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May 29th, 2017

Insight

Chaffetz for Speaker

Dick Morris

By Dick Morris

Published Oct. 7, 2015

It's time the Republican leadership of the House stops eating its young. Ever since the coup of 2010, when almost 70 new Republicans powered their way up to Congress, the established House leadership, elevated to power by the triumph of the party's youngsters, has disregarded, disrespected and disappointed them.

Now it is time to put one of the brightest, most energetic and most aggressive of the newer crop of Republican congressmen into power and elect Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) as Speaker.

He understands how his peers rose to power in 2010 and again in 2014. He will pursue policies designed to keep them there. He will cater to the voters who get the House majority elected, rather than the pro-Democratic, liberal media that now largely determines House leadership policies. Under Chaffetz, the editorial rooms of The Washington Post and The New York Times will no longer set the limits for the Republican House.

Recently, the House has been an example of the old axiom that the young are sent to fight wars to empower the old. But as they defend their swing seats and hold back a nationally surging Democratic Party, these young congressmen are continually knifed in the back by those they helped to put in leadership positions.

Under outgoing Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the House Republicans are well rehearsed as they dance the intricate choreography of surrender. First come the bold speeches of defiance against the president's outrageous power grabs. Then come the one-house bills that pass easily, along partisan lines, in the lower chamber. Then come the threats to keep the debt limit at present levels or to defund government agencies. And, finally, comes the part where the leadership folds its tent and goes home. They have let President Obama refuse to negotiate and allowed him to rule by fiat.

Would that the Senate leadership, too, could change hands and the self-imposed weakness of the 60-vote requirement be set aside. If the Democrats could pass the most controversial piece of legislation in 20 years with a 51-vote majority, why cannot the Republicans disregard cloture as well?

As chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, Chaffetz has been at the forefront of the battle to get the administration to come clean on a host of issues, ranging from IRS audits to Benghazi to Libyan and Syrian weapons sales to Operation Fast and Furious. A worthy successor to former Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), he has been right up there with Sens. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and others in confronting the administration and forcing its retreat.

The editorial boards count on Boehner and McCarthy to keep the radicals in line. They recognize that they daily stand in the lions' den and count on them to prove the Republican Party is responsible enough to govern — not even compromise, just total submission. These two are like wardens sent to control the inmates by a liberal establishment that doesn't understand how the voters ever chose them in the first place.

We don't need another sellout or another administrator as Speaker. We need a warrior. And we have one in Jason Chaffetz. If he brings one-half of the dedication and desire for combat to the job that California Rep. Nancy Pelosi has brought to the Democrats, it will be twice as much as Boehner ever did.

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Dick Morris, who served as adviser to former Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and former President Clinton, is the author of 16 books, including his latest, Screwed and Here Come the Black Helicopters.

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