Were the G.O.P. Votes Against Boehner a Historic Rejection?
The holiday season hasn’t been kind to House Speaker John A. Boehner. He was sharply criticized by fellow Republicans for failing to pass legislation providing aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Earlier, he was sidelined in the negotiations to resolve the so-called fiscal cliff. And before that, he failed to garner enough support from his own caucus for “Plan B,” Mr. Boehner’s own bill to avert the fiscal crisis.
The new year has not started out entirely smoothly for Mr. Boehner, either. He was re-elected as speaker of the House on Thursday, but much of the media’s coverage of the vote focused on the number of Republicans who chose not to vote for Mr. Boehner. The headline at Slate read: “Boehner Wins New Term as Speaker, in Maximally Humiliating Fashion.”
But Mr. Boehner received 220 votes out of 232 Republicans in the House, not counting Mr. Boehner himself. (The prospective speaker traditionally does not vote, or votes “present,” although former Speaker Nancy Pelosi voted for herself in the 110th and 111th Congress). Mr. Boehner received the votes of 95 percent of his caucus. Is that really that humiliating?