By Lynn R. Mitchell
Virginia freshman Congressman Dave Brat (R-7th CD) authored a column in Monday’s Breitbart News that said he has no intentions of voting for John Boehner for Speaker of the House: “While I like Speaker Boehner personally, he will not have my support for Speaker.”
However, Mr. Brat already voted for John Boehner because the vote for Speaker took place in November and it was unanimous (see No, there’s no race for Speaker of the House by Brian Schoeneman at Bearing Drift):
The elections for the House Republican Leadership were held on November 13 in the Conference and there were no surprises. The Conference meeting included all of the new members, who were in town for orientation and these meetings. The new members chose their Freshman Class representative, Congresswoman-elect Mimi Walters (R-CA), as well.
Here’s the press conference they held after the leadership elections.
Keep in mind what I already wrote: nobody ran against Boehner.
So Mr. Brat was for Mr. Boehner before he was against him.
That sounds like something we’ve accused Democrats of in the past.
Mr. Brat has been in the House a month and he is already playing political games like those noted by Schoeneman:
So why are these folks, who know better, claiming they’re running for Speaker and they’re going to vote against Boehner?
Simple – they want press coverage. They’re getting it. They want their names in the news, and they want disaffected conservatives and libertarians to flock to them and give them money. It is the most base of political moves – taking a stand on a show vote where the outcome has been predetermined and trying to claim to be some kind of principled fighter for conservatism, liberty or what have you. It’s sad, really. And what’s even more sad about it is that so many people – especially Republican activists – are taking what’s happening at face value and thinking that these guys are doing good.
They aren’t. They’re pandering at best. In reality, they’re simply cowards who couldn’t put together an alternate candidacy to the Speaker when the real election was held, and they have nothing to lose. Gohmert is the most senior of these guys, but he’s destined to follow in the foot steps of another Texas Republican who never rose above chairing a subcommittee in the House. The other guys are freshmen and sophomores with no seniority, who don’t expect to last in the House long enough to get any.
Don’t give these guys any credit or your donations. They don’t deserve them. If they truly believed what they were saying – that John Boehner doesn’t deserve to be Speaker – they had every opportunity to mount a real campaign for Speaker in November and they chose not to. What is happening now is pure political theater – the kind that so many Republican activists have told me time and again they are tired of.
If we really don’t want this kind of political theater, we need to stop rewarding it.
Update: Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-9th) offered more about the November 13th Speaker vote and those who are now stepping forward to “challenge” John Boehner (see Morgan Griffith offers background on Nov. 13th Speaker vote).