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Roskam: More “aggressive” rhetoric can lead to “incremental” change

Tuesday, Sep 29, 2015

* Lynn Sweet

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., mulling a leadership run in the wake of the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Chicago Sun-Times on Monday that House Republicans “need to be more rhetorically aggressive against the administration.” […]

“We need to be more rhetorically aggressive against the administration,” Roskam said. “There are many times I hear from folks at home — and other Republicans — ‘you’re not fighting.” […]

Roskam said being more aggressive might be helpful – in moving along, not stopping the business of lawmaking.

If those hard liners “know you are fighting,” then “if you make a suggestion that the next move is incremental” then they may accept taking those smaller steps.

That last quote puts it in the proper context. He obviously understands his party’s base and believes harsher rhetoric can be used to manipulate the folks out there in the hinterlands to support more moderate solutions. But, still…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

35 Comments
  1. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:30 pm:

    This administration will not be running for reelection. Move on already.


  2. - A guy - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:32 pm:

    Takes pretty thin thread to get through the eye of this needle.


  3. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:33 pm:

    Huh? I thought that’s what Boehner tried

    He’s kidding himself. That’s what the bomb-throwers have been complaining about: big talk, tiny steps.

    Tnere’s a good four dozen GOP House members who confuse “anarchist” with “conservative.” As long as that tail wags the dog, it will be the same deal, Boehner or not.


  4. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:33 pm:

    But still… that can come back on bite you in the @((, too. Both Boehner and McConnell have done that, and they still have the tea-partiers barking at the door and chewing on the furniture.


  5. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===then “if you make a suggestion that the next move is incremental”===

    You’ll be as much of a target as Boehner became, and just as quickly. Zealots don’t do incremental.


  6. - the Other Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:35 pm:

    I honestly don’t know how you get more aggressive than lying about the President’s religion and birth.

    Claiming he’s a Martian?


  7. - ZC - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    Could Roskam give some examples?

    What should Boehner and McConnell be saying, precisely, that they’re not now?


  8. - Ghost - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:37 pm:

    when your base thinks Obama is muslim and that we need to build a wall across the border and make another country pay for it, and that climate change is made up, you have bigger problems then rhetoric


  9. - RD55 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:39 pm:

    So the next speaker has to con his members? I think we needs new party, it the Republicans can’t marginalize the extreme right. Governing requires compromise, which isn’t allowed by the extreme parties of any side.


  10. - RD55 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:43 pm:

    Correction. “if” “if the Republicans . . .” not “it.”


  11. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    There’s nothing I could say about this that wouldn’t get me banned for life.


  12. - Norseman - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    Thump your chest, jump up and down screaming at your opponents to entertain the home zealots and then go into the backroom to try and compromise? Heckuva way to run the government.


  13. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    When you don’t have the votes to implement your preferred policies, you become “rhetorically aggressive.” These people seem to actually believe that loud talk, holding the government hostage and rejecting compromise are necessary to enact the majority will of the people.


  14. - Bill F. - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    Roskam’s right. Republicans have been far too willing to sit down at the negotiating table to work out compromises with Obama. It gets so tiring listening to them talk about how he’s really a decent guy, and their differences can surely be overcome.

    I mean, sure there was that whole “single most important thing we can achieve is to make Obama a one-term president…” But, you know, other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?


  15. - Jocko - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:49 pm:

    That explains the encroachment upon 2nd amendment rights, universal healthcare, and regulations placed on Wall Street. /s


  16. - History Prof - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:59 pm:

    We’ve identified the symptom; so what’s the disease? Why do a significant number of Republicans elevate seemingly every issue to a matter of high moral principle that cannot ethically be compromised? What is driving this? Last year it was Obama care, which was originally a Heritage Coalition proposal, for the love of Pete. Likewise cap and trade, which used to be a “market based solution,” but now is “socialism.” Now it is funding for the non-abortion services of Planned Parenthood.

    Why is everything for the Right a matter of absolute moral right? What led to this?


  17. - hisgirlfriday - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:00 pm:

    So what all gets shut down completely if we still have an illinois shut down going at the time the House GOP’s aggressive rhetoric brings us into a federal shutdown as well?


  18. - And I Approved This Message - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    Right, Congressman. Because the things some Republicans have call this President, insinuated about him, accused him of and ridiculed him with for the past seven years haven’t been “rhetorically aggressive” enough. Great plan.


  19. - Peter Arnett - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    @the Other Anonymous

    Q: I honestly don’t know how you get more aggressive than lying about the President’s religion and birth.

    A: Claiming Pope Francis is the anti-Christ would seem to meet your criteria.


  20. - Louis G. Atsaves - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:10 pm:

    Boehner was about as conservative as they come, yet the “conservative” wing of the GOP hacked him up to pieces while the Democrats pounded on him from the left.

    There are no incremental steps with extremists, whether they are on the right or the left of issues. Time for the country to elect more moderates to office to get government moving in a positive direction again.


  21. - Team Sleep - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:15 pm:

    John Boehner was never the problem.

    Mitch McConnell was, still is and will continue to be the problem.

    Do people realize what the House has done - especially compared to the Senate? The answer is quite a bit. Denny Hastert used to complain about the same thing when Bill Frist led the Senate.

    Don’t get me wrong. I would love for a Justin Amash type to become Speaker. But even if someone who was more aligned with the Amash/Paul movement becomes Speaker, everything comes to a grinding halt if the House passes legislation the hardliners want and the Senate doesn’t touch it or McConnell doesn’t push it. At that point, rhetoric is literally worthless.


  22. - Mama - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    ++- Anonymous - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 1:47 pm:++ “These people seem to actually believe that loud talk, holding the government hostage and rejecting compromise are necessary to enact the majority will of the people.”
    Anonymous, The Tea Party does not care about the will of the people. I’m not sure they even know what the will of the people is.


  23. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:20 pm:

    I could run through the list of the vile things the GOP has referred to our President as, but I will spare us all the time. Republican rhetoric is harsh enough.


  24. - train111 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:37 pm:

    I guess he really is seriously running for a leadership position. After all, the litmus test for leadership in his causcus is a competition to see who can say the goofiest s–t and still be standing at the end.


  25. - reader - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:42 pm:

    How is the increased “aggressive” rhetoric against the administration going to help ease the political gridlock in Washington? It seems counterproductive and kind of foolish frankly.


  26. - Deep South - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 2:56 pm:

    Really? C’mon.


  27. - Nick Danger - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:01 pm:

    Ronskam trying (but failing) to get back into leadership post.


  28. - PolPal56 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:09 pm:

    MORE aggressive? That is just flat out scary.


  29. - Cannon649 - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:32 pm:

    More than rhetoric is needed.

    The I will veto anything I do not like or I will find a way to avoid you is not working either for the a majority of citizens. has any looked at the debt?

    There are no Home Runs to hit here - the country is far to divided - a couple of singles is row might be nice.


  30. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    More aggressive rhetoric than is happening now? Sheesh. What exactly is his definition of aggressive?


  31. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 3:52 pm:

    The last thing DC Republicans need to do is be “rhetorically aggressive.” They have done a nice job doing that, in fact being loud and aggressive is the only thing they have done. Maybe they should do something else, like pass budgets, solve problems and work with the administration.

    I understand he’s playing to the foaming at the mouth base, but those people are idiots.


  32. - NW Illinois Dem - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:13 pm:

    Out here in the purple/red counties of NW Illinois, I’ve heard nothing but aggressive criticism of President Obama and Democrats since January 2009. U.S. Rep. Roskam must live in a universe divorced from reality or something. Wow is he out of touch. Scary.


  33. - Ben Franklin - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 4:24 pm:

    What we need are RINOs to return to the Republican Party and make it so the Conservstives become minorities.


  34. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 5:22 pm:

    We need unifying “wedge” issues. Issues and approaches that bring people together instead of dividing them. This requires thinking beyond the sound bite.

    There are “conservative” issues that can be framed in ways that can build a majority. Judging people as individuals and not as members of a group, moving tax subsidies into the light, changing the tax structure to encourage domestic production; all these can be conservative ideas.


  35. - Juvenal - Tuesday, Sep 29, 15 @ 8:06 pm:

    Harsher rhetoric is what fueled the nuclear arms race and almost destroyed humanity.

    If you promise the folks in the “hinterlands” blood for the 10 months leading to the election, they expect a gallon come January, not a pint.


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