Our friends at National Review played Hamlet in an editorial this morning, pondering whether to be or not to be for the proven conservative candidates—Mike Pence of Indiana and John Shadegg of Arizona—who are running for the top two posts available to House Republicans, minority leader and minority whip.
National Review argues that current Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and current Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri “deserve a hearing” in their bids to continue leading the GOP in the next Congress.
HUMAN EVENTS says: We’ve heard enough already.
If House Republicans maintain Boehner and Blunt as their leaders, they will be saying to grassroots conservatives: Get lost.
They will be saying: We didn’t get the message that you want us to return to the limited government vision of Ronald Reagan.
Boehner and Blunt are practitioners of big government. Pence and Shadegg are two conservatives who have had the courage to fight the congressional leadership of their own party and a president of their own party, when those leaders and that president worked to increase the size and power of the federal government.
Because Boehner and Blunt have worked with Bush to increase government over the past six years, there is every reason to believe they will work with Bush again—as Bush works with Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi—to increase government over the next two years.
Boehner and Blunt both voted for President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act. Boehner even sponsored the bill, working with liberal Democratic Sen. Teddy Kennedy of Massachusetts, to make sure it became law. Since Bush signed this bill, federal education spending has more than doubled. In a press conference last week, Bush indicated he wants to work with the Democrats in Congress to re-authorize No Child Left Behind. Can Boehner and Blunt be counted on to fight Bush and Pelosi when they collaborate in trying to make this program even bigger?
No, they can’t.
Boehner and Blunt also both voted for President Bush’s Medicare prescription drug entitlement—expanding the federal welfare state with the first new entitlement program since President Lyndon Johnson left office. This was a monumental betrayal of conservative principles.
Pence and Shadegg voted against No Child Left Behind, and led a heroic fight on the House floor to stop the Medicare prescription drug entitlement.
Had Boehner and Blunt fought alongside Pence and Shadegg to stop the Medicare prescription drug entitlement, it never would have become law. Instead, they sided with President Bush and the welfare-state Republicans.
They failed to lead then. They should not be given leadership positions now.
HUMAN EVENTS strongly supports Mike Pence for minority leader and John Shadegg for minority whip and urges conservatives to call members of Congress and urge them to do the same.
The Capitol switchboard is: (202) 224-3121.