Georgia Republicans help re-elect Boehner as speaker

"I didn't want to have to whack you, but you left me no choice." (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais )

“I didn’t want to have to whack you, but you left me no choice.” (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais )

In what can’t come as a surprise to anyone, John Boehner was re-elected speaker of the House this afternoon. Out of 408 votes cast, he received 216 — four fewer votes than in 2013, but almost a dozen more than he needed to retain the gavel.

What was surprising, however, was the inclusion of some names on the list of votes for Boehner. All 10 of Georgia’s Republican congressmen backed the speaker, including a pair of freshmen — Barry Loudermilk and Jody Hice — who said during last year’s campaign they would oppose him.

I’ve already seen some outrage about their votes in particular from tea partyers on Twitter. To which I can only say: I don’t get it.

You can make the case Boehner is not the most effective speaker. You can make the case he’s not the most conservative speaker. You can make the case he’s too willing to deal with President Obama.

What you can’t do, in my mind, is make the case Boehner was ever going to lose today’s vote — or that the constituents of Hice, Loudermilk and others would have been best served by a symbolic vote against the speaker.

About the former: According to reports I saw, there were about 15 publicly declared “no” votes among Republicans going into the vote. In the end, 25 Republicans did vote against Boehner. But it would have taken 12 more defections simply to force a second round of balloting. There were some surprises in Boehner’s camp, but not 12 of them.

Now about the latter: There is no legislature I have ever covered or heard about in which angering the leadership is a fruitful strategy. There are too many ways the leadership can reward or punish members, particularly newly elected ones. Such as this:

Like it or not, that’s reality.

You may not care whether Hice, Loudermilk or anyone else gets fund-raising help for their re-election efforts. (Frankly, I don’t either.) You may care more about whether they have a chance to serve on committees, work on legislation and otherwise find ways to advance the causes they championed. Replacing the speaker is not, in and of itself, a cause — not least because, with Obama in office for two more years, there’s only so much Republicans can do from Congress.

Republicans in Congress will have chances over the next two years to advance the causes of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty. But the best thing they can do for those causes beyond January 2017 is to show the American people they deserve a chance to govern with one of their own in the White House. I fail to see how another vote or two against Boehner today would have helped with that, either.

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22 comments
Plumb Krazy
Plumb Krazy

Republicans in Congress will have chances over the next two years to advance the causes of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty

You actually believe what you type? These are the same Republicans that just passed a pork ladin Omnibus. In that Omnibus, outrageous spending aside, was also a measure that outlawed the marijuana use the Distrcit of Columbia voters passed for themselves. Fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual freedom? Gag

MHSmith
MHSmith

Let the laughter begin. 

Easy to talk when you don't have to lead. Harder to walk all that BAD BOY TALK when you have to back it up and WALK THE WALK of governing instead of pulling dumb stunts like shutting down the government and self-aggrandizing on issues you know you have no real intentions of ever seeing come to fruition.


Only thing I've seen these BOLD TALKERS - so-called anti-establishment-Republicans do is  "limit sound governance" not "limit bad government", Kyle.


The score card still reads 60 and 2, as Mitch McConnell said, and Boehner and McConnell are still standing.

Oh and by the way, how did outsider David Perdue vote - for or against Mitch as Majority Leader?  




LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

"You may care more about whether they have a chance to serve on committees, work on legislation and otherwise find ways to advance the causes they championed."

----------

What I care most about is that they keep their word and do what they said they would do.

87GaDawg
87GaDawg

Well, my hopes for a better Congress just died.  Boehner?  Kyle, I don't disagree that a mere two more votes would be meaningless.  How did he get 216 is my question?  He may be the worst ever - and that really hurts since that includes Nancy Pillohsseeeee.  He is the sun tanned face of the Republicans and that is bad news.  Someone else needed to take over.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

My complaint is that the voters wanted change in Nov 2014, and Boehner being replaced is one of the changes they wanted.  They overwhelmingly disapprove of Obama's Amnesty and Boehner's support of it.   Boehner chooses the big money corporate donors, like the Chamber of Commerce, over what his base wants.  He supports the Amnesty, just not how it was done, so he quietly acquiesces. 


What is the point of voting for these folks, who quickly forget why they got elected, when they join in with the establishment and vote against the wishes of the voters. 

EdUktr
EdUktr

By Kyle's logic any political opinion not grounded on Boehner's own is pointless. And any representation made to get our votes at election time ... is just bunk.

Or perhaps just anti-reality.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

I think its just a matter of days where when presented the bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline Obama will demonstrate to McConnell and Boehner, as well as the world, that he can't be trusted and his rhetoric on working with Republicans is more snake oil.

I want to see the old Southern Bacon commercial but this time with Rush telling McConnell and Boehner, "they never learn." 

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

@JohnnyReb I think its just a matter of days where when presented the bill authorizing the Keystone pipeline Obama will demonstrate to McConnell and Boehner, as well as the world, that he can't be trusted


He has always been on the side of a veto regards Keystone. Not sure what you are saying here.


Has his position changed ?

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

There is some speculation that Obama will basically vote not present by letting the pipeline bill become law without his signature.  Especially since it will pass with Schumer amendments.

Barry has a lot of practice from his days as a senator on the not present vote.

notagain
notagain

@HeadleyLamar @JohnnyRebIf he does not vote as or agree with the republicans he can't be trusted.Working with kinda means you scratch my back I will scratch yours.With some it means let me win or I take my ball and go home.

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

OMG! I just agreed with Headley. The universe just shifted...

Jimmyliscious
Jimmyliscious

Republicans in Congress will have chances over the next two years to advance the causes of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty.

When has anything tangible been done on any of these issues? Other than campaigning on them. Time for some folks with some spine get some things done to help the country and not just run on the same old issues over and over again. It's like having a parent tell you that you can have a cupcake when your homework is done, you do your homework then the cupcake doesn't materialize because dinner is around the corner. Over and over.

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

@Jimmyliscious It is the old "can't solve that problem, we won't have anything to run on" from both parties mantra.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

Sorry Kyle, but your statement on Republicans needing to show Americans they can govern sounds like it comes from Lap Media which I don't consider you being as I do your coworker Bookman.

The past two mid-terms clearly show that sincere voters want Republicans to stand up to Obama and his agenda.  What does Boehner and McConnell do immediately after the election, they fund everything but Homeland Security for half of Obama's remaining term removing a lot of leverage.

And, if they don't grow a pair they will lose to Obama over the immigration funding - they have not outsmarted him yet.

The narrative passed around by the Left, Lap Media, and Republican elites on how shutting down the government hurts Republicans is a fabrication - show me where it hurt?

America wants Conservatives, not wimps, not RINO's, not what Boehner and McConnell are peddling.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb You act as if there were a post-Boehner plan. I've seen nothing to suggest there was, and statements from Hice and Loudermilk since the vote indicate as much.

JohnnyReb
JohnnyReb

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb - I think its more of a protest thing to send a message that Boehner is aligned with Republican elites who are not listening to the base.  Jeb Bush's line about winning the nomination by losing the primaries has a lot of meaning.

Besides, the damage is done.  They can't undo the funding.  Boehner and McConnell folded under a misguided belief that if they fight Obama we won't win the White House.  It's more likely that if they don't fight supporters will stay home and not vote as was the case for Romney.

As to the freshmen who voted against their campaign promises, its a betrayal of supporters.  On the otherhand, as Rush stated today, if you go after the King you best win.  So I can understand the freshmen's reluctance, but they should not be breaking promises.

Kyle_Wingfield
Kyle_Wingfield moderator

@JohnnyReb Keeping a campaign promise is the best argument I've heard yet for why they should have followed through with the anti-Boehner vote. That said, it's a relatively benign vote for them to learn an important lesson: Don't make campaign promises you won't be willing to keep.

blah blah blah
blah blah blah

@Kyle_Wingfield  KYLE, these GOP leaders are a joke.  I've voted GOP time and time again but over the last 15 years these idiots have shown no guts, leadership and are no better than progressives.  America voted for a new direction and these fools aren't cutting it.  

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

@Kyle_Wingfield @JohnnyReb

And not having an alternative to Boehner isn't inspiring much confidence either.

Kind of makes you wonder if they weren't just playing conservatives when they promised to vote against Boehner.

Hedley_Lammar
Hedley_Lammar

Republicans in Congress will have chances over the next two years to advance the causes of limited government, fiscal responsibility and individual liberty.


They fall for that one everytime

Tiberius Constitutionus
Tiberius Constitutionus

What a shame.  For two reasons.  First, fratricide this early into Republican control of Congress would've been fun to watch.*  Second, Boehner has been a really bad speaker.


* It'll still come, no doubt, albeit sans instant gratification pour moi.