- - Saturday, September 26, 2015

On March 1, 2011, I became the first Tea Party leader to call for John Boehner to step down. On Friday, September 25, 2015, he announced he was resigning from Congress.

As John Boehner leaves the Congress and the leadership, there is an urge to pile on. There shouldn’t be. While Mr. Boehner was not an effective leader, he did do a number of good things. Without his support, the Benghazi and IRS investigations by Congress would not have seen the light of day. Without his support, we might well not know much about Hillary’s email server. Mr. Boehner did see some good legislation passed, such as the Equal Treatment for all Gifts Act, which would rein in some IRS abuses.

But at the end of the day, Mr. Boehner was still a mostly ineffective House Speaker. As Republicans consider a new leader, they need to first address why Mr. Boehner was so ineffective.

The answer is simple.

Mr. Boehner had no agenda.

There was no compelling reason for Mr. Boehner to be Speaker other than he was the next guy in line. In 2006 and 2008, the GOP was slaughtered at the polls. Mr. Boehner did not bring victory in 2010. The Tea Party did.

Mr. Boehner’s tenure should be contrasted with that of Newt Gingrich. Mr.  Gingrich believed he could help create a Republican majority in Congress when many House Republicans of the day were satisfied by simply being allowed to have a Republican softball team.

Mr. Gingrich did more than just believe. He had an agenda. He gave Americans a reason to support the Republican Party. His agenda was a decidedly conservative agenda and America prospered because that agenda brought Bill Clinton to the table and forced Clinton to abandon his liberal agenda.

Mr. Boehner’s agenda was don’t rock the boat, and let government run. That isn’t the agenda of real Americans. Since 2011, real Americans have been itching for a fight with the left. Real Americans have wanted the GOP to take on President Obama on Obamacare, uncontrolled spending and the debt.

Republicans in Congress are now jockeying for position. One of them will be the next speaker. It could be House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. It could be someone else.

Who ever it is, they need to announce an Agenda for America.

The Contract with America listed eight policies that the Republicans promised they would introduce in Congress the first day of their majority and they would vote on. Not all of these provisions became law but they influenced the way Congress operated for several years.

Any Republican who wants to be the new Speaker should release a specific agenda of legislation that they will introduce within 30 days of becoming Speaker. The Agenda can have any number of items but it should include a repeal of Obamacare, defunding of Planned Parenthood, a reduction in the size of the welfare state and an increase in defense spending.

Will Barack Obama veto these items?

He might. No one will know until those items are sent to his desk for signature.

But real Americans want these things. These are all items that are popular with America. These are items worth fighting for. If Obama vetoes them, so be it. But make the fight.

The next Speaker should remember the words of the great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. “First you win the argument, then you win the votes.”

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