Diary

This isn't the Way to Unity, Mr. Would Be Speaker

First off, you should realize I’m writing this as someone who was initially pretty optimisitic about the idea of you being Speaker. (Would prefer Newt, but that doesn’t seem likely to actually happen)  I love the idea of the party finding a way to unite and of a unifying figure. Your buddy Scott was far and away my first choice for President.

And my objections to your approach aren’t anything personal.

Nor did I have a problem with the idea of you proposing conditions, per se. If you can’t travel and fund raise as much as other Speakers- then I imagine others can step up more and share in that responsibility.

But the other conditions are entirely unacceptable and I don’t buy into the idea of “oh, he doesn’t want the job so he can impose whatever conditions he wants”

You sound like someone who wants the perks of the job, without the real work of the job. If you feel that you need to step up and be Speaker, well then STEP UP and be Speaker. Actually work to build consensus between the different factions without demanding that they first blindly trust you and surrender their power to remove you if you don’t perform.

Removing the Thomas Jefferson Rule should be a deal breaker in itself.  You shouldn’t be trying to acheive fake “unity” by increasing the power of the Speakership so you can force other Republicans to fall in line, you should be striving to be the kind of Speaker they won’t want to remove.

The other Republican Congressman and Congresswomen aren’t children who need to be told to behave, they are men and women elected just as you were to REPRESENT them, and to fight leadership if need be. You should be seeking to lead among peers, not to rule over minions.

And here- let’s take a moment to consider what’s been happening outside of Washington. We’ve got over half the Republican electorate consistently telling pollsters they prefer a candiate who has never held office. Overwhelmingly most Republicans DO NOT want more of their elected Representatives to fall in line. Quite the opposite.  We are in real danger of having a drastically unsuitable Presidential nominee because half the party is so disgusted they’re willing to treat the Presidency as an entry level position.

The tone deafness of your approach is staggering and can only make the problem worse. If the freedom caucus endorses you under these conditions, millions of Republicans will likely feel completely demoralized and disenfranchised and probably quickly come to hate you. That is the opposite of unity within our party.

You shouldn’t be demanding to be coronated, imposing an arbitrary time limit, insisting that everyone endorse you or that they surrender the ability to remove you.

If you want to be Speaker, run normally. Promise never to bring immigration reform to the floor while there is a Democrat in the White House (who will remove whatever caveats made the bill palatable to some Republicans) give people enough time to really think about it, question you and interrogate you. Listen seriously to the concerns of other members and figure out a way to work something out and see eye to eye enough to acheive genuine unity.

Otherwise endorse somebody else and actually get out of the race.