Monday, January 7, 2013

The Boehner Coup... Stories Are Circulating.

Boehner survives... for now.
Some journalists are doing their best to get an inside look at last week's attempt to reorganize the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. Roll Call magazine's Jonathan Strong presents his best  effort to provide a "blow-by-blow" account of the initiative.
We may never get a full and balanced accounting of what happened over the past few weeks. I seriously doubt any single member of congress will even know of all the forces at work. But we are getting some indication of the character of our elected leaders.

Steve Largent (R-OK)

This experience brings back many memories of the attempted Republican coup of 1997. I stepped into the plot, myself; but had no idea what I was observing. I took my family on an east coast road trip in June of 1997. We arranged a meeting with Steve Largent and as I entered his Canon Building office, I noticed several well-dressed men getting seated in his back conference room.
Steve almost immediately stepped out of another side office room and greeted me near the front door. He then said he arranged for one of Tom Coburn's Summer interns to take us on a thorough guided tour of the entire capitol. Steve then said he had to get to a meeting, and began moving toward the back conference room. I wanted to talk with Steve a bit more about some Supreme Court decisions that were just reported that morning, but he said he hadn't had a chance to review them yet.
Two weeks later the coup was blown up and Dick Armey(R-TX) became a huge disappointment. Armey wanted to take over as Speaker, but when Tom Coburn(R-OK) refused to support him, Armey snitched to Newt and lied about his own role in the attempt.  Many of that 1997 group agreed with Coburn, that Bill Paxton(R-NY), the conference chairman, was the preferred pick.
At his election night watch party in November, 1998; I privately urged Largent to bring new leadership to the House. The very next morning Steve said he was either going to get Bob Livingston (R-LA) to run for Speaker, or run, himself.
The Lame Duck 98 time frame was about as bizarre as any of us could imagine. The House had just voted to impeach Clinton for perjury and other crimes. 
What we all didn't know is that Clinton seemed to be successfully blackmailing Newt. Larry Flint published evidence of Newt's current affair with another woman (Carissa). Newt then resigned congress, altogether.
Bob Livingston (R-LA)
Bob Livingston did run for Speaker (for about a week) and would have been successful, but He also was outed for having an extramarital affair. He also resigned congress.  Largent then announced his bid for speaker, and so did Dennis Hastert. Largent met with Hastert privately, then switched his campaign back to the #2 spot in the House Leadership.
  This led to an all-out battle between Armey and Largent. The Christian Coalition decided to actively spend significant resources to get Armey re-elected as Leader.
I personally called the Washington office of the Christian Coalition and had a very passionate debate with them over their tactics. They claim to never endorse candidates in primaries or general elections. But they claim full moral freedom to endorse and pay for specific candidates in the House & Senate Caucus elections.
I left the phone conversation by warning the CC that they no longer have an Oklahoma organization. I had no personal knowledge of whether this was in fact true; but since then the Christian Coalition has done almost nothing in Oklahoma - and Oklahoma is now the "reddest state" in the nation.

This most recent coup aftermath will play out much like the one 15 years ago. Everyone will have his own version; and they will all likely pass a theoretical lie-detector test.
Jim Bridenstine, Freshman (R-OK)
 But there will also be weasels revealed who will lecture those brave commandos. Currently, MarkWayne Mullin(R-OK) seems to be acting that way. He told Cox Radio's Jamie Dupree that he voted for Boehner "because only 2 candidates were nominated and any vote for anyone else, wouldn't be counted at all". He essentially called Bridenstine & others ignorant of the parliamentary process.

 My personal confidence in Bridenstine(facebook) is confirmed and bolstered from last week's events. I think I'll have to watch Mullins with careful scrutiny. In fairness, I don't know what Mullin's full comments were. Dupree may have taken one small sound bite out of context.
Which leads me to urge that all elected officials manage their own blogs. So that we voters can easily research the full sentiments of our leaders, without the media spin. Mullin does have an active campaign website in which he could comment further on issues like this. Bookmark it, if you wish to.

No comments :

Post a Comment