By Joseph R. Carducci, February 12, 2014.
After seeing what happened in the House yesterday, all conservatives need to wonder about what is actually going on with the GOP in the House. Ultimately, everything truly comes down to leadership. This should also make us start to think about what 2015 will be like, especially if the GOP is fortunate enough to once again have a House-Senate majority.
The leadership team in the Senate looks pretty solid. Mitch McConnell, John Cornyn, and John Thune are smart, experienced, principled leaders with excellent strategic thinking abilities. They will certainly be able to work with whoever ends up running the House.
Of course, therein lies the big problem. The House seems to be rudderless and it does not look hopeful that there is anyone capable of really running it effectively. Lord knows that Boehner has tried and generally done OK, but not really accomplished much. So, if nothing changes, it is almost guaranteed to remain about as dysfunctional in 2015 as it seems to be right now.
Boehner should give up the ghost and step down as speaker. The sooner he announces this, the better. It will give the next speaker time to plan out an agenda for the coming session(s). Boehner, Cantor, and House GOP Whip Kevin McCarthy may be pretty well liked, but they are still pretty terrible leaders in terms of getting what they want accomplished.
The House could hold joint oversight hearings with the Senate. They might even be able to hold their own, although they seem to not be able to figure out to actually use these to move public opinion. Will they be able to come up with some type of joint agenda that can see themselves and the Senate working together?
Both houses, especially the House, need to be able to come together and plan out their agenda. The time to do this is now, rather than later. Will they decide to pursue some sort of grand compromise that could work out to long term entitlement and tax reform? Or might the idea of incremental reforms in various areas be a better approach? At the extreme end of things, they might even decide upon a strategy of complete confrontation, although I would hope they are smarter than that. This idea would play right into the hands of Hillary. Perhaps she could even engineer another government shutdown.
Let’s urge our Republican Senators and Congressmen to get behind the idea of actually forming and articulating an agenda for the next 15 months or so. Let’s not continue to just stagger from one item to the next like a blind drunk with no clue of where anything is. We need a plan and a strategy…and the sooner this developed, the more successful a GOP majority will be. Perhaps we might even be able to hold it for a few more years this time around.
What do YOU think? Do the House and Senate need to work together to form a plan and an agenda for the coming months? Will the GOP retake their majority in the Senate? Can the House finally find some leaders who can actually shape the agenda and get things accomplished?