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Rep. Boehner is the new Majority Leader in the House
Posted by: McQ on Thursday, February 02, 2006

Well the good news is, Dale doesn't have to lick fireants off a stick. And I'd guess we've been summarily deleted from the still majority whip's email list. The bad news is our guy, John Shadegg, didn't win. But you know what, after listening to the John Boehner interview twice (and I'm going to listen to it again just to make a few notes) I'm not at all as disappointed as I might have been had Blunt won the race.

John Boehner is the new Majority Leader in the House.

Boehner may have been the compromise candidate. There was certainly enough noise genereated out in the hinterlands for the message to get through to Republican House members that the choice of Blunt wouldn't be acceptable. But they just couldn't quite pull the trigger on the more radical Shadegg. So much for those 117 commits Blunt had in the bag (it's that secret ballot thing, I'm tellin' ya). And, thankfully, my cynicism this morning wasn't rewarded.

NZ Bear has already put up his post. I think his thoughts pretty much parallel mine:
The Majority Leader race is done, and Republicans have chosen John Boehner as their new leader. Congratulations to Representative Boehner and his team.

While the first choice of many of us in the blogosphere, Representative Shadegg, did not win the election, his impact on the race cannot be denied. His candidacy reminded his fellow Representatives that real reform, and real change in the leadership, was not simply the right thing to do, but utterly necessary to ensure the success of the GOP in November.

It is my sincere hope that Representative Boehner takes this message to heart, and takes up the banner of real reform with enthusiasm and commitment. And his past statements give reason for optimism. In our blogger conference call, and in his interview with Hugh Hewitt, Rep. Boehner reiterated his strong commitment against earmarks, and expressed support for the idea of posting legislation online for 72 hours prior to any vote. Limited government fans will be pleased with his direct and positive answer when asked if he'd support rules requiring legislation to contain statements identifying the authority within the Constitution that grants the Congress to legislate in that area ("That'd be fine with me."), and his even more direct answer to concerns about McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform ("We ought to blow the whole bill up.").

It is a critical time for the House GOP, and Boehner's leadership will be essential in bringing the party out from the cloud of corruption scandals. He has the opportunity to make this not simply a defensive measure, but a truly positive one that will lead to victory in November —- and not incidentally, real reform in the way that our Congress does business. I'm hopefull he will seize the opportunity...
I'd like to add my congratulations to NZ Bear's. I highlighted two points in Bear's post that we're going to expect Rep. Boehner to live up too. They're important. One attacks the culture of spending and the other brings some much needed sunshine to a very dimly lit process. They also go hand-in-glove with the attempt by Senators Coburn and McCain we discussed here. The third highlighted point is just as important. McCain-Feingold has to go.

So to Rep. Boehner, congratulations and good luck. We'll be watching and writing. We hope you'll do as you've said and seize the opportunity you've been presented to root out the endemic corruption (and change the structure which supports it) and return the House, and the party, to ethical and fiscal conservatism.

Others commenting:

Mike Krempaski at RedState
James Joyner at Outside The Beltway
Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom
John Hawkins of RightWing News
Radley Balko at The Agitator
Kos at The Daily Kos
Hugh Hewitt

UPDATE [Jon Henke]

I got the news in a phone call this afternoon, and I've been away from the computer ever since. This is undeniable good news. While everybody knows Shadegg was our first choice, Rep. Boehner was a strong second. The important thing is that the GOP dodged a bullet and elected what I assume from the contents of our phone call will be a proponent of limited government.

The Republican Party is very fortunate to have Rep. John Boehner as Majority Leader. I look forward to the changes that need to happen and happen soon under his leadership.


Let me point you to what I thought was the most telling part of Boehner's conference call:
Jon Henke: Mr. Congressman, on the NSA warrantless surveillance issue, do you believe the President has the inherent authority to do what he has been doing? Or do you think we need to codify the process somehow?

Rep. John A. Boehner: I think that it's unclear to me. Now the President, clearly, and his people believe that they have the ability to do this and frankly I'm very interested in hearings to see in how, I mean they've attempted to justify it, but frankly I want to make, if it's not clear in the law or Constitution today, it ought to be made clear in a law or the Constitution that he can do this and what the limits are. But at this point, I'm not, it's not clear in my mind under that he has, under what authority he has to get it done.

Jon Henke: Would you support an investigation to look into that question?

Rep. John A. Boehner: I would. I'd think it would be of interest of all Americans to get to the bottom of how does this happen? Under what authority? And what are the protections?
That's a remarkably courageous stand to take — to support an investigation of a President of his own party — in the midst of a intra-party leadership race. Republicans and Democrats ought to feel good about this.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

The way I’m hearing it, in the second round Shadegg dropped out and somehow transferred all his votes over to Boehner to put him over the top.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Well the good news is, Dale doesn’t have to lick fireants off a stick.
Yeah, but too bad you’ll miss out on all the hitcounts the video woulda brought.

Written By: Bithead
You understand that choosing a reform-minded leader won’t make a bit of difference in the minds of the Democrats. They’ll carry on with their "culture of corruption" theme, just as they planned. After all, they House majority chose a *gasp* Republican as their leader.
Written By: equitus
URL: http://
117, huh? (pointing at Rep. Blunt —>) Bwahhh, haaa, haa, ha.

Looks like it was a Blunt/not Blunt vote, and it is refreshing to see his arrogance rewarded. Good luck to Rep. Boehner.
Written By: Coffee
URL: http://
The cynic in me is amused...the GOP is trying to have their cake and earmark it too.

The GOP elects someone who made enough of the right noises to get you blogger types off their backs or at least down to wait and see mode AND to take some of the teeth out of the Dems "Culture of Corruption" charge (which won’t go anywhere since Harry Fricking Reid is up to his o-ring in Indian money).

And in return they will have to make some changes, but probably not too many and not too fast.

Written By: shark
URL: http://
You understand that choosing a reform-minded leader won’t make a bit of difference in the minds of the Democrats. They’ll carry on with their "culture of corruption" theme, just as they planned. After all, they House majority chose a *gasp* Republican as their leader
Not just a Republican, but one who thought it was a good idea to hand out tobacco money on the floor of the House. I heard he’s just hired Duke Cunningham as an ethics consultant.
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
PS- Cheers for the blogsphere(right)

More evidence that you’re helping move the GOP in a better direction at opposed to the blogsphere(left) which is driving the left off the Kos cliff.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
They’ll carry on with their "culture of corruption" theme, just as they planned.
Indeed, this change... and in fact, ANY change, simly gives them fuel.

I guess what THAT comes down to is we need to simply accept that there will always be Kossack like MK in the world... complaining about their opposition’s ethics while worshipping on the altar of Ted "bridge" Kennedy, John Kerry, and Hillary Clinton.... and dare I say this.... move on from there.

Written By: Bithead
The first time I ever heard of Boehner, the first words I ever heard coming out of his mouth, was an admission of the tobacco money. He made it very clear that he considered it a big mistake. I think he even helped institute the new rules making such behavior illegal. I think it’s admirable if one can learn from one’s mistakes.
I heard he’s just hired Duke Cunningham as an ethics consultant.
Do you have a link confirming this?
Written By: equitus
URL: http://
The GOP elects someone who made enough of the right noises to get you blogger types off their backs or at least down to wait and see mode...
Oh, you’re right about being in a ’wait and see mode’, and I think your analysis is pretty good (even if, as you acknowledge, a bit cynical) but it’s still better than Blunt.
Written By: McQ
Do you have a link confirming this?
The only link he as is the wire running between the wall socket and his tin foil hat.
Written By: McQ
If what Ornery says is true, then it speaks even more strongly to Shadegg’s character that he was willing to lay down his own ego for the goal of pushing the House Republicans in a more positive direction.

I had a feeling that this would be the outcome — we are talking about politicians who frankly don’t want a gung-ho reformer like Shadegg killing their goose, so to speak, but most of the Republicans are just aware enough to know that picking Blunt would have sent precisely the wrong message to the public and handed the Democrats a nice cudgel with which to batter them about the head. (Yes yes I know they’ll continue their schtick anyway, but they won’t actually have justification this way and the voters can tell the difference.) So they split the difference and picked Boehner, a guy who’s at least willing to mouth all the right words with more credibility than Blunt ever could have, but without as much zeal as Shadegg. It’s a weakly positive sign, I guess, but I won’t get my hopes up.
Written By: Matt McIntosh
Was this a secret ballot or can we get a list somewhere of how our reps voted?
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
Secret, thank God. Otherwise, Mr. Blunt would be whipping like mad at particular corners right now.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
If you think Boehner’s going to get McCain-Feingold repealed, I have a bridge to sell you. Remember that the Senate still includes both McCain and Feingold, both of whom are running for president, a job still held by the man who signed it into law. Boehner’s ascension is good news for preventing similar mischief in the future, but unless we get a pro-First Amendment majority on the Supreme Court from the recent additions, we will not be rid of the damn thing for many years to come.
Written By: Crank
Keep in mind that this sort of vote is exactly how Badnarik was nominated by the Libertarian Party.
Written By: Phelps
Crank: If it’s a bridge that goes somewhere, Ted Stevens might be interested.
Written By: McQ
On a more pessimistic note, here’s Balko.
Written By: Matt McIntosh
Liberal Republicans keep control of the House. At least until 07. Bush has a lot bigger problems than this minor investigation. If the voters throw out the liberal Republicans in favor of the Democrats he will have impeachment to worry about.
Check out the voting record of the last 5 years. Boehner voted for almost all of the freedom restricting, big government bills that DeLay did. Despite what the MSM/DNC was saying last week this is not a significant change. A little bit of a shock in that Blunt lost; but not really a new direction. Liberals still in command. Expect to see spending for FY 07 go up at least 5%.
Written By: Rodney A Stanton
URL: http://

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