Boehner’s Career May Hinge on Friday Vote (If There is a Vote)

Speaker of the House John Boehner was not able to corral Republicans on Thursday in time for a vote on his debt ceiling/deficit plan. The vote is now supposed to happen on Friday, and the stakes may never be higher for Boehner.

From Salon:

It is still, at this point, nearly inconceivable that Boehner’s bill could go down in flames. Because if it does, intransigent House conservatives will have handed President Obama one of the biggest victories of his term.

Here’s why: The Boehner bill is already a conservative bill that won’t pass the Senate. But if House Republicans can’t pass it on their own, they will have conclusively demonstrated that it will be impossible for them to come to agreement on any kind of compromise deal acceptable to both parties. They will have effectively declared themselves incapable of governing. [Pols emphasis]

In that situation, President Obama would have foolproof political cover to take dramatic action, such as declaring the debt ceiling unconstitutional under the grounds of the 14th Amendment, or simple “necessities of state.” If the House can’t pass the speaker’s own bill, with the entire nation (and the world) watching, with Wall Street on edge, and most amazingly of all, already having secured a deal that includes significant spending cuts without any revenue increases, House Republicans will be exposed as both irresponsible and incompetent.

This kind of thing just doesn’t happen. It is very very rare for the majority party to bring a major bill to the floor without knowing how the votes will go down. The last time, in fact, is seared into our cultural memory: the failed vote on TARP that set off a major market meltdown.

But that wasn’t Speaker Pelosi’s fault. On that infamous day, John Boehner failed to deliver his caucus. If history repeats itself, Washington will be a different town, and Boehner will be a neutered political leader. And those of us who lived through this period will wonder how in the world this man managed to hold the U.S. government hostage for so long, when he couldn’t even control his own party. [Pols emphasis]

16 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Sir Robin says:

    The contrast with Rep. Pelosi is fascinating.

  2. TimothyTribbett says:

    These tea bagers remind me so much of the “Contract With America” train wreck that I am beside myself. I am not that bright but I do know the old line that if you do not know your history you are bound to repeat it. How did shutting down the government work last time guys? What a bunch of complete clowns.

    • TimothyTribbett says:

      Here is the solution. Pure and simple. Obama calls a press conference Monday night and reads the following:

      Section 4. The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any State shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

    • The realist says:

      Apparently they enjoyed it so much last time that this time they decided to go for broke — shut down the nation’s credit worthiness, and bring the world economy to its knees.  

      All of you out there in Strangeland who voted for the right-wing extremists who cannot govern – and hate government anyway – have a lot of apologizing to do.

  3. Today was the tipping point.  He was looking for some way to get the uber-right wingers on board and failed – by some reports losing almost 40 votes from the caucus on what was already (as noted) a very very conservative bill.

    It’s possible the original Boehner plan might have been the basis for a compromise bill; now it appears it will turn into just one more Paul Ryan Special, incapable of passage anywhere outside of Teabagistan.  If Eric Erikkson of Redstate is right, tonight’s changes will include required passage of a balanced budget amendment, which is a complete non-starter outside of the House GOP (and as dumb an idea as it ever has been…).

    Tonight’s failure might as well have been titled “Boehner’s Last Stand”.  I think it can be taken as fact that Eric Cantor’s really in charge now.

  4. ScottP says:

    They already have!

    • BlueCat says:

      to run government. It’s not as if the Tea Baggers didn’t make it clear that they were a only interested in tearing the joint down. I suppose it’s still possible that Boehner could pull it off Friday but it’s going to be hard for all those who say they prayed on it and the answer was no to say they got a text or something from God over night telling them to change their minds.  Apparently the Borg is failing to fully assimilate the Tea Baggers.  

  5. IndyNinja says:

    Dave Foley (from TV shows News Radio and Kids in the Hall) tweets:

    John Boehner just drunk dialed me and tried to get me to vote for his bill. I told him I would. Seemed to cheer him up. Was that wrong?!/DaveSFoley

  6. SSG_Dan says:

    ….we might be seeing the realistic possibility that there IS no unified Republican’t party anymore. There is a real possibility that the GOP has for practical purposes, split into two irreconcilable parties.

    If the GOP will play by the rules and allow any bill onto the floor, why not put out the Congressional Progressive Caucus’ Budget?

    Think about it – it has as much chance of passage of the House as the one the Orange Man keeps trying to salvage. The moonbats in the Tea Party will vote against both…so who’s to say the Dems couldn’t pick up enough moderate Repubs to pass their bill?

    It’s crazy, but not any crazier than what’s been happening the last few days….

    • Gilpin Guy says:

      If they are all going to fail then why not put out the one that makes the most sense (including tax increases) and then campaign that you gave the American people your best shot at better policy.  If this is all about politics then Democrats might as well stop trying to appease the teabaggers and put out a bill that they would be proud to implement.

    • The realist says:

      Which raises the question, do the Dems have strategists at all?  Divide and conquer would seem to be an opportunity here.  If the “divide” part is already done, where are the conquerors??

  7. sxp151 says:

    Republicans campaigned in 2010 on a pledge to protect Medicare from Obama, and some were surprised when they immediately set out to destroy it. But so far being too incompetent to destroy it has gotten them fulfilling their major campaign promise. Maybe this circus is their way of starting up their reelection campaigns?

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