As the budget battle and shutdown drag on, it is clear that Speaker John Boehner is demonstrating an absolute failure of leadership. Instead of leading Congress to a budget agreement, perhaps even a grand bargain, he is being lead down the road to fiscal disaster by a minority of Tea Party members in his caucus. His tactics are also causing his party and his House members to plummet in the polls. It is clear that a majority of Republicans and House members support ending the shutdown and passing a clean Continuing Resolution to do so. In his heart, the Speaker must also know this is the right thing to do. If he was a true leader he would get the Tea Party minority to give up its fight. However, he fears losing his Speakership to Tea Party insurgency and is just digging in his heels further. This begs the question, what if the challenge came from the moderate wing of the Party.
Moderate Republicans are constantly on TV decrying the shutdown and the Tea Party tactics that led to it Many of them not only believe it is wrong but also see their electoral prospects threatened in swing districts. If they band together with Democrats, they could elect a Speaker that better reflects their values than Boehner does. Demcorats would have to acknowledge the Republican majority and so the new Speaker would have to be one. If this bipartisan coalition, they could actually elect a Speaker that would lead, end Congressional dysfunction, and get things done in the bipartisan way Americans want. Just beginning this effort would put more pressure on Boehner to end the shutdown and stop cowering to the Tea Party. So I say to Peter King, Jon Runyan and their ilk, stop agonizing and organize to get a new Speaker. John Boehner doesn't lead but just bends to political pressure, so put some on him.