Juan Williams: House Freedom Caucus should leave GOP and form their own party


Juan Williams writes at Fox News:

The quickest path to a return to health for the party is a political divorce.

The Tea Party activists need to make it official and petition to form their own political party. Heritage Action, the Senate Conservative Fund and right-wing talk radio can lead the Tea Party faithful to the exit.

That will liberate Tea Party politicians from the mainstream GOP’s willingness to make political deals with Democrats. And it will allow far right conservatives to form their own agenda and elevate their own leaders. Instead of undercutting mainstream Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz can claim the mantle of the leader of the new party.

The Tea-Party-affiliated House Freedom Caucus, which has featured prominently in the recent turmoil over selecting a replacement for Speaker Boehner, currently has 42 members. The smaller but heavily overlapping House Liberty Caucus, lead by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), currently has 36 members. A loss of 30 Representatives would leave the Republican Conference without the 218 needed for a majority in the House.

Thanks to Ballot Access News for the link.

8 thoughts on “Juan Williams: House Freedom Caucus should leave GOP and form their own party

  1. Andy Craig Post author

    @Paulie, I’m not sure if you meant in the next general elections or the Speaker’s race, but if you mean the latter that’s a common bit of misinformation that the Boehner folks tried to scare people with last time. Under the House rules, the Speaker can’t be elected on a mere plurality. Representatives can (in theory) vote for whoever they want, and there’s no progressive elimination, so they just keep balloting until somebody finally has 50%+1 of the votes cast. That’s why historically there would sometimes be deadlocks with dozens of votes over a couple of months. The only way the Dems win that with their current numbers, is if the defecting Republicans actually vote for Pelosi (or whoever they put up), and that’s never going to happen.

  2. Andy Craig Post author

    “They are welcome to join the Constitution Party.”

    No incumbent hoping to be re-elected, not even in a very conservative Republican district, would ever sign on to the C.P.’s platform. There simply doesn’t exist the House district where such extreme far-far-right views are a majority.

    If they did follow Juan’s suggestion, they’d write up their own carefully-worded platform from scratch and form a new party. Not that I think that’s a very likely scenario either, but if they were to do it they wouldn’t want any of the baggage of an existing third party. Out of the whole lot, there are maybe 2 or 3 who could plausibly fit in the L.P., and maybe about the same number that could pass themselves off as a relatively-moderate C.P. member (being very generous on both counts), but the whole block of three dozen? Enough to deny a GOP majority? They’d never sign on to a platform that includes as many socially-liberal positions as the L.P. (pro-immigration, pro-choice, pro-legalization, etc.), nor the ultra-theocratic Christians-only language of the C.P. (stuff like banning porn and homosexuality and imposing ‘Biblical law’ on the United States).

    Which kind of highlights part of the problem with this idea of them forming their own party- this isn’t a group of Republicans with any major ideological or policy disagreements with the rest of the GOP. They’re just the group that is more worried about losing a GOP primary than a general election.

  3. Andy Craig Post author


    Depends. They’re almost all from deep-red districts, so the chances of them losing to a Democrat is pretty slim, even in a three-way race. If they didn’t put up their own presidential nominee, that would make that election moot.

    The real question would be, how many of them could hold off against much better-funded Republican challengers, running with that label. I’d guess less than half, and that after a couple of elections they’d be all but wiped out in the House– which is another reason they won’t do it. As for them running candidates against still-GOP incumbents, I guess that would depend on what strategy they pursued and to what degree they remained in coalition with the GOP. They could maybe play spoiler against the GOP in some seats, tossing a few to the Dems, but the post-2010 redistricting is so heavily gerrymandered against the Dems that even then it would be very difficult for them to retake the majority.

  4. Robert Capozzi

    The question is: What does a separate party get them over being a boisterous faction?

    Something completely unacceptable would have to happen in the national GOP for the notion of being an actual party make any sense for them. Say, for instance, if the national GOP became pro choice, which ain’t gonna happen any time soon.

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