In January 2011, I walked onto the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, it was swearing in day. In our home here in Dallas is a picture from that day with myself and former Congressman E. Clay Shaw as I shook the hand of the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner. I remember when our youngest daughter Austen got to meet Speaker Boehner and she was somewhat star struck to meet the person third in line for the presidency of these United States.
Of course yesterday the country was shocked to learn of the resignation of Speaker Boehner effective end of October.
As reported by Fox News, “Whether it was “the right time,” or a desire to end “this prolonged leadership turmoil” in the House — or both — John Boehner’s bombshell announcement Friday to resign as speaker and leave Congress at the end of October had all the markings of a self-described “regular guy with a big job”.
“Yep,” Boehner told reporters, describing the sequence of events leading up to his decision — which included a morning walk to Starbucks and a stop at the neighborhood diner — “I think today’s the day.”
He first broke the news to his staff and then his House caucus Friday morning. Explaining the move to reporters, he simply said, “It’s the right time.” The decision by the 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his colleagues, and will soon lead to a leadership battle as well as a special election in Ohio, in already tumultuous times. It comes amid mounting friction with the conservative wing of the party — and one day after Boehner hosted a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress.Boehner, in a candid press conference, described what led to his decision — a combination, it seemed, of concern for the institution and perhaps guidance from the pontiff himself. A Boehner aide noted the speaker’s original plan was to serve “only through the end of last year,” yet former House GOP leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss last year “changed that calculation.” But the aide seemed to make clear reference to the internal turmoil. “Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all,” the aide said. “… The Speaker believes putting members through prolonged leadership turmoil would do irreparable damage to the institution.” The aide added: “He is proud of what this majority has accomplished, and his Speakership, but for the good of the Republican Conference and the institution, he will resign the Speakership and his seat in Congress, effective October 30.”
Just so y’all understand, there will be some jostling in the House GOP conference as potential candidates for Speaker lobby fellow Members for support. And also, back home in Ohio, there will have to be a special election to replace the 13-term Representative from the Cincinnati area. And the vote for a new Speaker will have to take place before the full House of Representatives. As to when the House vote will occur, I’m quite sure it will happen no later than December 2016 in order to allow a new Speaker to be ready to assume the helm with the beginning of the second session of this Congress. I don’t know the State of Ohio process, but would estimate they will have a special election to replace Congressman Boehner no later than April 2016.
The purpose of this missive is not to review the speakership of John Boehner. Rather I would like to analyze what is needed going forward. America will be in the final year of the “fundamental transformation” of President Barack Obama and someone must be willing to enter the arena and make the case that this direction has failed.
The next Speaker of the House of Representatives must restore that body to be the premier legislative body the Founding Fathers intended it to be. We’ve sat back and watched the Supreme Court legislate. We’re watching the Executive branch legislate by executive order fiat.
It is time for someone to establish regular order, not just in the House of Representatives, but in Washington DC. The House must once again exert its constitutionally-enumerated powers and authority — especially the power of the purse. The next Speaker of the House must be a brilliant constitutional strategist and tactician and make the progressive socialists defend their failed ideology and shine a bright light on the damage they’ve done to America over these past seven years. It is time the GOP learn to play chess and stop playing checkers. The incessant outmaneuvering of the House must end, and that should be job number one for a new Speaker.
A new Speaker of the House of Representatives must be a principled, resolute leader who will truly be the “voice of the American Republic” and a person who will restore the rule of law and the sovereignty of the individual. We need someone who can delineate between the polices that promote the opportunity society as opposed to the dependency society.
This person must regain the moral high ground of the “pursuit of happiness” instead of a government guarantee of happiness.
A new Speaker of the House of Representatives must come in with a clearly understood battle plan – a policy agenda — that can be articulated to the everyday American citizen, and that policy direction can be easily contrasted against the failed ideology and policies of the Obama administration and what it has produced — 93 million Americans out of the workforce, rampant debt, high deficits regardless of record tax revenue, a misguided assault on our oil, natural gas, and coal industries, the decimation of our armed forces, the rise of militant Islamic jihadism, the lack of trust in governance, the disregard of our Constitution, more Americans in poverty and on food stamps, a breakdown of law and order on our streets, and a worsening of race relations amid a well orchestrated atmosphere of divisiveness.
The new Speaker of the House cannot be invisible but must be as known to the American people and clearly seen as the defender of the Republic and its honor.
This new speaker must be fearless and willing to take on the political elite cabal of Washington DC along with the liberal progressive media elites. There is only one interest this new Speaker must have, and that is the American interest, the interest of our children and grandchildren.
The new Speaker must be a dominant person whose words, deeds, and actions will not just be known here in America — but also by the enemies of our nation. Our allies must be able to see in this new Speaker a conviction of purpose that will elicit their confidence. And our men and women in uniform need to know that this Speaker is a fighter for liberty.
I’ve already seen a list of the names who will throw their hats into the ring. The American people gave the GOP historic majorities in the House and Senate, they expect more. And please, do not give me the “compromise” drivel because there was not a “smidgen” of such when Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi ruled the roost and did not seek any “compromise” with the GOP those first two years of the Obama administration. As a matter of fact, consider that the supposed agenda accomplishments of President Obama — Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, and the Iranian nuclear deal — all came about without bipartisanship.
So when the new Speaker of the House is asked if he or she will work with President Obama, the response should be — “I am here to work for the American people to restore a vision of economic growth, opportunity, and promise. I look forward to President Obama working with me and the people’s House to once again ensure it is morning in America.”
The next Speaker of the House of Representatives need not be a politician but rather a defender of American principles, a servant leader.