Despite all the talk about ousting the current Republican Speaker of the House, his position is pretty secure.
A piece by Tim Albert recently published in National Journal about an emerging plot to force out current Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner has been causing quite the stir online over the last few days. According to Albert’s reporting a large block of anti-Boehner members of Congress is emerging that could make it impossible for Boehner to hold on to his job:
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.
It certainly sounds more interesting than the typical do-nothing nature of the House of Representatives over the last few years, but I’d have to agree with Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein that this probably won’t amount to a whole lot.
And the reason that Boehner is pretty safe in his position is because any replacement would be in the exact same position he would be. As Bernstein points out:
The hurdle is the same as it’s been since January 2009. As long as Republicans have a House majority and Barack Obama is in the White House, the only way to get any measure enacted is for the House Republican leadership to vote for something that will be signed by the president conservative talk-show hosts describe as a Kenyan socialist. And as long as there are must-pass bills, the speaker is going to be perceived as a RINO. Yet even for the most conservative Republicans–though not the irresponsible radicals—things such as keeping the government open, avoiding a default, and second-tier issues such as the so-called Medicare doc fix, are must-pass.
Anyone who replaces Boehner, no matter how much of a True Conservative he or she might be before taking over, will end up in exactly the same position, and anyone in a position to be the next speaker knows it. Which is why they’ll want Boehner to stay at least two more years, when there is a possibility of a Republican president.
I think that’s exactly right. Which is not to say that Boehner will be around forever, he might decide to retire for reasons of his own in the near future. But Boehner isn’t going to be ousted via some Game Of Thrones style plot any time soon.
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