A Southern Take On Those Leadership Purges

There’s been quite a bit of buzz about John Boehner “purging” 3 conservatives from their committee assignments last week.  Many party activists are concerned that Speaker Boehner was eliminating those with a certain ideology.  Georgia Congressman Lynn Westmoreland has offered a different version of reality of why the steering committee composed of 30 Republicans which actually makes these assignments removed the three:

“I couldn’t help but kind of speak up for the steering committee and the leadership,” he told CQ Roll Call in a phone interview after the meeting.

“What I tried to explain to them was, it didn’t have anything to do with your voting record, a scorecard, your work across the street or anything else. It had to do with your ability to work within the system and to try to work. And to be, I guess, constructive in things. And I said, ‘I guess you could say it was an asshole factor,’” Westmoreland said. “Now I wasn’t calling any member in particular an asshole, I was just trying to describe an environment where some people that you’re trying to work with, they just don’t want to work within the system.”

Westmoreland later expressed regret for using that language, saying, “Maybe I should have used ‘obstinate factor’.”

Westmoreland went on to point out that if conservative voting records were the litmus test, he wouldn’t be on his committees either.

The moral to the story here is, it’s OK to be a Conservative in John Boehner’s House.  It’s just not OK to be an a-hole about it.


  1. seenbetrdayz says:

    So dissent is now equated with being an arsehole?

    Reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw during the Bush administration:

    It’s not ‘censorship’. It’s called “freedom silence.”

    • Charlie says:

      No, being an a-hole is now equated with being an a-hole.

      Look at Westmoreland’s own voting record. Better yet, look at Tom Graves. They’re still on their committees. They haven’t exactly been go along get along types.

      There are a lot of folks within the caucus that have had private and public disagreements with leadership over the past two years. Those that seem to have them as vehicles of self-promotion are the ones that aren’t in the front row this week.

      • seenbetrdayz says:

        Okay charlie,

        Republicans in the House are gonna cave on taxes. They’ll increase taxes with no spending cuts—ignoring the problem of spending, or kicking it down the road again. No one is gonna want to speak up against the leadership because they don’t want to be seen as an ‘a-hole’. Electorally, the GOP is going to lose support among people who are waiting for your party to grow a damn backbone. Yeah, they might not switch parties and vote democrat, but they will likely stay home. And it will CONTINUE costing the GOP elections.

        I’m backing off on this one. But I want you to pay very CLOSE attention to what happens to the GOP after this. We’ll do things the way leadership wants, but if when it backfires, for all our sakes can we please stop doing this over and over again? The GOP had better pull it’s head out of its ‘obstinate factor’ and start standing up to the leaders that give it a bad name, or else we will continue to be governed by the party that says what it means and does what it says (I refer to the Democrats, unabashedly pro-big-government and, while they’re not people I’d typically vote for, at least they’re not LYING about what they stand for—a problem the GOP can’t seem to shake).

        • 2 Down 1 To Go says:

          Agreed. Especially on the final point about desire for big government. Democrats want it to control the elections, therefore government and finally the money. Republicans want it to control the businesses and therefore the money. It’s a race and the people have been left and the starting line.

      • bobspolitics says:

        Exactly. Tom Graves has a more conservative voting record than 2 out of the 3 that were removed by many rating groups. However he is still on Appropriations.

        • Bob Loblaw says:

          That’s because Tom’s not an a-hole. He’s stubborn, stands firm, is tough to move off a position, but he’s a gentlemen. Smart analysis, Bob.

  2. xdog says:

    “waiting for your party to grow a damn backbone.”

    And you prefer they hold their breath until the country turns blue? Sorry for you ideological absolutists but political nihilism is going out of fashion, at least among the grownups.

        • 2 Down 1 To Go says:

          When it’s done for personal gain or to hurt someone else. Please don’t reply that you have any knowledge on whether either one of those is true in these situations. Understanding these individuals motivations and reasoning enough to make that determination is not within your (or my) realm or reality.

        • seenbetrdayz says:

          I must have missed the part where Amash, Huelskamp, Walter Jones, and Schweikert removed Boehner from his position.

          This looks pretty damn bad for the GOP leadership. If the goal was to put the grassroots GOP in it’s place, we’re about to see the law of unintended consequences once again rear its head in politics.

          • seenbetrdayz says:

            Do what you gotta do. But please, I beg you, pay attention and realize that these actions will have electoral consequences.

  3. saltycracker says:

    The Republican win is a curb on spending and/or linking spending to a % of GDP.
    This is still a big (R) win with an increase in the marginal rate for top earners.

    Do they get it ?
    Maybe the purge is a sign they might, but that could be dreaming.

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