Boehner Draws Challenger for the Speakership

At first it seemed like more of the same malcontent criticism of an establishment Speaker who had ‘betrayed the party’, but then calls for House Republicans to defeat John Boehner took a more serious tone last week.

With the clock ticking toward the beginning of the first congressional session in which the GOP is fully in charge, conservative members are calling for Boehner’s head. And now they have another candidate behind whom they might unite.

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) announced over the weekend that he would seek the third most powerful post in Washington, reports The Hill: “I’m putting my name out there today to be another candidate for Speaker. This is not a personal attack against Mr. Boehner, however, the people desire and deserve a choice. In November, they resoundingly rejected the status quo.”

For years the animus between Gohmert and Boehner spilled out into the mainstream and quickly removed any doubt over whether the animosity between the two congressman was real. Insiders say Boehner’s public humility and ostracism of Gohmert has been hard to miss.

In the last week the conservative corridors of the Internet have been awash with calls for more conservative members of the House to band together to toss Boehner out. And speculation holds that only 60 conservatives are needed to vote together in order to seal the deal.

Nevertheless, if history is any guide, Boehner will keep his post. An ouster at this level is almost unheard of. Newly-elected Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA), opined, “We voted in our conference in November, and … it was near unanimous. I think there was one weak voice that didn’t say, that may have said ‘nay.’ There hasn’t been a campaign or any phone calls that anyone has received, so I expect that will move forward very smoothly.”