With John Boehner now departing as House speaker, an influential Republican Party official is now seeking the ouster of another GOP leader who has frustrated conservatives: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“McConnell needs to resign!!” Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villerewrote in a Facebook posting.
Mr. Villere isn’t just any Republican. He’s the longest-serving state GOPchairman in the nation, with 12 years on the job, and is the vice chairman of the Republican National Committee, the GOP’s national governing body. He also serves on the RNC’s executive committee that makes decisions alongside Chairman Reince Priebus.
“Mitch is a good and honorable guy, but the base is leaving our party,” Mr. Villere said in an interview with The Washington Times. “I’m out in the field all the time and we have all our elections this year for state offices, and it’s hurting us tremendously with our elections.”
Aides for Mr. McConnell, Kentucky Republican, did not return repeated calls and emails seeking comment. A spokeswoman for Mr. Priebus said he was unavailable Sunday.
Egged on by irate rank-and-file GOP voters, a conservative rump group in the House GOP caucus forced Mr. Boehner’s sudden announcement on Friday that he will resign his post and his House seat as well next month.
An ideological irony is that his probable replacement, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the current House majority leader, is closer politically to Mr. Boehner than to the more ideologically passionate members who were prepared to call for a no-confidence vote on Mr. Boehner as speaker.
The same may hold true for Mr. McConnell in the Senate. Though he is not considered likely to resign, there is no one in his chamber whom conservatives seem ready to unite behind as an alternative.
Even Mr. Villere was stumped when asked whom he preferred to take over as leader of the Senate Republican majority.
“Honestly, I haven really thought of a replacement,” he said. “We are being so beat up by the base. I just was frustrated.”
Mr. Villere did say what specifically about Mr. McConnell makes his state’s rank-and-file GOP voters so dyspeptic that they want him out as leader — his failure to challenge executive overreach by President Obama or fight to repeal Obamacare and other unpopular measures…