For nearly 24 hours spanning two days, Senator Ted Cruz railed against Obamacare from the floor of the United States Senate. He rightly pointed out the negative effects that the Affordable Care Act will have on healthcare, the economy and the freedom of every citizen. While Cruz said all the right things and had the right tenor and tone – time will only tell whether he will be able to translate his stated principles and oratory prowess into real results through effective leadership. History shows that this is often easier said than done.
Consider this quote; “And we can celebrate when we have a government that has earned back the trust of the people it serves…when we have a government that honors our Constitution and stands up for the values that made America, America: economic freedom, individual liberty and personal responsibility.
or this quote; ” The American people are screaming at the top of their lungs to Washington ‘Stop! Stop the spending, stop the job killing policies.’ And yet, Democrats in Washington refuse to listen to the American People”
These quotes would have fit nicely in Cruz’s full-throated attack on Obamacare and spirited defense of small government, conservative principles. However, these quotes are not from Senator Cruz but rather Speaker John Boehner. Yes, the same John Boehner who championed and supported the TARP Plan, the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, the Auto Bailout and No Child Left Behind. While Boehner clearly knows the words to the popular conservative tunes, he has proven to have little true allegiance to these principles or an absolute absence of the courage needed to truly defend and advance these principles. It seems, when Boehner is willing to take a stand and to wield his political influence, that it is more often to expand the role of government, to spend more of our money, to restrict individual liberties and to advance the influence of the well-heeled elite. This inconsistency of words and deeds has weakened Boehner as Speaker and left him very unpopular with the grassroots in his own district.
Responding to these frustrations, at least two grassroots conservatives will be challenging Boehner for the Republican primary in the spring. J.D Winteregg and Eric Gurr have decided that it is time for Boehner to go. If one person were to challenge Boehner it would be a Herculean task to defeat him, if both challengers are in the race at the time of the primary it will be an impossible task. If one of these gentlemen are able to gain some traction they could pull off an upset by driving frustrated independent voters to the GOP Primary and energizing the conservative base of the GOP. Boehner has a distinct advantage in that he still retains the influences of personality and finances over the GOP establishment in Southwest Ohio, that combined with the establishments obligation to defend the incumbent makes any challenge to Boehner extremely difficult to say the least. The test will eventually come for these challengers, when surrounded by cheerleaders will they be committed enough to ousting Boehner to have the wisdom to see that the other challenger is best suited to win this battle and gracefully drop out and offer their support to the other.
House Speakers being challenged in primaries and courageous Senators railing against the timidity of the GOP Establishment from the Senate floor is the short-term future of the GOP. It is a future they have created themselves. Since 1988, more often than not, the GOP Establishment has chosen moderation and nuance and rejected courage and clarity – it has not served them well. The GOP has chosen to defend incumbents rather than to defend principles and ideals. America is a nation facing a political leadership crisis. Politics has always attracted self-interested scoundrels but now these scoundrels have seized the reins of power across the entire spectrum of the federal government. To leave such power in their hands will do irreparable harm and it must be stopped. It can be stopped but that will require leadership and that seat has been vacant within the GOP for too long and desperately needs to be filled.