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Thank you, God!!

Thank you JESUS!!!

John Boehner has just been elected House majority leader!!

Man, I am headed to the bar exactly one nanosecond after I've finished typing this!

I had almost resigned myself to a Blunt victory after the first ballot, but not only did Boehner pick up every single Shadegg vote, he picked up two mystery votes as well (it appears three more votes were cast in the second ballot than the first.) Not only did Boehner run the table, but Blunt actually lost a vote on the second round!

First round: Blunt 110, Boehner 79, Shadegg 40
Second round: Blunt 109, Boehner 122

Thank you GOD!!!

In case anyone thinks I'm overreacting here, let me show you a picture of the guy we narrowly avoided. Meet Congressman Roy Blunt, of Missouri's 7th district.

As if the smarmy, Amway-salesman smile and Trent Lott hair were not enough, Roy Blunt represents everything that has gone horribly wrong with Republican congressional leadership over the past decade.

To say that he was the status quo candidate understates it. He's worse (although the status quo is bad enough.) To say that he's a Tom DeLay ally/protégé understates it as well. This is a case in which the student has surpassed the master. If there were anyone in the entire House body who could represent a step down from Tom DeLay, Blunt surely must have been it.

Blunt got many more votes than I would have liked, but there are two reasons for this.

  1. He was the "smart money" candidate, and he made it abundantly clear that those who supported/opposed him would be rewarded/punished appropriately.

  2. There is simply not as much passion for reform in the Republican caucus as there should be. If there were, there would have been a leadership coup years ago.

I had a slight preference for Shadegg, but Boehner represents such a drastic improvement over Blunt that I'm ecstatic. He has leadership experience, but has never lobbied for pork in his home district (amazingly!) and has balked at some of Congress's more egregious excesses of late (e.g., last year's highway bill.) This vote is bigger than Alito for me!

Had Blunt won, I would have had no recourse than to turn my back on House leadership until such time as they got their heads on straight, or (more likely) got their asses handed to them by the Democrats.

Instead, I'm left with a faint glimmer of hope. No guarantees, of course. Meaningful reform will still be an uphill battle. But at least there is hope. With Blunt, the only hope would have been that the Democrats would remove him from power in the mid-terms.

Anyway, it's party night tonight in the cynical household. (Well okay, my wife won't join me, but the black lab will.)


Yeah, he (Boner) looks honest. Looks like he spends a few seconds too many in front of the bathroom mirror himself.

Actually, there is a 3rd reason Blunt got so many votes. He refused to give up his existing leadership post while running for majority leader, hence threatening that anyone who voted against him would still have to deal with him in the future.

Thankfully, 122 found the balls to stand up and vote for Boehner anyway. Now they need to find a way to kick Blunt out of the Whip position as well.

That's a very unfortunate photo of Blunt. Does he really look like that? For Pete's sake, he has an Alfred E. Newman smile! Does he never look in the mirror?

K, he actually looks worse than that. He actually reminds me of what Howdy Doody would look like if he became a politician.

Glad he lost.

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