Yesterday, John Boehner told his conference that he would be watching the voting records of particular members. Those who don’t support his view of Democrat-lite as the party platform will be kicked off their respective committees – just like Huelskamp, Schweikert, and Amash were axed earlier this week.
Boehner and other members of leadership are repeating this mantra that the punishment of those members had nothing to do with “conservative ideology” rather with “voting records.” However, they declined to divulge which votes they were referring to. Presumably, they meant conservative opposition to the debt ceiling deal and some of the spending bills.
With that in mind, let’s engage in a cerebral exercise for a moment. Assuming Boehner has any shred of respect for Republican ideology, we would expect him to banish members who vote to the left of leadership; members who vote with Democrats on key issues. After all, if voting to the right of leadership is tantamount to unforgivable debauchery, voting with Democrats should be a cardinal sin.
Yet, we find the opposite to be true with Boehner’s selective pattern of retribution. Huelskamp, Amash, and Schweikert were thrown off the Budget, Agriculture, and Financial Services committees; there are a number of leftists who voted against leadership but remain on the top 3 committees – Ways and Means, Energy & Commerce, and Appropriations.
Here are some good examples:
- In a sane world, there would be no worse offense than a Republican voting for Cap and Trade. Mary Bono Mack voted for Cap and Trade, yet she kept her subcommittee chairmanship on the E&C Committee. Leonard Lance is also still on that committee. Remember that this committee has jurisdiction over energy issues. Congressman Dave Reichert is a member of Ways and Means.
- What about the Ryan budget? Supposedly, Huelskamp and Amash were booted from the Budget Committee for voting against the Ryan budget from the right. Well, Denny Rehberg (MT) voted against it from the left, yet he kept his status as one of the 12 Appropriations Subcommittee “Cardinal” chairmen.
- Brian Bilbray sits on E&C, yet he voted against “The Stop the War on Coal Act.” He also voted against the “No More Solyndras Act,” a brainchild of his committee’s chairman, Fred Upton.
- Steve LaTourette, the King of all RINOs, voted against Eric Cantor’s “Small Business Tax Cut Act.” If not for his retirement, he’d still be an Appropriations subcommittee chairman.
It turns out that it is about ideology. It’s all about eschewing the ideology that distinguishes us from Democrats.