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“I’m Not Complaining”: John Boehner Purges “The Wreckers”, But War For Soul Of The Republican Party Isn’t Ending

Looks like there’s been an interesting behind-the-scenes wipeout of some of the most notorious dystopian wreckers who’ve been a thorn in Speaker John Boehner’s side. The GOP Steering Committee has removed Reps. David Schweikert (AZ-06) and Walter Jones (NC-03) from the Financial Services Committee, and Reps. Justin Amash (MI-03) and Tim Huelskamp (KS-01) from the Budget Committee—reportedly all for failing to support their own party with sufficient gusto.

Indeed, Roll Call says that committee members “reviewed a spreadsheet listing each GOP lawmaker and how often he or she had voted with leadership,” so it’s no surprise to see that this quartet failed to make the cut. Jones has been an occasional gadfly from the left (mostly on foreign policy), but the other three, especially Amash, practically live to give Boehner agita, as I’ve written about before. Amash has been the biggest offender when it comes to voting against Republican budgetary measures, and renegades like him brought Boehner close to the brink more than once last year.

And if you follow the House puzzle on a regular basis, you’ll recall that Schweikert defeated fellow Rep. Ben Quayle in a redistricting-induced primary earlier this year. The well-connected Quayle was the favorite of House leaders, and John Boehner went out of his way to fluff him. That led the Club for Growth to threaten Boehner to stay out of the primary—which he did, but in the end, it seems like he’ll get the last laugh: It’s a pyrrhic victory for the Club if Schweikert gets neutered in terms of committee assignments.

But you have to wonder if this kind of payback will actually succeed in bringing the Club and other conservative meddlers to heel, or if it’ll just inspire them to fight the establishment even harder. The Heritage Foundation’s action arm is already furious, in particular calling Schweikert’s removal “unthinkable,” but will it still be worth winning all these primaries if Boehner reduces all their favorites to backbencher status?

I’m going to guess they won’t give up, though—these organizations have no purpose except to drive the GOP as far rightward as possible. They are predisposed against ever going along to get along. And that’ll just mean that the GOP’s intra-party turf wars will continue on their current trend and grow ever nastier, damaging the Republican brand further and occasionally even handing seats over to the Democrats (as we saw in this year’s Indiana Senate race). Hey, I’m not complaining.


By: David Nir, Daily Kos, December 3, 2012



December 4, 2012 - Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , ,


  1. Reblogged this on Ye Olde Soapbox.


    Comment by Michael B. Calyn | December 6, 2012 | Reply

  2. What may be working for a modest return to sanity is that even the likes of Heritage live on the flow of money from their backers. That money can’t be very happy right now, with the results of this election cycle. I suspect Boehner’s house cleaning may be turn out to be a harbinger of things to come.


    Comment by maximillianwyse | December 4, 2012 | Reply

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