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Author: Raine    Date: 10/19/2015 13:19:37

About ten days ago I wrote a blog titled "A house divided, a Party Divided" suggesting that perhaps the Democratic minority in the House of Representatives would be able to help the majority party nominate and eventually elect a new House Speaker. We learned that morning that the person most of us thought would be elected - Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy - abruptly dropped out.

Since then, all hell has broken loose with the House. Jason Chaffetz, the initially preferred Tea Party Freedom Caucus nominee would not get the votes needed. We have learned that the Tea Party Freedom Caucus has a list of demands from any one who becomes Speaker of the House which has only further thrown the party into chaos. Here are just a few, via ThinkProgress:


During this time many have been looking and practically begging Paul Ryan to run for the position. He has consistently said no. I was surprised a bit at first. However, at a certain point it became clear to me that Ryan has much bigger ambitions. The likelihood of a Speaker of the House surviving the radicals inside the party are almost as impossible as it is historically for any Speaker of the House to eventually become President. Yesterday, Robotic Gaffe machine made that assumption more than clear on CNN's State of The Union Show.
"We need Paul in two spots at once. You know, there haven't been a lot of people that have gone on from speaker to the White House, so I'd hate to lose him as a potential contender down the road for the White House. But he is such a man of such talent and such integrity and character that he's a real resource for the country," Romney told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview that aired Sunday on "State of the Union."
There is also this bugaboo: the Tea Party Freedom Caucus apparently now believes that Ryan is not conservative enough.
Members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of about 40 Republican members of Congress who want to hold government funding and debt repayment hostage to massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Planned Parenthood, say they are sticking with Florida Republican Rep. Daniel Webster as their choice for speaker. And conservative pundits are making clear they do not want Ryan: This week RedState’s Erick Erickson warned he would be “a dangerous pick for conservatives,” Richard Viguerie’s Conservative HQ denounced him a “Boehner-Lite,” and Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz called him “the absolute worst choice for speaker.” A Breitbart story on Friday suggested that Ryan too might struggle to get the 218 votes to win and that the perception of a Ryan consensus was purely media driven.

It really does look like Ryan isn't going to seek the position of Speaker. As of this morning, he is saying he's open to the idea — however I think he is still playing it very close to the vest. That seems to leave everyone with Representative Daniel Webster from Florida's 8th district. He has only been in elected office since 2011. That is a mere 4 years since he defeated Congressman Alan Grayson. He's also at jeopardy to lose his seat in Congress due to redistricting.
Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) is running full-steam ahead in his long-shot bid for Speaker, while looming redistricting plans in his state threaten his congressional seat.

Webster's reelection chances in his current district suffered a severe blow Oct. 9 when a circuit court judge give tentative approval to a redistricting proposal favoring Democrats in his area.

While the map plans have yet to be finalized, it raises the prospect that if successful in his leadership bid, Webster could assume the Speaker's gavel without having solid reelection prospects.
Basically this GOP mess is still in the same place it was when I wrote my last blog on this subject. They are divided; deeply almost irreparably divided.
At the moment, the 40-plus hard-right conservatives in the Freedom Caucus have all but created their own political party by blocking the majority of Republicans in the House from picking a Speaker.

And, like a third party, the Freedom Caucus has its own legislative agenda – ending Obamacare, cutting the budget, building a wall on the southern border. The only question is whether its members are willing to make deals that will attract enough Republicans or Democrats to pass legislation.

That is the operating dynamic of a multi-party, coalition democracy.
The Freedom Caucus and the people who sent them to Washington want to sit at the big table and decide on their own deals. All that is required now is that the rebels pick their own leader and begin negotiations with the Republicans and Democrats.

But first they have to officially divorce the GOP and form their own party.
So what happens next? I am still sticking with my assumption that this woman will save these dysfunctional representatives from themselves.
“I think in our caucus there is interest and support. There’s an openness to a bipartisan approach to this,” Pelosi said in an interview at the Texas Tribune Festival.

Pelosi stopped short of endorsing by name any particular Republican for speaker.

“Do you want him to be totally destroyed in his caucus if I mentioned who I thought would be good?” Pelosi said when asked by the Texas Tribune’s Abby Livingston about the prospects of her casting a vote for a Republican speaker. “That would be the end of him.”
Were a power-sharing coalition to emerge in the House in Washington — similar to the arrangement in the Texas Legislature, where a more moderate Republican relies on Democratic votes to be speaker — Pelosi talked about what she would want in exchange for votes from her members.

“Comprehensive immigration reform, background checks … for gun safety, a civil rights bill. You know, I have a few things that I might be interested in,” Pelosi said. “In addition to the full faith and credit of the United States of America, a transportation bill … keeping government open.”

“I mean, my price isn’t too high,” she said, though immigration overhaul legislation, a bill to strengthen gun laws and a revision to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 are tall orders for Republicans from deeply red districts who would likely face conservative backlash.

In the end, we need someone to lead the House of Representatives. It's time for the grown ups to stop playing with the radicals.

21 comments (Latest Comment: 10/19/2015 20:46:13 by Raine)
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