Tea Party Leader Wants To Target John Boehner

Barely two months into office, Speaker John Boeher is already raising the ire of some Tea Party leaders:

A national tea party group is in revolt against House Speaker John Boehner and wants to see him defeated in a 2012 primary, arguing that he looks “like a fool” in the debate over spending cuts and makes less sense than actor Charlie Sheen.

“You look like a fool,” Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips wrote in a post on the group’s website, directing his message at the Ohio Republican. “Charlie Sheen is now making more sense than John Boehner.”

Boehner “did not get the message” from the tea party movement demanding big cuts to federal spending, Phillips said, and “the honeymoon is over.” The movement should respond, he said, by finding “a candidate to run against John Boehner in 2012 and should set as a goal, to defeat in a primary, the sitting Speaker of the House of Representatives.”

Phillips said Boehner has backpedaled on his promise to cut $100 billion from the 2011 budget with a continuing resolution spending bill passed in the House last month that included $61 billion in cuts, and is declaring victory before the House and Senate have agreed on a bill that funds the government for the rest of the year and not just the next two weeks. And the messages coming from the speaker have been confusing and contradictory, Phillips said.

“John Boehner is saying when the Senate comes back and they start negotiating with ‘Dingy’ Harry Reid, who does not want to make any cuts, the $61 billion figure is not safe,” Phillips wrote. “Then, Boehner had the gall to have a ‘mission accomplished’ moment when he declared they had fulfilled their commitment by passing a budget in the House that cut only $61 billion. Not making it law or making it happen, but only by passing the budget in the House.”

If nothing else, this demonstrates the political naivite of some Tea Party members. Do they not realize that passing legislation in the House is the only thing that John Boehner can do? Once it passes the House, it heads to the Senate, where Boehner has no control and little influence, and from there it would head to the White House where the President could veto any bill presented to him and start the whole process all over again

Perhaps, Mr. Phillips needs to sit down and watch this

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Boss Hog says:

    Is it wrong to interpret the desires of people who want “leaders” that accept all or nothing to be people that are looking for a dictatorship?

  2. Vast Variety says:

    He would never sit down and watch Schoolhouse Rock because it was created in part by taxpayer money given to the Public Broadcasting Service, which they want to defund.

    That cartoon brings back some great memories.

  3. Falze says:

    Wow, nice analysis. Totally wrong, of course. The very remarks you cite indicate that the writer is worrying that during the negotiations of a final bill the House-passed cuts would not survive. And, unless the Senate passes the House bill straight up (which they won’t), a compromise bill will have to be negotiated (or at least that’s what usually happens) – which is exactly what the writer is talking about and YOU completely missed in your haste to bash the writer. Your ‘analysis’ is completely wrong and your snark is better aimed at yourself. Passing the bill in the House is NOT all that Boehner is responsible for, at least not in cases like this where the bill is opposed in the other chamber, there are also the negotiations on a final bill with the Senate, again, exactly what the writer explicitly referred to. You’re the one that maybe needs a little civics refresher if you think the House passes a bill, then it just goes off to the Senate to do with as they will, and from there the President without any negotiations on compromise bills if the Senate does not pass it as written. Fail. Maybe this Phillips guy should be writing the analysis instead of you, he seems to understand our form of government far better than you.

  4. James in LA says:

    Falze, they do not want Boehner to negotiate. That’s the issue. See: Wisconsin. The Tea Party will brook no compromise, and then Game Over. They will do what they used to do at election time: stay home. They do not have the actual numbers to do anything real, and the Speaker knows it.

    In the meantime, the GOP has put forward no serious policies, and has accumulated zero legislative accomplishments other than more tax breaks for those who do not need them. Obama’s landslide proceeds apace.

  5. Falze says:

    James, I don’t entirely disagree with your comment (just mostly). However, I fail to see what your comment has to do with mine, that is, why you directed it towards me. My comment addressed the utter fail that is the ‘analysis’ provided above. Yours has nothing to do with that.

  6. Kylopod says:

    Just last November, I wrote:

    “Considering the amount of progressives who blame Obama for not passing a Krugman stimulus and single-payer practically by fiat, the idea that tea-partiers, who have a far looser grip on reality, won’t want Boehner’s head on a stick in a year or two, is hard for me to imagine.”

    I guess I was wrong. They want his head on a stick just two friggin’ months after he takes office. As usual, the TPs are a group that should not be underestimated.

  7. James in LA says:

    Falze, sorry you “fail to see,” can’t help you much with that. Because the Tea Party wants “action” and not “negotiation” your winding tale of committees and process and all the lovely stuff that used to make up our democratic institutions amounts to diddly-squat as far as the Tea Party is concerned. They understand the process just fine. They want nothing to do with it, and don’t want the Speaker negotiating on their behalf.

    All because he will not agree to 100% of their demands. Cue the implosion at a time the GOP can ill-afford it: heading into a presidential election cycle.

  8. wr says:

    “Dingy Harry.”

    Memo to the Tea Party: If you want to be taken seriously by anyone except your own people, try to avoid parrotting Rush Limbaugh’s slurs in your jeremaiads.

  9. Falze says:

    Again I am forced to ask what any of that has to do with my comment above regarding the original ‘analysis’. So far you haven’t even mentioned the gist of what I was actually talking about and yet you keep referring your comments to me. Psst! I’m neither the author of the post nor Mr. Phillips. I guess it’s my fault for not pointing that out earlier. Or, wait, are you going for that thing they did in “Clue” where they pretend to be talking to one person but they’re really addressing their comment elsewhere? I bet that’s it.

  10. sam says:

    Like I said, the House Republican caucus is gonna end up looking like Marat/Sade on the Potomac. I see the role of Marat has been filled.

  11. anjin-san says:

    The GOP victory in the midterms is turning out to be an enormous gift to Obama. These cats are already starting to self-destruct.

  12. matt b says:

    Actually, I think blaming the Tea Party isn’t the problem. Kylopod nails it. This fundamentally isn’t the Tea Party’s fault for being unrealistic.

    Hosea 8:7 – For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind

    The Republicans, and in particular the Young Guns, co-opted the Tea Party and were willing to promise things that could not be *politically* delivered.

    And, I’d go farther and say that the Republicans promised a LOT more than Obama did. And they also did very little to reign in expectations. And given the amount of energy spent promising ideological purity (remember that “new” contract everyone signed).

    Basically any deviation from promise is, especially for many in the Tea Party, a sign of betrayal and moral failing.*

    All that said, it’s not a failing on the part of the Tea Party. And they shouldn’t be treated like children or stupid or naivee (at least in this respect). It’s those who promised and couldn’t deliver that are at fault.

    * – BTW this is why Sarah Palin – short of a total reinvention – cannot ever be a serious candidate. Her image (and base) is based on a very specific sort of internal moral purity that cannot allow for any contradictions. In other words she cannot compromise in any substantive way and maintain her base. And that sort of reinvention would be way too costly to her – especially given that there’s no guarantee it will work. And (though this may cause some heads to explode), I think she’s way to street smart to risk her current fortunes – again, this is a big part of finding a logic behind why she left office (and it wasn’t simply just cashing in).

  13. D says:

    Long over due Justice of Roosting Chickens. Now America reflections on the Consequences of GOP/Conservative Imperial Arrogance and Criminality.

  14. SILVER says:

    Both parties are LIERS and THEIFS.

  15. Ted Rysz says:

    Please John,
    Cant you put us back into the years before the 1600s when education was a dirty word. It will be so wonderful. We can take advantage of all those un educated itdiots and make them work for so much little money. HA HA we will get richer and richer. This is so Cool John, imagine, a little donation and we are on our way. Keep it going Mister golfer, golf us into a new erra, a place where the rich have a lot of fun, kicking the poor.. YOU ARE AWSOME john. NOT