Friday, March 1, 2013

How the Republican House Majority gets broken

Earlier this week I suggested that Speaker Boehner's Plan B was to let the House lunatic caucus have their tantrum and then cave. The reality is that the lunatic caucus doesn't have a majority and so they can't get anything passed. Their only option is obstruction. For anything to actually pass the House, it will require a coalition of Democrats and sane Republicans.

Two months into the current House session, we've now seen this pattern on legislation to end the "fiscal cliff," Hurricane Sandy relief, and now yesterday on the vote to pass the Senate version of the Violence Against Women's Act.

BooMan is one of the few liberal bloggers I've seen report on the story about the 19 Republicans who pressured Speaker Boehner to have a vote on the Senate version of VAWA. This is a critical development folks...we need to be paying attention. The cracks are starting to show.

We've heard a lot lately about the members of the lunatic caucus who have been elected from solid red districts and are unlikely to do anything as sane as compromise out of fear of a primary challenge. But there are also House Republicans who currently represent more swing districts - mostly in the Northeast part of the country - that are equally threatened by association with this lunacy.

By comparing the 49 Republicans who voted for Sandy Relief with those 19 who challenged Speaker Boehner on VAWA, I see a list of somewhere between 14 and 21 Republicans that might be willing to work with Democrats on some sane legislation. We need 18.

If folks like BooMan and I have figured this out - what do you think the odds are Organizing for America and the White House are on to it? You can bet that OFA has a list and is working with voters in those districts to amplify their voices.

As Leonard Cohen sang so eloquently..."Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."


  1. This Post is so important...this give me hope and a strategy to work from....thank you so much for bringing this into focus

  2. The Hastert Rule is rapidly becoming, as the quote from Pirates of the Caribbean put it, "more of a guideline." Besides Hurricane Sandy, one of the things that was a serious lesson to various Northeastern Republicans was Hurricane Irene in 2011. The Tea Party Republicans who hewed to the conservative mantra were shown the door in 2012, while the one (Gibson) who suddenly decided he represented a district rather than an ideology ended up being re-elected.

  3. I think it is a safe bet that the reason Boehner acquiesced to the demands of those 19 "moderate" Republicans was that they told him that if he didn't then they would sign a discharge petition with the Democrats. Doing so would have been a (possibly fatal) blow to Boehner's authority over his caucus.

    But the mere thought that those 19 might have felt emboldened enough to even make that threat is already an indication that the Republican caucus is cracking up.