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January 4, 2013

Failure of Leadership

Joe Charlebois

The House of Representatives once again elected John Boehner (R., OH) as Speaker. For the fiscal future and any hope of returning to a Constitutional Republic, the House floor might as well have been the USS Missouri; Reims, France; Yorktown; Appomattox or any other significant place of surrender.


A change in leadership was warranted, but failed to materialize even with the very public dissatisfaction from members of his own party.


With the Speaker's re-election, Mr. Obama has already won the debate for the upcoming legislative session.


Over the past two years, Mr. Boehner failed to lead his party in a way that the disgruntled American people demanded. After the mid-term election of 2010 swept in what looked like a new era of fiscal discipline, the Speaker went weak in the knees. He was more concerned that the Tea Party movement would crush any hopes of him retaining power rather than putting together a solid plan to communicate why conservatism will bring America back.


Ironically it was the Speaker's refusal to support the economic reform promised in 2010 that lead to the loss of several seats in November.


In January of 2011, Mr. Boehner was elected as House Speaker enjoying unanimous Republican support.


This Congress' vote totals show the visible signs that the Speaker's support has eroded. Nine Republicans voted for other members as well as those outside the House of Representatives. It is certain that – if Mr. Boehner doesn't reassert himself as a conservative leader – he will be lucky to gain enough votes among his peers to be elected minority leader in 2015.


This past election many of the fiscal conservatives lost in their re-election bids with little support from the establishment.


Those who did return to Washington found little in the way of support from party leadership. As a sign of his gratitude for helping him win the House and the Speakership, Mr. Boehner rewarded the most principled members of the Republican caucus – those who voted against increased spending and higher taxes for the sake of compromise – with punishment. The party's leadership chose to strip these conservatives of key committee assignments.


Despite these issues the grass roots movement started by the Tea Party is still growing.  Unfortunately, it seems that in every corner their progress gets mowed down by the Right's political elite.


The conservative base can forgive its own party for failure if they take principled stands and fight for their core beliefs and constitutional adherence. But they won't forgive those same leaders for compromising for the sake of political expediency.


If conservative leadership inside the Halls of Congress doesn't stand up to the Democrats and President Barack Obama, it might as well turn over the gavel to former Speaker Nancy Pelosi.


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