Two of Iowa’s three Republican U.S. representatives voted against the existing power structure on Capitol Hill as personified in John Boehner. 25 total Republicans voted against House Speaker Boehner, a Republican, which the Washington Post called “largest revolt against a House speaker in more than 150 years.” Unfortunately, Boehner was still re-elected to his speakership.
Freshman Representative Rod Blum of Iowa’s 1st District explained his vote thusly on his Facebook Page: “I was elected by Iowans to stand up to the status quo in Washington, DC, and I refuse to turn my back on them with my first vote. While I know Speaker Boehner is a good man and I respect the job he has done as Speaker, I must follow the will of the Eastern Iowans who rejected politics as usual in November and are calling for change in DC. With Congressional approval ratings at historic lows, it’s time for our elected officials to listen to the people and rethink business as usual so we can move our country forward together.”
Representative Steve King (IA-4) said of Boehner in a recent Breitbart column: “I know the pattern of his strategy and actions for the past 12 years to the point where I can predict the results. I am convinced Congress will not be allowed to restore its Constitutional authority under his Speakership and by refusing to do so, cannot call upon the courts to do so. How then, can I take an oath to the Constitution and put up a vote for John Boehner, almost in the same breath?
“We need a Speaker who will help us all keep our oath, including his own, to the Constitution, not one who has consistently blocked our efforts to keep ours. I will vote for an alternative candidate for Speaker. I can’t vote for John Boehner again.”
Blum and King’s opposition to Speaker Boehner seems to put them in good company with a good many of rank and file of their own party if not with ruling elite. A recent poll by Caddell Associates showed that “a stupefying 60% of Republicans who voted in the November elections either definitely or probably want someone other than Ohio Congressman John Boehner to be the Speaker of the House.” Two-thirds agreed with the statement that “John Boehner has been ineffective in opposing Obama.” When Republican voters were asked, “Is John Boehner for average Americans in his heart, rather than for special interests?” Only 44% said yes, and 43% said no.
“The GOP leadership, the lawyers, the lobbyists, the consultant class of the Republican party, and all the big donors don’t understand that these people are angry,” said pollster Pat Caddell of polling data. “They are saying that John Boehner doesn’t care about them, and all he cares about is the special interests. I’ve never seen anything like this in the base of a party.”
While I don’t have a lot of faith in Steve King, I’m hopeful that Rod Blum will continue to stand up to the corrupt two-party oligarchy in Washington D.C.