The insanity within the House Republican caucus has hit a new level as dozens of House Republicans are openly plotting to make John Boehner step down as speaker before the end of the year.
According to National Journal:
Several dozen frustrated House conservatives are scheming to infiltrate the GOP leadership next year—possibly by forcing Speaker John Boehner to step aside immediately after November’s midterm elections.
But there’s a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won’t have the votes to be reelected in January.
The masterminds of this mutiny are trying to stay in the shadows for as long as possible to avoid putting a target on their backs. But one Republican said the “nucleus”of the rebellion can be found inside the House Liberty Caucus, of which he and his comrades are members. This is not surprising, considering that some of the key players in that group—Justin Amash of Michigan, Raul Labrador of Idaho, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky—were among the 12 Republicans who refused to back Boehner’s reelection in January 2012.
“There are no big ideas coming out of the conference. Our leadership expects to coast through this election by banking on everyone’s hatred for Obamacare,” said one Republican lawmaker who is organizing the rebellion. “There’s nothing big being done. We’re reshuffling chairs on the Titanic.”
The anonymous Republican quoted above offered an honest assessment of the House leadership. Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, and company have no ideas. Their entire plan is to run on Obamacare in both 2014 and 2016. As the law gets more popular, this strategy is already starting to weaken. By 2016, running against the ACA might be a fool’s errand.
This story is a reminder that our government is not broken. The Republican Party is broken. The dysfunction in the Republican caucus has paralyzed the House of Representatives. With the House unable to act, the legislative process has ground to a halt. The president can sign bills that the Senate passes if the House doesn’t have it together enough to do their job.
John Boehner keeps repeating that he is going to run for another term as Speaker, but it is getting increasing difficult to see him in the job. Boehner may hold on for another term in 2014, but by 2016 or soon, I suspect he will be gone.
It is difficult to believe that the same group of Republicans who can’t agree with each other enough to pass the most basic legislation will stick together and overthrow Boehner. The group is already fracturing over whether they should cut a deal with Eric Cantor, or support totally new leadership.
The only way that the House of Representatives is going to function again is if all of these Republicans are voted out. The best way to get this government working is to vote Democrat in November.