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Republican Leadership
Posted by: Jon Henke on Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Following up on my general comments about the Republican leadership elections, here are some more specific thoughts. You can find more information on each race and candidate here, including links to blogger conference calls, transcripts and other information. Dean Barnett has some important thoughts, too.


Minority Leader

Joe Barton - Rep. Barton has proposed a good package of procedural and ethical reforms. That's important, but I'm not sure that's the way to rescue the brand. I don't really see why Barton would be better than the next Representative, either.

John Boehner - I have little to say about John Boehner. In the previous House Majority Leader race, he said some of the right things, but spoke in generalities and gave me no confidence that he'd produce results or reorient the Party. His tenure largely confirmed my impressions. I see no compelling reason to return him to the position he has already squandered.


Mike Pence - there are few more intriguing politicians than Rep. Pence, who has been one of the very, very few bright spots in recent years. I'd support the guy for President...but Minority Leader will have to do for now. Pence has been endorsed by the Center for Individual Freedom, Red State, Human Events and what seems like the better part of the Rightosphere.

From today's blogger conference call, here's one reason why Pence is a worthy leader:
I see the role of the Minority Leader in the 100th Congress as being characterized by two specific challenges. Number one, I think the Minority Leader needs to be prepared to ... challenge Speaker Pelosi and her big government liberal agenda at every term ... We simply need to be willing to be that cheerfully, pugilistic loyal opposition that the American people will expect us to be; not engaging in the personal invective that has characterized much of American politics in recent years, but rather vigorously opposing the big government and socially liberal policies that will proceed inevitably out of a Democrat Majority.

The second challenge, I believe, of the new Minority Leader, will be a willingness to stand with this President when we believe he right and to oppose this President publicly and boldly when he believe he is pursuing policies that violate our commitment to limited government and fiscal discipline.


Minority Whip

Roy Blunt - Rep. Blunt has said some of the right things in this past week, and I give him a great deal of credit for being willing to speak to bloggers after the previous Blunt/blogger fiasco (etc, etc, etc). (transcript of the Blunt/blogger conference call can be read here) Still, I see no reason to change my estimation. Blunt may be adept at the Whip position, but he's demonstrated no devotion to limited government. He's a professional politician of the Tom DeLay mold, and his ascension would be a signal to the limited government set that the Republican Party hasn't lost enough seats to learn its lesson.

John Shadegg — everything I said about Mike Pence applies in equal measure to Rep. John Shadegg. He's a Goldwater conservative and a policy wonk, both of which are sorely needed.

Conference Chairman

I must admit, I know less about the Conference Chairman race than about the others. I know nothing about Adam Putnam, and little about Dan Lungren or Marsha Blackburn. I know that Red State supports Jack Kingston, and I've long appreciated his keen interest in engaging the blogosphere. However, I just don't know enough to reach a judgment on that race.


If you would like to pressure your Congressman to act responsibly, I encourage you to contact them. The phone number for the Capitol switchboard is 202-224-3121.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Had a feeling we’d see eye to eye on this one. This vote should be delayed, and then Pence and Shadegg should take the party back so that in 2008, when the White House and even more Republican Senate seats are in play, at least we’ll have re-established a principled, disciplined party in the House to tell America where it’s got to go.

Frankly, I see why Boehner and Blunt are trying to rush this. They heard everyone from business leaders to WalMart voters on Election Day whispering to each other, "Clear the decks."
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
we’ll have re-established a principled, disciplined party in the House to tell America where it’s got to go.
Hm, that came out all wrong. Certainly didn’t mean for it to sound dictatorial like that. But we need somebody to re-establish the limited-government orientation to the GOP, as a signal to America of where the Republican Party would lead the country.
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
10 months ago I commented here when the GOP was replacing one of the many liberals from Tx( they have yet to do anything about the “Liberal in Chief”) in their leadership that I thought the conservative would win since there were 2 liberals running against 1 conservative. I figured the liberal vote would be split so the conservative would win. I was wrong! Not only was the liberal GOP vote split but both liberals got more votes than the conservative!?@#$! Ronnie’s party is obviously no longer Ronnie’s party!

I also said then that if in fact one of the liberals did win the American people would have prima facia proof that the New Deal was alive and well; just changed parties. Since American have rejected the New Deal in every election since 1964( for those under 45 Carter ran as a conservative in 76 his platform included A) a flat tax of 12% resulting in a tax return that people and businesses would prepared on a 3”x5” card. B) he would reduce the government 5% a year. This would be done by “Zero Based Budgeting”. This platform turned out to be another liberal “Read My Lips….” Lie.) it would mean the GOP would lose the House for sure and probably the Senate. This prediction was painfully right on the mark.

I heard the session you all and several other bloggers had with Shadegg. He is the only hope for the GOP in 08. If he does not win the GOP will not win. The question for the “leadership” of the GOP is do they want to force bigger, more intrusive government down our throats; or do the want to win?

Depending on which article you read 17 – 20 Reagan men won election to Congress this year. *ALL ARE DEMOCRATS*! Like the New Deal the Regan men have changed parties! Republicans stopped being conservative in 01. They still lie to us and say they are but the people are no longer fooled. Once again the GOP has a chance to become a conservative party. Stay liberal and look forward to 10 as 08 will be a repeat of 06.
Written By: Rodney A Stanton
URL: http://
I’m in Putnam’s district and have disagreed with many of his decisions, but I will give him credit. I am emailed on a regular basis from his office updating me one what’s going on. He’s (or, his office more than likely) has been cordial on the points where we disagree. And he does seem to stay in touch with things.

Where we disagree, I would assume it’s more on my hard line stance than anything. He voted to raise the minimum wage, but (as he let me know) it was because there were a bunch of other ’riders’ that lowered taxes and the such. Things I do agree with. But the Min Wage thing pissed me off.

I’m not giving him 100% endorsement. Like I said, there’ve been a lot decisions of his (and I watch, closely) that I disagreed with. But he’s a politician and that does mean some compromise from time to time.

Take that for what it’s worth.
Written By: Robb Allen
Don’t know if you’ve seen this yet, but Trent Lott just won Whip.
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
Depending on which article you read 17 – 20 Reagan men won election to Congress this year. *ALL ARE DEMOCRATS*! Like the New Deal the Regan men have changed parties!
The Rs might be big government types now, but by no means have the Ds stopped being leftists. The districts that switched hands are places where left wing Ds have little chance, so it isn’t surprising that the winning Ds are conservative, at least compared to the center of mass of their party.
Written By: Don
URL: http://

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