Erick penned a superb, powerful diary the other day: House Conservatives have the power, and should depose Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ]. He points out, correctly, that it will take only 30 conservative House members to deny Boehner the 218 votes he will need in the next Congress to be elected Speaker.
He makes the case that by in effect vetoing Boehner, conservatives will throw the election back to the House conference, and by standing firm against other bad choices (sorry, [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ] ) ….
“…House Republicans will eventually gravitate towards a real conservative who is well liked by many Republicans. It may take some time, but it will be worth it.”
A few days earlier, in disgust at the cromnibus passage, and the revelation that Boenher and leadership had lied to [mc_name name=’Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’S001188′ ] to secure his vote, I wrote pretty much the same thing.
And that’s where Erick, and I are both wrong. Because, as a wise person once said….
You can’t beat something with nothing…
If the intent is to block Boehner’s election, then you must already have a candidate in mind. If so, then that person must step forward, declare his candidacy, explain why Boehner does not deserve re-election, and more importantly, what is his vision for the House.
Among Republican members of the next House, there are probably only two individuals who meet Erick’s criteria: [mc_name name=’Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’R000570′ ] and [mc_name name=’Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’H001036′ ]. And neither has to date shown any desire to lead the rebellion.
Ryan appears to be looking forward to running Ways and Means, and reforming tax policy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, except that an unwillingness to step up and lead in this instance might indicate that he wasn’t ready to be President in 2014.
So, it is necessary to think outside the box as we search for a new Speaker. And as we all know, the Speaker of the House need NOT be an elected Representative.
I’ve commented here several times that I believe [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] would make a superb Speaker. Indeed, he has served as an adviser and de facto leader to House conservatives for several months. Cruz is more focused on a probable White House race, and alas, he fails Erick’s second criteria..that of being “well liked by many Republicans.”
So, who then?
One name comes readily to mind: Jim DeMint.
His conservative credentials are impeccable, and in his present role as head of the Heritage Foundation, and its associated lobbying arm, Heritage Action for America, he is well known to House Republicans.
He would, I believe, instantly have the support of the majority of the House Republican conference, and the work could commence to get him to the 218 vote threshold.
DeMint would be a superb Speaker, and a powerful voice for conservatism in the next Congress. I also feel that Boehner would retire in the face of a viable opposition. He has all but declared that this next term would be his last, so why risk defeat?
DeMint is not the only option. There are indeed several others. Among them are two Hoosiers, Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels. Either would be a vast improvement over Boehner.
My intent here is not necessarily to advocate for any particular individual. Rather, if we are unanimous in agreeing that Boehner must go, then we have to find a candidate willing to make the challenge.
Otherwise, it just won’t happen.