Wednesday, August 20, 2014
And they just get crazier
A look to the future of the Republican Party bodes ill for the current Speaker, John Boehner. More and more he can expect people who supported him to be replaced by stark raving lunatics, furiously embracing the anarchy of the Teabaggers.
Grothman, the expected winner in a tight Republican primary for the right to succeed 73-year-old Representative Thomas Petri in Wisconsin, is one of more than a dozen vocal conservatives gunning to replace more moderate or pragmatic retiring House Republicans in November's midterm elections.The Republican power structure chose to ride the Teabagger tiger. Now they can neither control it, nor get off its back without being destroyed by it.WASTF!
Their arrival could mean even more headaches for Boehner, who has struggled in recent years to keep his fractious caucus together on critical battles over tax and spending bills, and most recently on legislation to secure border funding.
A further shift to the right in the House, continuing a trend that began with the Tea Party's surge in 2010, could signal another round of high-stakes political showdowns early in the new year and ultimately threaten Boehner's leadership.
One of the first votes the new House conservatives will face in March will be on raising the federal debt limit -- a topic that already has produced two grinding partisan battles that rattled financial markets and threatened U.S. credit ratings.
With Republicans now holding 234 House seats, it takes only 17 Republican "no" votes to sink legislation without Democratic support, giving the growing conservative bloc immense clout in legislative negotiations.
"It's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for the next speaker to get to 218 without Democratic votes," said James Thurber, a political scientist at American University, referring to the majority needed to pass legislation in the House.
But turning to Democrats more often to pass critical budget, transportation or immigration bills next year is a path toward potential mutiny by conservatives, Thurber said.
"There's just nobody in the middle anymore and nobody that's willing to cross parties to vote because of this polarization," Thurber said.
Boehner could face a challenge to his speaker position when House members choose their leadership after the November elections. Boehner said this summer that he was "all in" to seek another term as speaker, apparently quashing speculation that he has grown weary of the job.
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