Tom Foley

The Great, Prominent Speakers Of The House Of Representatives In History

At a time of chaos and anarchy over the issue of the Speakership of the House of Representatives, it is instructive to examine the history of that office, which has had 55 individuals filling that role.

A small number of Speakers of the House of Representatives have made history, and are seen as exceptional.

The longest serving Speaker was Sam Rayburn of Texas, who held that position for 17 years, only ended by his death in 1961.

Henry Clay of Kentucky, arguably the greatest Presidential candidate who did not win the Presidency in all of US history, served a total of 10.5 years as Speaker of the House.

Thomas (Tip) O’Neill of Massachusetts was third longest serving, 10 years from the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s.

John W. McCormack of Massachusetts served 9 years in the 1960s, followed by Nancy Pelosi, who served 8 years from 2007-2011 and 2019-2023.

Dennis Hastert of Illinois, later disgraced by conviction on sex charges, is the longest serving Republican Speaker, serving a few days less than Pelosi, but still about 8 years at the end of the 20th and early 21st century.

Champ Clark of Missouri served about 7 years in the 1910s and Carl Albert of Oklahoma served about 6 years in the 1970s, followed by slightly less service in days by Joseph Cannon of Illinois, often called the “Czar” of the House because of his great authority that was tamed by “revolution” in House rules in 1910, and by Tom Foley of Washington State in the 1990s.

So about 87 years out of the total of 234 years of the history of the House of Representatives were served by these 10 individuals, with the other 45 serving a total of 147 years among them.

Kevin McCarthy’s 9 month tenure made him the third shortest serving Speaker, only more than Michael Kerr who died in office in 1875, and Theodore Pomeroy, who served one day in 1869.

Paul Ryan Declares Republicans Have Made Their Choice To Stand With Donald Trump: Confirmation Of What This Blogger Said About Ryan Five Years Ago!

Five years ago, on this blog, I condemned Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republican Party, chosen by Presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

I said he was “arrogant, reckless,cocky, overly ideological, uncompromising, inflexible”, as stated at the time, and also say he was and is unprincipled, hypocritical, corrupt and mean spirited. I received harsh criticism from the Right on various websites for my assertions, and they still will attack me, but that does not make me deny what I said and still contend today.

Five years later, Paul Ryan is Speaker of the House, and has proved that he is willing to sell the party he leads to a man he privately despises, as the only way to accomplish his goal of destroying the middle class, and ending Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. An Ayn Rand follower, Ryan also has claimed he is a “good Catholic”, which many Catholic groups would deny, with his hard hearted attitude towards the poor.

Ryan knows his tax proposal is only going to worsen the class division in America, and make the rich wealthier, the poor in even worse shape, and much of the middle class in free fall economically.

Saying after the defeats in the elections last week that the Republicans have made their choice to stand with Donald Trump, despite his reckless and dangerous behavior, is a sign that Ryan is living in a fantasy world of his own making, and it is hoped that his opponent in his Wisconsin district for the 2018 midterm elections, iron worker and US Army veteran Randy Bryce, who has gained a lot of support, ends up retiring Paul Ryan from Congress next November.

Since Tom Foley was defeated for his seat in Washington State and as Speaker in 1994, with a major Republican wave, it is hoped the same will occur in 2018 with a Democratic sweep, to Paul Ryan.

Eric Cantor Not Only Congressional Leader Defeated For Re-election

The defeat of Eric Cantor, the House Majority Leader in his Congressional primary in Virginia by David Brat, was stunning and shocking, but not the first time that a Congressional leader was defeated for renomination or reelection.

Other prominent cases include:

Senator Richard Lugar, former Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, of Indiana in 2012 by Richard Mourdock

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota in 2004 by John Thune

House Speaker Tom Foley of Washington State in 1994 by George Nethercutt

Former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dan Rostenkowski of Illinois in 1994 by Michael Flanagan

Congressman Emanuel Celler, House Judiciary Committee Chairman of New York, in 1972 by Elizabeth Holtzman

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas of Illinois in 1950 by Everett Dirksen

Senator Robert La Follette, Jr of Wisconsin in 1946 by Joseph McCarthy

Notice that ONLY Cantor, Lugar and La Follette, Jr. were Republican officeholders defeated, while the others listed were all Democrats.

So it is newsworthy and highly unusual for Congressional leaders and prominent members to lose reelection!

Only 18 Moderate Conservative Republicans Needed To End Government Shutdown If Discharge Petition Is Utilized

There are 200 Democrats in the House of Representatives, and it is clear that more than 18 Republican moderate conservatives in the House are ready to end the government shutdown, nearing the end of its first week, undermining economic recovery and putting the security of the US itself in danger.

All that has to be done is for a discharge petition on opening up the government to be introduced and gain 218 votes, and the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, MUST call for a vote, and the stalemate would end.

And the same applies for the need to raise the debt limit, that a small number of responsible Republicans, willing to do the right thing, but endangering their seats, join with Democrats to force a vote to overcome the reckless, anarchistic Tea Party radicals, who have no concern over anything, but undermining government, which they hate with a passion.

It is time for these responsible Republicans, who are disgusted with what their party has become, and knowing its future as a serious opposition is in danger, to work with Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats to resolve this crisis, and repudiate the irresponsible stand of Speaker Boehner.

And by so doing, Boehner avoids blame from the far right, and would be likely to keep his Speakership, for all that it is worth, which is not much at all, with his loss of stature and prestige as a serious leader of Congress!

The aim must be to insure his defeat for his House seat in 2014, just as Democratic Speaker Tom Foley lost his seat in Washington State in 1994!

Newt Gingrich And Former Speakers Of The House Of Representatives: No Love Lost Either Way!

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, now seeking the Presidency, has had a confrontational relationship with many people in his career, among them all living former Speakers of the House.

Three Democratic Speakers, Jim Wright (1987-1989), Tom Foley (1989-1995), and Nancy Pelosi (2007-2011) have crossed paths in difficult ways with Gingrich. Wright was brought up on ethics charges by Gingrich in 1989, and forced out of the Speakership on grounds far less than Gingrich, who himself was involved in ethics violations pursued by Nancy Pelosi in 1997-1998, and pushed out of the Speakership by his own party at the end of 1998. Foley was the Speaker facing the attacks of Gingrich as he built the GOP majority that finally ousted Foley in the 1994 Congressional elections.

But even the two GOP Speakers have no love lost regarding Gingrich. Dennis Hastert (1999-2007) was picked to get away from the theatrics of Gingrich, and Hastert now supports Mitt Romney for President. And the present Speaker, John Boehner, is known privately to oppose Gingrich, who he helped to push out of the Speakership in 1998. It is believed he will make his view public IF Gingrich continues to surge, to attempt to prevent what he and many other Republicans believe would be suicide to have Gingrich heading their ticket in 2012 against Barack Obama.