Electing Blunt would have been suicidal. Electing Shadegg would have instantly energized the base, and gotten the party respect. In short, the Republican leadership knows that going too far to ignore its believers will lead to a disaster this November... but they want to try to limit the scope of that to as much "business as usual" as humanly possible.
The Diet Coke of reform. One calorie -- not reformist enough!
Boehner's said some decent things; perhaps he'll be more of a reformist than the above take suggests. For the sake of the Republicans, he'd better be. And Boehner rhymes with "explainer."
While the first choice of many of us in the blogosphere, Representative Shadegg, did not win the election, his impact on the race cannot be denied. His candidacy reminded his fellow Representatives that real reform, and real change in the leadership, was not simply the right thing to do, but utterly necessary to ensure the success of the GOP in November.
It is my sincere hope that Representative Boehner takes this message to heart, and takes up the banner of real reform with enthusiasm and commitment. And his past statements give reason for optimism. In our blogger conference call, and in his interview with Hugh Hewitt, Rep. Boehner reiterated his strong commitment against earmarks, and expressed support for the idea of posting legislation online for 72 hours prior to any vote. Limited government fans will be pleased with his direct and positive answer when asked if he'd support rules requiring legislation to contain statements identifying the authority within the Constitution that grants the Congress to legislate in that area ("That'd be fine with me."), and his even more direct answer to concerns about McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform ("We ought to blow the whole bill up.").
It is a critical time for the House GOP, and Boehner's leadership will be essential in bringing the party out from the cloud of corruption scandals.
Indeed. More thoughts here: "So to Rep. Boehner, congratulations and good luck. We'll be watching and writing. We hope you'll do as you've said and seize the opportunity you've been presented to root out the endemic corruption (and change the structure which supports it) and return the House, and the party, to ethical and fiscal conservatism."