A number of newly elected Republican Congressmen and women voted for John Boehner for speaker after they ran a campaign opposing the GOP leadership.
Mick Mulvaney, U.S. Congressman from the 5th district of South Carolina, is giving cover for himself and those who voted for Boehner.
He begins by stating “that people lie about how they are going to vote. And you cannot go into this kind of fight with people you do not trust.” People lie, even congressmen who swore up and down that they would oppose Boehner and the Republican establishment if they got elected.
So why should the people who voted for you go into battle with you since you did not do what you said you would do?
Stand up for yourself and stop hiding behind what the crowd might or might not do. You’re not going to get shot for being the lone no vote.
Twenty five Republicans voted against Boehner. You would have been the 26th vote. A few more votes and Boehner would have been defeated on the first ballot. Even if nobody was able to get enough votes to claim the Speaker position, it would have at least shown those who put you in office that you tried; that you kept your word. That’s all anybody could ask of you.
The vote failed by 11 votes. But if we take your vote and the votes of those offering the same excuses you are making, Boehner would have been defeated.
For example, there are 9 Republican congressmen from Georgia. Do the math: 9 plus your 1 plus Mia Love equals 11. Boehner is defeated.
You write that “the likes of Jim Jordan, Raul Labrador, Trey Gowdy, Mark Sanford, Trent Franks, Tom McClintock, Matt Salmon, Tom Price, Sam Johnson, and Jeb Hensarling” stood with you. Why didn’t you all stand together and join with the 25 who did not vote for Boehner?
“I also learned that the Floor of the House is the wrong place to have this battle,” Mulvaney writes. “The hard truth is that we had an election for Speaker in November – just among Republicans.” This only shows the unwillingness to follow through on your campaign promises happened earlier than we thought. But let’s get real. What incensed the voters who put this new crop of Republicans in office was the vote on the $1.1 trillion CRomnibus bill. Boehner and the leadership had not changed. They ignored the election results.
Boehner made promises in November to the newly elected congressmen and then broke them soon after. That’s why the defection from the 25 congressmen who did not support Boehner.
Mulvaney then goes on to claim that there was not a credible opposition candidate to oppose Boehner. Wow! We are in trouble if that’s the case, if not a single person could garner enough votes to at least keep Boehner off a first-ballot victory.
“The truth is,” Mulvaney continues, “there was no conservative who could beat John Boehner. Period. People can ignore that, or they can wish it away, but that is reality.” That may be the reality, but it misses the point of what voters want. They want you guys to fight. We don’t mind that you’re defeated in an honest fight. We know the political realities. But what we hate is that you give up before there is a fight.
“I am all for fighting” Mulvaney writes, “but I am more interested in fighting and winning than I am fighting an unwinnable battle.”
Can you imagine where we would be today as a nation if we had given up in the face of what was in reality impossible odds, a seemingly “unwinnable battle”? Who would ever have thought that the American War for Independence would have turned out the way it did? Every political pundit at the time considered it a hopeless cause, an “unwinnable battle.” On paper, defeat was inevitable.
The same could be said for World War II. The bombing of Pearl Harbor. The lack of military preparedness. Being behind the Germans in every part of the war.
If our founders had followed Mulvaney’s rationale, we’d be saying “God save the Queen.” If capitulating in the face of impossible odds was the rational thing to do, then most likely we would be speaking German today.
But voting against Boehner wouldn’t have resulted in any bloodshed, but it would have shown conservatives that there are people in Washington today that are willing to fight. Please tell us, Rep. Mulvaney, when will you begin to engage in the battle for America’s soul?