ELDER PATRIOT – The attacks by the mainstream media on the Freedom Caucus belie what is really going on with the search for John Boehner’s replacement as Speaker of the House.
There are currently 36 members of the conservative group while the Republicans control 246 seats in the 435 members House. Republican leadership has spent considerable time and effort marginalizing those 36 conservatives and their small contingent offers no real threat to leadership’s control of the vote.
Leadership can easily corral the majority of the 246 Republican House members in order to advance their nominee to the floor for the wider vote that will include both parties, but they’ll require at least 8 Democrat votes to secure the 218 votes necessary to secure victory when the entire House votes. Therein lies the real problem for leadership. How can they continue to sell themselves to their constituents back home as conservatives after they’ve rejected the conservatives of their own party and made a deal with the Democrats who the rank and file view as Socialists or worse?
The Democrats understand the power the Freedom Caucus play has given them and they won’t give their votes to a Republican without extracting a steep political price. For their part, Republicans can’t be seen trolling the hallways looking for Democrat votes. Even if they could peel off the necessary votes from the Democrat side of the aisle the optics would only confirm what rank and file Republicans already suspect, that leadership would rather make a deal with the Democrats than with the conservative wing of their own party.
This metric has given the Freedom Caucus unusual leverage for a group so small.
Like a candle in the darkness, they are lighting the way for a debate that leadership must avoid at all cost.
For those who say the conservative members are empowering the Democrats I’d answer that 16 years of lying to their base about their conservative bona fides and planned conservative legislative agendas by the establishment Republicans has made this necessary to save what’s left of our rotting Republic. Voters have rejected the establishment’s constant excuse of not being able to block Obama’s agenda as evidenced by both history and by the presidential polls that show establishment Republicans garnering well less than 50% support among the faithful.
Newt Gingrich showed what a strong Republican Speaker could accomplish even with a Democrat president when he forced Bill Clinton to adopt a balanced budget and reform Welfare. On the other side of the aisle Nancy Pelosi’s reign as Speaker had conservatives mumbling to themselves that George Bush might as well be a Democrat.
Like the small minority of brave colonists who sacrificed so much to establish a nation “steeped in liberty” these conservative members are risking much to save what’s left of the Founding Principles for us. Contrary to the enmity they are receiving from their party and the mainstream media, they deserve our thanks.