Tag Archives: speaker of the House

Go, Louie, go for the speaker's job!

This might be the best news yet of the new year — which, I know, is just four days old.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-TEA Party Fringe, has just announced he’s going to challenge John Boehner as speaker of the House of Representatives.

How does it get any better than that?

Gohmert, you see, is in the running as well for being the goofiest member of Congress. He’s got some competition for that honor. The previous frontrunner was fellow Texan Steve Stockman, who had the bad form to challenge Sen. John Cornyn in the GOP primary this past spring; he lost badly. He’s now out of the House. Right up there, too, is Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, who said illegal immigrants are packing illegal drug across the border while running on “calves the size of cantaloupes.”

Gohmert hails from East Texas and he’s challenging fellow Republican Donald Trump for the unofficial title of “birther in chief.” He and The Donald just do not believe that President Obama was born in the United States of America, in Hawaii, and that — by golly — he’s constitutionally qualified to serve in the office to which he was elected twice.

Now he’s running for speaker. He told his pal Tucker Carlson on Fox News that someone needs to challenge Boehner. Gohmert says he’s gotten “a lot” of support to mount that challenge.

I’d love to ask him how he defines the measure of so-called support. Maybe it is a lot. It surely must be vocal because that’s how the TEA party wing of the GOP operates. It outshouts the other side within the Republican Party and then it outshouts the Democrats.

Hey, the truth is he’s just firing a shot across Boehner’s bow. He’s telling the speaker to watch his right flank. The TEA party will be watching, waiting and looking for any opportunity to undermine the speaker’s instincts to work with the other side.

I’m still glad to see Rep. Gohmert step up — even if it does embarrass some Texas residents back home who really would prefer that he shut his trap.

Boehner showing some spine … finally

I’ll admit that Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner’s sudden display of steel is quite becoming.

It’s nice to have so many of your House colleagues on board with a plan so that you can say what you really think — at least I hope it’s what he really thinks — of the ultra-conservative interest groups that have taken your Republican caucus hostage for the past three years.


The House approved this week by a 332-94 margin a budget deal brokered by a committee chaired by tea party darling Rep. Paul Ryan and his Democratic Senate colleague Patty Murray. A few hardliners held out against the deal, which heads off a government shutdown, strikes down much of the mandated budget cuts created by sequestration and cuts the deficit a little bit over the next decade.

One guy who I feared might vote “no,” my own congressman Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, actually voted in favor of the deal. His West Texas colleague, Randy Neugebauer, R-Lubbock, stuck with his do-nothing approach to government and cast a negative vote. I am not surprised Neugebauer wouldn’t sign on; after all, he was the guy who scolded a National Park Service employee for doing her job — at Congress’s orders — when she refused to let tourists into the World War II Memorial in D.C. during the government shutdown in October.

Boehner now has taken the gloves off, more or less, in calling out folks like the Club for Growth and Heritage Action, who oppose any deal that results from compromising with Democrats. He says they’ve “lost credibility.”

I’m kind of hoping that Boehner, who I believe at heart is a decent guy with good-government instincts, finally is realizing that as the Man of the House he has the power to get things done and that he doesn’t need to buckle under to the pressure brought by factions within his party.

As the Washington Post notes, he has clawed his way back on top “for now.”