Boehner leaves a hole to be filled

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Daniel Maibenco, Columnist

 

On Sept. 25, 2015, Speaker John Boehner announced he will resign from his position as Speaker and also from his Congressional seat. He will leave office effective Oct. 30.

With that announcement, many thought the Republican Party in the House could simply pick a new leader and strengthen their base. Apparently, that is too hard and too much to ask for.

Republicans need to pick a new speaker or they risk confirming their ineffectiveness.

It is almost the end of October and as of now, there is no clear candidate for the office. The heir apparent, House majority leader Kevin McCarthy, abruptly dropped out of the race at the very last second.

Now there is no clear choice and the leadership of the house is in utter chaos. The senior leaders are struggling to find someone to step up and take the lead.

This is a PR nightmare of the greatest degree. If no one from the Republican Party seems willing to step up and lead, then what kind of a message does that send? Nothing good.

Before Boehner resigned, things were already not going well in the House. Yes, Republicans have the House majority, but this majority has been split up into several fragmented caucuses. The biggest ones are the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party.

These two groups want a leader who is either ultra conservative or beyond libertarian. If someone tries to be moderate, or even tries to side with the Democrats on a few issues, they are vilified and seen as traitors.

This is a problem When Nancy Pelosi was Speaker of The House from 2007-2011, the Democrats were mostly unified behind her. Not everyone agreed with the issues, but for better or worse, they mostly stuck together and had little political infighting.

In the wake of John Boehner’s resignation, what implications could this have? Can anyone in the Republican Party lead the House, or is the infighting too great for any one Speaker to bear? I thought John Boehner did a good job, but I know and understand why he quit.

He was simply tired of getting scrutinized for not controlling his party. It a pretty hard job to have when people don’t want to compromise.

As for the election, it’ll likely get interesting. Some choices include Paul Ryan, Trey Gowdy, Paul Chaffetz and Nancy Pelosi. Representatives Ryan and Gowdy have said thus far they do not want the job as Speaker.

If they are chosen, will they serve? If Pelosi is re-elected, it will be an embarrassment for the GOP.  They will have the majority, but will have basically forfeited the most important position in the House.

Another interesting fact for the upcoming special election is that the Speaker of the House of Representatives does not have to already be a Representative in order to get elected.

So, who could be a wild card here? Perhaps things will go irrational and someone like Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Mitt Romney, Kanye West or LeBron James may be called to serve. I know that all sounds ridiculous but the reality is, without a clear candidate choice the GOP looks irrational and stubborn.

I would like to see the GOP pick someone decent and move on. In the wake of the upcoming Presidential debates and election, the party needs to stand united, not divided. This is an issue that should not be an issue.

The bottom line is that if a leader is elected to power, then their substituents and peers must show support. This applies to Democrats also. If people of the same party can’t get along and work together, then why bother? It sends a powerful message to the public and it can’t be taken back: politics are now too fragmented to be effective and reliable for the American public.