As Mike Pence – speaking about Trump’s refusal to endorse Speaker Ryan – said: in politics it takes a little time to get relationships going. And to finish things off, he might have added. Just ask John Boehner, who apparently enjoyed a glass of wine in the late summer evening as he watched GOP Representative Tim Huelskamp go down in defeat in Kansas to Roger Marshall in a GOP primary on Tuesday night.

Why did Tim Huelskamp anger everyone from former speaker Boehner to the Ricketts family, who funded a super PAC to bring the Kansas Republican down? And who is the real conservative and what in fact is a conservative in Kansas? The messaging that the truckloads of outside money hammered home was that Huelskamp is not a team player and not a conservative by implication. And bad-tempered and hard to get along with. A real jerk and we’re the real conservatives. not him, was the character-assasinating chorus line’s message.

Ok. So it didn’t have anything to do with votes by the Kansas GOP representative against big ag, the Farm Bill, and the Export-Import Bank? His unwillingness to trade favors in standard, establishment DC-style had nothing to do with previously getting kicked off the Agricultural Committee by Boehner?

His demise is being spun by his opponents as a local reaction to an out-of-touch representative on the hill. But it seems to be more about powerful chapters of powerful national groups gunning for someone they saw as unwilling to pursue what they feel should be their shared agenda. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ESA fund spent lots to vote him out, while The Club for Growth and Americans For Prosperity were supporting him.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, this was a great win for conservatives ‘who want to get big things done´. Which is exactly what Tim Huelskamp believed he was sent to Washington to fight against: big things getting done by big interest groups. That’s local?

Speaker Ryan, who promised not to be as whipish with dissenters as Boehner was, has cloaked himself in splendid isolation, trying to maintain a neutral stance throughout this nasty fight in the plains of Kansas. He wouldn’t be trying to balance his own funding needs against the right of congressmen and women to represent their district in the way they believe best, without being punished by establishment GOP leaders?

Is voting your beliefs obstructionism? It sure was to John Boehner. Is it to Paul Ryan?

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