So John Boehner got reelected as Speaker of the House yesterday. There is whining galore today and all kinds of people threatening to never again vote Republican and start a Third Party. The truth is, John Boehner could not have been beaten out for Speaker this time around in any way shape or form, so just get over it.
There are two reasons why Boehner was unbeatable.
First, there really wasn’t an opposition movement. There was dissension in the ranks of the Republican Members. There are polls that show up to 80% of Republicans who voted in November wanted Boehner gone, but that doesn’t mean much in the power circles in Washington. Heck, Barack Obama is still President.
The non-Boehnerites in the caucus needed 28 votes to force the Speaker’s election to a second round. They got 25 and that’s a sign of dissension in the ranks, it’s the most votes against a sitting leader ever. The resistance wasn’t organized and they weren’t serious.
In order to beat Boehner the movement would have to have started behind closed doors at least six months ago. Revolutions are planned and carried out on the front page of the New York Times and on CNN’s Sunday Show. This mess was so disorganized that a Congressman who voted against Boehner in the last revolt was first approached about voting against Boehner yesterday morning. He should have been a part of a movement six months ago.
Second, the Democrats wouldn’t have allowed it.
The strategy this time, assuming there was one, seemed to be to force a second round and then a third in the hopes of getting a “name” candidate to step in against Boehner. Here’s why that doesn’t work.
The second there’s blood in the water and Boehner looks like he could lose, Nancy Pelosi would have stepped up and whipped enough votes from her caucus to make Boehner Speaker of the House. Given the choice between Boehner and, say, Trey Gowdy, it’s a no brainer for Democrats. Boehner will work with them to get a slice of the sausage on bills they want passed. Gowdy likely would not.
A dozen or so Democrats vote for Boehner and it’s all over.
The old rule stands, if you’re going to plot to kill the King, you’d damn well better kill the King. They didn’t and the beatings will begin today.
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