The Trouble For Conservatives
Jim Bridenstine may get a primary challenge. You may not know who he is, but Jim Bridenstine is a brand new member of Congress, a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves, a fighter pilot from the Iraq and Afghan Wars, and a strong fiscal conservative. He should be a hero to any and all Republicans. He’s a genuine bad ass. And on Day 1, he decided not to vote for John Boehner for Speaker. Bridenstine is happy to play on the team, but unhappy to go along to get alone when we are looking at $16 trillion in debt.His office is silent, but friends of his in Congress say the House Republican Leaders already have him on a list of incumbents they may just want to do away with. But he is exactly the type of guy we need in Congress.This presents a problem for House conservatives. There are more and more signs that the GOP Establishment intends 2014 as an election season to seek revenge on conservatives. Conservatives are going to have to hang together or they will absolutely hang separately.Jonathan Strong at Roll Call has what I’d consider the definitive take on the Boehner coup attempt. It shows just how vulnerable Boehner was. There are a few details Jonathan, Matthew Boyle, and the others who’ve reported on this have missed, but needless to say there was some overnight and on the floor gamesmanship and a key block of votes got scared in the overnight hours before the vote.Enough of them, however, have now been outed that they, like Bridenstine, could be marked men. The only solution for them is going to have to be to come out of the shadows and make their voices heard from the back bench. If they will not have the support of the leadership, they must support each other. They know now that conservatives will absolutely stick with them if they stick with conservatives. They have a position of incumbency that will help them. But they must not just disappear into the back benches now. Remember, it took two years to really orchestrate the removal of Newt Gingrich. The conservatives must keep pushing.And yes Main Street Republicans or whatever you liberal Republicans call yourselves these days — back in the 90’s the GOP was largely held hostage by the left of the party on spending issues, social issues, etc. Now you know what that feels like.