Despite having three official challengers and a huge groundswell of grassroots opposition, as well as polling released Monday which shows that 3 out of 4 republicans wanted Boehner replaced, Boehner managed to garner 216 of 408 total votes cast. Nancy Pelosi took 164, with 29 voting for others, and 1 voting “present’.
Boehner received almost unanimous support from the GOP House delegation from SC. Of the 6, Only Jeff Duncan voted against Boehner by casting his vote for Trey Gowdy. Gowdy released a statement saying that his flight to DC was canceled causing him to miss the vote, but that he had planned to vote for Boehner.
Gowdy actually gave the seconding speech for Boehner’s nomination in November. Once considered one of the most popular figures among conservatives, Gowdy has angered many of his most ardent supporters as of late with his support of Boehner, as well as casting the deciding vote for the notorious Boehner/Obama “Cromnibus” bill forced through Congress a few weeks ago which included full funding for Obamacare, as well as Obama’s executive amnesty for millions of illegal aliens.
Going into today’s vote, conservatives were hoping to garner around 29-30 votes in order to deny Boehner a majority and force a second ballot. But due to many absences and non-votes, the vote total was lower than expected, therefore allowing Boehner to gain a majority of the vote with a lower number of votes.
Boehner’s reelection comes as a huge disappointment, though not a surprise for conservatives. Rep Louie Gohmert, who opposed Boehner for the speakership has warned that Boehner’s reelection will mean a continuation of the same failed leadership and proactive compromise with Obama, and the enabling of Obama’s policies. Gohmert, as well as countless conservatives across the nation warn that this may be what finally pushes conservatives to defect in large numbers from the GOP and create a third party. The polling cited above shows that one third of republicans say that they are ready to walk away from the GOP.
Social media has blown up with angry posts from conservative activists who are promising to bring electoral consequences to those who they say now “own Boehner’s failed leadership” because of their support for him.
Unfortunately Boehner’s reelection and the failure of “tea party” conservatives like Gowdy, Mulvaney, and Sanford to make even the slightest effort to oppose him, will only further the alienation which conservatives feel toward the GOP.
By: Javan Browder