My favorite Democrat (officeholder), Rep. Heath Shuler, is moving toward a run for Speaker of the House.
“If there is no viable alternative, I will be running for speaker of the House,” Shuler said during a radio debate with Republican Jeff Miller, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
My first comment is: Let’s make sure he’s running for Minority Leader instead! Second, I will support Shuler for Speaker (Minority Leader) because I admire him so much. It’s rare to find a politician who gets mentioned on the Sports Page! However, I wonder if this is a good idea.
As I contended in a prior article, Shuler, who is one of the most conservative Democrats in national politics (and is also a committed and open Christian as well) would make a great Speaker (Minority Leader); however, he will have fewer moderate/conservatives in the House to vote for him and he’ll have to lead for and call for progressive legislation he does not believe in to be effective. Why risk your integrity? I will say that Shuler has the moral compass, for all I have seen so far, to be a fair and just Speaker (Minority Leader), but will liberal Dems support this record:
He [Shuler] was critical of Speaker Pelosi, voted against the first stimulus, voted against ENDA and the hate crimes bill and voted against Obamacare (but for the Stupak amendment) and voted for Audit the Fed. Even Shuler’s support for cap-and-trade was primarily a reflection of his faith – being a good steward of our resources. I am disappointed but I can’t be too unhappy at an attempt at a principled stand. Shuler is also a national security conservative.
So the issue is – will he do like many other right-leaning Democrats and lurch to the left (e.g., former Virginia Governor Kaine) – or will be do like former Rep. Virgil Goode and switch parties instead. Or run for Governor of North Carolina. My recommendation (as one who does admire and respect him greatly) is for Rep. Shuler to stand fast on the issues and find another way to promote them and his district – not run for Speaker of the House (Minority Leader).