Boehner Out?

That’s the rumor. Either he bows out gracefully or is forced out. I am of the opinion that a deal with the devil Obama Administration was going to have to happen. As Jim Geraghty noted in today’s Morning Jolt:

Fume at Speaker Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell all you want, but here’s the problem: The chance to gain leverage in these negotiations was on Election Day, and the GOP came up with bubkes that day. Sequestration and the expiration of all of the Bush tax cuts presented an awful status quo to begin with, and there was really no better alternative that would get A) passed in a Senate controlled by Harry Reid and B) signed by President Obama. They don’t want what we want, and we don’t want what they want. And time was on their side in several ways, not least of which was that as of noon Thursday, a new Congress, with even more Democrats, is sworn into office.

That’s pretty much what I think, but you have to pass a budget, and run the government. What we definitely don’t have to do is any new gun control. Gun control the Republicans ought to be counted on to stop. If they can’t, they are truly useless. Does the GOP really want to believe the gun control issue went from being toxic stew for Democrats for more than a decade to suddenly being a winning issue? Personally, I’d feel a lot better heading into this fight with a solid speaker. I appreciate that Boehner had to cut a deal, ultimately, but he’s damaged goods and a poor leader. Time for some fresh leadership.

12 thoughts on “Boehner Out?”

  1. The problem is that there is no one in the GOP in the House leadership that can pull the party together around what the conservative base wants, including gun rights. I wouldn’t call this issue a third rail, but it’s not a primary motivating factor for many. After all of this it just might be and I hope that is the case, but it obviously wasn’t this November. The GOP used to be criticized as voting as “one big block” which I never believed to be the the case, mind you, but a few years ago during the Bush administration (another president who said he would sign an AWB had it reached his desk) a majority GOP house and senate would have meant no compromises on anything remotely anti-gun. But I have never seen “gun rights” at the top of any elected official’s radar except when challenged on it. I think many elected Republicans are still hoping it will just go away before they must vote on it. Quite frankly it’s also probably crossed the minds of Sens. Manchin, Tester, and Reid as all three of them could pay a political price while their president walks away from their political loss.

    I’m not saying gun rights are the third rail, but there must be something of a coherent ideology proclaimed besides “rights”. Heck, we can’t even convince enough congressmen that privacy rights are important when it comes to domestic surveillance! I don’t know who fits the bill, but there had better be someone to step up to the plate fast or else 2016 could be a disaster in the making.

  2. There’s a handful of Republicans worth respecting or caring about. They were the true fiscal conservatives and Boehner kicked them all in the balls by removing their committee assignments. Screw Boehner. This was always going to happen. I could care less is he resigns or is removed. What will it solve? Another party hack and worshiper of government will take his place. Business as usual.

  3. The no-tax-pledgers have blood on their hands. Every ‘conservative’ that refused to vote for Boehner’s plan B should be primaried out of office.

    Boehner said he could get a clean tax-break only bill through if they would sign on; they refused despite knowing that Boehner would end up passing a much worse bill with Democrat support.

    1. That’s not my interpretation, starting with the fact that Boehner’s predictions of what he can accomplish have been wildly wrong.

      How was he supposed to be able to accomplish this when both the Senate said they wouldn’t pass Plan B and the Obama that he wouldn’t sign it? (And they did indeed get a better deal working in the Senate, moving the threshold from a million dollars down to $400,000/$450,000, which rather nicely hits the Main Street, “You didn’t built that” Kulaks without hitting the minions of the ruling class.)

      A purely symbolic vote which would only accomplish breaking the record since 1990 of “no new bipartisan tax hikes”, pretty much the last remaining Republican principle unbetrayed … whatever was so good about it?

      And see below about how Boehner made his own bed by purging the conservatives before this action began.

  4. Personally, I’d feel a lot better heading into this fight with a solid speaker.

    I can’t believe you’re saying that.

    First, with unheard of timing, Team Boehner purged 3
    conservatives from their leadership and/or important committee positions. Then he was extremely bullying in trying to get his Plan B passed, e.g. threatened subcommittee seats (of course the 3 purged ones weren’t going to vote with him, can’t punish them any further once they’re sent to the backbench, and many other conservatives have realized that’s where they’re going to stay as long as Boehner is running the House). I note on today’s Drudge he’s now promising he’ll stop the one-on-one negotiations with Obama, which due to the lack of good faith from the latter is long overdue.

    One can argue that due to his failure we then got out of the Senate a better deal that anyone was expecting … but there’s no principle he’s not been willing to sell out, he’s a deal maker. In this case, about the last remaining one was tax increases, and he presided over the first bipartisan tax increase since G. H. W. Bush broke his “Read my lips” promise. I hope you remember how well that went.

    Note I don’t want to hear any “taxes have got to be part of the solution” when the problem is spending and the Republican’s have given up all their leverage there unless you expect Boehner to suddenly show backbone in the coming debt ceiling showdown. NO amount of taxation the country will put up with or could economically afford can possibly address “trillion dollar deficits are far as the eye can see”, and spending hasn’t really seriously been on the table since even Reagan’s time (his vicious “cuts” were generally cuts of the automatically increasing baseline, which is largely true of the dreaded sequestration that’s still looming)).

    It’s also been noted that he violated the “Hastert Rule” (which Hastert himself broke; it also predates him) pertaining to not doing things without the support of the “majority of the majority.

    Then, as’s top dog put it, “‘House GOP in Disarray’ Isn’t Just Liberal Media Spin“; specifically:

    The problem for the GOP is that its House leadership is working at cross purposes and really is in the disarray the “liberal media” keeps saying. Look no further than Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy voting no on the plan.

    They should not be commended for voting no. This is a sign of disarray.

    Early yesterday there was buzz that Eric Cantor, the House Republican Leader, was speaking against the McConnell Tax Hike. Yesterday at 5:01 p.m., Doug Heye, Cantor’s Deputy Chief of Staff, tweeted, “Majority Leader Cantor stands with @SpeakerBoehner. Speculation otherwise is silly, non-productive and untrue.”

    Further reports began circulating that Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy were pushing Republicans to support the deal.

    Then it all turned south as the vote was being held. Speaker John Boehner, in a highly unusual move (maybe he saw Lincoln) decided to vote on the legislation and voted for it. But Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy both voted no after pushing Republicans to vote for it.

    This was opportunism, not courage. They were yet again trying to put distance between then and the Speaker….

    And Team Obama is very happy: “1 of the most consequential policy achievements of the last couple decades“.

    Now, I can’t say whoever might replace him won’t be as maladroit and damaging to the Republican brand as Boehner has been, but if the caucus rewards all of the above by voting to keep in in the Speaker’s seat, well, let’s just say you’re going to be seeing a lot more of that talk about a third party. Especially seeing as how in Boehner’s House the only position for conservatives is in the back of or under the bus.

    1. Like I said, Boehner is damaged goods, and I’d prefer someone stronger. But we don’t have the Senate and we don’t have the White House, and the government has to function. If we’d gone off the cliff, do you think the media would blame Obama for it? Hell no. They are going to put the blame squarely on the GOP and the low-information voters will eat that shit up.

      This was going to be a shit sandwich. The problem with Boehner is that he’s an awful leader, and a horrible negotiator. What did he think Obama was going to do? Yeah, if I thought you could keep getting concessions out of you, I’d keep sending you back and taking you closer to the edge too. I’d say things like “I get that for free.”

      1. Errr, I’ve now reread your posting and see you are indeed calling for a replacement. In which case I just more thoroughly laid out why this is needed.

        One correction, according to The Hill, it was 4 conservatives who were stripped of their committee positions: “Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Tim Huelskamp (Kan.), Walter Jones (N.C.) and Dave Schweikert (Ariz.) were all stripped of their committee posts by the Boehner-led GOP Steering Committee….”

        To finish, he’s a bully, and like more bullies is overall ineffectual, however much damage he does to those in his power.

    2. A third party will simply split the Republicans. There is no Democratic support for a third party.

      1. If the Republicans are just Democrats-lite, and more and more so as time goes by, this would be bad because…?

        Note that since the Republicans replaced the Whigs because of the latter’s inability to grapple with slavery, successful third parties have been absorbed, wholesale or their positions, by one or both major parties. Right now, absent reform, at this level of dysfunction the party is sucking all the oxygen out of the Right in infighting and trying to reform it. Harsher measures, like replacing it or being so successful the party must come to an accommodation with the Right which it has been rejecting since Reagan left office could be the best path. I’m not convinced yet, but am getting closer.

        Bob Krumm wrote a scathing column on this,
        Time for a third party
        ; he makes two major points:

        1. There were NO spending cuts. None. Not a single dime. In fact, there were spending increases. Massive ones. If the Republican Party believes that spending is the problem–and it is–then this deal is a complete betrayal of that belief. Going over the cliff, as imperfect as that option was, at least sends the strong message that without spending cuts, the GOP will not be on board.


        6. Any political victories were tactical in nature. Strategically, the GOP ceded the long game. Spending is the enemy. Politically, spending creates addicts for government dollars. Those addicts will always vote for the party of more spending. By voting for more spending while giving lip service to restraint, the GOP has created more Democratic voters over the long term. Congratulations.

        7. Still on the subject of strategic failures, and perhaps most importantly, the GOP has not positioned itself for the time when math finally catches up. The only thing enabling our spending binge is a prolonged period of historically low interest rates. Rates are only that low because of (A) a slutty Fed that’s just giving it away for free, and (B) there are no other investment options because the worldwide economy sucks. (A) is obviously inflationary in the long term. And as for (B), it does not benefit the party in power to maintain a crappy economy so that the government can continue to borrow at low rates. Eventually something gives, and when it does, the party out of power–IF IT HAS BEEN MAKING THE PRINCIPLED CONTRARY CASE–is perfectly poised to make changes of historic magnitudes.

        From 1912 until 1930 Democrats were largely out of power. They aligned themselves with progressivism, and in the 1920s especially, national Democrats paid a huge political price for it. But once the collapse came, they were perfectly poised to cement in place progressive rules that are with us to this day. Those very rules are the foundations of the next failure. Last night the GOP decided that it didn’t want to offer the nation a different path. It has become just a Dead Elephant Walking.

        If we’re not winning the short or the long game, what’s the point? Holding off the Great Default perhaps one additional year? If it was many years, maybe there was a point to it, pre-Obama or thereabouts that was one of the major sources of support for the party. I don’t think you can count on this much anymore.

  5. Nope, he’s in, by 220 votes, only losing a few.

    I suspect my interest in the national Republican party is going to severely wane, except for gauging how much damage they’re doing to me along with the rest of D.C., and watching to see if they get a clue.

    Hmmm, I wonder if the party will have to lose control of the House to get rid of him as a “leader”.

    1. The problem is that no one wants the job, because it’s a shitty job. The GOP only controls the house. You’re pretty much going to be forced into unpopular compromises, no matter who you are. Or you’re going to become a lightning rod for holding everything up. It’s a no win situation.

Comments are closed.