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Anatomy of a Failed Coup


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anatomy-failed-coup-joel-gehrkeNational Review:

Boehner’s opponents waited till the last minute to marshal an attack on his leadership.

Joel Gehrke

January 6, 2015 8:00 PM


Around 10 a.m. this morning, Representative John Fleming (R., Md.) received a phone call from a colleague asking him to vote against Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) on the House floor today.


Fleming has a longstanding alliance with Representative Steve King (R., Iowa), Representative Jim Bridenstine (R., Okla.), and other ringleaders of the unsuccessful effort to oust Boehner from the speaker’s chair, which makes it surprising that this was the first time anyone had contacted him about the issue.


“To ask me to vote against the speaker on the last day like this, without having an alternative to vote for, without really having a chance to vet that person and debate this and discuss this, I said, was just a really bad idea,” Fleming told National Review Online, explaining why he voted to confirm Boehner as House speaker. “If we’re going to change leadership, we need to do it in a very systematic and organized way.”




Given the risks involved and the difficulty in finding a candidate, it’s perhaps more surprising that the rebels convinced 24 Republicans to vote against Boehner than it is that they came up short. One Republican congressman said that the results today actually understate the conference’s interest in new leadership.


“People — especially activists — hate Boehner,” the lawmaker, who voted for Boehner in order to guarantee that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) wouldn’t get a chance to become speaker, told NRO. “It’s the most unpopular vote most of us will ever take.”

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