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Speaker Boehner’s Resignation Highlights Problems with Coddling Nativist Wing

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Lesson Is: Either Stand Up to Bullies, Or Get Run Over 

With news of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s (R-OH) resignation from Congress, many are left to speculate on what this means for future leadership in the House as well as the Republican Party writ large.

A new Ron Brownstein piece in the National Journal does a terrific job capturing the broader political quandary facing the GOP.  In a piece entitled, “Adapt or Resist? How the GOP should respond to a rapidly changing country has become the central issue in the volatile Republican presidential race,” Brownstein explains how Republican modernizers “urging adaptation” have wavered in the face of hard right extremists, and in effect, given rise to “Trumpism,” as seen on the campaign trail today.

According to Lynn Tramonte, Deputy Director of America’s Voice:

“Speaker Boehner’s resignation is a classic example of what happens when a leader fails to lead.  Boehner may have ‘wanted’ to be a modernizing force for the Party, but he was unwilling to stand up to the bullies in his midst like Steve King.  You can’t turn the tide while simultaneously allowing yourself to be swept away by it.  If Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, or John Kasich want to win the presidential election, they’d better learn the right lesson from this: stand up and lead.” 

Ron Brownstein’s piece is available online at the National Journal here.   

Boehner’s departure now is particularly striking, since he refused to bring immigration reform to a vote in 2013 and 2014 in order to avoid an outcome exactly like this.  Tramonte continued: “Despite having the votes to pass landmark immigration reform legislation on a bipartisan basis, Boehner cowered to the nativist wing of the GOP and refused to bring a bipartisan bill for a vote.  What if Speaker Boehner had chosen to lead instead?  He could’ve achieved a major step forward for the country, families, and yes the future of his Party as part of a remarkable and enduring legacy.  Instead he’s left with this: nothing.”