The Unconfident John Boehner



By Mr. Curmudgeon:

In the parlance of parliamentary politics, it was a vote of no confidence. Thursday, GOP House Speaker John Boehner failed to convince House Republicans that his Obama-Lite “Plan-B” tax hike should pass and head to the Senate and, eventually, the president’s desk. “It’s not the outcome that I wanted,” said a shaken Boehner, “but that was the will of the House.”

“The House has already passed a bill addressing the fiscal cliff,” an uncomfortable Boehner continued, “We passed a bill replacing the president’s sequester with responsible spending cuts, and did it last May. We passed a bill to stop all the tax hikes on the American people scheduled to take effect January the first and we did that on August the first. And we proposed plans, over and over again, that Democrats used to support, but now they won’t. I don’t want taxes to go up. Republicans don’t want taxes to go up. But we only run the House. Democrats continue to run Washington.”

Boehner’s repetitive use of the term “We” was meant to position him on the side of Tea Party and conservative House Republicans that passed budget-balancing measures and opposed his debt-ceiling increase compromise. The Speaker’s recent move to eject GOP budget hawks from their committee assignments ahead of fiscal cliff negotiations, and yet another debt ceiling compromise, make his peevish attempt at face-saving laughable.

The bumbling Boehner is in trouble with exasperated conservative and Tea Party Republicans, and feels the Speaker’s gavel slipping from his sweaty palms. Establishment Republicans continue to tow the ridiculous line that the GOP House majority is merely one branch of government and must compromise with the others.

The real power in Washington rests with the body of Congress where all bills requiring government funding originate – Boehner’s House of Representatives. Boehner’s timidity is over fear his tenure as House Speaker could end if in 2014 the American people decide Pelosi’s Democrats are better suited to govern the nation. According to establishment GOP calculations, helping Obama reinvent (destroy) America will save their House majority.

In other words, given a choice between saving the American Republic or keeping an Ohio careerist’s résumé unblemished, establishment Republicans are ready to give America, conservatives and the Tea Party a swift kick in the teeth.

As’s Mike Flynn noted, House Republicans are planning to introduce a resolution that would make voting for House Speaker a secret ballot.

“It would be very difficult, politically, to vote against a resolution for a secret ballot,” said Flynn, “A secret ballot is sacrosanct in the American psyche. The procedure, however, would free Congressmen to vote for Speaker without fear of punishment or retaliation. If just a handful of Republicans vote for someone other than Boehner on the first ballot, he would be denied that gavel and the House would then move to another vote.”

The question is whether a handful of conservative or Tea Party Republicans have enough courage to jettison the gutless wonder now disgracing the office of Speaker of the House and dishonoring the Party of Lincoln.