A bad moon rising?
John Boehner resigned as Speaker of the House and over the weekend a blood moon rode the night sky. In ancient times this was considered an unlucky omen, even a prediction of the end of days. Now it is known as a total lunar eclipse.
In the U.S. Capitol's hallowed halls there is a total political eclipse, even rarer than the blood moon. A sitting speaker willingly resigned the gavel, something that hasn't happened since Thomas P. O'Neill Jr., who held power from 1977 to 1986.
The Republican Party has just had a major earthquake. This was an event so powerful it has shaken the very core of its command source and ended the career of the man who was effectively in charge. There is now a power vacuum and in the coming week, things are going to get nasty.
Why is this happening?
The Republican Party has gone from a respected political party to a rally of division and discord. America isn't seeing a debate of the highest levels, they are getting a pie fight.
I previously wrote an article asking the question, "Is this the end of the GOP?"
That article was an observational piece that explored the repercussions of the extreme right wing politics at play in the Republican Party. I looked into the hostility towards female and Hispanic blocs of voters, and generally asked how long a party can sustain nationally with that type of negative rhetoric and antagonism towards so many.
Over the last decade, the GOP has been sliding nationally to more and more hostile politics. They have had to use issues of division to gain the momentum of their base. An example of this is telling voters there are lazy people who are trying to steal their paychecks so they can sit at home. This is their excuse for cutting food stamps.
But it goes so much deeper. There is hypocrisy and deception that has knifed itself so profoundly into the core of the GOP that it will be very difficult to repair the damage they have inflicted unto themselves.
An example: The GOP does all it can to prevent abortions, but they cut food stamps for the families of starving children. Again, it goes deeper -- not only do they cut the food stamps, but then the GOP post insults like this on their social networking sites.
Many of those who qualify for food stamps are teachers, correctional officers, students and single parents; not just the unemployed.
But finally, the GOP has seemed to have reached the point where the traditionalist and the radicals have broken. The party is literally shattering and there can be no future this way. They only need to look as far as the founder of their very party for guidance here. As Lincoln so eloquently said, "a house divided against itself cannot stand."
The best evidence of this is that Speaker Boehner resigned last week in a move that shocked everyone, even those closest to him.
But, let there be no mistake, John Boehner was forced out of congress by those dissatisfied that the GOP is working with the democrats.
The radical section of the GOP feels Boehner was too willing to work with President Obama.
Daily Kos said it best:
After total legislative obstruction, a government shut-down, more than 50 votes to repeal Obamacare, an ensuing presidential election, two Supreme Court lawsuits, and other pending litigation -- Republicans are livid with the belief that John Boehner has worked with the president to strengthen Obamacare.
For years now we have seen Boehner embarrassed time and again as he attempted to conduct business as speaker. Any deal he attempted was sabotaged by his own party. He was frequently seen as weak by the more radicals around him, and because he couldn't keep his own house in order -- the rest of the nation thought so as well.
Before this event, nobody saw that Boehner was the pin that kept the grenade from exploding, but now, the Republican Party is going to truly self-destruct. There is no parent around to keep the children in check.
Most surprising is that during the Values Voter Summit in Washington D.C., candidates for President of the United States spent more time attacking their own leadership than they did the democrats.
Huffington Post's Elise Foley and Jennifer Bendery wrote a terrific article on conservatives celebrating Boehner's exit.
"Here's what I say in response to Speaker Boehner stepping down: Mitch McConnell, it is now your turn," said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a GOP presidential hopeful, to a ballroom full of cheering conservatives.
"If Senator McConnell is not willing to fight for our conservative principles, he needs to follow John Boehner's example," he said.
Boehner has endorsed Representative Kevin McCarthy of California. There is quite a fight ahead. While McCarthy is viewed more favorably by the House's more radical members equally for his inclination to bow to their resolve and for his sunny disposition, this is the Tea Party's time to shine. They effectively just booted John Boehner out the front door, it would be surprising if they elected the man he endorsed on his way out.
The GOP cannot sustain on its current path. If the radical conservatives take over the House, the GOP will not win another presidential election. This is a political party going the way of the Federalist and the Whigs; holding onto an outdated system of policies not enough voters support, from a time nobody wants to remember, in a generation that is going in the opposite direction.
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