“The price of liberty is labor as well as vigilance.” (Carl Skovel)

Speaker of the House results:

Boehner: 216
Pelosi: 156
Webster: 12
Others: 24 (I think 7 were Dem’s not voting for Pelosi)

If I got the tally right, 29 GOP members voted for someone other than Boehner. Around 3-6 of the votes seemed grounded in a personal problem with Boehner. But, around 25 voted out of conviction and I think that took courage.

If their conviction was grounded in an idea the Republic is served by pushing issues that will go nowhere and will make people in the middle to doubt Republicans are fit to serve, I disagree.  This fiasco of government policy wasn’t built in a day and I don’t believe it will torn down in a day.  This will take hard work and not every battle is equal to other battles.  I deeply and sincerely believe prudence and diligent focus on the long-run and big issues will serve America best and not less significant or short-term gains.

But, for many of them who didn’t vote for Boehner, I see a sincere expression wanting to have this majority mean something for the good of the Republic. This includes passing the most conservative legislation that will be RELUCTANTLY accepted by President Obama (moving the ball forward).  None of us will get everything we want.  But, hopefully, we can see steady progress toward a government that serves our interests vs. one that expects us to serve the government.

And yes, it will sometimes mean passing legislation that will be vetoed but will compare and contrast the differences between the two parties.  We have a Presidential election in 2016 and a full and open debate of these differences is necessary for a successful Republic.

And, personally, I’m glad this will include Keystone, first hopefully a repeal and then incremental changes in Obamacare, and real reforms in government and spending.

14 thoughts on ““The price of liberty is labor as well as vigilance.” (Carl Skovel)”

  1. I read this piece over 3 times. It sounds like you are asking poliricians to overlook their principles and values to move a republican agenda forward. Could you clarify?

    If their principles and values are the Republican agenda, how can moving that agenda forward be “overlooking their principles and values?”

    My guess (and I could be wrong) is you might consider getting a half loaf from Obama “overlooking their principles and values.” I consider it better than “standing on principle” and demanding a whole loaf which results in no change in government over the next two years. I am willing to be patient on the ideal to get what is possible while Obama is still President. For instance, would I accept only a change in the workweek under Obamacare this year and fight for repeal when we get a GOP President? Yes. (Troy)

    1. as a casual observer, i think mr jones was commenting on whether the majority should engage in a practice of erring on the side of productivity (which will mean negotiating and compromising with various negotiating partners on major congressional bills) or erring on the side of emotion-laden political theatrics and empty grandstanding, in order to impose a rigid arch conservative partisanship that seeks to directly challenge the president at every turn. your question was an interesting attempt to turn mr jones argument inside out, and make it seem like he was advocating more evil, and advocating the disenfranchisement of the conservative firebrands whose emotional reactionism and lack of overall strategic vision have now risen to the status of a political movement of its own. an awful one.

      Maybe you are right but I presume the question was legitimate, even if it appears to be from a strategic perspective with which I disagree. Don’t get me wrong, I do think there will be issues which we should send bills to the President even if he will veto it. But I think we should pick these issues carefully and which will highlight properly the differences between the GOP and Democrats on the most important issues.

      And, there are other issues where we need to take what we can get (even if it is unsatisfactory). I mention Obamacare because it is one where I think it needs to be repealed. But, that won’t happen while Obama is in the White House. So, the choice is keep sending him repeal legislation that will get vetoed or force him to deal with a less comprehensive reform of Obamacare (e.g. changing the workweek hours to a level that better approximates full-time employment). If he signs it, the working people get an immediate benefit through more hours, better wages and employment stability. If he vetoes it, we have an issue for 2016 that has probably 70% support by Americans. (Troy)

      1. re: a new political movement – it has already happened. what was the 2009 tea party, was supposed to be a movement across party lines … nearly everywhere, tea party conservatives chased the bipartisan centrists out first, then the staunch republicans. there is no tea party left related to its initial rise in 2009. it has been something radical and far right for quite awhile. a big center group has to seriously reassemble and work together in congress to fix things. prove me wrong.

      2. mr jones, thanks for a detailed response to my post. i mean no disrespect to any contributor here, but the lingering disrespect being lobbed at the mainstream gop all of the time gets under my skin. the ‘party’ is where everyone takes part and feels like they have a stake in things. no party can be someone’s 100-percent political expression, or be damned for falling just short of it.

  2. Don’t worry, the GOP will govern like conservatives when they have the House, the Senate, and the White House. They promise.

    1. i don’t think that promise was ever made. they’ll govern like republicans. you have to decide where your conservatism fits in to that picture, since you’ve got decades of evidence showing that your conservatism doesn’t fit anywhere in a democrat house, senate and white house. don’t rewrite history, that’s what communists do.

  3. Anonymous 5:12/5:17,

    Yes, there is a component of the GOP who takes the approach “Everything or Nothing.” As you grasp, this component hurts the conservative cause because they throw bombs at everyone who doesn’t support them 100% on every issue and won’t fight on every issue as if it is the most important issue.

    Most of the country isn’t ideological. They just want a government that serves them, doesn’t do what it can’t do well, and makes the Republic better. If the GOP is perceived by the voters across the country as hard-core ideologues that demand things there way all the time, in particular in Purple States, we will be a perpetual voice in the wilderness and we will continue our current path.

    At the same time, I’m empathetic because I share their frustration with the current state of affairs. It isn’t easy stepping back and admitting Obama is the President and we don’t control the government.

    But not all of them are irrational crazies. Just those who resort to personal denigration. Nelson got 18% (translates into roughly 9% of the electorate) of the vote in the last primary from those most frustrated and had a deep need to make strong statement. I get that. But, when it came to vote in the general, only 3% continued to make a statement of “Everything or Nothing.”

    This tells me that 2/3 of those who voted for Nelson also voted for Rounds (I suspect there are few Nelson supporters who voted for the extreme Liberal Weiland and moderate Libera Presslerl) aren’t irrational, just mad and frustrated conservatives. I’m not unlike these people.

    Today is a new beginning. We control Congress and can set the agenda to a significant degree. This means we be selective on the issues we fight Obama hard and those issues we bargain to get what we can.

    To win the Presidency and have the power to affect real change, we have to do two things:

    1) Lay out a coherent policy difference on important issues that appeals to the American people to enhance our chance of winning the Presidency in 2016.

    2) Show we can govern. I was formed politically by Reagan while working for Abdnor. There were countless times when the Senate (controlled by the GOP) was prepared to make bigger spending cuts or advance a more conservative piece of legislation but then we got word from the White House they had cut a deal with the House (controlled by the Dems) that was less aggressive or conservative. So it will be now with the GOP Congress dealing with Obama. We won’t get everything we desire but Reagan taught me a half-loaf is better than nothing.

  4. Rep. Mick Mulvaney On Facebook:

    There was an attempt to oust John Boehner as Speaker of the House today. I didn’t participate in it. That may make some people back home angry. I understand that, but I’ve got some experience with coup attempts against the Speaker, and what I learned two years ago factored heavily in my decision today not to join the mutiny.

    First, I learned two years ago that people lie about how they are going to vote. And you cannot go into this kind of fight with people you do not trust. We walked onto the floor two years ago with signed pledges – handwritten promises – from more than enough people to deny Boehner his job. But when it came time to vote, almost half of those people changed their minds – including some of those who voted against Boehner today. Fool me once, shame on you… Today was even worse: there were never enough votes to oust Boehner to begin with. On top of that, some people who had publicly said in the past that they wouldn’t vote for Boehner did just that. This was an effort driven as much by talk radio as by a thoughtful and principled effort to make a change. It was poorly considered and poorly executed, and I learned first-hand that is no way to fight a battle. This coup today was bound to fail. And in fact, it failed worse than I expected, falling 11 votes short of deposing the Speaker. At least two years ago we only failed by six.

    I also learned that the Floor of the House is the wrong place to have this battle. The hard truth is that we had an election for Speaker in November – just among Republicans. THAT was the time to fight. But not a single person ran against Boehner. Not one. If they had, we could’ve had a secret ballot to find out what the true level of opposition to John Boehner was. In fact, we could’ve done that as late as Monday night, on a vote of “no confidence” in the Speaker. But that didn’t happen…and at least one of the supposed challengers to Boehner today didn’t even go to the meeting last night. That told me a lot.

    Some people wrote me encouraging me to vote for Louie Gohmert. I like Louie, but let’s be clear: Louie Gohmert was – is – never ever going to be Speaker of the House. I respect his passion, but he isn’t a credible candidate. That was proved today by the fact that he got three votes, despite all the national media attention he managed to grab. My colleague who got the most anti-Boehner votes was Daniel Webster of Florida who got 12 votes. I like Daniel. He is a nice guy, and a good thinker…but his lifetime Heritage Action score is 60% (by comparison, mine is 91%). And this was supposed to be the savior of the conservative movement? Would the House really have been more conservative if he had won?

    The truth is, there was no conservative who could beat John Boehner. Period. People can ignore that, or they can wish it away, but that is reality.

    Some people tried to argue that voting against Boehner would give conservatives leverage, or somehow force him to lead in a more conservative fashion, even if the coup attempt failed. All I can say to that is that the exact opposite happened two years ago: conservatives were marginalized, and Boehner was even freer to work with moderates and Democrats. My guess is that the exact same thing will happen again now. And I fail to see how that helps anything that conservatives know needs to be done in Washington.

    I understand people’s frustration and anger over what is happening in Washington. And I also acknowledge that John Boehner may be partly to blame. But this was a fool’s errand. I am all for fighting, but I am more interested in fighting and winning than I am fighting an unwinnable battle.

    Finally, the most troubling accusation I have heard regarding the Boehner vote is that I have “sold out” my conservative principles. All I can say is this: take a look at my voting record. It is one of the most conservative in Congress. And I was joined today by the likes of Jim Jordan, Raul Labrador, Trey Gowdy, Mark Sanford, Trent Franks, Tom McClintock, Matt Salmon, Tom Price, Sam Johnson, and Jeb Hensarling. If I “sold out” then I did so joined by some of the most tried and tested conservative voices in Washington.

    I can say with 100% confidence that I have done exactly what I said I would do when I came to Washington: fight to cut spending, stop bad legislation, work to repeal Obamacare, and hold the President accountable for his actions. That will never change, and neither will I.

    1. This is why you don’t try and kill the king unless you know you’ll succeed, this is apparently news to the Kamikazi Caucus. Wars are won based on lessons learned and momentum gained. Play smart.

      William, Mulvaney brings up the best point of all. The caucus met in November right after the election and nobody expressed plans to run for Speaker. Somehow I missed this, making me less sympathetic to those who wanted to make a statement (as I said above). When the rumble of a race, I actually hoped the insurgents would get between 25-30 votes, as I think the statement “this is a new beginning with new conservative power and we need to use it” needed to be made. The tactics when one is fully or mostly in the minority (e.g. control House and not Senate or President) is different than controlling both Houses. I wanted the entire caucus to put on new glasses with two focii as I described.

      But, what occurred is having the opposite effect because of how they did it. They didn’t say anything in November, they didn’t rally around one candidate who could be a spokesperson for this group, and the one they did (Webster) didn’t conduct himself in a way to be effective post election. The fact they rallied around Webster is the most disappointing to me. Instead of being a unit to be considered inside the caucus on when to fight on what issues, they have become marginalized, marginalized because of their own conduct.

      What I thought could be a positive has actually become a negative. Your Kamikaze analogy is most relevant. They crashed into a aircraft carrier and didn’t make a dent.

      1. Ironic that Mr. Beal offers reference to royalty / aristocracy in his post ? I think not.

  5. Mark Levin did a nice job to draw, quarter and fillet Mick Mulvaney and his representation of his vote for Speaker of the House in 2013, following the 2012 elections.

    Mr. Mulvaney has some ‘splainin to do.

    1. of course pitbull levin has to go straight to mulvaney, mulvaney makes the best case. mulvaney has no explaining to do to. levin wouldn’t accept it anyway, and i suspect you wouldn’t either mr gueurnsey.

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