The Washington Post

Meet the cast-iron conservatives

Last week we made the argument that simply describing those Republicans who oppose Speaker John Boehner as "conservatives" or "tea party conservatives" didn't really fit. And we asked you all to come up with alternatives to describe the 45 or so House Republicans who oppose Boehner on at least half of the major measures so far in this Congress and who will be his major challenge heading into the fall fiscal fights.

A cast iron skillet.

We got tons of submissions -- and most of them abided by our desire to keep away from name-calling and petty partisanship. (Most, though far from all!)  After huddling with an esteemed group of panelists including Paul Kane, Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan, we have decided on a winner.

And it is......Cast Iron Conservatives.

Here's the explanation from Fix commenter Ed-Lyons-RR:

"The word 'cast-iron' is not often used, but means: 'not allowing for any exceptions or loosening of standards'; it also has other useful connotations that are relevant to these people who do not want to compromise no matter what political reality is around them. It also has some positive attributes about resiliency, etc, and since this isn't a negative term, they may just actually like it!

Here's how Merriam Webster defines "cast iron": "a very hard type of metal that is made into different shapes by being melted and poured into special containers."

The cast-iron conservatives label is a fitting one for this group who prize principle over politics and believe that any bending in those principles is a prelude to a breaking. Concession equals capitulation. And, like cast iron, it's very hard to manipulate them -- even under intense pressure.

From here on out, we will refer to this group of 45 as cast iron conservatives.  But, we wanted to cite a few other solid submissions. Here are the honorable mentions:

* "Oppositionists"
* "Opposition conservatives"
* "My way or the highway conservatives"
* "Boehner's bane"
* "Con-pure-a-tives"

Thanks to all for the submissions!

Chris Cillizza writes “The Fix,” a politics blog for the Washington Post. He also covers the White House.



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