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John Boehner’s allies have thirsted for the speaker to strike back at those who betray him. He’s been walked all over for too long, they say, and he’s too nice to people who are eager to stab him in the back.
He finally has learned the lesson.
After he secured his third term as speaker Tuesday afternoon, losing 25 votes on the House floor to some relative-unknown members of the House Republican Conference, Boehner moved swiftly to boot Florida Reps. Daniel Webster and Rich Nugent from the influential Rules Committee.
The reason was simple: Webster ran against Boehner for speaker, distributing fliers outlining his candidacy and talking about how he would better adhere to the House rules than the Ohio Republican. Nugent supported his fellow Floridian in the quixotic endeavor, which garnered the support of 12 lawmakers. Webster didn’t even give Boehner a heads-up that he was running, although leadership was aware early Tuesday morning that it could happen.