Acknowledging that the Speaker of the House does not have to be a sitting member of the House, New York Times Conservative columunist, Ross Douthat penned an op-ed Saturday calling for the appointment of Senator, Mike Lee as John Boehner’s predecessor. H/t Patrick Howley, Breitbart.
Douthat is one of the few Conservatives at the NYT. Okay and I am suspicious of the NYT like anyone else reading this post but Douthat makes some good points and in spite of the fact that Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid and John McCain would do anything to get Lee out of the Senate, Lee is a good man and Constitutionalist.
IN an earlier, cozier Washington, D.C., John Boehner could have been the kind of House speaker whose memory is held dear by high-minded chin strokers on Sunday morning television programs: An icon of sadly bygone bipartisanship, a cutter of the grandest bargains, a man who, by God, made legislation move.
In this Washington, D.C., alas for him, Boehner was a humble bomb defuser, and the only grand bargains he cut were between his more intransigent backbenchers and the demands of political and constitutional reality. And now D.C. looks at his record, his resignation and his possible successors and asks: Can anyone do better?
Probably not anyone with Boehner’s precise profile. Probably not Kevin McCarthy, another genial dealcutter distrusted on the right, who would have recapitulated Boehner’s struggles had his candidacy not been doomed by gaffes and whiffs of scandal….
Douthat goes on to mention Paul Ryan –
The suspicions that the right always had about Boehner, and would have had about McCarthy — that they care more about the deal than about the outcome, more about the party’s donors than any defined small-government principle — does not attach to Ryan in the same way…
Ryan is not really of the Tea Party. In the Bush era he voted for bills like No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, and TARP, all of which today’s conservative insurgents despise….
Then there’s immigration, a fail for Ryan. See Breitbart’s “Paul Ryan Cooks Up Elaborate Ruse To Save Immigration Components Of Obamatrade”
Enter the senator from Utah, Senator Mike Lee…
A more ideal speaker would share Ryan’s conservative credentials and wonkish spirit, but he wouldn’t have that baggage. The ideal speaker, in fact, would probably have led Tea Party-driven brinksmanship at some point in the Obama-era past, the better to channel it more productively in the future….
Lee has an insurgent’s résumé: He was elected with the Tea Party wave in 2010, defeating an incumbent Republican, Bob Bennett, along the way. He was Ted Cruz’s partner in crime during the government shutdown debates. His scorecard with Heritage Action, often the scourge of G.O.P. leaders, currently stands at 100 percent. And unlike almost every member of the House and Senate leadership, he’s a genuine foe of comprehensive immigration reform.
At the same time, like Ryan (and unlike Cruz), Lee been a real policy entrepreneur. He authored a pro-family tax plan that breaks with some (if perhaps not enough) of the G.O.P. donor class’s orthodoxies. He has offered serious proposals on transportation, higher education and religious liberty. And just this week he was part of a bipartisan breakthrough on criminal justice reform, one of the rare issues where the late Obama years still offer hope for compromise….
There you have it. Wish I would have thought of Lee first. #DraftMikeLee
By the way, NYT – Maureen Dowd was yesterday.