The GOP just re-elected their pet chihuahua to go up against a pit bull. And they wonder why they keep getting eaten alive.
The House and Senate ushered in a new Congress on Thursday, re-electing embattled Republican John Boehner speaker and hailing one of its own senators who returned a year after being felled by a stroke.
The 113th Congress convened at noon, the constitutionally mandated time, with pomp, pageantry and politics, on both sides of the Capitol.
Boehner, bruised after weeks with his fractious caucus and negotiations with the White House on the fiscal cliff, won a second, two-year term as leader with 220 votes. Despite grumbling in the GOP ranks, just 10 Republicans voted for someone other than Boehner.
According to Human Events, there were some serious intimidation tactics going on to assure his re-election:
Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.) told Human Events after the vote that “arm twisting” on Boehner’s behalf was “very intense” with threats that Republicans would lose plum committee assignments or campaign donations from the National Republican Congressional Committee if they opposed the speaker’s reelection.
Huelskamp is one of four Republican lawmakers who lost key committee assignments recently for reportedly voting against issues that were important to Boehner.
“The intimidation and pressure was intense, there are a lot of people that wanted to vote no and today, the last call, the last twisting of arms, convinced them not to do that,” Huelskamp said.
“And certainly my vote was one of no confidence. I want conservative leadership, and that has not been provided by the speaker,” Huelskamp said.
Asked specifically who was intimidated to cast their votes for Boehner, Huelskamp declined to name names.
Huelskamp did add that one freshman lawmaker was called prior to the vote and told their committee seat was “probably gone if you vote your conscience.”
Ben Shapiro calls it Boehner’s “second chance“:
This is John Boehner’s opportunity to stand up for what he always should have stood up for: cuts without tax increases, a thriving economy without blow-off-the-doors debt. He remained the Speaker because Republicans decided to entrust him with that mission. There is no room to budge. There is no room for compromise. The time for that passed after Republicans compromised, and President Obama promptly spat in their faces – and in the faces of generations yet to be born.
Unfortunately, Boehner’s track record has made it clear that he doesn’t truly understand the stakes, and is more willing to stand firm against the Tea Party than Obama’s agenda.
Even so, I went ahead and tweeted @SpeakerBoehner: For the love of God and country, GROW A SPINE!
My kids are being sold into debt slavery, and YOUR party is supposed to put a stop to it! Do it, dammit!
Let’s hope he’s listening!