Steve LaTourette, who represented Ohio’s 19th and 14th congressional districts in the U.S. House from 1995 to 2013, is president of Main Street Partnership, an organization of centrist Republicans.
There has been a lot of talk in both Democratic and Republican circles about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) can lead his caucus. Incidents such as the defeat of the farm bill on the House floor have been cited to support this narrative.
But much of the blame for Washington failures has been mislaid.
The focus on Boehner has been more intense because House Democrats have abdicated any meaningful role in passing legislation. Few bills are able to garner Democratic support, often not because of policy differences but because House Democratic leaders have decided they would rather wash their hands of responsibility for governing and, instead, focus on winning back the majority.
The role of the minority party is to be the “loyal opposition,” and Democrats have gotten it half right — they are opposed to everything House Republicans do, but there is not much loyal about it.