There can be little argument on either side of the political fence that John Boehner was an inept Speaker of The House and an abject failure. He had neither the emotional stability nor the strength of conscience to lead The House effectively so both Democrats and Republicans feel similarly satisfied that he is resigning.
Boehner did try to conduct himself in that position like successful Speakers before him, even reaching a Grand Bargain on taxes, entitlements and deficit reduction with President Obama…before once again having his choke chain yanked by the Tea Party minority in The House and having to once again choose between standing up to them and working with Democrats to accomplish something meaningful (though the Grand Bargain may not have been a grand bargain for most Americans) or keeping the crown of Speaker but only as a puppet of the lunatic fringe in The House. Of course, he chose the latter.
Boehner’s desperation to keep the Speakership at any cost destroyed respect for him from both Democrats and his own Tea Party Republicans. Boehner went along with around 60 ridiculous votes to repeal the ACA but he also worked out agreements with The Senate and President Obama to keep government running (aside from one exception) and paying its debts, knowing the destruction that would come to the GOP (and threaten his Speakership) if Republicans proceeded with destroying the government and the economy.
Powered by the extremist and agitated base that has been whipped up by Donald Trump in particular and the GOP Presidential Primary candidates in general, the anti-moderate, anti-incumbent radicals in the GOP emboldened the Tea Party representatives in The House to push Boehner out. Boehner, like Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, had a bulls eye put on him once he stated that he doesn’t support the RW demands to shut down the government over de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Boehner’s probable replacement, Rep. Kevin McCarthy does have a much closer relationship with the Tea Party faction (dubiously named The House Freedom Caucus…freedom from sanity?) but his record hasn’t been as extremist as most of them.
However, the firing of Boehner makes one thing crystal clear, the Tea Party Republicans in Congress demand that their leadership use shutting down government, refusing to increase the debt ceiling and any other radical and nation-harming extortion tactics to get everything they want with no compromise.
Their presidential candidates, politicians and RW media have created this fantasy that Tea Partiers now worship, that the only reason Republicans didn’t kill the ACA, stop the Iran nuclear disarmament deal or turn the rest of their radical campaign promises into law is because of weak leaders in Congress who are RINOs and folded to Obama. Their delusion is that once the Tea Party has leadership in their hands, they’ll accomplish all their overblown campaign promises because they will be ruthless and willing to extort the entire nation to get what they want.
The big lie here, that any 8th grader could explain, is that we have checks and balances in our government to prevent the very type of dictatorial power Tea Partiers are demanding. As long as there is a Democratic President who vetoes the slimy bills that ooze out of The House, they can’t become law.
Especially with the 2016 Presidential election approaching, it would be self-destructive for Democrats in Congress or President Obama to display such weakness and lack of principles as to let the Tea Party minority in Congress hijack our government through extortion.
On the other hand, it seems now to be a necessary litmus test for all Republicans to support a government shutdown over de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Boehner has stated that he will work with The Senate to pass a Continuing Resolution that will keep government open and funded in the short term but this will all come back to be dealt with by the end of the year, as will the vote to raise the debt ceiling.
At this point in time, it seems nearly unavoidable that McCarthy will lead the GOP into a kamikaze act of shutting down government over Planned Parenthood. Not only is that a bridge too far for Democrats but the majority of Americans are with Democrats on supporting Planned Parenthood, not with the rabid Republicans.
So the outcome of this extortion is predetermined, despite the delusions of the Tea Party Republicans. Republicans have been loudly touting a government shut down over Planned Parenthood yet when the public gets angry over it, they will no doubt try to claim they’re not the ones shutting it down but that won’t fly.
And as Obama and the Dems hold firm (Obama has learned from experience that giving into Repubs only results in their demanding more) and insist that Republicans drop their extortion and send over a clean funding bill, the growing anger from a public hammered by the government shutdown will eventually lead to the GOP having to give up and give in.
And when the debt ceiling vote comes up? Here too, Tea Party Republicans seem too ignorant to understand the damage their actions could cause and they may indeed be willing to refuse to approve an increase. There is little doubt the US and world economies will be rocked by that.
The Tea Party Republicans may indeed be on the brink of wreaking havoc (as Scott Walker promised) on America and the Americans people (and people around the world) because doing so seems more and more a badge of honor and loyalty to the lunatics that control their party now.
The xenophobia, misogyny and racism that has been so prominently on display from Republicans this season may pale in comparison as reasons most Americans will be alienated from voting GOP in 2016. If Republicans do indeed shut down government, refuse to raise the debt ceiling and commit other acts of vandalism to the nation and its economy, their losses in 2016 could dwarf even the most ambitious estimates by Democrats.
It could in fact complete the trajectory of the GOP into becoming a permanent minority party (at least nationally) once they prove not only that giving them power is disastrous for the nation but that destruction isn’t a design flaw in their plans, it’s a feature.