FORKEN | Missing John Boehner

Despite objections from the far-right who refer to him as moderate or even liberal, John Boehner — the retiring Speaker of the House — is a conservative. In 2010, Boehner’s last year in Congress before ascending to a Speakership post that rarely votes on legislation, Boehner received a 100 percent conservative rating from both the American Conservative Union as well as the conservative Club for Growth; he boasts a 94 and 83 percent lifetime score from each respective organization. In an ironic twist, 2010 also happens to be the year that the ultra-conservative Tea Party caucus emerged in Congress and five years later this group leveraged their influence consolidated in the House Freedom Caucus to contribute to Boehner’s resignation. For the purpose of this article, the term ‘conservative’ will be used in reference to the ideology of Boehner and his allies, while ‘anti-establishment’ will denote the ultra-right wing of the Republican Party. Republicanism in the American political system traditionally represents an ideology favoring smaller, more localized government with less spending.