Speaker of the House John Boehner announced his resignation on Friday (pending Oct. 30th) and a high-ranking GOP leader called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to follow suit over the weekend.
“Mitch is a good and honorable guy, but the base is leaving our party,” Louisiana GOP chairman Roger Villere told The Washington Times.
Villere, who is the second-longest tenured state chairman in the party, holds some sway. He issued a Tweet calling for McConnell’s resignation on Friday and linking to a story about McConnell planning to help pass a budget with funding for Planned Parenthood built in.
“I’ve worked for 12 years as chairman to build this party, and I just don’t want to see it all go down the drain because the [leaders] aren’t willing to fight for what we believe… Our base is demanding we do something or they’re going to leave us. The GOP brand is being damaged… everybody is so furious at the leadership,” Villere said.
— Nativist Czar (@RBeus) September 28, 2015
There’s that statement we keep hearing lately: “The GOP brand is being damaged.”
It’s been used in connection with Trump’s rise in the polls. His harsh criticism of the GOP’s performance openly exposed the rift between the base and the delusional party apparatchiks.
Boehner took a swipe at grassroots Conservatives on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. While some called the grassroots “crazy” and “extremists”, Boehner opted for the term “false prophets”. It’s slightly less insulting, but the meaning is the same.
“You know, the Bible says beware of false prophets,” Boehner said. “And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole idea that you are going to shutdown government to get rid of ObamaCare in 2013, This plan never had a chance.”
Boehner also eluded to lobbying groups obviously referencing activist groups such as the Tea Party Patriots or Freedom Works. “We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know — they know! — are never going to happen,” Boehner said.
This defeatist attitude is exactly why Boehner is gone and McConnell faces pressure. The Democrats and the Left simply don’t speak this way. The GOP base witnesses the relentless pursuit of policy by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelsoi and Harry Reid; they see the dirty tricks, treachery and slight of hand the Democrats orchestrate in order to get their way and they wonder: ‘Why doesn’t the GOP go to such lengths for its base?’
Instead, Boehner and McConnell attack and insult the grassroots base while conniving against and punishing anyone who dares to challenge them. When you see your own party attacking the policies they campaigned on, insulting the voters who supported them while cozying up to Pelosi and Obama, the GOP base is left feeling totally abandoned.
— Jerry Cruzin (@MoberlyG) September 28, 2015
When the GOP base feels betrayed and doesn’t see leadership capable of dealing with the Democrats, they look at Trump and see a master negotiator, someone who can help change the party’s overall tactics.
While the base is angry and the GOP did much of the damage to itself, Trump installed a fear and urgency into the GOP that probably wouldn’t be there if Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio or even Ben Carson were leading primary polls.
What ultimately led to Boehner’s downfall was exacting revenge on conservatives who dared to disagree with leadership http://t.co/SyGywwF4I1
— FreedomWorks (@FreedomWorks) September 28, 2015
Of course, real change has to take place. It’s not enough for Boehner to be replaced with a clone in California Representative Kevin McCarthy. The base isn’t going to stand for more chameleon-like moves where the GOP says one thing to get elected and does another afterward.
If the GOP tries the chameleon tactic one more time, it’s pretty much curtains for the party. We’ll see if they truly get it this time.