Instapundit calls it a bizarre Republican death wish.
Bob Novak says it's not really all that bizarre given that the Republicans are stupid.
Whatever the reason, reelecting Boehner and Blunt would be a straight-up Dis.As.Ter. Emphasis on the middle syllable.
Rep. Mike Pence, the current chairman of the RSC and a leader of reform, is an underdog candidate opposing Boehner. Rep. John Shadegg, Pence's predecessor at the RSC who finished third in the race for leader last February, is running uphill against Blunt for whip on a reform platform. The conventional wisdom on the Hill is that, at best, only one of them can win because the Republicans would not dare elect two conservatives to the two top House leadership positions.
In fact, the voting records of Boehner and Blunt are nearly identical to Pence's and Shadegg's. The difference between them was demonstrated last Thursday when Blunt went to the Heritage Foundation to campaign for his retention as whip. He delivered a defense of earmarking, echoing the House appropriators' claim that the elimination of earmarks would do "nothing but shift funding decisions from one side of Pennsylvania Ave. to the other."
Don't do it to me, boys. Don't give me more of the same after last Tuesday. You've got to be kidding me. Pence and Shadegg. Do not be afraid of the conservatives. Embrace them. Look where squishy got you.
I think as minority whip you have to be, to some degree, an attack dog. You have to be willing to be very aggressive and be right in the face of the opposition. And, quite frankly, I think you have to be more philosophical. I think we need a philosophically oriented whip who can mount the arguments to take on the Democrats when, for example, they propose, as you just suggested, allowing tax rates to go back up.
Somebody has to get out there right in their face and say: Look, the tax rate reductions that we have enacted have helped every single level of the American populace. The claim, for example, that just the rich have benefited is false. Then you need to be able to get in their face and say, in point of fact—whether this is good or bad, it is true—the tax burden of the wealthiest, the proportion of taxes they have paid, has gone up and the tax burden of those least well off in our society has gone down under the Bush tax cuts.
And, you know how I feel about Pence.
But, if you need more evidence than just the Photoshop, here's his vision statement. Good stuff.
Let go of the death wish, guys.