Despite polls, GOP leadership appears ready to abandon rank and file on gun control

by Robert Maynard

The most recent CNN poll shows that a majority of Americans oppose Obama’s gun control agenda.  That is why it is hard to see the reason for GOP leadership figures like Boehner speculating about the possibility of passing gun control legislation without the cooperation of the rest of Republicans in the House.  Here is how his speculation was described on a recent Breitbart post:

On Thursday, in the midst of ongoing national debate over prospective gun control and comprehensive immigration legislation, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said that he didn’t need the approval of a majority of his own party to move forward with legislation. Referring to the so-called Hastert Rule, named after former House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-IL), which dictated that House leadership not bring up any bill for a vote without the support of a majority of the majority party, Boehner said, “Listen: It was never a rule to begin with.”

Then, realizing the gravity of admitting that he could move without a majority of his own party, Boehner added, “And certainly my prerogative – my intention is to always pass bills with strong Republican support.”

That may be his intention, but it has not been his history. On the fiscal cliff deal at the end of 2012, for example, he ignored a majority of his own party. That prompted a mini-rebellion in the House resulting in a supposedly humbled Boehner retaining his speakership. Should he buck the House Republicans again, he may face a stiffer challenge this time.

This brings to mind the old saying: “with friends like these, who needs enemies.”