Speaker Boehner should “take revenge” on those who voted against him

Written on January 8, 2015

There is a Politico article from Tuesday where some of the 25 Republicans who voted against Boehner for Speaker are being retaliated against. Two leaders of attempted coups were removed from the Rules Committee and the article recalls a story where a Kansas Republican was removed from the Agriculture Committee for his misbehavior.

Here are some key quotes:

“I am already hearing from my colleagues, and myself, about retaliation against those who voted their conscience, their constituents, their principles, to change the status quo,” Huelskamp said. “My colleagues fully expect that. That’s what they expect out of this leadership team.”


Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King, who voted against Boehner, said, “If you cannot vote your conscience … then it’s clearly a dysfunctional system here.”

The fact of the matter, at least according to people like Cox and McCubbins and John Aldrich is that party discipline is crucial to maintaining any advantage tied to holding majority power in the House of Representatives. To have the leader of your party undermined in such a way, the argument goes, hurts all Republicans by making the party look disorganized and, in turn, harms the party “brand” during elections. Congressional party leaders have the responsibility to put down “issues of conscience” when it has the possibility to hurt fellow party members. Speaker Boehner is the leader of 246 Republicans in Congress. It is his primary responsibility, as a party leader, to do right by all of them and punishing those 25 who sought to undermine the rest of the party was the right thing to do by the entire Republican caucus.