The Good and the Bad of Speaker Tom Emmer

Tom Emmer is one of the most recognizable names in Minnesota politics these days. In 2010 he was a mere 0.4% away from becoming Governor of Minnesota. He took the momentum of that campaign to the morning talk radio airways, becoming a mini-celebrity in the conservative ranks. Following Michele Bachmann's retirement in 2014, Emmer ran and became the congressman representing one of the safest Republican districts in Minnesota: CD6. And now, he's one of the leading candidates for Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Here's what you need to know about the powerful House Majority Whip from Delano, Minnesota:

The Good

Minnesota seems to get little say in national politics these days. Washington is on autopilot in the worst way possible. Presidential candidates put a token effort into our state, but eventually just write it off as a reliable blue state. So if Tom Emmer becomes the Speaker, he not only is the most powerful Congressman to balance the power of the White House, he's also third in line to become President if something were to happen to Biden and Kamala Harris. 

Since politicians answer to us in the end, this gives Minnesotans a lot more power in shaping the future of America. Emmer might take his marching orders from the power brokers in Washington, but back at home he still faces re-election. In 2016, he was challenged by an underfunded campaign (AJ Kern) for the Republican endorsement, and Emmer barely won the 60% threshold to get the nod. If Emmer becomes Speaker and kowtows to Biden and the Democrat machine, he runs a really good chance of facing an endorsement and primary challenge.

The Bad

Tom Emmer is not a principled conservative. I don't care what his lit pieces or ads say about him, he'll sell out in a hot minute. So with a Speaker Emmer, we're likely going to get no significant change in Washington D.C.

In 2010, Emmer was a paid spokesman for a leftist National Popular Vote group. He either believed in the cause, which surely would tip a hand to Democrats and make it harder for a Republican to become president, or he is willing to sell out to whoever will pay him. We can't attribute his motive back then, but neither option depicts a principled conservative. 

When Emmer won election for U.S. House in 2014, the first vote he took was at odds with the base that got him elected. He voted to make RINO, Washington insider John Boehner the Speaker of the House. Boehner was an awful speaker who grew the federal budget and failed on multiple steps to stand up to the Obama White House.

Emmer's voting record is less than stellar. He recently voted to continue the failed deficit spending of the federal government, raise the nation's debt ceiling, and voted to codify same sex marriage into law at the federal level. Emmer also voted to certify the 2020 election, which puts him at odds with a lot of the Trump base.

It's not just how Emmer votes that is problematic, he's responsible for "whipping" Republicans to vote for these things in his powerful Majority Whip position. He's a good foot soldier for the Establishment's agenda.

Another concerning issue is that Tom Emmer ran the National Republican Congressional Committee for the last four years. While the Republican Establishment is padding him on the back for winning a majority in the U.S. House, conservatives around the country see Emmer's NRCC as working to protect bad voting Republicans from losing to conservative primary challengers. He even cautioned Trump in 2021 of supporting primary challengers of Republicans who voted to impeach him. 

We have no idea if Emmer has enough political capital to catapult into the coveted Speaker seat. But he has some wind at his back. Failed Speaker Kevin McCarthy has now endorsed him for the job. Although Emmer is facing a crowded field of good candidates including Kevin Hern of Oklahoma and Byron Donalds of Florida, to name a few, many in the national media are recognizing Emmer as the lead candidate.

An internal Republican Conference vote is expected early this week and a floor vote may follow soon after.

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  • Jake Duesenberg
    published this page in News 2023-10-23 14:56:06 -0500