The attempt by conservative Republicans to replace John Boehner for his ever so slight tendency toward compromise underscores the propensity of the GOP for failure, and for the wrong reasons. Boehner should be removed because he is weak, incompetent and unqualified as an office-holder. The one redeeming quality is his willingness to put the nation’s business ahead of his personal situation, which is pathetic.
Having survived the attack by the right may also make him vulnerable to attacks by others in the party. The true fix will happen in the next election when there is likely to be a wholesale change as there was when voters removed Democrats. Let’s see.
Democrats would help us all by initiating a "make a friend across the aisle week". Outreach and personal pairing could reduce hostility and increase the potential for productivity, could it not?
America doesn’t have time and resources for the GOP to fix itself. The nation needs a government that functions and that will happen even with old Harry Reid doing the shoving.
One more day reporting from London and then I will be back in Washington DC where I hope nothing more is broken.
“Failed coup effort against Boehner highlights House GOP divisions
By Russell Berman, Erik Wasson and Molly K. Hooper - 01/03/13 05:48 PM ET
A group of dissident Republicans failed on Thursday to push Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) to a second ballot in his election as Speaker and potentially replace him as leader of the House.
Twelve House Republicans broke from Boehner in a tense public roll-call vote, either by voting for someone else or deliberately not voting at all — five short of what would have been needed to force a second ballot.
The defections came at a tumultuous moment for Boehner, who faced sharp criticism from some within his conference and conservatives outside Congress both for his handling of the final "fiscal cliff" legislation and for scrapping a vote on a Hurricane Sandy relief bill.
One of the 12 Republican defectors, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.), said it was Rep. Justin Amash, a Michigan Republican just elected to his second term, who tried in recent days to organize what amounted to an attempted coup. Amash and Jones were among the four Republicans kicked off their committees by GOP leaders after the November elections.
At one point, both Jones and Amash said, the group had amassed enough Republicans to deny Boehner the gavel on the first ballot. Boehner ended up receiving 220 votes out of 426 votes cast on the floor, or 51.6 percent. The Speaker must receive a clear majority of votes cast, meaning he needed at least 214.
“We thought we had 20,” Jones said. “In fairness to those, two or three of those just decided they couldn’t go through with it.”
Jones said Amash came to see him on Tuesday and was holding one-on-one talks with other members to persuade them to defect. “Justin deserves a lot of credit,” Jones said.
Other conservatives who supported Boehner denounced the coup attempt as misguided and poorly organized.
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) told reporters that a member — whom he would not name — came up to him on the House floor about 15 minutes before the vote and said “there might be some effort to dissent.”
“I said that’s exactly what the Democrats would like to see us do,” Franks said he told the member.
Asked by a reporter if the effort to depose Boehner was “chaotic and disorganized,” Franks replied: “I think that’s being charitable.”
Another conservative who voted for Boehner, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), said: “There’s a time for everything, and I didn’t feel like now was the time.”
The vote came less than two full days after Boehner lost nearly two-thirds of his conference in the climactic fiscal-cliff vote on a Senate compromise.
“I think the Senate bill passing the other night galvanized many of us who were frustrated,” Jones said.
Amash at first would not say whether he had led the effort when asked by a reporter, but later denied it was him.
He told reporters that Jones may have viewed the situation that way but that “a lot of people were upset and they came together. Independently people were upset and they came together.”
He added, "it's not because one person goes to someone else and says, ‘hey will you join us?’ ”
Amash wouldn't say whether the dissenters held a meeting to discuss the matter prior to the vote.
“There were many of us who discussed our positions on this and wouldn't say who was in charge, but there were a number of us,” Amash said.
“The Speaker ... did not have the support of 218 people in the conference,” he added. “He has a few months to show people things have changed and if not, we are back to square one.”