John Boehner Misses a Great Opportunity

Yesterday House Minority Leader John Boehner missed a couple of great opportunities.

In the hotly contested primary in MD-1, Mr Boehner endorsed the candidacy of the incumbent, Wayne Gilchrest.

Why Mr. Boehner felt it necessary to weigh in on the primary in a safe Republican district borders on the inexplicable. This is not the case of a Arlen Specter v. Pat Toomey where the incumbent was viewed as the only way to retain a seat. MD-1, absent an Act of God, is going to have a Republican representative.

We documented repeatedly on these pages Wayne Gilchrest’s dubious claim to being a member of the Republican caucus. He is the only Republican to have voted to override all five of President Bush’s vetoes. He has resolutely pursued defeat in Iraq even to the extent of supporting the odious John Murtha’s attempts to defund the war while leaving the troops in combat. He votes for every bit of pork that comes down the pike. What is notable about his support of pork is that none of it arrives on the Eastern Shore, though Mr. Gilchrest seems to have a pattern of showing up in even numbered years and promising to build this wharf or dredge that channel, promises which never seem to materialize.

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Mr. Boehner, himself, is well acquainted with the inconstancy and pliable loyalty of Mr. Gilchrest. In the race for House Minority Leader Mr Gilchrest promised his support to Mr. Boehner then jumped ship to support Representative Roy Blunt.

The best choice for Mr. Boehner would have cost him nothing. If he couldn’t do that then the next best would have been to endorse one of the two conservative challengers in the race and try to create a more cohesive Republican caucus.

Why he couldn’t restrain himself or act to strengthen the party is a mystery.

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