National Review: Bachmann vs. Boehner heating up

The showdown between the Republican establishment and the conservative / Tea Party movement is manifesting itself in a ‘Mano a Womano’ battle between Speaker John Boehner and Michele Bachmann over the Huma Abedin case. Once again, the establishment comes across as having no interest in getting to the truth and wants to avoid controversy at all costs (Boehner’s handling of the Fast and Furious scandal, culminating in his decision to hold the Eric Holder contempt vote on the same day as the Obamacare ruling, epitomizes this).

Meanwhile, Bachmann has sounded an alarm that is screaming louder than anyone could have imagined by zeroing in on Hillary Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, Huma Abedin. In so doing, there is now greater public awareness that Hillary’s closest aide has confirmed ties to an Al-Qaeda Godfather (pp. 14-15 of this report). The result? Boehner is apparently being pressured to cut her fishing line because the fish at the end of it is too big.

Via National Review:

Up until this month, having Bachmann on the intelligence committee has proved a good move from Boehner’s perspective. He has praised her in the past as a hardworking member, and he knew she would relish the opportunity to broaden her portfolio. Bachmann still may be a thorn in his side on various votes, aides explain, but she has usually avoided publicly railing against Boehner. That cold peace has ended, and the latest tensions may not end amicably, sources say.

Bachmann has generated national headlines for accusing Abedin, a top adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of tilting U.S. foreign policy in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group. Four other lawmakers signed Bachmann’s letter, but many Republicans have criticized Bachmann’s finger-pointing. Senator John McCain of Arizona was the first to reject Bachmann’s claims, then Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, did the same. But it’s Boehner’s cagey response to the kerfuffle that has made Bachmann and her allies nervous.

“I haven’t seen the letter, and I don’t know Huma, but from everything I do know of her, she has a sterling character,” Boehner told reporters last week. “And I think accusations like this being thrown around are pretty dangerous.” When a reporter followed up and asked about Bachmann’s intelligence-committee seat, Boehner didn’t rule anything out. “I don’t know that that’s related at all,” he said. According to a source close to Bachmann, the Minnesotan interpreted those remarks as a warning and a sign of Boehner’s tenuous support for her committee position. And from a procedural angle, her fears are warranted. Boehner may have picked her for the committee, but, as speaker, he could easily take that post away.

Several Republicans close to House leadership tell National Review Online that Boehner is not working to oust Bachmann from the committee or discipline her. If anything, one GOP source says, the entire episode has been a distraction for Boehner, especially since the speaker wants the conference to focus on jobs and the economy. If the situation festers, the leadership is keeping its options open, another aide says, but it expects Bachmann to eventually move on from the controversy.

A distraction? Screen shot evidence that Huma Abedin worked on a Board with a guy who was identified one month after 9/11 as having ties to Al-Qaeda is a distraction?! First of all, bold red flags being waved from inside the U.S. State Department is not a distraction; it’s something that demands attention, Mr. Boehner. This issue needs to fester for the security of the country and once again, Boehner is at the tip of the spear when it comes to the establishment’s strategy of going after its own harder than it does the opposition.

Back to Costa’s piece:

There is a general sense among those close to Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Whip Kevin McCarthy that Bachmann is not so much a political threat to the leadership, but a member who needs to be better managed. Still, they say, because she does not consult with leadership on most of her initiatives and does not respond well to emissaries or private counsel, many aides feel that Boehner’s public statement was the best way to send a message — for now.

“If she’s not careful, she’s going to become irrelevant,” says Ed Rollins, the former campaign manager for Bachmann’s presidential campaign. “She’s on the intelligence committee and people assume that she has information that no one else has. So when she goes out and makes a charge, it has added weight. She’s close to crossing that ‘kook line,’ and Boehner and the others may be ready to dismiss her as a serious player.”

Of the Republican voices that have either attacked Bachmann or come down on the side of Huma, the two loudest and most critical have arguably been John McCain and Ed Rollins, which may indicate a bit of ‘thou doth protest too much’ on their part. Perhaps instead of asking whether Bachmann should be making a big deal out of these obvious Muslim Brotherhood / al-Qaeda connections, we should begin to ask why the likes of McCain and Rollins are going to the mat not to. Do they have something to hide? Huma’s been around the halls of power for a long time. Are her Republican defenders ashamed of what they didn’t see years ago? This is a matter that points directly to loyalty to the United States.

As for us here at, we are continuing to uncover even more. We will be providing an update to the information we’ve already provided in the coming days. If you thought it was big news to learn that Huma served on a Board with Naseef at IMMA, just wait; there’s more.

When it comes to Boehner vs. Bachmann, the former may have the gavel but the latter doesn’t seem to shed nearly as many tears.

Go get him, Michele. We think you can take him.


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