bad boehner

The Horse You Rode In On

As you know, you go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time. – Donald Rumsfeld


Like many conservatives, I’m highly disappointed that John Boehner will return to serve as Speaker of the House again.  His rather lukewarm (to put it kindly) record is well documented HERE.   And I know that plenty of people share my disappointment with his performance; people who still find themselves asking ‘HOW could all these people we elected to change things give us more of the same?’

But I have several brief thoughts I want to share, in hopes that a few folks might read them and mull them over – maybe as consolation, maybe as a call to action, maybe just motivation to put the sharp objects down for a little while.


There Wasn’t a Plan to Beat Boehner

Not really.  Brittany Pounders put it best, I think:

A real campaign against the Speaker wouldn’t have been thrown together 2 days before the vote. Nor would it have been started without any real plan to win. How about we stop talking about tossing everyone out that we just got in and let them begin building influence, obtain committee positions and leverage themselves in a way where we can begin to see change? But I forgot- nobody is as good at beating up republicans as other republicans.


And Matt Lewis detailed what it WOULD have taken to accomplish the goal.  But it was far too little, too late.  I hate to say it, but it was never going to happen, given the way things shook out.


There Are Plenty of Other Battles Ahead

There are quite a few healthy ways in which Republicans can start exercising some power, even with Boehner at the helm.  Boehner himself has reiterated that bills the House voted on but which never made it to the floor of the Senate are to be resubmitted.  That’s a good thing.

Additionally, folks who believe that they must primary their representatives for this vote – if they are serious – have a whole year in which to recruit and build support for challengers in their districts.  Skipping this step is very shortsighted.  You can’t spring up an impromptu, unfunded campaign in October and expect anything to change.  The time for primary challenge candidates to get their names out there is NOW.

In the interim, we need to make sure we’re squarely facing the enemy and firing.  We need to talk to our reps, learn about the next year’s strategy (and insist upon one if they can’t articulate one), and do our part to prepare the ground for Republican bills that will force the president to veto things that we’ve sold as ‘common sense.’  We have our own ground war to wage, and we’d better be ready to fight back at the media and the Institutional Left and their lies.


You Go To War with the Army You Have

We so often wish for better – we need another Reagan, we need representatives with a spine, we need more voters to vote with us.  (Well, we’re making headway on the last one, obviously, because the Senate is back in Republican hands.  That doesn’t say anything about 2016, though, and we can’t relax now.)

But here’s the thing:  I don’t look at the situation merely through the prism of what I wish things could be like.  I studied my Alinsky – I try to deal with the world as it is, not as I wish it to be.  That means that whatever spineless losers (other people’s characterizations, not necessarily mine) I have to work with, THAT is the team I’m going to have to use at any given time to get what I want.  I will ride any horse that’s put in front of me if it gets me where I want to go.  I may not get to choose the horse, but the rider is the one who steers it.  It’s my JOB to be a good rider – focusing on how to get the best performance out of this horse.  If swatting its flanks works on occasion, I will do that.  If whispering encouraging words to it will work, I will do that too.  But what I will not do is shoot the horse without another one to ride.  Let’s ride this horse to death if need be, until we get a better one.  But let’s not shoot it just yet.

This is the army we have.  Let’s make it better, but let’s do it while we’re continuing to fight.


  1. For all of the shouts of “just a few votes”, it was a few votes from going to a second ballot. Boehner’s clear plurality was never in doubt.