Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Cleaning Up After the Election

Cleaning Up After the Election
P. Schultz
December 5, 2012

            Well, the establishment Republicans, aka John Boehner and his gang, are “cleaning up” after the 2012 election, meaning that they are solidifying their power by removing those who have refused to support the Boehner agenda.

            People often respond with surprise when I argue that at times politicians don’t mind losing elections, meaning at those times when a loss will solidify their own power. Too often, people forget that, say, the Democratic Party winning an election poses much less of a threat, if a threat at all, to Republicans like John Boehner than what happens in the Republican Party. This is why it may be argued persuasively that any landslide for one party should be seen as threatening to the established leaders of that party and must be dealt with carefully. So, when the Republican Party was “infiltrated” by “insurgents” – Tea Partiers, for example – in 2010, this was not an event that Boehner and other establishment Republicans could take lightly.

            And now, after the loss to Obama and using this loss as justification for his actions, Boehner has moved to solidify his control of the House. This is one reason I argued previously herein that establishment Republicans would not look on an Obama victory as an unwelcome event. The loss, it is fair to say, has been taken as evidence of the weakness, even the utter unacceptability politically, of, say, the Tea Party agenda. It was that agenda which cost the Republicans what was hyped as “a sure thing” for their party – at least this is the message being sent with such pervasiveness that it is barely visible – and therefore Boehner and company can move on “the culprits” with dispatch.

"The move is underscoring a divide in the Republican Party between tea party-supported conservatives and the House GOP leadership.

"This is a clear attempt on the part of Republican leadership to punish those in Washington who vote the way they promised their constituents they would — on principle — instead of mindlessly rubber-stamping trillion dollar deficits and the bankrupting of America," said Matt Kibbe, president of the tea party group FreedomWorks.

"Michael Steel, a spokesman for Boehner, would only say Tuesday that the party's steering committee chaired by the speaker made the decision "based on a range of factors."

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