Thousands of so-called “snow birds” flee to Florida every year. Great weather. No state taxes. Plenty of golf courses. How can you beat it? Northerners – as my wife calls us – are wont to acquire land in Florida, if we can, and retire there. Several in my family have made the trek. Wish I could join them, especially after shoveling snow for several hours a day this week.
As excited as I get about friends and family buying a second home in Florida and moving there to retire, nothing sets my hopes soaring more than the news of the latest Northerner to buy land in the Sunshine State: Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner.
Yes, you read that correctly. John Andrew Boehner, serving in Congress from Ohio since 1991, is buying a tony condo in Florida. You know Ohio, right? They spend most of the winter shoveling as well. Not something you need to worry about if you are living in Florida.
The Boehner press flacks are playing down the purchase, indicating that the Speaker is only now buying the pied-à-terre that he and his family frequently rent during their vacations. Perhaps. But there might be more going on here than our suntanned Speaker getting better tee times at his home golf course down south. Let’s hope so!
For the past several years, Boehner’s weak leadership of the Republican House caucus has put him under fire. Conservatives, tired of winning elections to control Congressional chambers, only to have establishment moderates such as Boehner take command and control away from them, have been simmering as the House leadership almost daily proves the political adage that the Republicans are the “stupid party”. The other part of the saying is that the Democrats are the “evil party,” but that discussion is for another column.
Boehner and his leadership team have a simple problem: they care too much what the main stream media think of them. It is a disease that afflicts virtually all Republicans who rise to power. The sagacious conservative media expert M. Stanton Evans formulated a simple rule to describe this phenomenon: when one of our people attains power, they cease to be one of our people.
So, why do Congressmen who run for office as conservatives stop being conservative once they become “important” in Washington? Because the establishment media in our nation’s capital still has too much to say about our political affairs.
One of the more dishonest and partisan newspapers to parade as a disinterested political observer, the Washington Post is often the arbiter of what’s acceptable in America’s capital city. Since the Post regularly denounces anything conservative or Republican, one would think that Republicans would ignore them. But, no, once Republicans ascend to lead their party – especially the Congressional wing – they truckle to the Post in the hope of being considered what can only be described as an honorary liberal.
Newt Gingrich was despised by the Post, but was happy to pounce on the conservatives in his caucus when they embarrassed him in his dealings with official Washington. Former Republican Minority Leader Bob Michael did the same. John Boehner has the same affliction. He is quick to smack down conservatives in the Republican caucus should they seem too right wing. What’s too right wing in Boehnerland? When a conservative insists on tying the debt limit to forcing the federal government back into its constitutional boundaries. That’s too right wing. Don’t conservatives realize that the Washington Post long ago decided that liberals won that issue, and that any further discussion is divisive and extreme?
How about Obamacare? Don’t conservatives realize that the Republican House should just go along and fund this monstrosity geared to dismantling our economy and our freedoms? That too has been decided. The conservatives just don’t seem to understand, do they?
Well, John Boehner sure understands. That’s why he feels not only empowered, but almost superior in forcing the unruly conservatives in his caucus to get in line like sheep and walk without bleating to slaughter.
What the Republicans need is a new Speaker. They need bold leaders who don’t care what the Washington Post thinks of them. They need to disdain the Washington establishment and their society.
That’s why the condo on Marco Island in one of the richest parts of Florida excites me. Mr. Speaker, it’s time to retire. You now have your retirement pad. All you need is to pack.
With you in Florida, and a conservative Speaker of the House, it’s possible for Republicans to finally shed the image of the stupid party. The longer you wait to escape to the Sunshine State, the longer it will take to turn this nation around. The problem is that we’re running out of time.
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