When word came yesterday that John Boehner defeated Roy Blunt to become Majority Leader, most conservative bloggers were quick to jump on the Boehner bandwagon.
As usual, I see things a little differently. Frankly, I’m under-whelmed.
Aside from moving the party decidedly to the right, a Shadegg victory would have sent a dramatic message to the country — and given Republicans a much-needed image change. Though Americans are traditionally conservative regarding change, it is a general rule that a predecessor will do better if he is strong where you are weak.
Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter were really a response to Nixon. Then, Ronald Reagan was the antithesis to Carter’s weakness. And in the House, Dennis Hastert was the laid-back answer to an aggressive Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Of course, while the American people can demand some stark changes at the ballot box, the selection of a Majority Leader is, by definition, done by those who are out-of-touch with the common man.
Instead of seizing the day, Republicans have opted for a milquetoast compromise.
What is more, while there is no way of knowing whether the Abramoff imbroglio will lead to more scandal, Republicans have missed a golden opportunity to inoculate themselves from the attacks.
But not only does this move seem wrong to me, as a Republican, I think Boehner may look back at this as a pyrrhic victory. Let’s hope I’m wrong.