[mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ] is resigning not only his role as Speaker of the House, but he is stepping down completely from the House of Representatives.
Many conservatives could not be more pleased and are hoping things will change now that a new Speaker will take over. Chances are, not much will change.
The current House Majority Leader, [mc_name name=’Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’M001165′ ] is a Boehner lieutenant who will likely rise to be Speaker of the House. The real battle will be for the other leadership posts and there is some sign there will be some surprise challengers for those spots. The real problem however, is not in the House. It is in the Senate. Specifically, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
For the longest time after the GOP captured the House yet couldn’t gain much traction with an agenda, conservative voters were getting frustrated. It was at the time of the government shutdown in 2013 that exasperated GOP leadership kept wagging their fingers at people saying, “We need a majority in Congress before we can do anything.” They pointed the blame at [mc_name name=’Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000146′ ] who was merely tabling everything the House sent over. So in a way, their frustration was understandable.
But only if you don’t take into account their previous assurances of how much they would get accomplished.
Take a trip back to January 5, 2011 when John Boehner, taking over as Speaker of The House, had this to say:
Expect wet eyes and grand pronouncements as the new speaker delivers a speech in which he acknowledges how temporary his position will be if Republicans don’t live up to the will of the American people.
“They have reminded us that everything here is on loan from them. That includes this gavel, which I accept cheerfully and gratefully, knowing I am but its caretaker,” Boehner will say, according to an excerpt obtained by Fox News. “What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves.”
The new GOP majority vows to cut the congressional budget as one of its first actions — and repeal the health care law, a pledge that’s unlikely to be filled.
Even the AP knew their promises were empty at that time. Fast forward to 2014. With President Obama’s poll numbers tanking and with the government shutdown a distant memory, Republicans were on the verge of having complete control of Congress for the first time since 2006.
And it was none other than [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] saying all the right things. In August of 2014, McConnell vowed to bring the fight to President Obama, even if it meant a government shutdown:
But asked about the potential that his approach could spark another shutdown, McConnell said it would be up to the president to decide whether to veto spending bills that would keep the government open.
Obama “needs to be challenged, and the best way to do that is through the funding process,” McConnell said. “He would have to make a decision on a given bill, whether there’s more in it that he likes than dislikes.”
Following the results of the 2014 election, both Boehner and McConnell penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal making all kinds of promises about what they were going to do now that the GOP controlled the government purse-strings.
It is remarkable how times change.
Now [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] is being condescending to those who want Planned Parenthood defunded:
“I would remind all of your viewers: The way you make a law in this country, the Congress has to pass it and the president has to sign it,” he said. “The president has made it very clear he’s not going to sign any bill that includes defunding of Planned Parenthood, so that’s another issue that awaits a new president hopefully with a different point of view about Planned Parenthood.”
For all the tough talk by McConnell (and to a lesser degree, Boehner) in the past year, McConnell is now throwing up his hands in defeat without even trying and he has the temerity to give patronizing lectures?
Here’s a simple solution for the Senate Majority Leader: Stop making promises you cannot keep or worse, have no intention of keeping.
I get tired of hearing too from Congressional staffers who often have this almost cult-like devotion to their employers and who constantly make excuses for them and claim conservatives have unrealistic expectations. “Oh if we try something and it doesn’t work, you claim it is “failure theater” and if we do nothing at all, you accuse us of not fighting.”
When a “vote” to defund Planned Parenthood is held knowing full well that there will not be the 60 votes needed for it to even get to an actual vote, that is failure theater. It’s a show, nothing more.
If McConnell were serious, why not attach a rider to a spending bill that strips Planned Parenthood of its funding? Make President Obama actually veto something. This is what McConnell promised. He did not deliver.
The palpable anger from conservatives over this is not their fault. It is the fault of GOP leadership who have consistently over-promised and under-delivered. The time has come for them to take responsibility for their actions.