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View Diary: Prominent Democrats ask if Boehner's leadership is secure (67 comments)

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  •  After all the bad news the left has been having (18+ / 0-)

    It's good to know that at least Boner has to worry about keeping his job. Then again, if Cantor becomes Speaker, that's not exactly reassuring.

    •  Cantor would only be Speaker for a short time... (23+ / 0-)

      ...and his election would guarantee flipping the House back to the Democrats in 2014. Cantor is the embodyment of all Republican positions that the electorate rejected back in November. He also probably wouldn't get the total respect of his fellow teabaggers since he is Jewish.

      Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

      by JeffW on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 08:32:11 AM PST

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      •  I'm beginning to think that we need two years (17+ / 0-)

        in the proverbial desert to put the final knife into teabaggery. You're exactly right; two years of Cantor would guarantee a Democratic House in 2014. Nothing would get done in the meantime---and I mean literally nothing, probably not even some appropriations, and probably GOPers would shut down chunks of the government. But there's no getting rid of them without shining the bright, hard light on exactly what they represent. And the don't want to seem to go away until that happens.

        So, fuck 'em. Bring it on. Push Boehner out and show us what you've got. Start revving up the squealing tricorner-wearing astroturf-ers. Get out those Koch and Adelson wallets and start buying ads 24/7. Get Bachmann and West and DeMint and Gingrich and every other doughy white freak in front of Faux News cameras. Own it! Show us how low you'll go!

        •  I am not positive that you are right but. . . (10+ / 0-)

          THAT is a great point that I will need to consider.

          My initial reaction was "do we really want Boehner gone?  B/c I can certainly think of even more insane/mean spirited and uncomprimising R-Reps (Cantor)"

          But you raise a great point. . . perhaps the ONLY way to make progress is to hit bottom and, terrifyingly, Boehner may not be the real bottom.

          Perhaps the fact that Boehner, might - at the end of a long day - agree provisionally with Obama that the sky is blue, makes him way to progressive for the true "bottom" members of the caucus.

          Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

          by 4CasandChlo on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:28:28 AM PST

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          •  Boehner isn't the bottom (6+ / 0-)

            He's a typical Bush-era republican, and represents about 2/3 of the current caucus.

            Ie, just enough to NOT have a majority without either the Tea Partiers or the Democrats, and there's very little he can propose that Dems will sign on to while holding his 2/3 caucus together.

            He's the weakest speaker I've seen in my lifetime because of the huge gaps between the four major House factions.

            There is no deal the Progressive Caucus and the Tea Party Caucus can agree on, but that's fairly  normal  (extreme right and left don't ever vote together)

            What makes him weak is that there is also nothing the normal Dem caucus and Tea Parties can agree on, or that the Progressive caucus and normal R caucus can agree on.  This means the only way B can cobble together a majority is with tea party+mainline Rs.

            Contrast this to the 2004 or 2006 house.   In those houses  you could pass a bill by either uniting the majority caucus or by picking off 20-30 moderates from the the majority and uniting the minority caucus.

            The problem now is that centrists have been completely purged from the Rs, and the dems have been pared back to the point where there aren't enough centrist dems in the house to overcome the Tea Party faction.  (Boehner might have been able to pick off 20ish Dems for some things, but not enough to overcome losing 60+ R votes).

            So that means....anything that passes the House has to be Tea Party acceptable.   Which means it will NOT pass the Senate or get signed by the Prez.

            As long as there are enough hardline tea partiers in the caucus AND as long as the rest of the non-tea-party Rs still vote like normal Bush republicans (ie, no "centrists") this situation will endure.

            The only way to break the logjam is to either break off about a third of the Democratic caucus to vote like bush Rs, or to split off about 30 R votes from the Republican caucus and pass essentially Democratic legislation.  (kinda like what happened in the New York senate, except with renegade Rs instead of Ds)

            I don't see Pelosi losing control of her caucus that way.  The wobblies were almost entirely purged in 2010.

            Which means from a Speaker standpoint we're looking at three possibilities in 2013-2104.

            1.  Status quo.   Boehner will talk a good game but his caucus will never deliver.  They'll do a lot of symbolic votes.  Once in a blue moon something substantive will be passed (like the tiny "help veterans get work" portion of Obama's jobs bill package that did pass).  Continuing resolutions to keep government functioning on status quo basis will probably be cobbled together with a mix of R and D votes, although they'll be hard to pass because the Tea Partiers will keep trying to add nasty amendments, so we might see the occasional government shutdown.

            2.  Boehner replaced with Cantor or Ryan or similar.   Nothing but symbolic votes will take place, and even more wasted time in "investigations".  Expect a debt limit constitutional crisis and at least one government shutdown.

            3.  Regardless of the R speaker, Pelosi might get 20+ Rs to form a "centrist" caucus, on the New York senate model, and vote with the Dems.  I don't see this happening except on the most vital legislation (budgets) or the most popular (tax reductions for middle class, defense appropriations).  But if it does, what we have is sort-of-a Dem majority in the House, enough to keep the govt running.   This might only happen after #2 has sent us off a cliff or two.

            Even in scenario #3 though, whomever the speaker is can block most legislation by not bringing it to a vote, so all #3 type activities would have to be done with the kind of petition Pelosi introduced to try to get the middle class tax cuts done.  In a way, this is probably a trial run to get the process down for repeated use in 2013-2014 if she can break free a few Rs who either care about governing or no longer care about re-election for whatever reason, or both.

            •  The only reason Boehner would (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JeffW, IM, daveminnj

              want to wait till January to actually start dealing, imo, is because
              1) He is waiting from that ever present knife in the back from Cantor and Ryan and cannot actually lead at this point because of all the points you bring up
              2) he is hoping the new congress will bring new dynamics in his favor i.e the teabaggery contingent will start to actually THINK
              3) he actually cannot do anything, again because of points you bring up and hopes that the Ryan and Cantor faction will actually step up to the plate and well er ummm LEAD in the new year.

              It looks to me as though you have the right of it. We are looking at a transition of the RepubliCONS to the RepubliCAN'TS. It will be a long long two years.

              American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

              by glitterscale on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:13:19 AM PST

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        •  Those two years in the desert are half of Obama's (4+ / 0-)

          ... remaining term. And traditionally, the last two of eight years are pretty fallow for the sitting President.

          Arguably, that might not be so - the last two might be productive - if (1) Republican obstructionism in 2013-14 is as we'd expect from Eric Cantor, and (2) the GOP House feels energized, renewed and goes more bat-shit crazy, and (3) Democrats capitalize on it by building good state-level organizations and running candidates who actually win in 2014. (As the political maxim goes, "Close" only counts in horseshoes and dancing.)

          We might be stuck with those "ifs" anyway. But I believe our chances of success are more realistic with shaky but continued Boehner "leadership", a weakened Tea Party position in the GOP (to be sure, only "weakened" but it is bleeding) and an aggressive Obama agenda next year that tees up our issues. Oh Yes, and #3 above no matter what!

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 09:46:47 AM PST

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          •  Are the 15 moderate GOoPers… (0+ / 0-)

            …that we could persuade to cross the aisle?

            Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

            by DemSign on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:04:01 AM PST

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            •  Possibly. You've hit on a key point! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mr MadAsHell

              Somehow, in the Senate, Mitch the Obstructionist has been able to keep his flock of Republicans in line almost all the time. (It hasn't been just McConnell, obviously, but he's been able to be amazingly belligerent.) Would any House GOP members, particularly after November 2012, be leaning toward moderate? And vote accordingly? And take the heat?

              1. They would have to buck a party still in reflexive thrall of uber-conservatives and with leadership who is conflicted, to say the least.
              2. Members who "weaken" on any key vote of principle will have to live in a hot-and-hotter GOP-controlled House for the next 24 months. Nothing realistic can possibly turn the House Democratic before November 2014.
              3. The leverage conservative zealots have to terrorize those who would stray is in the primaries. That's where the Far and Farther Right prevails, because it can run their co-zealots, promise 'em lots of money and "intellectual" support and energize their base to vote. It's a time when most other voters stay at home and wait for the "real" election. The district's general election may be close, but (a) the GOP incumbent has to get to the general and (b) we Democrats have to put forth a weak candidate or no one. In 2014, it is unlikely that we will forgo running a likely winner in any marginal district.
              4. They could cross the Rubicon, become Democrats and caucus accordingly. Needless to say, this would brand them treacherous anathema in the Right and the DFC would have to pledge a lot of support to them in the coming years. Or, they would have to retire in 2014. (And if they did, could they be effective lobbyists, the career path of choice for so many retiring members?)

              I don't think Republicans see the results of 2012 in terms that will produce 15 converts on issues or processes that are dear to the GOP. Although hope does spring eternal. My main hope is that we use the next 18 months to double-up on resources, campaign organizations, state-level structures and well-advised strategy to point up the differences that will energize our base in 2014.

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:50:28 AM PST

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        •  Aren't we already 2 years into the wilderness? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JeffW, IM

          After 2010, nothing progressive has made progress. Boner is only more palatable than Cantor and the TeaBaggers because he SOUNDS nicer. But he's saying the exact same things when you boil them down.
          And it may be that Cantor's "leadership style" might be abrasive enough to backlash, but I believe that backlash is well underway already.
          Boner is weak and he can be twisted, somewhat, his personal positions are not quite as extreme as his party, so he can't give it full throat, where Cantor and the bas+ards behind him have no such conflict.
          What forcing Boner to screw himself will do is heat up the civil war inside the GOP. Any disarray, chaos in the caucus, is a good thing for the rest of US. If my reading of tea leaves is anywhere near right, Boner is closer to the establishment GOP than Cantor. I believe that the TeaBaggers have fallen from grace and will be cut loose by all but their most insane backers. Boner signaled as much by purging the TeaBaggers from committees, cutting down his opposition. The hyper-partisan gridlock brought on by the TeaBaggers, is hurting Big Business' bottom line. Another four years of obstruction in an attempt to coral Obama is too much to pay for too little return. But they built this monster and it's taken on life of it's own, so now they have to cut it back down or lose everything.
          If Boner gets knocked off and the TeaBaggers are ascendant, the GOP's traditional base (Big Business and Old Money) will have lost a major battle.
          And their whole party will be much weakened as civil war breaks out and many of their sponsors step back.
          And THAT bodes well for US.

          If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

          by CwV on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:04:34 AM PST

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          •  I haven't seen any sign of (0+ / 0-)

            this:

            TeaBaggers have fallen from grace and will be cut loose by all but their most insane backers
            Mostly because the "backers" are stuck with zero, zed without the tbaggers. They fell in line behind the rape guys remember? And took a hit in the pocket book as well!.

            American Television is a vast sea of stupid. -xxdr zombiexx

            by glitterscale on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:17:18 AM PST

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      •  They have to agree on someone or it's Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

        As I understand it, each party nominates someone, but people can actually vote for anyone they want, even someone not in the House (Newt Gingrich, Daffy Duck) if they want.  Generally the party coalesces around someone.  If Boehner doesn't have 201 votes and the Dems hang together, theoretically Pelosi could be speaker.  What I don't know is if it has to be settled by Jan 3 when the new Congress takes over. If they have 2 sizable factions, they may be in trouble.  

        They can't even govern themselves; how can they pretend they are capable of governing the country?

        The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

        by Mimikatz on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:04:56 AM PST

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    •  cantor never speaker, see TX repubs about Jews (6+ / 0-)

      Joe Straus TX state repub house caused all the crazies to openly ask if a "xtian" speaker would not be better and they screeched and they fought to make sure the "Jew" didnt get the spot

      He did anyway, but texas for all its faults isnt south carolina, Georgia, tn, etc and I would expect the deep south to flip out over cantor becoming speaker/ majority leader of house repubs

      taking bets now that it will never happen in this century

      •  What is kind of sad (0+ / 0-)

        is that the "Moral Majority" types are happy to talk about Judeo-Christian values, right up to the point where the Judeo part gets a voice.

        FWIW, Straus is well respected among his fellow legislators, and even his main rivals for the speakership have condemned the anti-semitic remarks bubbling up from one of the state GOP party committees.

        To the extent that Straus is vulnerable to a speaker challenge within his party, it is because he represents an urban, corporate type of Republican and he is frequently willing to seriously entertain discussions with other urban-disctrict representatives (which includes most of the elected democrats). Straus's chief rivals hail from the suburban/exurban community (Paxton) and the rural interest community (Chisum). The rural-vs-urban tension is a very large part of Texas politics.

        ad astra per alia porci

        by harrije on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 10:50:45 AM PST

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      •  If Boehner falls… (0+ / 0-)

        …it won't be to his Lieutenant, Cantor won't be running for the speakership. Boehner would be challenged by someone like Tom Price (who has said he won't actually challenge Boehner).

        Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone: DemSign.com. Get your We are the 99% Yard Sign.

        by DemSign on Wed Dec 12, 2012 at 11:09:29 AM PST

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