.

And within the Republican Conference, he has more votes than anybody.

There are some Tea Party members who would like to see Boehner replaced.

They didn’t vote for him for Speaker in the first place.  And I would contend that they really aren’t members of the Republican conference.

They don’t vote for anything Republicans put out there.

They don’t vote for spending bills, or tax cuts or authorization bills, or the naming of Post Offices for that matter.

Actually, that’s wrong.  They do vote for the odd Post Office every once in a while.

These Tea Party members secretly want the government to default on our debt.   If you don’t believe me, check out Bruce Bartlett’s blog on this subject that appeared in the New York Times over the weekend.  That’s the surest way to get to a balanced budget, because we won’t be able to get any loans from anybody. Or so the thinking goes.

The Tea Party wants us to go back to the Gold Standard and to abolish the Federal Reserve.

They want us to close our borders and stop all immigration and kick all new immigrants out of the country.

They want us to scrap the tax code and sharply reduce the size of our military.

They want us to stop being the world’s policeman and they want to embark on a new isolationism.

Some of the Tea Party’s ideas sound seductive in the abstract, but if implemented, they would lead to economic calamity and global instability.

Going to the gold standard would lead to a deep economic depression.  Defaulting on our debts would shatter the value of the dollar, making everything much, much more expensive.  A program to rid the country of immigrants would lead to violence and grind the wheels of the economy to a close.  Sharply reducing the size of our military would make America vulnerable to foreign attackers.

Perhaps that is the kind of end of days apocalypse long foreshadowed by the Glenn Becks of the world.

But it is entirely avoidable, and most Republicans don’t buy into most elements of this Tea Party program.

And that’s why John Boehner will be fine.

He represents the rational wing of the Republican Party, and for the most part, they still dominate in the House of Representatives.

It’s a mostly silent majority, but a majority nonetheless.