While Congressman Zinke is spinning a somewhat fantastical tale about a freshman Navy SEAL somehow singlehandly amending the bill that gave President Obama fast track trade authority—all while escaping the notice of the national press and the database of Congressional actions—the past few days have demonstrated a more plausible explanation for yet another flip flop.
Zinke was afraid of Big Daddy Boehner.
Witness what happened to Wyoming Congresswoman Cyntha Lewis, who, according to the Billings Gazette, was removed as “Wyoming’s only representative from a leadership position because of her vote on trade,” because she bucked the Republican leadership and voted no, for reasons that sound suspiciously like the reasons Zinke originally indicated he would vote against the measure.
Lummis was one of three House Republicans removed from the Whip team, according to the National Journal, who quoted Speaker Boehner expressing his displeasure:
“And I made it pretty clear to the members today I was not very happy. We’re a team. And we’ve worked hard to get the majority, we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority, and I expect our team to act like a team. And I, frankly, made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy.”
At this point, another politically-motivated change in position is hardly news when it comes to Representative Zinke, but it’s interesting to see just how willing he is to play games to appease the dysfunctional House leadership, potentially upsetting conservative voters back home.