Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) is suggesting that the way House Republicans will defeat the extremists in their party is to give Democrats power by forming a coalition to elect a bipartisan Speaker of the House.
Moderate Republican Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania suggested that House Republicans might have to form a bipartisan coalition with Democrats to elect the next Speaker and defeat the extremists in their own party.
Rep. Dent said, “The challenge for our conference is quite simple. That we need to assemble bipartisan coalitions to pass any important legislation around here. We may have to assemble a bipartisan coalition to elect the next Speaker of the House of Representatives… Whoever is going to be the next Speaker should not appease this group of rejectionists who have no interest in governing. They can simply not get to yes. The perfect will always be the enemy of the good to them, so we just have to deal with the reality as it is.”
It is imaginable that establishment House Republicans will have to recruit Democratic votes to elect a Speaker of the House that is acceptable to both Republicans and Democrats.
The reality is that the candidates that the extremists prefer will never be accepted by a majority of the House Republicans, and the establishment candidates will be rejected by the extremists.
The House under Republican control has been dysfunctional from the first day of their majority. There is something appropriate about the idea that the same Republicans who forced John Boehner out may end up unifying the House against them.
A bipartisan Speaker isn’t at the top of the list of possible outcomes, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. Republican chaos may give Democrats an unprecedented amount of power in the House.