Washington, January 6, 2014 – This morning provided the answers to questions about who will be leading the House of Representatives into its 114th session. The vote went as many pundits believed it would with John Boehner (R-OH) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both keeping their leadership roles.
Over the last few days, several Republican members of Congress expressed an interest in taking Boehner’s job. The most well known of those names was Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) who said that after “years of broken promises, it’s time for a change.”
The list of broken promises was headlined by the recent passage of the infamous “Cromnibus” spending bill which was pushed through both chambers of Congress and signed by the President days before the Christmas recess. There were many issues with this bill most notably the fact that Boehner’s office failed to consult with Republican House members and instead forced the bill through after only discussing it with Democratic leadership.
Boehner’s critics, which ended up only consisting of 25 “No” votes, were also unhappy with his lack of enthusiasm about Republican principles. Prominent conservative voices such as Sean Hannity and Mark Levin both joined the chorus of those calling for fresh leadership.
Much was made of the several Boehner detractors on the GOP side who represented a conservative base that was unhappy with many of the Speaker’s perceived caves over the last several years. However, the media was relatively quiet about the re-election of Democrat Nancy Pelosi as House Minority Leader.
The Hill reported that only four Democrats voted against Pelosi despite the overwhelming midterm election results that saw the majority of Americans pushing back against her party’s leadership. House Republicans expanded their already significant majority to levels not seen since Harry Truman was President.
Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) also kept his leadership position in the Senate although he went from majority leader to minority leader as a result of the sweeping Republican midterm victory. Both he and Pelosi were somehow able to keep their spots despite the obvious need for a fresh voice.
This inability to adapt to the lessons learned by the recent midterm election is not unique to Democrats in Congress. It has also permeated the Oval Office in several instances. President Obama has doubled down on several unpopular positions since the November election such as his threat to veto the Keystone Pipeline. He also ignored the wishes of the majority of Americans when he followed through on his threat to grant legal status to millions of illegal immigrants via executive action.
Rather than shift their political ambitions toward the middle in response to the recent Republican land slide, Democratic leadership has chosen to stay the course. It’s a brazen political gamble no matter how you slice it. It accomplishes the goal of creating the image that the Democrats have their party in line as opposed to the Republicans who can’t agree on a leader but it also alienates the millions of voters who spoke out against the policies of the current administration.