Boehner out
September 25, 2015 6:54 AM   Subscribe

House Speaker John Boehner will give up his House seat and resign from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has been Speaker since January 2011, and has been a member of the House since January 1991. Boehner made the announcement this morning in an emotional meeting with fellow Republicans, according to the New York Times, which says that his resignation throws Congress and the federal government "into chaos" as Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.
posted by blucevalo (505 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, shit. I wonder if his decision has any connection to the Pope's visit?
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:57 AM on September 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


This seems bad. Scumbag as he was, at least he understood the consequences of government shutdowns.
posted by hwyengr at 6:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [55 favorites]


Yes, this guy leaving government will be the straw that throws the whole structure of Congress into chaos, not anything else at all.

Boehner has been terminally inadequate for his position in every direction. I hope he doesn't retire to Florida like the rest of Ohio.
posted by syncope at 6:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


The long knives have been out for Congressman Oompa-Loompa for a while. This is a big win for The Dark Side.
posted by briank at 7:00 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Yeah, the government's definitely shutting down. Interesting that he referenced his faith after his teary display with the Pope yesterday.
posted by bgal81 at 7:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Won't miss ya, ya big orange baby.
posted by Existential Dread at 7:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is a big win for The Dark Side.

Actually, I'm sort of hoping this means they've been given enough rope to hang themselves with.
posted by Mooski at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Presumably this is to make way for increased awfulness?
posted by Artw at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [47 favorites]



I wonder if his decision has any connection to the Pope's visit?
Mr. Boehner’s surprise announcement came just a day after Pope Francis visited the Capitol, the fulfillment of a 20-year dream of Mr. Boehner of having a pontiff address members of Congress. He had a private audience with Francis before the pope’s address to a joint meeting of Congress. -- New York Times
This is a big win for The Dark Side.

Their joy is likely to be short-lived.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


He said he is leaving to spend more time with his family.
posted by kate blank at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Maybe the Pope gave him a conscience. Miracles are real after all!
posted by IanMorr at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


maybe even he was fed up with shit like trying to defund Planned Parenthood. The Republican party is basically the American Isis and Boehner is not a true believer. He got into Congress because he was sick of working for a living and figured his haircut and dubious ethics could get him somewhere.
posted by any major dude at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [45 favorites]


So, what you're telling me is that after 8 long, hard years, the GOP's Boehner has subsided?
posted by tocts at 7:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [46 favorites]


It's payday--I think I'll give some money to Planned Parenthood.
posted by box at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


Actually, I'm sort of hoping this means they've been given enough rope to hang themselves with.

They seem to have very tough necks and a tendency to loop the rope around everyone else first.
posted by Artw at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2015 [59 favorites]


That's...wow. Who is going to take over as speaker?
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:03 AM on September 25, 2015


Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.

This is actually not very long ago.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:04 AM on September 25, 2015 [192 favorites]


Does anybody have statistics, off-hand (or online) of what percentage of total abortions in the United States are actually performed by Planned Parenthood or it's affiliates?

Because if the percentage is significant, it's possible that Boehner's resignation is a prelude to a Republican effort to end all abortion in the United States through budgetary means. Namely: "End abortion or we shut down the government".

10 years ago this would have been absurd. But now it's looking like a real possibility.
posted by Avenger at 7:05 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


There's not enough popcorn in the world for this.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:06 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, bye.
posted by Ratio at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Honestly, I'd like to make jokes about this, but I hope he is okay. I don't believe he would just resign if he weren't seriously ill or had some other urgent life consuming issue.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


He's been in a rough spot for a long time, stuck between the criminally insane (the Tea Partiers) and the merely evil (the rest of the Republican party). Can't blame the guy.
posted by edheil at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


"End abortion or we shut down the government".

That's fine, then why don't Democrats counter with lifetime subsidies for every non-aborted child - free food, housing, healthcare and college. See who votes against that one. It's the same bullshit they spew about supporting the troops then cutting funding for the VA.
posted by any major dude at 7:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [70 favorites]


Bye, Felicia.
posted by deezil at 7:08 AM on September 25, 2015 [25 favorites]


We better hope they don't decide to shut down the government as a way to celebrate since the USDA doesn't have the money to keep food stamps/SNAP going.

I really hope not even the House is willing to do that.
posted by scififan at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Honestly, I'd like to make jokes about this, but I hope he is okay. I don't believe he would just resign if he weren't seriously ill or had some other urgent life consuming issue.

The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that the night after he met the Pope, he sat down, thought a bit about his current life in Congress, then said out loud, "Ya know? Fuck this shit."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2015 [161 favorites]


"End abortion or we shut down the government".

That's fine, then why don't Democrats counter with lifetime subsidies for every non-aborted child - free food, housing, healthcare and college. See who votes against that one.


I get this and I think you are being facetious but no, it's really, really NOT fine. It'd be great to have those things anyway and I think we should (along with a TON of other stuff like legal representation even in civil suits and free transportation and everything) but no, even an implied concession that outlawing abortion (and please note, you can make it illegal, but you can't end it) is acceptable is not fine.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:10 AM on September 25, 2015 [45 favorites]


Boehner had been inviting popes to address congress since the 1990s and said after yesterday's speech that he'd achieved his highest goal. Which tells you what he really thinks of a lot of the rhetoric he's been throwing around since taking over the House.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


Buckle up, Federal employees, shutdown odds just went to 1000%. Whoever replaces him will be much, much worse and well aware that working with Obama and the Democrats on keeping the government functioning is what got Boehner canned, especially if Boehner manages to pass a short-term continuing resolution here this week with Democratic votes. The next fight after that runs out will be the apocalyptic one, as the debt ceiling will likely be on the line as well. The government may be shutdown till the 2016 election. Polish up those resumes.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:12 AM on September 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


I wonder what scandal he's trying to outrun here.

My first thought was the fine hand of the Clintons but then I realized it's probably his own gang coming after him.
posted by fuse theorem at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


as Congress faces an imminent government shutdown, the first since 2013.

I have a hard time believing that the GOP would force a shutdown during presidential election season.
posted by Melismata at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


The government may be shutdown till the 2016 election.

I don't think we need to do that here.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:14 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


From Boehner's statement:
Speaker Boehner believes that the first job of any Speaker is to protect this institution and, as we saw yesterday with the Holy Father, it is the one thing that unites and inspires us all.
I know what he's getting at here, but hasn't putting "protecting the institution" above all else kinda been a problem for the Catholic church recently?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Holy cow. I wonder who will replace him? I can't imagine it'll be someone who represents the mainstream (i.e. far right, as opposed to extreme right) Republican caucus.
posted by Gelatin at 7:15 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Its really awful that those on the right find the current situation in America so untenable that they force out someone who simply thinks the government should at least remain open to help people.
posted by lownote at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Live Announcement
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2015


Wait, you guys are telling me the next Speaker will be less moderate than than Boehner? How ever will this person Get Things Done when we elect Pragmatic Moderate Everyman Compromiser Donald Trump?
posted by tonycpsu at 7:16 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


He's going to pass a clean CR.
posted by PMdixon at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I really hope not even the House is willing to do that.

Ahahahahahahahahahaha *wipes tear* no, the Republican Party is absolutely willing and no doubt eager to end food stamps.
posted by maryr at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that the night after he met the Pope, he sat down, thought a bit about his current life in Congress, then said out loud, "Ya know? Fuck this shit."

"Hey, Your Holiness, one more thing... I was... Um, I was wondering... You talk to Benedict a lot, right?"
"Yes, His Holiness and I speak often."
"Is he... Is he happy? Is he okay with stepping down?"
"Very much so. He greatly enjoys his life now. Why do you ask?"
"Oh... No reason. Just wondering..."
posted by Etrigan at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [139 favorites]



Mind you, Boehner is also resigning his House seat. That's going to make my 90 year old father very very happy. Boehner's been his rep in congress since he had to move in closer to Cincy a few years ago and he can't stand the man. (He voted for Obama twice, BTW.)

Who is going to take over as speaker?

Let's hope it's L. Gohmert Pyle, USMC.

Shazam!
 
posted by Herodios at 7:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Maybe he's going to run for President.
posted by something something at 7:19 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


I have a hard time believing that the GOP would force a shutdown during presidential election season.
posted by Melismata at 7:14 AM on September 25 [+] [!]


Why? Tea Partiers believe that the vast majority of American's support them, and that only a small minority of coastal elites (intellectuals, immigrants, jews I mean, bankers, gays, slutty women, etc.) vote for Democrats.

If anything, they probably believe that a shutdown (or outlawing most abortions) gives them a slam-dunk for the election.
posted by Avenger at 7:19 AM on September 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


I honestly will be surprised if we get a shutdown this month, because now Boehner has nothing stopping him from giving his party's insurgents the finger. He has absolute control over what bills reach the floor, and once they get there it's just a majority vote, no filibusters. He doesn't want a shutdown and now there will be no consequences if he works with democrats to prevent one.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:19 AM on September 25, 2015 [72 favorites]


Maybe he's going to run for President.

*laughs even harder, weeps openly*
posted by maryr at 7:20 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


From CNN:
Boehner, who has served as House Speaker since 2011, explained during the closed-door meeting that he had only planned to serve two terms as speaker but decided to hold onto his post after then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his seat during a primary last year, a Republican lawmaker in the room told CNN.

Boehner also told the lawmakers that Pope Francis' visit to Congress the day before was a crystallizing moment, according to the lawmaker.
Sounds like he was tired of the job and the pope made him realize it.
posted by fremen at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2015 [35 favorites]


Holy Zarquon, that is the most positive spin I have seen put on this and I hope to gods you're right. That would be almost heroic.
posted by maryr at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


How do they even do this? Are they seriously going to go through the process of campaigning for and electing a new speaker while they're dealing with a government shutdown? What's the process going to look like for the next few months?
posted by Elly Vortex at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2015


If anything, they probably believe that a shutdown (or outlawing most abortions) gives them a slam-dunk for the election.

And they flat out oppose the existence of 80% of what the government does, period. Shutting everything down is not a negotiating tactic, it's an unqualified success for them, it's what the believe they were elected to do in the first place.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


This seems bad. Scumbag as he was, at least he understood the consequences of government shutdowns.

Yeah, and he makes the announcement just as his caucus is threatening to shut down the government again. The only good outcome I can imagine is if he's replaced by someone who's openly willing to work with the Democratic caucus to de-fang the threat of a government shutdown. But then, I doubt that person would hold the Speaker's gavel for long.
posted by Gelatin at 7:21 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The more I think about this, the more I'm convinced that the night after he met the Pope, he sat down, thought a bit about his current life in Congress, then said out loud, "Ya know? Fuck this shit."

The more I think about it the more I think he saw the writing on the wall that he was going to have to beg and plead for every nickel for the next year and still get bounced by a more right wing opponent a la Cantor. He would end up in massive debt and not have the ability to hand out favors to get paid back. Stop giving cretins morality when their actions have proven it doesn't exist.
posted by any major dude at 7:23 AM on September 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Little known fact, the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress. Natural solution: Trump for Speaker.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:23 AM on September 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


I wonder what scandal he's trying to outrun here.

The Senate just fucked him with a clean CR so now the crazypants brigade are all mouth-frothy.

That's...wow. I wonder who is going to take over as speaker?

I dunno but people to follow on this are @bindersab , @profstevensmith, maybe @smotus
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:24 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


We're about to change everthing you hoped to change.
posted by clavdivs at 7:25 AM on September 25, 2015


I'm gonna sing the doom song.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Orange you glad [something something] John Boehner again?
posted by carmicha at 7:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Better the devil you do know then the devil you don't....

Let the shit show begin.
posted by photoslob at 7:29 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


BREAKING: Paul Ryan won't run for Speaker: "I don't want to be Speaker"
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:29 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


They'll write a get by bill after a couple weeks of the minor interruptions (red state hunters will be turned away when they go for a buck license) that a 'shutdown' causes -- most of the current republican candidates will be stuck trying to answer "what would you do?" -- Trump will get a huge bump in the polls with his answer (Invade China (with mba's :-) )!
posted by sammyo at 7:32 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wonder if his decision has any connection to the Pope's visit?

Boehner was sitting behind the Pope during the speech and I thought at the time that it looked like Boehner was about to cry.
posted by neuron at 7:33 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time believing that the GOP would force a shutdown during presidential election season.

Well, considering the fact that they won a majority in the House in the next midterm election after the last time they shut down the federal government, I'm not sure there's any actual downside for them in doing so again. It's not like the electorate seems to give a fuck.
posted by holborne at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


He said he is leaving to spend more time with his family.

Ah, yes. The one reason that never once in the history of the universe has been the actual reason.
posted by flug at 7:34 AM on September 25, 2015 [21 favorites]


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBM7DIeMsP0&t=28m30s
posted by neuron at 7:35 AM on September 25, 2015


I don't think there will be a shutdown. Tea partiers have already promised to pass a clean bill without planned parenthood defunding provisions now that they have his head.

Not to say there won't be one later on, but I think we're okay for this next month.
posted by Karaage at 7:37 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's...wow. Who is going to take over as speaker?

It's going to be interesting. The phenomenon of the Crazified 27% has been documented regularly, and the House is where they have their elected representatives. Tea Party House Congresspersons are in little danger of losing elections thanks to demographics and gerrymanders, can howl from the back benches with little fear of reprisal, and have sufficient numbers that while they can't dictate the agenda, they can certainly wield some influence.

The Teabots have wanted Boehner's scalp for a long time, simply because he is not a 100% True Red-White-And-Blue Zero-Compromise Destroy-Everything-Liberal-In-This-World Conservative. He seems to want to get things done now and then, pass legislation, pass budgets, that sort of thing, which is anathema to the hard right; even a compromise that tilts in the Republicans' favor is unacceptable to them because it's a compromise with Evil Baby-Killing Iran-Loving Muslim-Enabling Welfare-State-Creating DemonRATS. This is why we are about to go through government shutdown kabuki yet AGAIN, as something as simple as "let's fund the government" causes revolt from the Teabots who want "100% of our agenda on these issues" as the ransom to be paid for it.

Never mind that with the White House in Democratic hands and the Senate in Republican hands but within the realm of Democratic filibusters, the kinds of radical change that the Teabots demand simply cannot happen.

So, what will happen is that the Corporate Republicans (those bought and paid for by business rather than by Glenn Beck's audience) will hem and haw and eventually come up with a candidate to Boehner's right that will get enough support from the Teabots to get voted in. The alternative -- full capitulation to the Gohmerts of the House -- would have the moneyed interests screaming in their ears that CHAOS REIGNS is not good for their bottom lines. Anyone not sufficiently Gohmerty will have the long knives out for them again the first time they work with Congressional Democrats on anything, so good luck to whoever ends up with the job.
posted by delfin at 7:38 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Boehner is a devout Catholic, a Jesuit and a graduate of a Catholic high school and Catholic Xavier University. He's been on record saying one of his life goals was to bring the Pope before Congress, he's asked 3 different Popes to come for more than 20 years. Him quitting just after having accomplished that fits pretty well, regardless of the upcoming leadership war.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [24 favorites]


It's not like the electorate seems to give a fuck.
Conservative voters might not, but a presidential candidate needs votes from outside their base.

Boehner stepping down at T-1 year to a presidential election puts the GOP in an interesting bind, because if the next Speaker is more willing to indulge in government shutdowns, it's going to be something that any Republican nominee will have to address. Could an electable Republican executive reign in their own party?

Also worth noting: for several years now polls have shown that Republican voters consider "loyalty and constancy" to be the number 1 most important factor in selecting a candidate. This has been used to explain why voters would elect and re-elect legislators who refuse to legislate: because to do so would require compromise, and compromising would get them voted out of office.

However, with the rise of Donald Trump, "loyalty and constancy" has fallen, and the new number 1 most important factor is "business experience." It's easy to look at this and laugh, because it says "the most important factor is just whatever reason I can make up to explain who I already support." But I think it's important, because the "loyalty and constancy" thing has been number 1 for so long, that it was beginning to go unquestioned. The longer Trump succeeds, the more he sends a message to conservatives that GOP voters don't care about whether you sign a loyalty oath as long as you give them some reason to like you.

It could be that Trump ends up being the outside force that finally loosens the GOP's demand for rigid lockstep loyalty.

Maybe.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Holy Zarquon, that is the most positive spin I have seen put on this and I hope to gods you're right. That would be almost heroic.

It's not much of a stretch. For all his many many many faults, Boehner was never gung-ho about the 2013 shutdown -- he was pushing a clean CR until mid-September and only reversed course when it looked like the Tea Partiers could mount a full-scale mutiny and maybe have the votes to get rid of him altogether. When the House eventually passed a funding measure it was a Boehner-led moderateish Republican contingent voting with the Democrats. Now we can skip the part where Boehner is afraid for the security of a job he doesn't want anymore.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why is Jeff Sessions crying?
posted by goHermGO at 7:40 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


That said, all the talk of a funding extension says it would only last until December, and then it gets interesting.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:40 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't believe he would just resign if he weren't seriously ill

I'd imagine he's just sick of the yahoos in the Republican caucus. Well, too bad. If the Republican refusal to govern in good faith is causing him problems, he's partially responsible for it in the first place.
posted by Gelatin at 7:40 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio), faced with a constant conservative rebellion, told Republicans Friday morning that he will resign at the end of October, according to aides and lawmakers in a closed-door meeting.

The resignation will end a nearly five-year reign as speaker, allowing House Republicans to approve a short-term government funding bill that will avert a shutdown of federal agencies. Boehner’s hold on the speaker’s gavel had grown increasingly unsteady amid threats from more than 30 Republicans that they would force a no-confidence vote in his speaker’s position, which would have forced him to rely on Democratic votes in order to remain in charge. It’s unclear whether Boehner is just resigning the speakership next month or also abandoning his House seat.

The shocking move means there’s unlikely to be a government shutdown next week. Following Boehner’s announcement, House Republicans said there was agreement to pass a clean spending bill to avert a government shutdown. Several members of the Freedom Caucus, the conservative group which led the revolt against Boehner’s leadership, said they will now support the spending bill without demands to defund Planned Parenthood attached to it.

“The commitment has been made that there will be no shutdown,” said Rep. John Fleming, (R-La.).


From washpo
posted by Karaage at 7:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


Boehner is a devout Catholic, a Jesuit and a graduate of a Catholic high school and Catholic Xavier University.

Jesuits are ordained, so that's not quite right.

I can see Boehner resigning rather than lose his position as Speaker, which it seems like he was in danger of (or, perhaps, having to get Pelosi to bail him out.)
posted by dismas at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why is Jeff Sessions crying?

Because somewhere in America, a brown-skinned immigrant still walks freely.
posted by delfin at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2015 [24 favorites]


From Politico's story, backing up Holy Zarquon's relatively optimistic take above:

Now that he doesn't have internal political considerations to weigh, Boehner is certain to push through a government-funding bill next week that funds Planned Parenthood, and keeps the government open.

If that's true then all those folks cheering when Rubio announced the news are soon going to be very, very disappointed.
posted by mediareport at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2015


Well, considering the fact that they won a majority in the House in the next midterm election after the last time they shut down the federal government, I'm not sure there's any actual downside for them in doing so again. It's not like the electorate seems to give a fuck.

I care but I guess I'm not part of the electorate since I live in DC and even though Congress has more direct control over my life than that of people in the rest of the country I get a non-voting representative instead of any actual say.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 7:42 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


The WaPo stream is hilarious. Pete Sessions openly saying "I was hoping to avoid you guys," then when his veiled "fuck off" ("you stay on that", I think it was) response got an "Is that a yes," he looked ready to punch someone.
posted by 4th number at 7:43 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


We better hope they don't decide to shut down the government as a way to celebrate since the USDA doesn't have the money to keep food stamps/SNAP going.

I don't have anything pithy to say about this; it's just so deeply twisted for the Republicans to force a choice between reproductive medical care and vital food assistance. Just fuck these horrific politicians who play people's lives like poker chips.
posted by threeants at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


Because somewhere in America, a brown-skinned immigrant still walks freely.

I bet that Francis guy doesn't even have a visa.
posted by nathan_teske at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


My perspective is skewed living in a deeply blue place with entirely Reasonable People who elect mostly Reasonable Candidates, so I don't really have a pulse on the US Majority, but seriously...how is this not a sign that the Republican Party is about to devour itself? Between the clown car presidential debates full of idiots with little government experience and the fools chasing them right down their rabbit holes, and the grumbling over having a Pope speak to them about entirely reasonable Christian principles, to defunding a wildly popular institution that provides women's health care, spending 6 years trying to stymie health care reform that everyone agrees has been generally effective and has saved us money, on top of coming off their own 8 year disastrous presidency, it seems like Boehner saw the writing on the wall and is the first rat off the ship.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:44 AM on September 25, 2015 [27 favorites]


Boehner told lawmakers that Pope Francis' visit to Congress the day before was a crystallizing moment

This clears something else up— obviously the possibility of an awakening Catholic conscience explains why Scalia, Thomas and Alito ran away scared.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 7:45 AM on September 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


Some shit Family Values group that is actually important in the scheme of things but I'm blanking on whatever name they use to hide their evil gave the news a standing ovation when Marc Rubio announced it.

Which strangely feels to me like those scenes from horror movies where the rats are running away from something and everybody is like 'oh shit evil rats' and then the rats are running from something very, very bad.
posted by angrycat at 7:47 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


The Atlantic
Boehner had battled conservatives aligned with the Tea Party for most of his nearly five years as speaker, and in recent weeks they had threatened to try to oust him from power if did not pursue a strategy of defunding Planned Parenthood that would have likely led to a government shutdown.

Conservatives said that if Boehner failed to fight on the government spending bill, they would call up a procedural motion to “vacate the chair” and demand the election of a new speaker. Facing the likelihood that he would need Democrats to save him, Boehner instead chose to step down. In one of his last acts as speaker, Boehner is now expected to defy conservatives by bringing up a funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown beginning next week but that would not cut money from Planned Parenthood.

[According to an unidentified Boehner staffer,] Boehner had planned to leave Congress at the end of 2014, but his plans changed after his chief deputy and likely successor, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, lost in one of the biggest electoral upsets in U.S. history.
[. . . ]
Boehner’s resignation will now set off a race to succeed him, with Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California, the second-ranking Republican in the House, the early favorite to take his post. Another popular House Republican, Representative Paul Ryan, immediately took himself out of the running, according to the Washington Post’s Paul Kane.

Ryan: “It’s McCarthy.”
posted by Herodios at 7:47 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


“The commitment has been made that there will be no shutdown,” said Rep. John Fleming, (R-La.).

From washpo

From the same link:

The House intends to vote next week on a clean spending bill and then move on to budget reconciliation — where, Republicans said, both repealing the Affordable Care Act and stripping Planned Parenthood of funding will be considered.

Reconciliation bills are considered under special rules that require only a simple majority to pass and they cannot be filibustered in the Senate.


So they committed to nothing, they agreed to vote on a "clean" CR, only to turn around and attach Obamacare and abortion riders through reconciliation, which Obama would of course veto. A non-deal deal.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:48 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Boehner is now expected to defy conservatives by bringing up a funding bill that would prevent a government shutdown beginning next week but that would not cut money from Planned Parenthood.

This doesn't make any sense in light of the news that the Republicans have already agreed to a funding bill that leaves Planned Parenthood alone.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:49 AM on September 25, 2015


Just did a wikipedia look up on McCarthy because I was unfamiliar with him:

McCarthy is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to ban abortions, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and has also voted repeatedly to defund and repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Welp.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:51 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


I bet that Francis guy doesn't even have a visa.

He uses the Black Brazilian MasterCard from the Santander Group because he wants airport lounge access.
posted by srboisvert at 7:51 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Since 2011? Only 2011? It seems like his glowing orange visage has haunted the recesses of my brain for far longer than that.
posted by sutt at 7:52 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


This doesn't make any sense in light of the news that the Republicans have already agreed to a funding bill that leaves Planned Parenthood alone.

Hazards of breaking news reporting. That sentence was written either before or by someone not tracking the headhunters' announcement that they are satisfied with their tribute.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:53 AM on September 25, 2015


He was minority leader before that, since 2006. Pelosi was Speaker prior to 2010 while the Dems had control of the House. So his orange face has been on your TV nearly a decade.
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:54 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm kinda lost on this whole pope visit thing. First off, why is the Speaker inviting the Pope to come to congress? Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing? This "Holy Father" stuff...aren't Catholics kind of a minority in US Government? And within the Republican Party, who are largely Protestant or Evangelical Protestant? What are the dynamics here?
posted by Hoopo at 7:54 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


The GOP has enjoyed a multi generational scam where they use hot button issues to get elected and instantly forget about those issues once the confetti has been swept up. Those days are over. Right wingers know they're getting screwed. They finally figured out that they've been played, and they are demanding results. When the results aren't forthcoming, they become enraged. I expect more Republicans to resign now that the ship is taking on water. That's what rats always do, so we shouldn't be surprised.
posted by Beholder at 7:56 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Buckle up, Federal employees, shutdown odds just went to 1000%.

It's probably the opposite. If he doesn't have to worry about losing his speakership, he'll just pass what will keep the government going until it's Someone Else's Problem.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:56 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


So his orange face has been on your TV nearly a decade.

And on C-SPAN much much longer than a decade.
posted by blucevalo at 7:57 AM on September 25, 2015


Separation of church and state doesn't mean the state ignores the existence of religion -- and of course the Republicans are the party that tries to redefine "freedom of religion" as "freedom of Christianity, and also Israel." The Pope is a major figure in the world stage, and was addressing Congress as a visiting dignitary rather than their spiritual leader.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:57 AM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Another popular House Republican, Representative Paul Ryan took himself out of the running...

Because he has his eyes on a bigger prize. Gah.
posted by notyou at 7:57 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Does anybody have statistics, off-hand (or online) of what percentage of total abortions in the United States are actually performed by Planned Parenthood or it's affiliates?

In 2011 there were 1.1 million abortions. In 2008 Planned Parenthood provided 330,000 abortions. So roughly a third.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:58 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


I'm kinda lost on this whole pope visit thing. First off, why is the Speaker inviting the Pope to come to congress? Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing?

We have a "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" thing. Often paraphrased as "separation of church and state," but it's not quite that simple. It's not as if no clergy person can come within 400 feet of the US Capitol building. Inviting anyone, religious or not, to speak to Congress does not require passing any law.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:00 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


aren't Catholics kind of a minority in US Government?

22 percent of the U.S. population identifies as Catholic, compared to 31 percent of Congress. Six out of nine Supreme Court justices. Six of the 15 Republicans running for the Presidency. They're a minority, but they're a large minority.
posted by Etrigan at 8:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


For all those making fun of his skin color, you should know that he has a congenital condition known as portocaliosis, that causes this.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [43 favorites]


I'm kinda lost on this whole pope visit thing. First off, why is the Speaker inviting the Pope to come to congress?Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing? This "Holy Father" stuff...aren't Catholics kind of a minority in US Government? And within the Republican Party, who are largely Protestant or Evangelical Protestant? What are the dynamics here?

Congress is more Christian, and more Catholic than the general population. (SCOTUS also - a majority of the Justices are Catholic, although split on liberal/conservative lines).

Many religious Catholics have sided with the Republicans since Roe v. Wade because the bishops have pushed hard on abortion as a fundamental moral issue that Catholics should think about at the polls. So Catholics are an important voting bloc in this country, as the largest non-Protestant religious group. (That said, Catholic voters do not vote in lockstep or necessarily buy what the Church tells them should be their voting priorities).
posted by dismas at 8:02 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's probably the opposite. If he doesn't have to worry about losing his speakership, he'll just pass what will keep the government going until it's Someone Else's Problem.

Well, the only thing anyone is talking about now is a short term CR through December. Extremely small potatoes which just punts the problem for 90days. Meanwhile the debt ceiling is already reached again as well, the next set of fights will be that much harder with a new Speaker more accommodating to the teabaggers.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:03 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


The phenomenon of the Crazified 27% has been documented regularly...

My dad has been talking for years (well before the Internets existed) about the crazy 27% of the population. Specifically, he was talking about some poll or another that stated that 27% of the population would vote for Nixon again (even after his resignation).

It's amazing to me that that precise number is still in play. (Frankly, I'm just glad it's not higher!)
posted by sutt at 8:04 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have a hard time believing that the GOP would force a shutdown during presidential election season.

Why not? They know the media will cover for them with their usual "he said, she said" "balanced" reporting.

Republicans have already created a de facto 60-vote threshhold to pass anything in the Senate out of whole cloth, and the best professional political reporters could seem to do was note that Democrats had been known to use the filibuster too.
posted by Gelatin at 8:04 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]




McCarthy is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to ban abortions, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and has also voted repeatedly to defund and repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

I wonder how many Republicans in the House does this *not* describe.
posted by Slothrup at 8:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Boehner is about to abandon all fucks. Should be interesting.

The Republican party is basically the American Isis

Your worldview sorely lacks perspective.
posted by echocollate at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing?

Fun fact: the House and Senate begin each day of business with a prayer by their chamber's chaplain.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 8:13 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]



McCarthy is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has voted . . .

I wonder how many Republicans in the House does this *not* describe.


There is that.


I bet that Francis guy doesn't even have a visa.

He uses the Black Brazilian MasterCard . . .


Black Francis?
 
posted by Herodios at 8:15 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


From my Facebook feed right now:
BOEHNER uses TALKING POINTS!
FRANCIS is unaffected!
FRANCIS uses CATHOLIC GUILT!
It's super effective!
BOEHNER has passed out!
posted by charred husk at 8:15 AM on September 25, 2015 [99 favorites]


This is going to deal a heavy blow to the D.C. area spray tan sector. Hopefully they will be eligible for job retraining.
posted by MikeMc at 8:23 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


it's just so deeply twisted for the Republicans to force a choice between reproductive medical care and vital food assistance.

Since the food stamp program is managed by the Department of Agriculture, the parties had an agreement that Congress would fund both food stamps and subsidies to farm states. With the election of an irascible and intractable Republican majority, that deal was basically off.

Farm subsidies will, of course, continue to get funded, for those of you wondering if Republican rhetoric about "free markets" and "government waste" was sincere.
posted by Gelatin at 8:24 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hate to think what the Republican party will look like in five years, especially if moderating figures like Boehner are giving up.
posted by octothorpe at 8:25 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


For those saying the timing with the Pope's visit is significant, consider Boehner is a catholic and the Boss just refuted everything he's worked for on welfare, immigration, climate change and on and on.
posted by adept256 at 8:25 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Sources in his office are saying he decided to resign last night, after the Pope's speech, and that "the Spirit moved" him to do so. (That'd be the Holy Spirit.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:25 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Speaker Holy Spirit has a nice ring to it.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Call it the orange revolution.
posted by doctornemo at 8:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Well, the only thing anyone is talking about now is a short term CR through December. Extremely small potatoes which just punts the problem for 90days.

This is turning into the, "Please proceed governor." of republican primary politics. A 90 day CR would run out during the holiday recess, leaving us with another shutdown crisis in the three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. If no deal is reached before congress recesses/adjourns that means a Chrustmas shutdown followed by a fight just weeks before the Iowa caucuses.

What's on every republican congressmans's shopping list this year? Enough rope to hang themselves.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:31 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Hoopo: Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing?

What everyone else said about separation not meaning complete disregard for, plus the Pope is also a Head of State (of Vatican City).
posted by AndrewInDC at 8:36 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


If that's true then all those folks cheering when Rubio announced the news are soon going to be very, very disappointed.

I turned on the radio just as I was clicking on this thread, and *boom* there was Rubio making the announcement and a chorus of cheers in the background. Jarring!
posted by psoas at 8:37 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Very complicated. Boehner's politics are not mine, but he was willing to get things done more often than not.

We are very likely to see the second coming of Newt Gingrich circa 1995. Bad news for the country in the short term. Great news for the Democrats' chances of keeping the White House. Clinton ran on the GOP's crybabying in his reelection campaign and it worked -- big time. I expect the exact same thing here.
posted by andreaazure at 8:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


From Charles Pierce:

Way I figure it is this. In their private chat yesterday, Boehner explained to the pope the problems he was having with the flying monkey caucus, and Papa Francesco who, after all, heads a bureaucracy with a long history as a seething cauldron of ambition, scandal, murder and betrayal, as well as a unique tradition of crazy institutional proceedings (See: Cadaver Synod), listened to Boehner's plight and said, mildly, "Jesus H. Christ in a Fiat, my son, these people crazy. Get out while you can." That's the way I'm going to figure it, anyway.

I feel pretty certain we are headed for another government shutdown, although there may be a token gesture or two toward avoiding it. As I said last time, shutting down the government is just what the Tea Party wants. That way it will be that much easier to drown in a bathtub.
posted by TedW at 8:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'd enjoy this a lot more if only there weren't real lives at stake and real people getting hurt by the Tea Party caucus. As it is, there's not enough popcorn in the world for the presidential campaign politics.

And I wonder if Mefi's own jscalzi might comment, since it is his congresscritter stepping down...
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:44 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Bye John. Can I slam the door on your ass on your way out? I might be a bit more sympathetic, but you earned your fleas by lying down with dogs; go home and scratch.
posted by mule98J at 8:48 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just did a wikipedia look up on McCarthy because I was unfamiliar with him:

McCarthy is pro-life and has received a 100% rating from the National Right to Life Committee. He has voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, to ban abortions, to stop taxpayer funding of abortion and has also voted repeatedly to defund and repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Welp.


"Everybody knows Kevin's not a conservative. But he's a good manager," Mulvaney says on @GOPLeader McCarthy #boehner

As tweeted by Lisa Mascaro (LA Times DC bureau).
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:50 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


neuron: "Boehner was sitting behind the Pope during the speech and I thought at the time that it looked like Boehner was about to cry."

He always looks like that. He bursts into tears all of the time. Odd fellow.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:52 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mark my words, no one gives up that kind of power lightly. Either His Holiness delivered a quiet, but sound Papal smack - down in the cloak room, or a major scandal is about to break, something really bad, or he's deathly ill.
Or it's in the GOP game plan.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 8:54 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Suddenly I see a headline
JOHN BOEHNER HAS STEPPED DOWN!
I have been to lots of political parties
and acted perfectly disgraceful
but I never actually stepped down
oh John Boehner we love you get up
posted by maxsparber at 8:54 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hope that Boehner actually does have the morality that people are prescribing to him in this thread, and that his actions in perpetuating the worst parts of the southern strategy haunt him until he dies. I hope his stomach gets torn up with guilt, and he spends his days miserably feeling the acid eat away at its walls as he considers what he stood for. I don't think that is the case, but that is certainly what I desire.
posted by codacorolla at 8:54 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


"Everybody knows Kevin's not a conservative. But he's a good manager," Mulvaney says on @GOPLeader McCarthy #boehner

In case you were wondering how crazy these guys are.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:55 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Looks like Steve Scalise, who was last seen palling around with white supremacists, is throwing his hat into the ring for Speaker.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:56 AM on September 25, 2015


I hope his stomach gets torn up with guilt, and he spends his days miserably feeling the acid eat away at its walls as he considers what he stood for.

That would be nice but I doubt he even has the simple human decency to feel guilt when he accidentally steps on a dog's foot.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:57 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


All this schadenfreude seems a bit premature to me. Does anyone really think McCarthy will be more successful keeping the anarchists in line?

Sure, maybe this is the beginning of the end of the Tea Party revolt. Maybe they finally succeed in matching crazy deeds to crazy rhetoric and symbolic gestures and the Republican party as we know it implodes, their ultimate irrelevancy forestalled only by decades of gerrymandering.

Or maybe shit gets really fucking ugly fast and we're all pining for the halcyon days of Speaker Beohner in the not distant future.
posted by echocollate at 8:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I hope that Boehner actually does have the morality that people are prescribing to him in this thread

Boehner's actions since Obama's election and re-election could be said to display a certain amount of political savvy intended to benefit his political party, but the word morality does not spring readily to mind.
posted by Gelatin at 8:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


If Boehner truly did have a crisis of Real Catholic Faith or something after hearing the Pope's speech, he could've done a lot of real, tangible good by staying in Congress and working with Pelosi behind closed doors to pass President Obama's budget with Democratic votes before his own party caught on and voted him out. Quitting probably might ease his conscience and stress smoking, but it does nothing to help the nation and probably hurts with the next craziest bastard in line.

Speaker of the House didn't used to mean Speaker of Only the Majority Party and Mainly of the Craziest, Most Rightwing Ideologues, there's nothing stopping Boehner from bringing bills to the floor that can pass with 50% of all votes. Boehner could've tried to find 33 of the alleged moderates that still exist in the Republican party to pass a functioning budget deal objectively good for the country along with the Democrats, rather than take his ball and go home.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [35 favorites]


I'm kinda lost on this whole pope visit thing. First off, why is the Speaker inviting the Pope to come to congress? Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing?

The Pope is also (kinda, sorta) a head of state; i.e., of the Vatican. (The Vatican's statehood is a matter of some contention; while in pre-Reformation times, the Pope was the supreme sovereign of Europe who had authority over Western Christian monarchies, its modern form comes from the 1928 Lateran Treaty with Mussolini, and some jurists, among them Geoffrey Robertson QC, contend that the Vatican does not meet the legal minimum conditions for being considered a nation-state. However, it'd probably be impolitic for any government with a sizeable Catholic population to press the issue.)
posted by acb at 9:00 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Does anyone really think McCarthy will be more successful keeping the anarchists in line?

Absolutely not. Because the anarchists view any compromise under any circumstances as surrender, and they will view this change in leadership as "we ran Boehner out of town, we'll run you out too if you don't give us what we want."

And they will not be entirely wrong about the second part.
posted by delfin at 9:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


so one thing is this PP shut down shit will grind on for several more months, serving as background for X more debates.

I mean, does the GOP want to lose the election? Because I have been lukewarm about Clinton until this PP furor, and now I'm ready to be like a Hillary Clinton assassin-for-hire. Oh look, another white guy trying to take away vital women's health care: somebody call Angrycat and tell her no mercy for those fuckers.
posted by angrycat at 9:01 AM on September 25, 2015 [33 favorites]


so one thing is this PP shut down shit will grind on for several more months, serving as background for X more debates.

As has been said many times upthread, the "PP shit" seems to be over.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM on September 25, 2015


Oh look, another white guy trying to take away vital women's health care

Whoever is elected the next president probably will have the opportunity to appoint one or more Supreme Court justices and likely break the 5-4 swing formula one way or the other.
posted by Gelatin at 9:04 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


As has been said many times upthread, the "PP shit" seems to be over.

For this round, maybe; I think hammering on abortion, in general, and PP in particular is going to continue, now that they've lost ACA, gay marriage, and are getting lots of pushback on racism (Confederate flags). Women are rapidly becoming their last available punching bags.
posted by emjaybee at 9:04 AM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


omg, this Bob Costa article:

Boehner moved a few steps over and closed his eyes for a moment, seeming to recall what it was like for him as Pope Francis entered the Capitol. His blue eyes grew moist and his voice shaky. He asked me to stand inches from him, in essence standing in for Pope Francis as he recreated the scene, perhaps hoping to savor the rush of it all again while the memory was fresh.

Sherman and I looked at each other, both a little uncomfortable. But Boehner’s unprompted interest in telling us the details about his own experience was too compelling to leave. We listened.

“The pope, he comes up the steps right there. He comes right here,” Boehner said, pointing down at my feet. “Right here? I asked. “Right here!” Boehner said, smiling. “Right here. When he gets here, there are all of these kids he is going to bless. And you know how I get.”

“You start crying?” I ask.

Boehner shoots me a look as if that is obvious.


posted by longdaysjourney at 9:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


Ass, Door &cetera.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:08 AM on September 25, 2015


there's nothing stopping Boehner from bringing bills to the floor that can pass with 50% of all votes. Boehner could've tried to find 33 of the alleged moderates that still exist in the Republican party to pass a functioning budget deal objectively good for the country along with the Democrats, rather than take his ball and go home.

That's what has been going on. But at some point you recognize the open revolt on your back bench and get out on your terms instead of eventually being knifed in the back.
posted by Talez at 9:08 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can't say with any certainty how this relates to either the Pope or a government shutdown*, but I am curious if anyone from a Commonwealth (or other parliamentary-style) nation can explain something I'm vaguely aware of:

Isn't it sometimes an electoral tactic for someone high-ranking to step down in advance of a major election so that someone with new blood can go into the election with a measure of both incumbency and "newness"? The Old Guy gets to be a scapegoat and a shiny new Speaker would have a pretty good tailwind for the 2016 Congressionals.

*I will say that I think holborne has it - notice that shutdowns are only threatened in odd-numbered years since that way they're already old news by the time of the next cycle.
posted by psoas at 9:09 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Extremists, 1. Rest of us, 0.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:10 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Regarding "Well, considering the fact that they won a majority in the House in the next midterm election after the last time they shut down the federal government, I'm not sure there's any actual downside for them in doing so again. It's not like the electorate seems to give a fuck." through Gerrymandering, the GOP has a lock on the House for some time to come, at least until the next census 2020 and then reapportionment. Hell, I believe in the 2012 election GOP only received 48% of the vote nationally but took 52% of seats, last election 48% voted for Democratic House candidates but GOP took 57% of seat so but we're stuck due to, well, Gerrymandering. And heck, the GOP may even be able to get rid of one more Democratic congressperson, see this and if it doesn't burn your butt.

The House GOP radicals are uncompromising so get ready for a pretty discouraging future at least until next election. That may be all-she-wrote for the US. Red state folk want crazy and they're about to get pure, distilled, cream to the top, crazy.
posted by WinstonJulia at 9:11 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Did I pass through a trans-dimensional rift or something? It's a fucked-up world when an American socialist atheist Jew is rooting for the fucking Pope to KEEP TELLING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WHAT TO DO.
posted by tzikeh at 9:12 AM on September 25, 2015 [95 favorites]


Isn't it sometimes an electoral tactic for someone high-ranking to step down in advance of a major election so that someone with new blood can go into the election with a measure of both incumbency and "newness"? A shiny new Speaker would have a pretty good tailwind for the 2016 Congressionals.

Not usually on the incumbent side. On the opposition's side, yes, that can be a tactic.
posted by Talez at 9:13 AM on September 25, 2015


Inviting anyone, religious or not, to speak to Congress does not require passing any law.

Separation of church and state doesn't mean the state ignores the existence of religion

Yeah guys I'm aware that there's no law saying the Pope can't come to address Congress. It's more a question about the fawning Boehner is doing over the Pope and his 20-year quest to get him to talk to Congress. Is it not kind of a bad look for someone in his position to be all weepy-eyed and star-struck, a guy who's said it's one of his life goals being reached in having the head of a religious hierarchy he subscribes to come and talk to lawmakers? I dunno. Maybe not. It would certainly rub me the wrong way, someone inviting the head religious authority from a religion that's not particularly representative of the greater population to proselytize to legislators, in the legislature. It doesn't look like there's much precedent here, based on this list anyway which I have no idea if it's complete. Seems like these Joint Sessions tend to involve foreign heads of state for the most part (which actually I suppose Francis is by technicality, but come on, the Vatican? It's basically a headquarters or compound, more than what's usually thought of as a state)
posted by Hoopo at 9:14 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


All this schadenfreude seems a bit premature to me. . . . Sure, maybe this is the beginning of the end of the Tea Party revolt. . . . Or maybe shit gets really fucking ugly fast and we're all pining for the halcyon days of Speaker Beohner in the not distant future.

Likely there were many people who did not look forward to the US Civil War, but who were willing to endure it once it became an inevitable gantlet for necessary changes.

This won't be as bad as that.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:19 AM on September 25, 2015


I mean, does the GOP want to lose the election?

Does a rank-and-file GOP Congressperson want the eventual Republican Presidential nominee to lose the election? I don't think he or she really cares all that much, in the long run. Grandstanding against CAPITULATION TO THE EVIL LIBERALS ON ABORTION AND IRAN AND ISLAM AND GUNS AND OBAMACARE AND TAXES AND WELFARE AND LIBERTY BAH GAWD AH'M PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN WHERE AT LEAST AH KNOW AH'M FREEEEEEEEEEEE is how the CONGRESSPERSON wins his or her next election.

there's nothing stopping Boehner from bringing bills to the floor that can pass with 50% of all votes. Boehner could've tried to find 33 of the alleged moderates that still exist in the Republican party to pass a functioning budget deal objectively good for the country along with the Democrats, rather than take his ball and go home.

And, last time around, that is what he did. The continuing resolution that emerged from the last government shutdown had $986 billion in discretionary funding in it. That was about 5% _less_ than the "budget" Paul Ryan suggested for 2014 -- I say "budget" because I don't want it confused with an actual, plausible budget plan -- and included Boehner's sequester compromise. The Republicans WON and still the Ted Cruzes of the world howled at the moon, because in their minds all they had to do was Stay True To Conservative Values and eventually they would have won completely, Obamacare would have been repealed in full and their hardcore faction would have de facto control over the entire government.

*cue banner floating across reading THIS IS WHAT TED CRUZ AND SEAN HANNITY ACTUALLY BELIEVE *
posted by delfin at 9:20 AM on September 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Nah, you guys got it all wrong. Boehner got into Congress to meet the Pope. Now that mission is accomplished, he's ready to move on.
posted by Apocryphon at 9:21 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]




There is absolutely no chance of a government shutdown now*. Boehner does not want a shutdown. A clean spending bill would pass the House if it were introduced. The only way to prevent that is if Boehner doesn't introduce it. The only thing keeping Boehner from introducing such a bill, it was believed, was a possible leadership coup, which he has no reason to fear now. If he didn't care about ensuring there would be no shutdown, he could step down before the end of the month.

Metaphorically, the extreme wing of his party took a hostage to get him to play ball, and without hesitation he shot the hostage between the eyes.

I can't say this announcement surprises me because, honestly, being Speaker in this climate must be fucking awful. Boehner has looked absolutely miserable for years. I'm more surprised that anyone would want to run the House of Representatives right now.

*I mean, where Congressional Republicans are involved, anything can happen, but still.
posted by savetheclocktower at 9:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Felt inspired to actually buy this song.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:28 AM on September 25, 2015


As a federal employee, I'm not very happy about this. December has the potential to be incredibly bad for us. Even if there's a CR next week it's going to be so short that all it does is ensure a huge crisis when Congress has to deal with an expiring CR, the debt ceiling, the highway trust fund, and I'm sure some other things I'm not thinking of right now. When I was working on the Hill in 2011 I thought things were bad. I was wrong, they were great by comparison to today.
posted by wintermind at 9:28 AM on September 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of the rest of Florida: WE DON'T WANT HIM EITHER.
posted by Major Matt Mason Dixon at 9:31 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Day John Boehner POPED the Fuck Out.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:35 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


On the plus side, we can be reasonably sure that whoever emerges as the new Speaker of the House, he or she will have never inserted their genitalia into the mouth of a severed pig head.

REASONABLY sure.
posted by delfin at 9:35 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I feel like America is one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, one of the scary ones like Goosebumps maybe, and with every new bizarre event that occurs we're just flipping closer and closer to the ending where the evil circus clowns eat our flesh, and we would go back a few steps but our bookmark fell out and
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [50 favorites]


It would certainly rub me the wrong way, someone inviting the head religious authority from a religion that's not particularly representative of the greater population to proselytize to legislators, in the legislature.

It's about as representative as a single religious figure can get here. Catholics are the largest single denomination-bloc in the U.S., and the Pope is viewed very favorably by the public at large. You may not like it (I'm ambivalent myself), but he's considered both a head of state and a great moral authority, with leverage on a ton of social and environmental issues.
posted by psoas at 9:40 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


But at some point you recognize the open revolt on your back bench and get out on your terms instead of eventually being knifed in the back.

So the pope counseled Boehner to be a coward and run? The courageous thing would be to stay and pass the bills he believed deserved to be passed regardless of the Tea Party. Unlike the Senate, the House Speaker has absolute power to decide what bills will be voted on and which will not. If he believed a continuing resolution formed by a coalition of Republicans and Democrats was in the national interest, the Tea Party couldn't stop him. Instead, he has just decided to quit.
posted by JackFlash at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


airing nerdy laundry: "obviously the possibility of an awakening Catholic conscience explains why Scalia, Thomas and Alito ran away scared."

This really astounded me. You've really got to be 100% into partisanship if, as a Catholic, you pass on meeting the pope.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:43 AM on September 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


Not to mention, the Pope's moral authority is felt even more in large swaths of the rest of the world, so it pays to engage him on some level.
posted by AndrewInDC at 9:44 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


The courageous thing would be to stay and pass the bills he believed deserved to be passed regardless of the Tea Party.

That's pretty much what he's doing then he's out.
posted by Talez at 9:45 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pope Francis: "Consider the common good."

John Boehner: *resigns*

I can deal with this.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:46 AM on September 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


Mark my words, no one gives up that kind of power lightly.

Oh no, he's moving onto the real power now! Boehner only has a net worth of about $3.5 million dollars right now. He made something on the order of $250k last year.

He's about to go out the other side of the revolving door and make some mad bank in the corporate sector for "consulting" and probably a couple massive book deals too.

Give him a couple years and I'm sure he'll break a net worth of 100 million.
posted by mayonnaises at 9:49 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't THINK Scalia is a sedevacantist, but one never knows, I suppose.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Clearly Francis is not the real pope

Oddly enough, a friend of mine posited that he's really Peter Sellers. Just look at the pictures.

Where is Father Guido Sarducci when we need him the most?
posted by plinth at 9:50 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I feel like America is one of those Choose Your Own Adventure books, one of the scary ones like Goosebumps maybe, and with every new bizarre event that occurs we're just flipping closer and closer to the ending where the evil circus clowns eat our flesh, and we would go back a few steps but our bookmark fell out and

That's why God gave us fingers. To cheat up to nine times on each adventure chosen.
posted by Xavier Xavier at 9:52 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


So his orange face has been on your TV nearly a decade.

And on C-SPAN much much longer than a decade.


Those statements are mutually exclusive.
posted by dances with hamsters at 9:54 AM on September 25, 2015


mayonnaises: "Oh no, he's moving onto the real power now! Boehner only has a net worth of about $3.5 million dollars right now. He made something on the order of $250k last year.

He's about to go out the other side of the revolving door and make some mad bank in the corporate sector for "consulting" and probably a couple massive book deals too.

Give him a couple years and I'm sure he'll break a net worth of 100 million
"

Just like Bill and Hilary did it.
posted by AugustWest at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not if C-SPAN isn't on your TV. :)
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 9:59 AM on September 25, 2015


through Gerrymandering, the GOP has a lock on the House for some time to come,

And with voter ID, et al, they're gerrymandering the Senate.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:00 AM on September 25, 2015


I'm pretty sure C-SPAN only works on Ham radios.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:03 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


RedOrGreen: "And I wonder if Mefi's own jscalzi might comment, since it is his congresscritter stepping down..."

Here you go.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


What a mess. For those keeping score at home, here is a short list of popular tax laws that expired on January 1, 2015:

Deducting state and local sales taxes
Deducting private mortgage insurance premiums
Deducting Educators' out of pocket expenses
The higher education "Tuition and Fees" deduction
Mortgage debt forgiveness
Employer provided transportation benefit
Residential home energy improvements.

Usually Congress extends these laws for another year, but with a new Speaker, who knows?
posted by mrhappy at 10:05 AM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


It would certainly rub me the wrong way, someone inviting the head religious authority from a religion that's not particularly representative of the greater population to proselytize to legislators, in the legislature.

I hear what you're saying, but a) Catholicism IS the modal religion in the US and B) He wasn't proselytizing (i.e. trying to convert them).

Most religions don't really have a head-honcho that is especially important within the religion. But the Dalai Lama has also visited congress, as well as many heads of state. I don't think it's particularly wierd, though I think it must feel very awkward for Republicans to be a in a position where they're being lectured on being kind to the poor and the stranger by someone who they won't feel like they can just attack, badmouth and call names.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:07 AM on September 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


Little known fact, the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress. Natural solution: Trump for Speaker.

I was thinking that there's a certain County Clerk who's in for a big promotion.
posted by MrBadExample at 10:08 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm pretty sure C-SPAN only works on Ham radios.

You may be thinking of the British version.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I haven't read the thread yet, but this account of John Boehner's run-in with reporters last night made me like him more.
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:16 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


> ... someone inviting the head religious authority from a religion ... to proselytize to legislators, in the legislature.

I didn't listen to everything he said, but I got the impression that he was doing the opposite of proselytizing, doing his best to reach across denominations.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:18 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I didn't listen to everything he said, but I got the impression that he was doing the opposite of proselytizing, doing his best to reach across denominations.

Not only other denominations, but atheists. In his comments when he arrived he asked people to pray for him and then said "If you are not a believer or you cannot pray then please wish good things for me." (not actually a quote, since he said it Spanish).
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:20 AM on September 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


>> Little known fact, the Speaker of the House does not have to be a member of Congress. Natural solution: Trump for Speaker.

> I was thinking that there's a certain County Clerk who's in for a big promotion.


Actually, can they elect a serving senator to also be Speaker of the House? Because if so, Ted Cruz, Speaker for the Tea Partiers, has a nice natural ring to it.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:23 AM on September 25, 2015


Next to "On this continent we do not fear immigrants", "if you are not a believer or you cannot pray" was the line that put me most in danger of a Boehner-style tear-up.

This is a pope that one can respect, Catholic or not.*

*For the record I'm on the fence about the Holy Father but I extend him the benefit of the doubt that progressive actions will follow his progressive posture so far. The Church, as commentators were noting yesterday, does not operate on a two-year election cycle.
posted by tivalasvegas at 10:30 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


~It would certainly rub me the wrong way, someone inviting the head religious authority from a religion that's not particularly representative of the greater population to proselytize to legislators, in the legislature.

~I hear what you're saying, but a) Catholicism IS the modal religion in the US and B) He wasn't proselytizing (i.e. trying to convert them).


Remember, too, that the Vatican is a sovereign nation in its own right. So, technically, Francis was also acting in his role as head of state when he spoke before Congress.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:32 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Did I pass through a trans-dimensional rift or something? It's a fucked-up world when an American socialist atheist Jew is rooting for the fucking Pope to KEEP TELLING THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WHAT TO DO.
posted by tzikeh at 11:12 on September 25


This is what happens when the Eugenics Wars of the mid-90's don't take place. (Khan/Kirk 16!)
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:33 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Hoopo: "First off, why is the Speaker inviting the Pope to come to congress? Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing? This "Holy Father" stuff...aren't Catholics kind of a minority in US Government? And within the Republican Party, who are largely Protestant or Evangelical Protestant? What are the dynamics here?"

Americans secretly, deeply love European monarchical pomp and circumstance and take every opportunity to celebrate it when it visits before returning it across the ocean from whence it came. See also: American obsession with the British monarchy. WE LOVE THEM! Kate + Wills 4eva! Long Live QEII! We just don't want to pay our taxes for them. Worked out great!

On a slightly more serious note, Congress gets excited about inviting foreign dignitaries to speak to it whenever it's doing jack shit to actually govern the country. Congress can invite anyone it wants to address it on matters of interest, but it mostly avails itself of that privilege, in a high-profile-superstar kind of way when it's not really accomplishing anything.

Congress's other favorite thing to do when it can't get any legislation passed is to hold hearings on the state of professional sports with government-protected monopolies, and their wrongdoings in the realm of gambling or drugs or cheating. If Congress comes back from its next recess and starts wanting Roger Goodell to appear and testify, they're just admitting they're not even going to bother to try for a while.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:38 AM on September 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


We just don't want to pay our taxes for them.

Well, we were fine paying our taxes for them except that we weren't getting any representation for our trouble.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Boehner Steps Down -- Funny, I Don't See Stalin's Name Being Invoked
So when does the demise of Boehner -- and of Cantor before him -- start being described in terms generally reserved for brutal dictatorships?

I'm thinking back to 2006, when Democratic voters defeated one (1) sitting Democratic senator in a primary. You'd have thought Markos Moulitsas had personally ordered tanks into the streets of Hartford, Connecticut, after Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman in that primary... That was called "Stalinist" and a "purge." So why aren't those terms being used for the defenestrations of Cantor and Boehner, which actually resemble a Stalinist purge? Will any political insider use that sort of language? And if not, why not?
posted by tonycpsu at 10:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Well, to be fair, Boehner resigned. And as far as we can tell, it was on his own initiative.

Previous attempts to push him out HAVE been described as "coups."
posted by Chrysostom at 10:44 AM on September 25, 2015


The Republicans are now boasting that they have created one American job since the recession.
posted by JackFlash at 10:46 AM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Well, to be fair, Boehner resigned.

That's way beyond fair and well into overly charitable considering the context, which makes it one of those "you can't fire me, I quit!" situations. Dude's been public enemy #1 among the GOP base, with GOP Presidential candidates are openly mocking his leadership and cheering his ouster. He's not riding off into the sunset here, he's just trying to grab a parachute as his peers try to push him out the door of the plane.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:52 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


Well, if the Really Hard-Line Conservatives don't want a clean continuing resolution, is there anything really stopping them from calling for a new Speaker, prior to Boehner's allowing the CR to be voted on? (Just asking - not trying to give anyone any ideas.)
posted by newdaddy at 11:16 AM on September 25, 2015


This is what happens when the Eugenics Wars of the mid-90's don't take place. (Khan/Kirk 16!)

Um surely it would be Kirk/Spock vs. Khan/Green.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:27 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess I've only taken the attacks on PP seriously since Carly Fiorina sort of made up one of PP video at the debate. The idea that GOP is going after women almost feels fucking quaint. I want Charlize Theron to punch every one of those fuckers with her mechanical arm. In addition, I now almost feel sorry for Boehner, which is not a feeling I want in my head.
posted by angrycat at 11:28 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


> The Republican party is basically the American Isis

Your worldview sorely lacks perspective.


You're right, I got it backwards, ISIS is the Middle East's Republican Party. The Republican death count dwarfs that of ISIS in just Iraq alone.
posted by any major dude at 11:31 AM on September 25, 2015 [27 favorites]


Boehner Resignation Leaves Massive Leadership Vacuum In Congress Intact

Borowitiz is on it too: Boehner to Continue Repealing Obamacare After Leaving Congress
posted by fuse theorem at 11:34 AM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Mod note: Y'all maybe drop it with the whole ISIS thing all around.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on September 25, 2015 [24 favorites]


Don't you guys have a whole "separation of church and state" thing?

That was a typo. It's "suppuration".
 
posted by Herodios at 11:39 AM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Eric Cantor's carelessness ends up having even bigger consequences than thought. I imagine the phrase "first Jewish Speaker of the House" will return to haunt his dreams tonight.
posted by Bromius at 11:41 AM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


aren't Catholics kind of a minority in US Government?

for the government, good stats were provided by Etrigan.

For the population as a whole, this is one of those situations where the terms "plurality" and "majority" come into play.

In a 2014 Pew Study on Religion, 70% of the US identified as "Christian." Within that, the largest single denomination is Catholic, representing 20% of the US population. While the study shows 25% as "Evangelical Protestant," this gets sliced up into numerous denominations that can be described that way. Roman Catholics, as a faith, is a homogeneous entity--why there is one pope running the show, one Eucharist, etc. While the majority (half plus one) of US Christians aren't Catholic, the plurality are.

Two other points:
  • The plurality of US citizens, at 23%, describe themselves as unaffiliated.
  • This study looks at how they identify, not strength of affiliation. To whit: let me give a shout out to my fellow "Roamin' Catholics."
posted by MrGuilt at 11:42 AM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Now that Von Papen has resigned we'll finally get a legislature that speaks for the people.
posted by klangklangston at 11:43 AM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


"If Congress comes back from its next recess and starts wanting Roger Goodell to appear and testify, they're just admitting they're not even going to bother to try for a while."

if the balls deflate we must interrogate

"This is a pope that one can respect, Catholic or not.*"

Boehner spends his whole career trying to get a Pope to show up at his job and when one finally does, it's the commie Pope.
posted by klangklangston at 11:45 AM on September 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


tonycpsu: Wait, you guys are telling me the next Speaker will be less moderate than than Boehner?

When Boehner was elected speaker, if you'd suggested to me that the phrase "moderate" could be used even in this context in relationship to his name and record, I would have assumed you were joking.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:50 AM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Honestly, after the past few years he's had I just think he went home last night and realized no good thing was every going to happen for him again in this gig. He got the Pope, he was looking forward to that, and everything else was a just a shit-slicked Slip n' Slide over a cliff, and he couldn't take it.
posted by Diablevert at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


When Boehner was elected speaker, if you'd suggested to me that the phrase "moderate" could be used even in this context in relationship to his name and record, I would have assumed you were joking.

Yeah, the Overton window's a bitch.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:51 AM on September 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


Odds of a shutdown are much lower now. bohner can pass whatever the Senate does with Democratics votes before he clears out.
posted by humanfont at 11:58 AM on September 25, 2015


Odds of a shutdown soon are much lower now.

FTFY. Odds of a shutdown eventually are much, much higher now.
posted by eclectist at 12:05 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


While the majority (half plus one) of US Christians aren't Catholic, the plurality are.

It's worth noting that there still remains a strong anti-catholic sentiment in much of the US, although historically it has been much worse.

I recall, as a young man attending a dinner party in Oklahoma, one guest asked - upon hearing my Minnesota accent - whether I was a Christian or a Catholic and then proceeded to educate me on the various evils of Catholicism. It was funny, because I didn't say I was Catholic I said I was raised Catholic, but protestants in my experience never have a terribly nuanced grasp of religion.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Odds of an _immediate_ shutdown are much lower now. The funding being considered right now is a stopgap solution to fund things through December, at which point the circus begins anew under new leadership with an energized, scalp-waving wingnut corps.
posted by delfin at 12:09 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Actually, the circus begins anew as soon as November with a fight over the debt ceiling, which could make bickering over a government shutdown look like miniature golf with mint juleps.
posted by blucevalo at 12:12 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's worth noting that there still remains a strong anti-catholic sentiment in much of the US, although historically it has been much worse.

Yeah, I actually went running to Jessa Duggar's twitter account today to see if she'd put up any veiled anti-Catholic kookery. I thought her fondness for doing so might redouble while the pope is around. Nothing yet, though. I bet her father in law will make a blog post.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 12:14 PM on September 25, 2015


the conservative group which led the revolt against Boehner’s leadership, said they will now support the spending bill without demands to defund Planned Parenthood attached to it.

This is what kills me about these jokers. First they're so committed to their pro-life principles that they're willing to shut down the federal government—the same federal government they were, in fact, elected to run—unless Planned Parenthood is defunded. Then the second their political enemy blinks first, that sacred moral principle is... not so sacred any more?

Meanwhile their base not only continue to cheer them on, but continue to define their allegiance in terms of moral principles, of Doing What's Right, politics be damned. What am I missing here?
posted by Rykey at 12:20 PM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


If you want anti-Catholic kookery in all its glory, look no further than the immortal Jack Chick.

FEAR THE DEATH COOKIE
posted by delfin at 12:20 PM on September 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


but protestants in my experience never have a terribly nuanced grasp of religion.

...Not all Protestants are Evangelicals. Methodists generally have a different world view than Lutherans who are different from non-denominational mega-church attendees who are different from Seventh Day Adventists.
posted by maryr at 12:21 PM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I keep waiting for the Tea Party Boil on the backside of America to come to a head so we can lance it and move on. I'm reading the (orange) tea leaves here and I'm not clear what they mean. Standing from a distance I see a general move toward progress but up close it all looks like madness and chaos. I think gay marriage is a done deal and Obamacare can't be stopped now but reproductive rights is another story with PP just a symbolic pawn in the War on Women.

One thing though, the young women in our country have grown up taking for granted their right to use birth control and terminate unwanted pregnancies. I can't see any political party having much of a future if they mess around with these freedoms. Maybe the government can severely limit access via the death of a thousand papercuts but I think the Democrats should take a page out of the NRA play book and take a firm stand against ANY encroachments on the fundamental right to privacy.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:26 PM on September 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


There are anywhere from two to four dozen members who don’t have an affirmative sense of governance. They can’t get to yes. They just can’t get to yes, and so they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead. And not only do they undermine the ability of the speaker to lead, but they undermine the entire Republican conference and also help to weaken the institution of Congress itself. That’s the reality.

It's sad that I was shocked to see this kind of honesty from another Republican. It's like they are suddenly surprised that the crazy conservatives they made a devil's bargain with are turning on them. Really? These are people that don't think government is a good thing. And you helped them get a foothold in the government. That they hate. And they want to destroy. That they've pledged to destroy over and over again. And now you're surprised that they won't play nice and make the whole thing work as usual?
posted by teleri025 at 12:27 PM on September 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Von Papen? So, now we get Bruning back? Which is odd, as he died in Vermont in 1970...Not far from Bernies house, of course, in Vermont, everyplace is near Bernies house.
posted by clavdivs at 12:28 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's sad that I was shocked to see this kind of honesty from another Republican. It's like they are suddenly surprised that the crazy conservatives they made a devil's bargain with are turning on them. Really? These are people that don't think government is a good thing. And you helped them get a foothold in the government. That they hate. And they want to destroy. That they've pledged to destroy over and over again. And now you're surprised that they won't play nice and make the whole thing work as usual?

well, you can't really blame them for thinking that the Tea Partiers that got voted in were just saying stuff to get elected like normal politicians do.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:31 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Slight correction:

Looks like Steve Scalise, who was last seen palling around with white supremacists, is throwing his hat into the ring for Speaker.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:56 AM on September 25 [+] [!]


The linked article indicates he isn't running for speaker, but Majority Leader (i.e. leader of Republicans) which isn't the same thing as Speaker of the House. Speaker, as noted above, is for the entire House. Of course, this usually goes to the majority party. But the Majority Leader is not the person who fills the Speaker role. Boehner was the Speaker. Eric Cantor was the Majority Leader (a few years back when I was paying attention, before Cantor got destroyed by the Tea Party whose rhetoric he used so willingly).

I also worry about this sort of idea of seeing the Tea Party as pure rabid ideologues without any sense of political maneuverability. One would think, their bluster pushing for this "no PP funding AT ALL" ties in to the rhetoric, and they won't back down.

Yet, here, Boehner resigns and suddnely we're like - ok, we got what we *really* wanted, now we'll fund PP.

IOW - IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH PP AND ALL TO DO WITH FORCING BOEHNER'S HAND.

Which means, these fuckers are more shrewd and clever than they're letting on. And they're *still* playing the base like a fiddle. Which I suppose is better than the alternative (right now), but this is like Southern Strategy Part 2. Or continuation, or taking it to the next step/level. I'm not sure, exactly.

But it's appealing to the base, while still understanding the actual political scene, and I think that is actually much more dangerous than mere demagoguery and idiocy of the Gohmert kind. Because it means they're using their ideology to gain positions of power. Even if they don't mean it temporarily. If they get into power and then wield it like they want, we are FUCKED.

It's easy to laugh at the clown car Repubs, but it's frightening to see them succeeding at killing a "moderate" of their own.

My one hope is that the realities of politics will force their hand to be less severe than they appear to be.

My fear is that THEIR politics and ideology requires nothing like compromise and as long as they are rewarded for not compromising their principles, what can stop them. They don't particularly have a goal except "don't tax, don't fund" (i.e. fuck everyone who doesn't have money). Hell, even their supposed "pro-life" principles will be sacrificed on the altar of political expediency if it means getting into more power to reduce the spending.

I'm almost wondering if it's time to register as Republican (well I don't have to register in this state, thankfully), and maybe start to force primaries to vote for sensible "moderate" Republicans just to stave off the evil tide that seems to be sweeping things. How much work would this take? Would it weaken the Dems even more? Would it play into Republican Political Master's hands (i.e. sure, let's get "sensible" corporate leaders back in power).
posted by symbioid at 12:31 PM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Good lord, delfin, that's messed up even by Jack Chick standards!
posted by wintermind at 12:35 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I actually went running to Jessa Duggar's twitter account today to see if she'd put up any veiled anti-Catholic kookery. I thought her fondness for doing so might redouble while the pope is around. Nothing yet, though. I bet her father in law will make a blog post.

She posted this bible verse on Wednesday when he arrived :
" Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else." a gentle reminder to all you idolaters out there to stop worshiping the Pope.

Speaking of which, I love the story of Congressman Brady who swiped the water glass that the Pope had drunk from and then let his wife and aides drink from it as well. After letting a senator dip his fingers in the water, Brady poured the remainder into a a bottle. He plans to bless his grandchildren with it.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:40 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love my hometown, and all most of its people.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:44 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apres moi, le deluge
posted by Ironmouth at 12:45 PM on September 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


This is what happens when the Eugenics Wars of the mid-90's don't take place. (Khan/Kirk 16!)

Um surely it would be Kirk/Spock vs. Khan/Green.


If you'll check with Memory Alpha, you'll see that Colonel Green was a madman obsessed with genetic purity, not too much unlike certain current Republican candidates possessing sentient hair. I'd rather not be associated with them, thank you.

And please don't write my name with anyone else's, seperated by a slash. Trust me on this.
posted by KHAAAN! at 12:45 PM on September 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


Is it bad that I'm very tempted to plunk down $9.20 for the Jack Chick sampler pack?
"57 different stories!"
It's like the Heinz steak sauce of batshittedness.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:46 PM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


It's worth noting that there still remains a strong anti-catholic sentiment in much of the US, although historically it has been much worse.

This is something that pops into my head anytime someone says "this is a Christian nation." If they were to win that battle and make it so, who decides what exactly "Christian Nation" means? Who would count as "Christian," and who wouldn't be Christian enough? Will only the most narrow, strict, literal aspects of the faith be accounted for, or would more liberal Christians be given a voice?

I think the resulting fighting would be several orders of magnitude worse than the current state of affairs.
posted by MrGuilt at 12:47 PM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I want to feel bad for Boehner, I really do but I can't. The fact that we consider him one of the sane ones shows how far to the right the Republican party has shifted over the last 20 years. Boehner courted the right wing assholes and their bullshit so it should come as no surprise that they were the ones who pulled the trigger. Fuck him and his successor who is going to be most likely even more bat shit insane.
posted by RedShrek at 12:47 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Alex Pareene in Gawker: Don't Cry for John Boehner
We can apparently credit Pope Francis for at least one good deed on his American tour: He has ended the suffering of an unhappy man. The miserable speakership of John Boehner is over.

It was not a distinguished tenure. His meager accomplishments came in spite of himself and to the great consternation of his Republican colleagues. He pinballed from one pathetic humiliation, usually at the hands of his own caucus, to the next. The only reason Boehner remained speaker for as long as he did—to his eternal regret, it is clear—is because his bitterest opponents were too stupid to figure out how to oust him, and his likeliest replacements never wanted the job.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:51 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


To whit: let me give a shout out to my fellow "Roamin' Catholics."

posted by MrGuilt

Delicious!
posted by wenestvedt at 12:56 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


No need to feel sorry for Boehner. Any time he wanted he could have walked over to Pelosi and gotten the votes he needed on any bill to thwart the Tea Party renegades. But he was too cowardly to do so and too dedicated to party loyalty. He could have passed a clean continuing resolution months ago.
posted by JackFlash at 1:04 PM on September 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Good riddance
posted by Flood at 1:04 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the resulting fighting would be several orders of magnitude worse than the current state of affairs.

Which is why the Founders separated church and state to begin with.
posted by Gelatin at 1:04 PM on September 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Odds of an _immediate_ shutdown are much lower now. The funding being considered right now is a stopgap solution to fund things through December, at which point the circus begins anew under new leadership with an energized, scalp-waving wingnut corps.

Yes. He can just pass stuff with Dem votes and 30 GOP members. ExIm will get reauthorized too.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:09 PM on September 25, 2015


Some shit Family Values group that is actually important in the scheme of things but I'm blanking on whatever name they use to hide their evil gave the news a standing ovation when Marc Rubio announced it.

At the Values Voter Summit, conservatives rejoiced when they heard House Speaker John Boehner was gone.
posted by homunculus at 1:14 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


A facebook friend of mine was happy about how they were finally getting rid of that "Left Wing Nut Job" Boehner. He rarely posts, but he didn't seem too political before this. My other friend from that same social circle is an unapologetic leftist. I knew them in high school and both are career military. The dichotomy is odd.
posted by Badgermann at 1:17 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


psoas, there have been many examples of unpopular/declining leaders stepping down in advance of a vote to give their party a chance to go into the election with new blood. I'm thinking of Trudeau in 1984 (replaced by Turner who lost 95 of 135 seats in the next election), Mulroney in 1993 (and Campbell retained 2 of their 151 seats), and Chretien in 2003 (Martin lost 33 seats to fall into minority in 2004, leading to another election in 2006 that brought in Harper).

So yes, it happens plenty of times that a declining party will try to use fresh blood to hold power, but it hasn't worked out very well.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:21 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]






It's worth noting that there still remains a strong anti-catholic sentiment in much of the US, although historically it has been much worse.


Absolutely
posted by TedW at 1:28 PM on September 25, 2015


Early from the thread, but the answer is simple.

I wonder what scandal he's trying to outrun here.

His caucus.

I don't see why anyone feels bad for him. Aside from all the ways that he's awful, he's pulling the same nonsense as Cantor and leaving the job before the term runs out. That's shitty in the best possible circumstances when your replacement can simply be appointed, but in many locales there has to be a special election. That's a lot of money and hassle for a municipality just so that you can start your post-congress welfare job at whatever lobbying firm you land at.

I don't see why anyone would think that a subsequent position holder is any more likely to jettison the Hastert rule and play hardball with the nutter contingent. It seems like at some point they're going to have to do this, as the extreme end of their voters continues to hold on to positions that alienate their more moderate end. But they're clearly not there yet, and the people operating at the national level aren't willing to lose elections because they don't keep those folks on board.
posted by phearlez at 1:44 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


John Boehner was brought down by the same conservative forces he once courted.

This tiger is a most fearsome beast, to strike fear into the hearts of our enemies. Let us ride it into battle.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:00 PM on September 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


BOEHNER (SOBBING): B-but why? Why did you bite me?
TEA PARTY SNAKE: You knew what I was when you picked me up.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:07 PM on September 25, 2015 [33 favorites]




From Thorzad's second link:
The Louisiana governor said he was “actually angrier with the Republicans than with the Democrats” because they “don’t do the things they say they’re going to do.”

“It is time to fire these clowns and restore order once and for all,” he said.
How true, Bobby. How true.
posted by ogooglebar at 2:45 PM on September 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm guessing this lovely lady is the kind of Republican we can expect more of from the modern-day GOP. Looks like "First Female Republican Speaker" material to me.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:47 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Meanwhile their base not only continue to cheer them on, but continue to define their allegiance in terms of moral principles, of Doing What's Right, politics be damned. What am I missing here?”

Patty Hearst

Not just that though, people who want to lose weight will eat donuts for breakfast and sneak dessert like they cheat one past themselves.

It’s a form of self-destruction through self-fulfilling prophecy. We become more aggressive in foreign policy rhetoric only to find the targets of those words themselves become more aggressive and people get killed and suddenly, hey, we have to become more aggressive.
A lot of policy in the U.S. is arbitrarily provocative. Americans keep forgetting how many people we have in jail. How stagnant our economic mobility is. How divorced from reality our relationship with our own military is.
Our system of governance has become so dysfunctional it locks up at the slightest political provocation. Lives are in many cases literally at stake and any sort of action, good, bad, indifferent - any at all, is met with either paralysis or furious criticism. Someone could literally have a real WMD in a stadium some place and political jockeying would interfere with doing something about it.

This? This isn’t even a blip. Obama isn't Diocletian and the Consuls haven't even begun to really sell us out.

I can hardly believe the partisan fanatics and delusional are still in politics much less the altruistic or even marginally sane.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:00 PM on September 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I have a hard time believing that the GOP would force a shutdown during presidential election season.

Really? Why?
posted by notreally at 3:26 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]



It's not as if they seriously think they can win the White House.
posted by notreally at 3:28 PM on September 25, 2015


All you need to know about the state of union post Boehner is on Redstate. Lead editorial from the one and only Erik Erikson followed by the comments of the their brigade.

The posters are not afraid to let their don't tread on me flags fly, no matter how misinformed. Laughable but at the same time frightening.
posted by Funmonkey1 at 3:52 PM on September 25, 2015


70% of the US identified as "Christian." Within that, the largest single denomination is Catholic, representing 20% of the US population. While the study shows 25% as "Evangelical Protestant," this gets sliced up into numerous denominations that can be described that way. Roman Catholics, as a faith, is a homogeneous entity--why there is one pope running the show, one Eucharist, etc. While the majority (half plus one) of US Christians aren't Catholic, the plurality are.

I was under the impression that the word “Christian” in American popular discourse is seen as synonymous with “Protestant”, with Catholics been as an odd vaguely-related religion, sort of like Mormons or Jews or something.
posted by acb at 3:54 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression that the word “Christian” in American popular discourse is seen as synonymous with “Protestant”, with Catholics been as an odd vaguely-related religion, sort of like Mormons or Jews or something.

I think it's heavily regional. Growing up that was always my understanding (although there was a bit of anti-catholic stuff sprinkled into my Methodist upbringing, so there's that), but upon moving to rural Minnesota Lutheran became the default, and many of my friends from the cities use Catholic as the default christian.


I guess if we're talking historical lineage Catholics are probably the 'core' branch of Christianity with protestants of any stripe being branches off of Lutherans. This is of course ignoring the Copts and other sorta different mid east/N Africa branches, the Orthodox entirely, and whatever weird pagan fusion stuff they did in Europe and might possibly still do? Maybe in Spain? Anyway, I'm guessing what default christian means is regional.
posted by neonrev at 4:24 PM on September 25, 2015


Lead editorial from the one and only Erik Erikson followed by the comments of the their brigade.

Sweet zombie Jesus on a pogo stick, MY EYES! Who formatted that site?

I mean, the automated loyalty scores next to every name are clearly a symptom of a deeper problem, but it is just awful to look at.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 4:37 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I mean, the automated loyalty scores next to every name are clearly a symptom of a deeper problem, but it is just awful to look at.

It took me nearly a minute to figure out what the hell was going on with the score boxes. At first I thought it was some secret ad or some way of covering up text. Why on earth would they put that score box next to every mention of Boehner's name?

As to Christian/Catholic/Protestant. I was raised Methodist. We were taught that Catholics were the original Christians and Protestants were version 2.0. Anybody following Christ's example in the New Testament is a Christian. Mormons, however, are sometimes excluded from this definition (not by me.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:45 PM on September 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Having grown up in the Nixon era, I don't see this as an earthquake event. A lot more things went on back then, but we didn't have the internet, so they weren't remarked upon as they are today. Perhaps you should look at history and take a longterm view, because things don't just happen in a day, they play themselves out in a long game. It's neither this nor that, it's what is going to happen here or there, depending on who or what. In short: the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:59 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, the automated loyalty scores next to every name are clearly a symptom of a deeper problem..
They remind me most of the newsletter published and distributed aggressively (as in: nobody wanted it but they put it all over the place) on my college campus by MIM, the self-styled "Maoist International Movement", which was a tiny but devoted political group that was also very keen on rating statements for ideological correctness.

Unfortunately the Red State people are far more numerous and are actually capable of influencing national elections.
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:09 PM on September 25, 2015


No need to fix it for me. There will not be a shutdown. The soon to be former speaker's parting gift will be a stopgap funding bill that keeps everything funded through the end of Obama's term. The GOP bosses don't want to have to risk a shutdown in 2016 because it would be a total headache for their nominee.
posted by humanfont at 6:12 PM on September 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


T.D. Strange: “The government may be shutdown till the 2016 election. Polish up those resumes.”
Yeah, if the federal government shuts down until January 2017, especially with a concomitant default on bonds, I don't think it'll matter much how polished one's resume is.

I think humanfront is right though. They'll do a CR to carry them until the next Congress is sworn in.
posted by ob1quixote at 6:16 PM on September 25, 2015


Never going to happen. They won't pass that long a CR.
posted by phearlez at 6:21 PM on September 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


All they're talking about is a CR from Wednesday of next week, until December 11th. At that point the actual budget to keep the lights on for the rest of 2015-16 still needs to get passed, a shitload of other stuff needs to get reauthorized, and, oh hey, the debt ceiling is breached again. So whatever they pass in the next 5 days, which is what's currently on the table from all accounts, is throwing a cup of water at the curtains while the ceiling is on fire.

We can hope Boehner would agree to pass a real budget and take it off the table, but that's Washington Post bipartisan both sides are the same fantasy land, it's not how the actual budget process works, and the Speaker doesn't control the votes, he only brings bills to the floor. Boehner can't pass anything on his own, legacy or no, even if he wanted to. And with the open grave dancing in the media today, there's zero reason to believe he has any remaining sway over the party to close on anything, much less a massive omnibus budget deal that his own party still hates.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:47 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was under the impression that the word “Christian” in American popular discourse is seen as synonymous with “Protestant”, with Catholics been as an odd vaguely-related religion, sort of like Mormons or Jews or something.

A friend once pointed out that there seems to be a semantic difference between saying "I'm Christian" and "I'm a Christian." Christian would include Catholics, protestants and both Catholics and Protestants who are sort of culturally christian but don't really have any particular faith, per se. "A Christian" refers to people with a strong protestant identity, usually with some sort of born-again/"accepting Jesus" moment.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 9:04 PM on September 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange: “All they're talking about is a CR from Wednesday of next week, until December 11th. At that point the actual budget to keep the lights on for the rest of 2015-16 still needs to get passed, a shitload of other stuff needs to get reauthorized, and, oh hey, the debt ceiling is breached again. So whatever they pass in the next 5 days, which is what's currently on the table from all accounts, is throwing a cup of water at the curtains while the ceiling is on fire. ”
I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:22 AM on September 26, 2015


The courageous thing would be to stay and pass the bills he believed deserved to be passed regardless of the Tea Party...Instead, he has just decided to quit.

Remember, an aide confirmed that Boehner had been thinking about quitting a year and a half ago - planning it, even - before Eric Cantor's loss in his primary to a Tea Party candidate ruined Boehner's plan to anoint Cantor as his replacement. He's already stayed longer than he wanted to.
posted by mediareport at 4:22 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Politico is reporting Boehner had been planning to announce his retirement on his birthday, November 17.
posted by mediareport at 4:31 AM on September 26, 2015


Even if somehow a majority of legislators were to vote for a 15-month CR, Obama would veto it. He's pushing to get sequestration undone this budget cycle, and a CR would continue those budget cuts until it expires.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:28 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


As has been said many times upthread, the "PP shit" seems to be over.

Except in Cincinnati, just south of Boehner's district.
posted by mostly vowels at 7:13 AM on September 26, 2015


"A Christian" refers to people with a strong protestant identity, usually with some sort of born-again/"accepting Jesus" moment.

Again, I disagree with this assessment, but it's becoming clear to me that there are regional differences. I live in the northeast and my interpretation of "I'm A Christian" would be that the speaker is trying to emphasize their behavior. Christian covers everyone who believes Jesus was the Messiah, whether they follow the Pope or not.

The thing that gets complicated to me is if Mormons count as Protestant or not.I think they do because they don't follow a Pope, but they're a totally different culture than most other denominations.
posted by maryr at 8:09 AM on September 26, 2015


I don't think "Don't follow a pope" can be the defining characteristic of Protestantism. If it were then Orthodox denominations would be Protestant.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:33 AM on September 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think the protestantism needs to be defined by historical origins. If you think of the church as a river, the Protestant denominations are those that branched off from the Catholic church (and then those that branched off from those, and those that branched off from those, etc.). It's the history that they have in common more than the theology or organizational structure that ties the Protestant denominations together.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maronite Catholics do not consider the Roman pope to be the head of the faith. Maronite Catholics are older than Roman Catholicism, but are significantly fewer in number. The mass is still held in Aramaic, which is cool. Greek Orthodox also don't consider the Roman pontiff to be the spiritual head, but they are not Protestant either.

Back to the Orange One, the dude came out singing Zippidee Doo Da to his press conference. I've never seen anyone so happy to quit their job, especially a job that puts him second in the line of succession to be the leader of the most powerful military government in the world.

That said, he brought all these Teahadist lunatics to the party, and I'm not terribly sad to see him served up for the appetizer course of right wing cannabalism. (Cantor being the amuse bouche that started the purge.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:32 AM on September 26, 2015


Cantor lost to a teahadi but it was more a self-inflicted wound from being a shitty politician and not paying attention to his constituents. The fact that there was a faction to gel and go after his seat in the primary helped, sure. But he was vulnerable to anyone who could gather up the sizable number of disaffected folks and get them to vote for an alternative at the primary. The stories of non-extremist constituents being kissed with him are easy to find.
posted by phearlez at 11:11 AM on September 26, 2015


The stories of non-extremist constituents being kissed with him are easy to find.

Well, you know what they say, kolitics makes strange bedfellows.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:30 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Humanfront: No need to fix it for me. There will not be a shutdown. The soon to be former speaker's parting gift will be a stopgap funding bill that keeps everything funded through the end of Obama's term. The GOP bosses don't want to have to risk a shutdown in 2016 because it would be a total headache for their nominee.

That seems like wishful thinking to me. These are interesting times, politically. It's hard to tell what's going to happen. (Hard to see, the future is. The Dark side clouds everything.) My educated guess os that we're going to see a significant shut down, and the Republicans are going to pay a heavy political price.
posted by JKevinKing at 2:38 PM on September 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


There will be a shutdown, and the calculus behind it is blatant.

Boehner had ulcers because he couldn't pass anything without either dipping into Democratic votes (violating the Hastert Rule^H^H^H^HGuideline and causing screeching from the Teahadis) or giving into Teahadi demands and guaranteeing that the result can't get by the Senate or by Obama's veto pen. While that was as much of a feature as a bug most of the time in practice -- doing nothing looks good when painted as "we're STOPPING the LIBERAL AGENDA" -- sometimes shit just has to get done no matter how loudly Ted Cruz claps for TinkerAyn. And so, even when Boehner and the Republicans blatantly WON in compromises he was condemned as a quisling and a turncoat and a surrender monkey by the Mirror Universe Media.

Do you think that the Freedom Caucus, with Boehner's hide freshly mounted on their wall and a plaque reading THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR MCCONNELL next to it, are going to be LESS demanding of the next Speaker and Majority Leader? They think they're triumphant here, that they've driven out the head compromiser and now they're in control. The message is clear -- no one's getting the votes for the job without either Democratic support, which they couldn't accept even if it would be offered, or significant Teahadi approval. And that's going to come with demands to be taken seriously when the debt ceiling and the next CR come a-callin' with new and untested leaders at the helm.

These people STILL think that the last shutdown was a good idea, and that it would've worked if leadership had held firm. Which is pants-on-head crazy but it's what they believe, or at minimum that the ounces of flesh received in return for allowing the government to continue were vastly insufficient.

Will there eventually be another breakdown and compromise to end a shutdown? Of course. Eventually, there is shit that simply has to get done and governing-by-hostage-taking cannot be allowed to win. But the Teahadis got a shutdown for a while with Boehner there; no one can think they won't try for far more without him.
posted by delfin at 3:36 PM on September 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Defining "Christianity" is like my bat signal. Shortest version: Most scholars who group Christian denominations and/or define Christianity use a three-prong definition: 1) Two-testament Bible; 2) Jesus as savior; 3) Trinitarian God. This technically defines out a variety of groups that we typically think of as Christian -- Mormons have a three-testament Bible (and a not-Trinitarian God); Unitarians and JWs aren't Trinitarian -- but they're frequently called Christian in "everyday" conversation and most scholars would call them "Christian-derived" or "Christian-descended" or something similar.

Protestants are those sects that originally split from Catholicism over governance issues related to the Pope (as well as theological issues primarily related to transubstantiation and scriptural interpretation, but those are arguably slightly secondary in terms of the actual formation of new denominational groups) after 1517. Some Anglican and Methodist theologians are very emphatic that they are not "Protestants," as they came from a different schism and they prefer to differentiate the German-language Reformation schism (Lutherans, Calvinists, Anabaptists) from the English-language Anglican schism (Anglicans, Methodists) dating from Henry VIII's marital troubles, which had to do with slightly different governance issues relating to the Pope. Mostly, however, Protestant is used to encompass all post-1517 Christian groups, in the West, who are not in communion with Rome. (In the East, Orthodox scholars sometimes like to refer to all of Protestantism dismissively as "a minor German heresy" (mostly to wind up Protestant scholars) and it makes some of them BATSHIT that the Pope spends so much time taking Protestants seriously (as many Orthodox scholars consider it a hopelessly degraded theology) when they would prefer he focus on more traditional schisms between Catholics and Orthodox.)

In the US, it is generally most useful to distinguish among "Catholics," "Mainline Protestants" (Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopalians, Presbyterians), and "Evangelical Protestants" (groups who arise out of the Second Great Awakening and are currently the locus of the Christian political right wing -- Baptists, Pentecostals, Mormons, JWs, etc.). "Evangelical Protestant" groups in this accounting tend to be native to the US and often almost unique to US politics because they are so small in other countries. Obviously lots of messy lines and lots of room for argumentation, but that's why everyone loves ecclesiology, right?

The Orthodox don't object to the Pope per se -- they view the Pope as the "first among equals" (primus inter pares), but ceased communion with Rome in 1054 over theological and political and linguistic disputes. Catholics and Orthodox do have differing conceptions of how much authority the Pope wields as primus inter pares (primarily whether Popes can call councils -- the Orthodox don't think Popes have that authority), but the Orthodox don't in theory object to Popes qua Popes.

Maronite Catholics are in communion with Rome -- that is, nominally subject to the Pope's authority. They are an Eastern Catholic Church with their own autonomous Patriarch and they do not use the Latin Rite (Mass) or the Roman Code of Canon Law (they have their own set). They do have Mass in Aramaic, using the West Syrian Rite. But they're still Catholic.

Eastern Catholic Churches are pretty much my favorite topic.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:28 PM on September 26, 2015 [47 favorites]


Thanks for that, Eyebrows McGee!
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:32 PM on September 26, 2015




Over at 538, "The Hard-Line Republicans Who Pushed John Boehner Out".

This seems to underscore a not entirely original but nonetheless important observation on my part: for years, the Republicans in congress used various wedge issues to rile up the base, but mostly only cared about those issues as tools to use to exert leverage. Now, though, those chickens have come home to roost, as there's a sizable contingent of younger republicans in congress who no longer see these as a means to an end, but as ends in and of themselves.

I don't have a lot of hope for avoiding a shutdown at this point.
posted by tocts at 8:12 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are some days when I think, "OK, I'm tired of being reasonable. Let's hasten the fall of the empire. President Trump, Vice President Carson, Speaker Gohmert, Senate Majority Leader Cruz. GO!"
posted by Warren Terra at 9:15 AM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


I mean, enjoy your irradiated wasteland I guess
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:30 AM on September 27, 2015 [8 favorites]


The GOP bosses don't want to have to risk a shutdown in 2016 because it would be a total headache for their nominee.

And if there's one thing we've seen in the last few years, it's the total control the GOP bosses have over their party.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:14 PM on September 27, 2015 [4 favorites]


There are some days when I think, "OK, I'm tired of being reasonable. Let's hasten the fall of the empire. President Trump, Vice President Carson, Speaker Gohmert, Senate Majority Leader Cruz. GO!"

That's the opening scene of Fallout 4. I'd enjoy a week off to play the game (c'mon Congress, how about you do a CR through November 10th?) but I'd rather not live it in person.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:33 PM on September 27, 2015


"There are some days when I think, "OK, I'm tired of being reasonable. Let's hasten the fall of the empire. President Trump, Vice President Carson, Speaker Gohmert, Senate Majority Leader Cruz. GO!""

We tried something similar in 2000. Unfortunately, the Teahadists and the liberal cynics both suffer from a lack of historical perspective.
posted by klangklangston at 6:43 PM on September 27, 2015 [6 favorites]


as there's a sizable contingent of younger republicans in congress who no longer see these as a means to an end, but as ends in and of themselves.

I don't think a lot of people have thought through the extent to which this is a playing-out of the 2010 & 2012 (and to a lesser extent the 2014) highly Tea-Party flavored elections.

To a certain extent, the Tea Party seems to have a burnt out a bit, and isn't doing as well in recent elections.

But the new members of Congress who were voted into office in 2010 (particularly) and 2012 were brand-new and pretty ineffective then.

Now, 3-5 years later, they are gaining experience and seniority. They are starting to hold a few leadership posts and they know how to work the system. And--they have a very strong feeling about "I was voted into office to do X, so now by God, Let's Do X, and Right Now."

Result: The damage that started with 2010 election is just now really coming to a head.

FWIW, in my state (Missouri), where the political cycle is much shorter due to term limits, we are seeing this playing out in spades in the state legislature. The Tea Partiers were brand new and green as all get-out in 2010, but now they are (literally and figuratively) running the place.

It's sow the wind and reap the whirlwind a few years later . . .
posted by flug at 9:34 PM on September 27, 2015 [2 favorites]


Defining "Christianity" is like my bat signal. Shortest version: Most scholars who group Christian denominations and/or define Christianity use a three-prong definition: 1) Two-testament Bible; 2) Jesus as savior; 3) Trinitarian God.

I'm not surprised to see points #2 & #3 here, but I am surprised to see point #1... it seems like the odd one out, partly because canon is a messy business in the first place, but mostly because I can't think of anyone else besides the various Mormon sects that the phrasing "two-testament bible," would leave out, and those are already out on point #3.

Are there groups besides Mormons who self-identify as Christian and believe in Jesus as divine savior but also have some kind of open canon?
posted by weston at 10:18 AM on September 28, 2015


FWIW, in my state (Missouri), where the political cycle is much shorter due to term limits, we are seeing this playing out in spades in the state legislature. The Tea Partiers were brand new and green as all get-out in 2010, but now they are (literally and figuratively) running the place.

This is why I can't get excited over Hillary -- or over Bernie. A hardcore card-carrying Beck-watching Muslim-hating John Bircher is not going to win the Presidency in 2016, or in 2020, or in 2024 unless the Democrats completely shit the bed or have a rigoddamndiculously real scandal (Benghazi and Servergate don't count) erupt right before the election. A Democrat -- any Democrat -- is needed in that office for the sake of the Supreme Court and to keep the cart pointed in the right direction. But the Republicans do not need the Presidency to do lasting damage, and they are very aware of that.

Fear-and-anger-driven populism has a much easier time winning at local and state levels. State legislatures, state governorships, state court systems, Congressional districts, local offices, school boards, mayors, all of these are vulnerable because they don't get respectable press coverage and they're often elected outside of the Presidential four-year cycle, i.e. mid-term elections and odd-year elections in which the Hoveround Militias come out to vote reliably but few others do. "Red state" vs. "Blue state" means nothing if electoral votes come out one way every four years but it's chaos internally the rest of the time for residents. The Feds or the Supremes saying "abortion remains legal" means nothing if state legislatures and Gohmert Pyles whittle every place that can legally perform them out of existence in half of America.

Howard Dean had the right idea: contest every election everywhere. Make them beat you. Make them come out in the open and defend their ideas. But he screamed once, so let's forget about him. Michael Moore had the right idea: run ficus plants if no one else steps up against unopposed candidates. But he's fat and said mean things, so let's forget about him.
posted by delfin at 10:36 AM on September 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


One nice thing out of this has been listening to many Republican politicians and pundits talk about the fantasy world that the far, far right lives in and how there's no way they can actually get the things they want. It reminds me of the famous "math Republicans use to make themselves feel better" quote from FOX. There are a portion of conservatives of who realize they've allied themselves with delusional people and it is bothering them.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:14 PM on September 28, 2015


"I'm not surprised to see points #2 & #3 here, but I am surprised to see point #1... it seems like the odd one out, partly because canon is a messy business in the first place, but mostly because I can't think of anyone else besides the various Mormon sects that the phrasing "two-testament bible," would leave out, and those are already out on point #3.

Are there groups besides Mormons who self-identify as Christian and believe in Jesus as divine savior but also have some kind of open canon?
"

I don't know about contemporary sects, though I would wager there are plenty of New Religions that would fit that definition, but historically there are quite a few heterodox/heretic sects that would count, with either more or less than two testaments: Gnostic Christians, some sects of Messianic Judaism, Hermeticists, Marcoinists, Swedenborgians, a handful (though not all) of the Restorationalists, Pilgrims of Ares, the syncretic blends of Christianity and Islam (sometimes derided as Chrislam) including both modern Ifeoluwa and some Khazar sects, some Rastafari, some variations of the Emergent Church, arguably some versions of Apostolic Catholicism (though as far as I know, that's only from critics of it), Southcottians, some versions of Esoteric Christianity, some New Thought Christians, arguably The Way International, Unification Church (Moonies), maybe Two-by-Two (who reportedly have their own version of the Bible, but reject the Old Testament), Subbotniks and other Spiritual Christianity practitioners, Makuya, some syncretic Nestorians, Christian Science (depending on how you view Eddy's beliefs about her writings being revelation), syncretic Yazidi Christians (whom tend to be described from the outside and are more likely a retconning of Yazidi scripture to fit Christian narrative), Samaritan/Isaric Christians, Orphic Christianity (though that's another that we only really know from early Christians saying what fucking heresy it was), Mandaean Christians in the 1500s, some Harranians and Elcesaites. A lot of it depends on how you think of "testaments," and some of them are only considered to have more than two (or only one) by people outside the faith.
posted by klangklangston at 2:21 PM on September 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


weston: "Are there groups besides Mormons who self-identify as Christian and believe in Jesus as divine savior but also have some kind of open canon?"

klangklangston already did a great job, but yeah -- people who argue about the definition of Christianity as an academic matter, or who study the formation of denominations, are typically SUPER INTERESTED in the first five centuries of Christianity and spend a lot of time on canon formation arguments and Christological disputes. The development of modern denominational Christianity is the interesting icing on the delicious, delicious cake of early Counciliar debates for a lot of them.

(I'd actually probably bicker about that foundational definition -- I think Christianity even its very earliest forms is fundamentally communitarian and I'm not sure it's possible to be a "Christian" in isolation -- but the three points give a good starting point that most of the field can agree to start from.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:58 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


In 2000 Bush was seen as a dim-witted compassionate conservative who did not believe in nation building. Did any liberal expect him to be any worse than his father?
posted by Apocryphon at 5:33 PM on September 28, 2015


I totally thought he was going to be worse than his father. I also thought he was going to be a one term president. I was half right.
posted by Joey Michaels at 5:52 PM on September 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hell yes. His father actually fought in WWII. I have specific memory that when W was elected (well, when Gore decided to stop pursuing the full vote counts) I realized that he had spent his entire life having his family save him from his bad decisions and that he never had to clean up any of the messes he made. Specifically, his oil company only made a profit because his mega-rich uncle bought it for way more than it was worth. I think there were other examples, but they don't come to mind immediately. I remember hoping he would deliver on the compassion part of "compassionate conservative" but cursing Clinton for not being able to keep his dick in his pants leading to us having an idiot as President.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:56 PM on September 28, 2015


Out of curiosity, Apocryphon, how old were you in 2000, if you don't mind me asking? Sorry if that's too intrusive a question, but I'm wondering how different generations might view GWB.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:59 PM on September 28, 2015


Old enough to think that Bush and Gore were pretty interchangeable and that only Nader seemed to offer anything beyond two-party ho-hum doldrums, because I was young and naive and did not see that American politics was about to get its face melted away by the post-9/11 polarization era
posted by Apocryphon at 10:18 PM on September 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


"In 2000 Bush was seen as a dim-witted compassionate conservative who did not believe in nation building. Did any liberal expect him to be any worse than his father?"

I voted for Nader out of naive three-party dreams, but thought Bush would be worse than his father because I assumed that Nixon henchman Dick Cheney would be running things, and Cheney's evil enough that he thinks the soft spot on a baby's skull is where you put the straw in. I had grown up with the image of Nixon as the worst president ever, and a lot of Bush's "Don't worry about the moron" was predicated on a vision of the GOP where the problem with Nixon's presidency was that he didn't go far enough and that he wasn't nakedly evil. But then my dad had an FBI file from Nixon's days because he was a white guy who liked to go to jazz clubs and hung around with liberals there, so I was pretty biased against Vice President Oswald Cobblepot from the beginning.

At least I waited until exit polls had my state called for Gore by a sizable margin before I cast my vote. It was the first time voting in a presidential election for me, and I thought Nader might have been an Adlai Stevenson rather than a John B. Anderson.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"klangklangston already did a great job, but yeah -- people who argue about the definition of Christianity as an academic matter, or who study the formation of denominations, are typically SUPER INTERESTED in the first five centuries of Christianity and spend a lot of time on canon formation arguments and Christological disputes. "

I had a roommate for a long time who made the mistake of going to Concordia to learn to be a Lutheran priest, only to stumble into a double-major in Ancient Greek and Aramaic, fall into the hermeneutics hole, and bravely try for an Episcopalian seminary after his first crisis of faith. I had moved out by the time church politics fucked him on that path (his Bishop "forgot" to send the letters of recommendation to the schools he wanted to go to, but managed to get one off to his podunk alma mater in a particularly cack handed attempt to mold a youth), but the adage that you can either study a religion or believe it is more true than false.

That, combined with a high school Bible As Literature class taught by a little lesbian Jewish atheist, has given me a lifelong interest in the canon qua canon. Well, and that I was a comic book nerd too — being familiar with retcons is a tremendous advantage when approaching biblical scholarship.
posted by klangklangston at 12:19 AM on September 29, 2015 [7 favorites]


GOP Chair Repeatedly Interrupts Planned Parenthood Head At Hearing

This is not going away, they're telegraphing the next round of fights in December today even if a CR is agreed to tomorrow. Operation Rescue is in control of the House.
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:39 AM on September 29, 2015


Also, shutdown preparations are going on as if it's happening. I know a guy who has been stationed as a US Forestry fire lookout in a remote tower in Idaho for the last couple months, they're pulling him and others down off the mountain early today in preparation for a shutdown. If there's no money tomorrow, the supply helicopters won't be able to fly.

Just the brinksmanship itself has real world consequences even if a deal is reached at midnight Wednesday. I don't think there are plans to fly those lookouts back up tomorrow if there's a deal, the trees will just burn longer before someone notices.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:13 AM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Operation Rescue is in control of the House.

Planned Parenthood Emerges Unscathed From GOP Attacks – WSJ/NBC Poll
Planned Parenthood’s standing in the public eye has not been diminished despite months of concerted attacks by Republicans, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll has found.

[PP was] viewed favorably by 47% of Americans and unfavorably by 31% in the Sept. 20-24 survey. . . . about the same as the 45%-30% split found in the same poll in July.

[T]he new poll found that a strong majority of Americans — 61% — oppose eliminating funding, while 35% support a funding cut off.

But even among people who want to cut off funding to Planned Parenthood, only
----->  27%  <------
favored forcing a government shutdown to accomplish the goal.
-- WSJ
posted by Herodios at 10:26 AM on September 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


The House GOP is not exactly known for their responsiveness to public polling.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:25 PM on September 29, 2015


The Freedom Caucus (AKA Tea Party Choice) are pushing "Taliban Dan" Webster for Speaker of the House. Webster is linked to Bill Gothard, the former head of IBLP who stepped down after numerous complaints of sexual harassment. You might recognize the name because his most famous adherents are The Duggars.

FiveThirtyEight has a nice run down on the Freedom Caucus.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:30 PM on September 29, 2015


So, linked to Christian extremists but not white supremacists? That makes him a moderate in the field running for GOP leadership.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:54 PM on September 29, 2015 [1 favorite]






So which was it: dead girl or live boy?
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:43 AM on October 8, 2015


From what I'm reading, that he accidentally said out loud that the point of the Benghazi committee is to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:44 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sort of amazed that doing that would hurt anyone at this point.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


From what I'm reading, that he accidentally said out loud that the point of the Benghazi committee is to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

He sure did:

"Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right?" McCarthy told Hannity. "But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee. What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she's untrustable. But no one would have known any of that had happened, had we not fought."

posted by maxsparber at 9:47 AM on October 8, 2015


Yes, a true magician never reveals his [dirty] tricks.
Or, if you do, make sure to wait till you're on your deathbed to spill the beans (i.e. the Lee Atwater Manoeuver).
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:54 AM on October 8, 2015


So it's down to The Guy Who Made The Planned Parenthood Witch Hunt Look Even Stupider (Chaffetz), The Guy Who Is Cool With The KKK (Scalise), and The Guy Who Is Cool With Child Molesters (Webster). And none of them have significant support at the moment. This should get interesting.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:55 AM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


They could probably get Nancy Pelosi to do it.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 9:57 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Josh Marshall suggests Speaker Romney:
1. MBA
2. Turnaround expert
3. Proven leadership in business


What a friggin' mess. The White House needs to be re-soundproofed because that cackling and uncontrolled laughter can be heard all the way down at Capitol Hill.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:58 AM on October 8, 2015


Speaking of which: ‏@aterkel: Nancy Pelosi right now, probably
posted by zombieflanders at 9:59 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]




Someone find the person who said "the House couldn't get any more fucked up" and kick them in the shin for jinxing this.

What a clown show this is going to turn into. I have never been so close to converting all our investments into potatoes as I am right now, imagining the debt ceiling disaster these morons would like to create.
posted by phearlez at 10:14 AM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


From what I'm reading, that he accidentally said out loud that the point of the Benghazi committee is to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

So, live woman.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:24 AM on October 8, 2015


HMMMM:
North Carolina Rep. Walter Jones (R) sent a letter to the No. 4 House Republican saying any candidate for leadership who has committed any "misdeeds" since joining Congress should "withdraw" from the contest.

Jones, a 20-year veteran of Washington, is referring to marital infidelity, and made reference to former Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.), who stepped down due to an affair before he was slated to become speaker, and Newt Gingrich.

"With all the voter distrust of Washington felt around the country, I am asking that any candidate for Speaker of the House, majority leader, and majority whip withdraw himself from the leadership election if there are any misdeeds he has committed since joining Congress that will embarrass himself, the Republican Conference and the House of Representatives if they become public," Jones wrote in a letter to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).
posted by zombieflanders at 10:26 AM on October 8, 2015


Wow. So these guys have shame and/or are vaguely accountable?

Weird.

Wonder when that will happen again.
posted by Artw at 10:34 AM on October 8, 2015


Not to play Cassandra, but it's hard to go broke betting that the modern Republican Party will become more chaotic.

McCarthy couldn't get a first-ballot win against unified Freedom Caucus opposition, which they are more than happy to provide, so he's (somewhat wisely) declining to fight it out. So who's next? No non-prion-diseased Republican can step in and get the votes without either FC or Democrat support; any Dem who crosses over will be drawn and quartered by Pelosi on the House floor, and no FCer has a reason to give in now that they've demonstrated control of the process.

At this point being named Speaker is like being named head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Someone has to do it, it's somewhat prestigious, but everyone knows that no good can come of it and it'll all end in tears.
posted by delfin at 10:37 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Lib Dennis Miller:

Speaker of the House odds:

A Furby that only says racial slurs 3:1
BENGHAZI in 72-point Comic Sans 6:4
The Human Centipede doctor 9:1

posted by maxsparber at 10:42 AM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


From what I'm reading, that he accidentally said out loud that the point of the Benghazi committee is to hurt Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

Well, breaking keyfabe is a serious offense.
posted by Cash4Lead at 10:49 AM on October 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Maybe Pelosi wants the job…
posted by Going To Maine at 10:52 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pelosi as Speaker would certainly unite the Republican party.
posted by maryr at 11:16 AM on October 8, 2015


Ted Cruz just met with the House Freedom Caucus last night. Cruz and his loyal army of teabaggers have complete control over the House now, whoever is the new speaker will have to first pledge fealty to the insanity wing, who are driven by Ted Cruz's need to generate hate radio soundbites for his campaign.

This is going to get bad, and if they confirm a new Cruz Speaker before raising the debt limit, it's going to get very, very bad.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:22 AM on October 8, 2015


No non-prion-diseased Republican

I'm using this.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:29 AM on October 8, 2015


It's a direct swipe from Charles Pierce, so I will gladly grant attribution.
posted by delfin at 11:31 AM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


From an NPR article - In order to break the stalemate, there may need to be a consensus candidate who could appeal to both conservatives and mainstream Republicans — a difficult task given the fractious caucus.

I just really like the phrase "fractious caucus"a lot.

Also:

Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., said the meeting opened, Republicans said the Pledge and then McCarthy stood up and took himself out of the race. The prohibitive favorite said he didn't want members to take arrows for voting for him and that he was taking himself out of contention.

Speaker Boehner then immediately moved to adjourn the meeting. Rooney said there was "total shock" and some members were audibly crying.


Oh man, I really wish I knew who these members were!
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:41 AM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Have any high-ranking Republican politicians actually come out and said "what we are turning into is insane"?
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:42 AM on October 8, 2015


I think we've just demonstrated that admitting the truth is a really bad idea for them under any circumstances.
posted by Artw at 11:45 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


But surely some of them are sick and tired of dealing with this, and feel legitimately betrayed by their party, and would be happy to lob a bomb into the GOP? It's not like they wouldn't be able to get hired by some firm or other afterward.
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:46 AM on October 8, 2015


I'm really not sure what the path forward even looks like now. It's ironic that the successful gerrymandering following the 2010 census has just destroyed the House GOP. With the constant threat of being primaried from the right, there is no electoral penalty for extremism, and no incentive for compromise (or, you know, governing).

They are just thoroughly screwed.
posted by leotrotsky at 11:51 AM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't know if Halliburton or whoever are really going to want to hire someone who deliberately says the truth as opposed to an honest slip-up during gloating.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM on October 8, 2015


I don't know if Halliburton or whoever are really going to want to hire someone who deliberately says the truth as opposed to an honest slip-up during gloating.

You can't tell me that not one corporation or think-tank in America would want to hire The Rebel Republican Who Tells It Like It Is.

For the past three election cycles, moderate Republican have been hiding their faces in shame or just jumping ship to the Dems or Libertarians. Anybody who actually stood up to these maniacs in a public manner would have a world of support. Just not from the Republican Party.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:06 PM on October 8, 2015


Everyone everywhere needs to quit calling the Tea Party faction "conservatives" & refer to them as what they really are -- radical reactionaries. There's not a damn thing they seek to conserve.

So the Republicans are split into 2 camps -- McCain style conservatives & Ted Cruz style radical reactionaries.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:09 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


So, options at this point:

1. Some other Republican with establishment support (Cole)
2. One of the GOP ultras (Webster)
3. A Republican outside the House (Romney)
4. Boehner stays on indefinitely
5. Pelosi in a Dem/sane GOPer grand coalition

Any others?
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:11 PM on October 8, 2015


For the past three election cycles, moderate Republican have been hiding their faces in shame or just jumping ship to the Dems...

Not doubting you, but do you have some recent examples of elected GOP officials making the switch to the Democratic party, or were you talking about voters rather than politicians?
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:12 PM on October 8, 2015


Voters.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:13 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


But surely some of them are sick and tired of dealing with this, and feel legitimately betrayed by their party, and would be happy to lob a bomb into the GOP? It's not like they wouldn't be able to get hired by some firm or other afterward.

The ones that feel like that are already Democrats, there's no such thing left as a moderate Republican and hasn't been since 2007. No, McCain doesn't count. The Paul Ryans of the world differ from Louie Goehmert or Ted Cruz only in tone, not substance, and the only major disagreement that this entire schism is over is tactical, not strategic, whether to shutdown the government and/or default on the debt limit in order to try and spite Obama. None of them have the slightest interest in seeing the government function and they're much more motivated by avoiding a primary challenge from the right.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:14 PM on October 8, 2015


showbiz_liz, the problem here is not that there aren't Republicans who are appalled by this conservative fundamentalist uprising. The problem is that there is no 'main' core of Republicans who are capable of driving the party forward any more, and the root cause is that the Mirror Universe Media have spent thirty years building a remarkable parallel-media stream barking out consistently xenophobic populist talking points at low-information potential voters.

Look at the leadup to the 2012 election. One would think that, faced with the possibility of the reelection of B-Rock the Islamic Shock Hussein Superallah Obama, the Republicans would've beaten their factions into line and formed an orderly voter bloc behind a candidate. Instead, the nomination process was chaos. The establishment/fiscal conservative choice (Mittens; after all, he came second the time before so this was His Turn, and he stood for White Folks With Money, the traditional Republican flag-bearer) was opposed consistently by a succession of anti-Romney alternatives.

First came Michele Bachmann, religious fanatic and certifiable dingbat; then Rick Perry, ethically questionable Governor of Texas; then Herman Cain, dubiously qualified pizza company executive; then Newt Gingrich, serial husband and former House Speaker; then Rick Santorum, frothy mix of failed Senator and moral crusader, with Ron Paul creeping consistently in the background ready to spread his message of isolationism, deregulation and gold to all who'd listen. Why did this parade of also-rans run for many months on end?

Because the Republicans's Mirror Universe Media howled into every available airwave that Romney simply _wasn't conservative enough_. That he would be weak on Islam, weak on religion, weak on the culture war, weak on abortion, Not A Real Conservative. Because Real Conservatives never lose elections; they can only be failed by lack of will of those around them. Because John McCain gave a card-carrying Princess of the Dingbat Kingdom a bite at the big-ticket apple four years before, and her platters of word salad and populist red meat appeals was incapable of winning the Presidency but was precisely what appealed most to the conservative fundamentalist audience. Because when you build a machine endlessly screaming about how THOSE ELITES are holding The Common Man Down, eventually even the dim listeners look at your Very Nice Suit and Limo and Mansion and Stock Holdings and go "heeeeeeey..." and demand THEIR turn running the show.

None of this is a unique and new phenomenon, of course. Today's Freedom Caucusers and talk-radio fans are yesterday's John Birchers. The difference is that, back in the 60s, the powers that be had a large enough hammer to maintain some control. No longer.

Not doubting you, but do you have some recent examples of elected GOP officials making the switch to the Democratic party, or were you talking about voters rather than politicians?

Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords weren't that long ago, balancing out Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman lunging in the Republican direction.
posted by delfin at 12:21 PM on October 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


5. Pelosi in a Dem/sane GOPer grand coalition

No chance it's Pelosi, but a pro-life Democrat (are there any left? Bart Stupak's gone) or some other DINO type might be palatable to enough Republicans to get a temporary speakership until they can consolidate.
posted by Etrigan at 12:26 PM on October 8, 2015


showbiz_liz, the problem here is not that there aren't Republicans who are appalled by this conservative fundamentalist uprising. The problem is that there is no 'main' core of Republicans who are capable of driving the party forward any more, and the root cause is that the Mirror Universe Media have spent thirty years building a remarkable parallel-media stream barking out consistently xenophobic populist talking points at low-information potential voters.

Sure- but why is everyone in the party seemingly still trying to go along with this and appease the crazies, when it's now clear that the only possible result is 'more crazies'?

I know why the party itself is out of control, but every single member seems committed to slamming their foot on the gas as well, when it seems to me that there's a potentially lucrative position of "the one Republican Congressperson who won't participate in this anymore" that no one has staked out.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:27 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Charles Rangel: Made myself a smoothie in my office & watching news about GOP mtg to elect next Speaker not going smoothly
posted by octothorpe at 12:37 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Sure- but why is everyone in the party seemingly still trying to go along with this and appease the crazies, when it's now clear that the only possible result is 'more crazies'?

Follow the money. Crazy or not, any Republican can be primaried from the right by some random goober backed by the Club For Growth or the Kochs. The non-Tea Party Republicans are trying to hold on to their seats in the hope that when the Tea Partiers flame out, they'll be in position to take the reins.

when it seems to me that there's a potentially lucrative position of "the one Republican Congressperson who won't participate in this anymore" that no one has staked out.

Not as lucrative as not pissing off the big money guys.
posted by Etrigan at 12:38 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


You have to be REALLY sure of your voter base to say a contrary word, even if what you're being asked is "is Obama a Kenyan" or "did Hillary burn down the Benghazi embassy personally" or "are all Muslims waiting for a signal to murder us all in our beds?" Otherwise the Mirror Universe Media turns in your direction and points and howls ala Donald Sutherland at the end of Body Snatchers, a True Conservative primary opponent appears, and you stand a reasonable chance of being given the boot.

The 'moderates' (most of whom really aren't all that moderate) look at each other nervously and then at the torch-and-pitchforkers and think There's more of us... but who goes first?
posted by delfin at 12:39 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Any others?

TRUMP
posted by Going To Maine at 12:46 PM on October 8, 2015


Sure- but why is everyone in the party seemingly still trying to go along with this and appease the crazies, when it's now clear that the only possible result is 'more crazies'?

From their perspective, the most immediate result would be their ass out of congress in favor of a crazier challenger. Suppose you're a "moderate" Republican watching this go down, what incentive do you have to paint a target on your own back when you just watched Cruz and The FOX-o-sphere end both Bohner and McCarthy? You sit tight and hope something shakes out that keeps you in the good graces of the Kochminions running the show.

seems to me that there's a potentially lucrative position of "the one Republican Congressperson who won't participate in this anymore" that no one has staked out.

You don't need one lone Reasonable Moderate Conservative to rule them all through, you need someone who can get to 218 Republicans, Paul Ryan could maybe do it, but he's not stupid enough to want to try, and there's no other credible candidate yet. Or else you need a compromise candidate who can win with support of the Democrats to cancel out the 40 Freedom Rebels. The first doesn't appear to exist, and the Democrats have zero reason to enable the second unless it's Pelosi.
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:48 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


a pro-life Democrat (are there any left? Bart Stupak's gone)

The most obvious one is maybe Dan Lipinski, but he's obvious because I went to grad school with him.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:58 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Doesn't Speaker of the House have to be a member of the House? Why are people talking about Romney?
posted by maryr at 12:58 PM on October 8, 2015


The Speaker of the House can be anyone!
posted by Elementary Penguin at 1:00 PM on October 8, 2015


Doesn't Speaker of the House have to be a member of the House? Why are people talking about Romney?
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment. (Article I, Section 2)
It has long been held that by not saying "chuse a Representative as their Speaker" or the like, the Constitution does not actually mandate that it be a sitting Representative, particularly given that the President of the Senate is explicitly not a Senator.
posted by Etrigan at 1:04 PM on October 8, 2015


The Speaker of the House can be anyone!

NATIONAL TREASURE 3: Nicolas Cage is going to steal the house of representatives
posted by poffin boffin at 1:08 PM on October 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


Erin Gloria Ryan: For Your Consideration: The Next Speaker of the House of Representatives Should Be a Tiny Baby
Babies are shameless in pursuing their agenda; like their current Republican House colleagues, they’re willing to shit their pants in public or unleash several minutes of ear-piercing shrieks when things aren’t going the way they want. And even though most of them barely speak English and can’t read or write, they’re able to communicate more effectively than most current members of Congress.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:12 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Have any high-ranking Republican politicians actually come out and said "what we are turning into is insane"?

I wouldn't necessarily call him high-ranking, but one of the Freedom Caucus yahoos who are apparently driving this process now resigned last month saying "I believe the tactics the HFC has employed have repeatedly undermined the House’s ability to advance them," and "I feel that the HFC’s many missteps have made it counterproductive to its stated goals and I no longer wish to be associated with it."

It's not exactly a Road to Damascus moment or anything, but it does sort of show that maybe there's some idea that having this process controlled by the 30-or-so biggest assholes in Congress isn't the greatest idea in the world.
posted by Copronymus at 1:21 PM on October 8, 2015


showbiz_liz: "Sure- but why is everyone in the party seemingly still trying to go along with this and appease the crazies, when it's now clear that the only possible result is 'more crazies'?"

Crazies are not bounded by reality. Mainstream Republicans can look at what's going on in Congress and say to themselves, "I could run for office with the knowledge I could accomplish nothing on my agenda because of Congressional gridlock, that the 2016 election cycle will be ugly because of the presidential race, and that to get party support and media coverage I'll be asked to prostrate myself before all kinds of nonsense altars that, if I refuse in a sensible, measured way, I'll be called a traitor, and I can rest assured that notes I passed in second grade calling girls poopy heads are going to be brought up as evidence that I hate women, my family dragged through the mud, my teenager's facebook combed through for evidence of having existed within vague proximity of an alcoholic beverage at any point in time, my children threatened at school -- or I could just, you know, NOT GET INVOLVED."

The true believers say to themselves, "WE ARE WINNING! LET'S GO FOR BIGGER FISH! ALL OF THIS PROGRESS SHOWS WE ARE ACTUALLY THE SILENT MAJORITY! SURELY WE ARE A TIGHT-KNIT GROUP OF LOVING COMRADES WHO WOULD NEVER TURN INTO A CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD!"

Once the crazies have the power to remove a few people, it is very difficult to stop this from within, because the crazies are unaware of the limits of their power to reform the institution, and the sane are unwilling to be personally destroyed by the crazy. And crazy can't agree to any kind of incremental reform, as they're built on FROTHING INSANITY and the insistence that compromise is evil. They must turn on their candidates, one after the next, because those who compromise betray the cause, and those who refuse to compromise are ineffective at achieving anything. Boehner's not dumb; that's why he's out. Ryan's not dumb either; it's why he won't get in. There is NOTHING to be gained by leading the House Republicans right now; the crazy wing will destroy you personally, while leaving their own caucus intact.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:34 PM on October 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


It has long been held that by not saying "choose a Representative as their Speaker" or the like, the Constitution does not actually mandate that it be a sitting Representative, particularly given that the President of the Senate is explicitly not a Senator.

Likewise, the Speaker does not _necessarily_ have to be Constitutionally eligible to be President, despite being third in the Presidential line of succession. The 12th Amendment stipulates that the Vice President must be Presidentially eligible, but past that there are no Constitutional restrictions and non-natural-born-citizens have held Cabinet-level positions in the line of succession without issue (Madeleine Albright and Elaine Chao). Should a sufficiently well-aimed meteor strike and the Presidential Succession Act be subsequently consulted to find a new President, Presidential-ineligible office holders would be skipped over until an eligible one was reached.

So, at least in theory, Speaker of the House Brian Blessed is possible.
posted by delfin at 1:41 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]




Jason Chaffetz (R-Zygote)

the Freedom Caucus, a claque of angry gossoons

Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin, a man whose ambition makes Satan look like Uriah Heep


Damn, Esquire, tell us how you REALLY feel
posted by showbiz_liz at 2:06 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Why exactly is there a debt ceiling at all? Why does it make sense to make Congress vote every time on US authority to borrow?
posted by holborne at 2:47 PM on October 8, 2015


It's a relic of WW1 (or 1898?) and was one of those compromises that don't make particular sense but help a deal get done, like allowing alcohol sales except on Sunday. We'll vote for war bonds we don't like BUT ONLY IF there's this limit that makes us feel better.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 4:02 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I would pay good money for video of members sobbing in the cloakroom or coatroom or wherever it was those awful people were

Wait, maybe those were actually decent people sobbing for the demise of democracy

(Googles)

Oh actually those were the people who did not fuck things up, apparently. I'm not sure how much that would diminish my terrible, terrible enjoyment, however
posted by angrycat at 4:10 PM on October 8, 2015


Slate Moneybox circa 2011: The debt ceiling is a historical relic, the budgetary equivalent of the appendix. Before 1917, Congress needed to approve each and every debt issuance. But when World War I hit, the legislature decided to make the process easier, setting an overall debt limit and letting Treasury issue as many bonds as it needed to stay within it. A century ago, the ceiling made more sense. The government was smaller, with discretionary spending a bigger portion of the federal budget. Having the additional check helped to keep appropriations under control. But now, the debt ceiling does little to encourage smarter budgeting. Most of the country's debt stems from spiraling mandatory spending on programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security anyway.

How to Disarm the Debt-Ceiling Threat for Good
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:14 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Meet the new boss, same as the old boss:
Rules Committee member Tom Cole (R-OK) said earlier this week that according to parliamentarian rules, Boehner's resignation cannot take effect until the House elects his replacement. (via TPM). Also, too.
posted by RedOrGreen at 4:56 PM on October 8, 2015


Tangentially related: Ben Carson has no idea what the debt ceiling even is
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:17 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


Kai Ryssdal is a national treasure and Carson is a very nice man who is an idiot.
posted by GuyZero at 5:22 PM on October 8, 2015


Apparently Lynn Westmoreland is running. So there's that.

Actually he might be the perfect candidate, as the stupidest Congressman ever elected, who better to run the insane asylum? Would he even know if he was being pressured from the right? Could Nancy Pelosi dress up as Mary Magdalene, sneak into his office and tell him exactly what bills to bring to the floor? Would he get his head stuck in a Subway bag and suffocate two weeks into the job? We may find out!
posted by T.D. Strange at 5:32 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


But Ben Carson isn't an idiot! He is (well, was) a widely respected neurosurgeon! He just suffers from (what I've just renamed) Specialist's Disease. "I'm very accomplished in this field I've dedicated my whole life to mastering. Therefore I am knowledgeable about every possible subject, moreso than so-called experts in those fields."
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:35 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Josh Marshall has a clever thought:

People are starting to seriously moot the idea of Boehner remaining on in a caretaker role through the 2016 election. He doesn't need 218 votes. He's already Speaker. He doesn't need anything.

...but here's something to consider on the off chance something like this did happen. It would be a pretty big transformation. Because Boehner 2.0 would be basically the Man of Steel and indestructible for almost 18 months.

The cudgel wielded by the 'Freedom Caucus' and the broader House GOP right would disappear?
Threaten to depose him? Right.
Say he's not following the Hastert Rule? Right.

He would be indestructible. No one would have any real leverage over him. And remember, the Speakership is a constitutional office.

posted by leotrotsky at 5:48 PM on October 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I gotta say, Ben Carson scares me a million times worse than Donald Trump. I work in the medical field, and I'm well acquainted with the arrogance of doctors. That arrogance, paired with zealous young earth creationism and crazy shit like "no bullet wounds are more painful than gun control", plus his current poll numbers, is infinitely more alarming than anything The Donald is doing.
posted by tocts at 5:52 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm really beginning to wonder about the circumstances under which he got his license to commit brain surgery, because he really does appear to be dumb and incompetent in every conceivable way and I can't imagine it getting better in specialist areas.
posted by Artw at 6:13 PM on October 8, 2015


People who think that Boehner will continue presiding over the clown show but with a new spine as he forgoes sweet lobbying money are presumably also getting ready to sit in the pumpkin patch and wait for the Great Pumpkin.
posted by phearlez at 6:13 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


I love the idea of Boehner getting trapped in the Speakership.

Boehner was like, "You know, the Pope is right. What good am I accomplishing here? I'm gonna quit this stupid job. I hate it anyway. Let somebody else drive this crazy train, I'm out. Pack your bags honey, we're going to Florida!"

And the cosmos is like, "AH HAHAHAHA, not so fast! Karma's a bitch, ain't it?"
posted by gueneverey at 6:20 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Just think, if Aaron Schock's various financial shenanigans hadn't caught up with him, he'd probably be in the mix now for Speaker.

*shudder*
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:07 PM on October 8, 2015


Anyway, the pope met that crazy lady, doesn't that mean that everything is cool now and he was crossing his fingers behind his back for all that other stuff?
posted by Artw at 7:15 PM on October 8, 2015


This is literally John Boehner's nightmare:
Speaker John Boehner, who plans to leave office a day before Halloween, told a group of Republican colleagues last week he had an awful nightmare.

“I had this terrible nightmare last night that I was trying to get out and I couldn’t get out,” the Ohio Republican joked, according to one of his longtime friends, Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.). “And a hand came reaching, pulling me.”

.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:55 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


“Tea Party wave that lifted Republicans threatens to engulf them,” Andy Sullivan and Ginger Gibson, Reuters, 08 October 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 9:30 PM on October 8, 2015


Jason Chaffetz (R-Zygote)

the Freedom Caucus, a claque of angry gossoons

Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from Wisconsin, a man whose ambition makes Satan look like Uriah Heep

Damn, Esquire, tell us how you REALLY feel


You must not read Charles Pierce's political blog very often; here's a helpful glossary. Has he mentioned lately what a colossal dick Rick Santorum is?
posted by TedW at 6:07 AM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's so frustrating that Esquire broke their RSS feed a while ago and I never remember to read Pierce now.
posted by octothorpe at 6:36 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Today's 202 from the WaPo is tragic comedy gold. If you like establishment republican tears it's got something for you. Wingnut frothing? Irrational demands? Those too! Plus hyperbolic, reality-detached commentator quotes.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly says “Ryan has got to wise up and get in there.” On the air, he said: “Everybody else who is going to be considered: A) The public doesn’t know them. B) There is an ideological bent here, which doesn’t do anybody any good because you want to pass laws, right? You don’t want to make policy because that is what happens at the other levels.”
...
The American Spectator’s Aaron Goldstein, an establishment hater, says Ryan has proven he has the backbone to stand up to President Obama: “Now some of you might say, ‘Hey! He supported Kevin McCarthy for Speaker!’ … Yet let us not forget the look on Obama’s face when Ryan explained health care policy to him at the Health Care Summit in February 2010.
...
Paul Mirengoff on the influential Powerline blog writes that, on non-budgetary issues: “It’s sometimes difficult to distinguish Ryan from a bleeding-heart liberal.” He attacks him for supporting comprehensive immigration and criminal justice reform: “To the extent that House conservatives remain committed to fighting against amnesty and to sustaining the sentencing rules that helped produce a 50 percent reduction in the national rate of serious crime in the past two decades, they should be more opposed to Ryan than they are to the current leaders.”
...
Others noted Ryan’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, which some on the hard-core right are now calling ObamaTrade:
What is there to add to that?
posted by phearlez at 7:18 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]




Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA41): It seems like we’re having a hard time finding the next Speaker, so I created a Craigslist ad to boost our search.

In connection with another active thread: this is a totally unrealistic job ad. It doesn't even demand 5 years of experience as speaker or a degree in Speakership or related field. But we can be certain the next speaker will wear a blazer.
posted by dis_integration at 7:51 AM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


"There is an ideological bent here, which doesn’t do anybody any good because you want to pass laws, right? You don’t want to make policy because that is what happens at the other levels.”

Wow, since when is that Fox News's position?
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:14 AM on October 9, 2015


Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA41): It seems like we’re having a hard time finding the next Speaker, so I created a Craigslist ad to boost our search.

Holy shit, I saw that ad being shared around but I had no idea a fucking Congressman posted it!

I've said it before, but when I was studying US history, my personal high-water mark for Congressional insanity was the caning of Charles Sumner in the lead-up to the Civil War. At the time I learned about this (early 2000s), I was firmly convinced that such shenanigans were a thing of the past; this is how things USED to be, but we're a grown-up country now and would never indulge in such tomfoolery.

...if I heard of something like this happening in the House today, I would be completely unsurprised.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:16 AM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


The next speaker of the house should submit a video via Blazingo.
posted by Artw at 8:25 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Why not Paul Ryan? From Politico:
A Ryan pal offered this explanation to me: "Because he's not a f---ing moron."

posted by zakur at 8:33 AM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


Why not Paul Ryan? From Politico:

A Ryan pal offered this explanation to me: "Because he's not a f---ing moron."


Oh, is that requirement mentioned in the Craigslist ad?
 
posted by Herodios at 10:55 AM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Because he's not a f---ing moron."

[CITATION NEEDED]
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:58 AM on October 9, 2015 [11 favorites]




I have to say, I'm a little scared I'm going to laugh and laugh and laugh at these idiots until suddenly I'm up against a wall facing a firing squad in the wake of Civil War II Electric Boogaloo.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:49 PM on October 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


octothorpe: "It's so frustrating that Esquire broke their RSS feed a while ago and I never remember to read Pierce now."

I made a custom RSS feed with Feedity that still works as of today.
posted by Rhaomi at 1:12 PM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


That feed doesn't seem to work right in NewsBlur, nothing newer than February shows.
posted by octothorpe at 1:47 PM on October 9, 2015


Lauren French at Politico: “Freedom Caucus lies in wait for Paul Ryan”
posted by Going To Maine at 4:45 PM on October 9, 2015


Republicans Fear They May Need Dems To Solve Their Speaker Crisis. If no Republican candidate to lead the House can win 218 votes, the only option may be a deal with the other party.

Riiiiight...
posted by zakur at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2015


I'm pretty sure that they'd rather commit mass seppuku on the house floor than cooperate with the Democrats.
posted by octothorpe at 10:30 AM on October 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I keep getting the image of a kid with his hand thrust in a candy jar, and he can't take it out because his fist is too wide, and he won't un-make his fist because he doesn't want to give up any of the candy.

Oh, and the candy jar also contains effective government. I should be an editorial cartoonist!
posted by benito.strauss at 11:05 AM on October 10, 2015 [12 favorites]


I wouldn't mind watching that mass seppuku, especially on the teevee where I don't have to smell it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:12 AM on October 10, 2015


octothorpe: "That feed doesn't seem to work right in NewsBlur, nothing newer than February shows."

Might be a Newsblur problem. It's still updating for me in Feedly and in my Mr. Reader app, and this validator shows the URL is still delivering updates up to this afternoon.

Feedity does link to an interstitial ad first -- maybe that's messing up something?
posted by Rhaomi at 1:16 PM on October 10, 2015


Might want to contact Newsblur support, octothorpe. I've found them to be pretty responsive.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:04 PM on October 10, 2015


Here Come the Republican Moderates - "In a rare move, rank-and-file GOP lawmakers have joined with Democrats to force a vote on legislation reviving the Export-Import Bank."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:48 PM on October 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't mind watching that mass seppuku, especially on the teevee where I don't have to smell it.

C-span's ratings would go through the roof!
posted by TedW at 11:49 AM on October 11, 2015




taxpayers money at work:


He described to CNN an office environment in which employees spent their days Web surfing and sometimes drinking at work. He said staffers joined a “gun buying club” for “chrome-plated, monogrammed, Tiffany-style Glock 9-millimeters,” and some would spend hours at a time at work designing the personalized weapons.

posted by Artw at 2:01 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is there any chance that Boehner gamed this all out and predicted that McCarthy would fail, Ryan would refuse and he would get to continue, shiny and chrome?
posted by carmicha at 7:44 PM on October 11, 2015


Nah, he's obviously bone tired and wants out. This is a literal (see above) nightmare for him. I agree with Boehner on very, very little but compared to these clowns he is a statesman.
posted by Justinian at 7:48 PM on October 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't be surprised to find out that he knew it would happen, but also that he desperately didn't want it to -- either:

A) He was just that fucking tired of it and just wanted to pull the proverbial ripcord and fuck the GOP.

B) He thought his departure would shock a few of the nihilist hyperTeaPartiers enough to let McCarthy get a majority and get them more into line generally.
posted by Etrigan at 7:58 PM on October 11, 2015




More on the subject: Hillary Clinton's sweeping executive power agenda is unprecedented
posted by homunculus at 8:54 PM on October 11, 2015


The hyper-imperial president: How John Boehner’s resignation will lead to an even more powerful executive. No matter who wins the White House in 2016, Tea Party intransigence will lead to an expansion of executive power


GOD EMPEROR TRUMP
posted by Artw at 8:59 PM on October 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


Trump 2016: Let the foetus of monarchy be crowned.
posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Krugman: Ryan’s current stature is really quite curious, and I’d argue quite fragile. He has been a highly successful con artist, pretending to be the reasonable conservative centrists desperately want to see; he has become a power within his party because of that external achievement. But he’s not a true hero of the crazy right; he’s valued mainly because of his successful con job on the center. So he doesn’t have a reserve of goodwill from the crazies that would let him be, well, not crazy. On the other hand, if he were to be the kind of speaker the crazies want, he would undermine that all-important centrist approbation. Being off to the side, pretending to be dealing thoughtfully with important policy issues, was where he needed to be; moving to the speaker’s chair would be a lose-lose proposition.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:24 AM on October 12, 2015 [4 favorites]




Others noted Ryan’s support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, which some on the hard-core right are now calling ObamaTrade

C'mon guys, you can't just put the word "Obama" in front of everything, at least add a -gate on there or....

Oh, hey, look, I have a bot idea.

BTW. Paul Ryan Gosling is up and tweeting again.
posted by maryr at 10:58 AM on October 12, 2015


> C'mon guys, you can't just put the word "Obama" in front of everything ...

You're right. It seems like you can only put it front of single syllable words, like in "Obamagate", "Obamacare", "Obamatrade", "Obamaphone", etc.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:31 PM on October 12, 2015


"opposition to ObamaTrade is tradephobic" - someone out there, probably
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:09 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]




Oh wow. Omega level trolling.
posted by Artw at 2:23 PM on October 12, 2015


This is how the Freedom Caucus has taken the House hostage
First, HFC demands would undermine Republicans’ procedural majority—the expectation that rank and file members of the majority party will support their leaders’ right to manage the agenda in the party’s interest.
...
Second, the HFC has yoked its policy and procedural demands. The HFC seeks more than opening the legislative process to the views of conference conservatives. Among other demands, it seeks explicit commitments from the next speaker to fully repeal Obamacare in a filibuster-proof bill, to make increases in the debt limit conditional on entitlement reform, to impeach the IRS commissioner, to forswear stop gap spending bills, and to defund Planned Parenthood, the president’s immigration orders, and implementation of the Iran deal.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 PM on October 12, 2015


So what happens if they never fill this role?
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on October 12, 2015


Theoretically, Congress stops functioning. Article I, Sec 2: The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other Officers. The House literally doesn't function without a Speaker. Although this is obviously pretty unprecedented, practically what probably will happen is Boehner is stuck with the job until the election of his successor.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:52 PM on October 12, 2015


I believe that, under the current rules of the House of Representatives, the House literally cannot conduct business without a Speaker.
posted by Etrigan at 3:53 PM on October 12, 2015


According to Wikipedia, there is no rule that the Speaker must be elected by an absolute majority of the House; it's been tradition and practice. Is there any possibility of the House conducting business under a Speaker elected by plurality?
posted by ogooglebar at 4:08 PM on October 12, 2015


So if he cries himself to death or whatever congress just stops? Can the other branches continue without them?
posted by Artw at 4:09 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


So now that it seems to matter, does anyone know if Boehner actually resigned, or merely announced his intention to resign?
posted by benito.strauss at 4:12 PM on October 12, 2015


He announced his intention to step down.

The Speaker can be elected by a plurality (or any other method) but the House has to vote to approve the method. So if the House wanted to elect the Speaker based on plurality vote they could but a majority of the House would have to vote to do that.
posted by Justinian at 4:21 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


He announced he would resign at the end of October, then agreed to stay on until the Speaker election with McCarthy dropping out, he hasn't as of yet left Congress or the Speakership.
posted by T.D. Strange at 4:22 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


"cries himself to death" *snort*

I really cannot see Ryan taking this position, it would be political suicide. It needs to be someone who aspires to no higher office than Speaker and who is ready to suffer the slings and arrows of both the Dems and the Repubs. Nobody with a weak stomach (and high blood pressure) need apply.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:09 PM on October 12, 2015


Can the other branches continue without them?

Well, arguably the executive has been operating largely without Congress for years, ever since the 2010 midterms. The main thing that *has* to get done is appropriations, and the debt ceiling. Congress has the Constitutional power of the purse, the executive and judiciary can operate on cruise control indefinitely so long as Congress is passing a yearly budget. Nothing new will get done or change, the government will be largely unable to respond to national issues or new priorities, but the country would not stop working. But the President can't pay himself, and can't enact a budget on his own, Congress needs to do the bare minimum under the Constitution to keep government's finances working, or everything else shuts off until they do.

50+% of the Republican party thinks that would be fine. So here we are.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:15 PM on October 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Justinian: "So if the House wanted to elect the Speaker based on plurality vote they could but a majority of the House would have to vote to do that."

Which is possible, because it's hard to make a commercial about "this guy voted a way we don't like on a procedural issue." Johnny Tea Party may vote to change the procedure to enable the election of Steve Mainline, and then vote against Steve Mainline for Speaker -- enabling Steve Mainline to be elected by a plurality, but preserving Johnny Tea Party's ability to run ads saying, "I VOTED AGAINST STEVE MAINLINE AS SPEAKER, HE IS NOT CONSERVATIVE ENOUGH!" There are definitely people who vote to position something procedurally so that it WILL pass, and then vote against it as a show for their constituents (in fact, one of the things a Whip does is keep track of which of his members need to or want to vote against the party on particular issues, and try to whip enough votes to allow those members to periodically make a protest vote without affecting the outcome).

Or the House Dems could join with the mainline GOP to change the rules.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:29 PM on October 12, 2015


I'm guessing there's no mechanism to declare these jackasses incompetent and kick off elections early? Or that it'd just result in more and bigger idiots, the American public being down with that kind of thing?
posted by Artw at 6:33 PM on October 12, 2015


Sadly not. This situation would be perfect for early elections under parliamentary systems in other countries. But that's not possible in the US. Sometimes having the oldest form of constitutional government means missing out on the obvious benefits of later developments in governance best practices over the next 239 years.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:36 PM on October 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Or the House Dems could join with the mainline GOP to change the rules.

It's important to remember this in general: the non-Freedom Caucus Republicans plus the house Democrats have more than enough of a majority to get anything done. So, one possible outcome (low likelihood, but probably the least bad one) is that the less hardcore Republicans get pissed off enough that they determine their only option is to split with the ungovernable far right, and work with the Democrats.

Right now, the Republicans are doing everything they can to avoid this, except that the Freedom Cocks seem to not understand just how untenable their position is, and don't appear ready to flinch. So, they may end up not getting what they want, and instead cause their own destruction as a force of relevance.

That, or they'll bring the country to its knees, ruin its credit rating, throw the world economy into a deep recession, and then declare victory. Y'know, like you do, apparently.
posted by tocts at 7:02 PM on October 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter The United States of America: So here we are.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:04 PM on October 12, 2015


he main thing that *has* to get done is appropriations, and the debt ceiling. Congress has the Constitutional power of the purse, the executive and judiciary can operate on cruise control indefinitely so long as Congress is passing a yearly budget.

Additionally, financial issues have to originate with the House. Origination clause.
posted by phearlez at 7:40 PM on October 12, 2015


Sadly not. This situation would be perfect for early elections under parliamentary systems in other countries. But that's not possible in the US. Sometimes having the oldest form of constitutional government means missing out on the obvious benefits of later developments in governance best practices over the next 239 years.

As noted in It’s Worse Than It Looks (and surely other places), one of the big problems is that the parties -primarily the Republicans, but the Dems were also on that road during the Bush years- is that the parties are behaving like parliamentary parties, not congressional ones.
posted by Going To Maine at 7:52 PM on October 12, 2015




Just came here to post that article about Ryan. There really is no true scottsmanconservative.
posted by octothorpe at 6:21 AM on October 13, 2015


They really want to go full Thelma and Louise, don't they?
posted by Artw at 6:24 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure that they know what they want, they just know what they don't want.
posted by octothorpe at 6:26 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is why I have a very tiny hope that maybe the rest of the Republicans will defect from them. The thing keeping the moderate Republicans in line is the threat of a primary challenger from their right, so none of them want to cross the Freedom Cocks. I think that can only go so far, though. At some point, being part of this chaos is going to start seeming just as bad as facing a primary challenger in the future, because what's the point of being in congress if you're stuck in a corner where literally your only option is to not get anything done?

I guess basically I'm placing my hopes on the notion that the rest of the Republicans selfishly want to get legislation passed that matters to them more than they selfishly want to not get challenged next time they're up for re-election, because there's very little functional difference between being in congress but never doing anything, and not being in congress.
posted by tocts at 6:52 AM on October 13, 2015




because there's very little functional difference between being in congress but never doing anything, and not being in congress.

Though being there and doing nothing for sure doesn't preclude you from your lifetime retirement benefits if you're there long enough (3 terms for Housecritters, IIRC) and probably doesn't preclude you from the speaking fee/K st post congress employment either.
posted by phearlez at 7:02 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Speaker can be elected by a plurality (or any other method) but the House has to vote to approve the method. So if the House wanted to elect the Speaker based on plurality vote they could but a majority of the House would have to vote to do that.

That kind of works, though, doesn't it? You can vote to let the other guys vote in the new speaker, all the while voicing your loud opposition to the new speaker and voting against him/her. They get up to these kinds of shenanigans all the time.

50+% of the Republican party thinks that would be fine. So here we are.

That is a misinterpretation. Enough of the republican party thinks that would be fine such that the republicans cannot field a majority alone. They are being king makers, which does not require a majority. Essentially they've managed to create a minority government in a 2 party system.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:22 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]




your lifetime retirement benefits

This is rumour control; here are the facts.

There is no special congressional pension. Except for people elected before 1984, who are under a different scheme, members of Congress participate in the standard federal retirement scheme FERS. It is true that you can get vested in three terms... because, like any other federal employee, you vest in five years. If you were elected before 2012, what this means is that when you turn 62 you can start collecting 6 * 0.017 = 10.2\% of your congressional pay if you served three terms.

The only way that Congress is special is that they (and their employees) are lumped in with ATCs, firefighters, LEOs, and a few other jobs whose unifying factor is, AFAIK, that you're likely to serve less than a full ~40-year career with the feds; people in these jobs contribute to FERS faster and build their annuity faster.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:33 AM on October 13, 2015 [3 favorites]


They really want to go full Thelma and Louise, don’t they?

I’m not sure that they know what they want, they just know what they don’t want.

It probably won’t give anyone complete satisfaction, but Diane Rehm had a roundtable with the head of the freedom caucus, Norman Ornstein, and some other Republican think-tank folks. (Don’t be surprised if it makes you angry.)
posted by Going To Maine at 7:42 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Republicans should consider turning to [the Democrats] to find a majority coalition to elect a new Speaker.

That's what I've been saying.

Alternatively -- if they can't get their act together -- although Dems are the minority, [Dem seats] > [Gop seats] - [TPer seats].

I recommend Nancy Pelosi.

From the article:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been urging Democrats to vote for her on the floor during the Speaker election.
Well, there you go.

Of course, the Dems are in no position to force the vote. But. The way I understand it, the current speaker controls when the vote occurs. Boehner may be on better terms at this point with Pelosi than with the majority of his own caucus. That'd be a heluva parting shot, to collude with Pelosi to get her elected speaker and then book.
 
posted by Herodios at 8:49 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yes, ROU, and a defined benefit plan is a significantly better deal than pretty much anyone in the Republican caucus - and certainly in the Freedom caucus - wants employees outside of congress to get. I don't think there's anything unreasonable about calling out the hypocrisy of the plan they collect compared to what they want constituents to get.

Additionally, the supposed rationale of the accelerated growth of annual benefit based on "the uncertain tenure of congressional service" is comical. In the last congress 2/3 of them had been in their seats for over 8 years. In our lifetimes the percentage of representatives who have lost reelection has never surpassed 15%.

whoops, cites: https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R41545.pdf, http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/07/politics/btn-congressional-tenure/, http://www.senate.gov/reference/resources/pdf/retirement.pdf#page=11
posted by phearlez at 8:52 AM on October 13, 2015


. . . Diane Rehm had a roundtable with the head of the freedom caucus, Norman Ornstein, and some other Republican think-tank folks. (Don’t be surprised if it makes you angry.)

It might make you angry, but don't blame Norm Ornstein. He is not and never has been in congress, and is certainly not "the head of the freedom caucus".

He's the token liberal scholar with the American Enterprise Institute, and something of an expert on the US Congress.

Even Worse Than It Looks

Heed him.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:05 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Ornstein was #2 in a list there, not an appositive modifying "head of the freedom caucus", which probably referred to "Adam Brandon president and CEO, FreedomWorks ". Oh English, so ambiguous.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:18 AM on October 13, 2015


Also, Norman Ornstein, in contrast to his usual scholarly reserve, seems to be getting pissed off something fierce:
TPM asked one of the co-authors if he was feeling any vindication.

“Damn straight I do,” Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said in an interview with TPM late last week. “But I would have rather been proven wrong -- honest to God -- because we're talking about the fucking country that is at stake here.”
posted by benito.strauss at 9:22 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Central to his and his co-author Thomas Mann's examination of Washington dysfunction is that Republicans were more to blame for the gridlock than Democrats -- an idea that is anathema to Beltway centrists and many political reporters.

whut
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 AM on October 13, 2015


I guess they desperately want to cling to the bullshit "both sides" narrative?
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2015


That wasn't quite as blatantly stupid a pitch in early 2012, I guess?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:16 AM on October 13, 2015


Ornstein is more like the "sane Republican" figure, I think. The Nelson Rockefeller wing. Interested in fixing processes, and wonky bi-partisan blue ribbon commissions. We could use more of him.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:20 AM on October 13, 2015


I'm pretty sure it would be a stupid position to take anytime in the last ten years.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


> I'm pretty sure it would be a stupid position to take anytime in the last ten years.

But it sure would pay the bills and get your face on TV.
posted by RedOrGreen at 10:36 AM on October 13, 2015


I always used to assume Orenstein was a Republican-type, because the AEI is pretty openly right-wing/conservative, e.g. Charles Murray and John Bolton. But skimming his Wikipedia page doesn't indicate anything in that direction. I sometimes wonder what it's like for him there; "Norm, why are you saying bad things about Senators who want to shut down the EPA?".

My feeling is that he's a big-ol' Congress wonk, and it offends him deeply to see "his" institution used and mis-used so badly. Yes, we could use more of him, or as a first step, we should make better use of him. Like for every 3 minutes CNN spends debating whether the Tea Party caucus can accept Ryan as speaker they should have to have a minute of NormanO explaining how it still wouldn't fix any of the deep problems they've created for all of us.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:52 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Republicans’ Incompetence Caucus - David Brooks

Over the past 30 years, or at least since Rush Limbaugh came on the scene, the Republican rhetorical tone has grown ever more bombastic, hyperbolic and imbalanced. Public figures are prisoners of their own prose styles, and Republicans from Newt Gingrich through Ben Carson have become addicted to a crisis mentality. Civilization was always on the brink of collapse. Every setback, like the passage of Obamacare, became the ruination of the republic. Comparisons to Nazi Germany became a staple.

This produced a radical mind-set. Conservatives started talking about the Reagan “revolution,” the Gingrich “revolution.” Among people too ill educated to understand the different spheres, political practitioners adopted the mental habits of the entrepreneur. Everything had to be transformational and disruptive. Hierarchy and authority were equated with injustice. Self-expression became more valued than self-restraint and coalition building. A contempt for politics infested the Republican mind.


And from Salon:

Sweet Jesus, David Brooks is finally making sense: How Fox News & the GOP insanity caucus pushed him over the edge
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:11 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


That's David Brooks' schtick. About one week out of fifty-two he says something reasonable, and then people excuse the other fifty-one weeks of lies and nonsense. I mean I'm glad that he feels compelled to say this, but I know that he'll jump back aboard the SS False Equivalence the first chance he gets.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:24 AM on October 13, 2015 [5 favorites]


Tomorrow's David Brooks column- The Left's Bernie Problem: Sanders Is The Same As The House Freedom Caucus
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:51 AM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


And the cockeyed caravan rolls on: Donald Trump to host Saturday Night Live on November 7th.
(Is there a precedent for this? I know politicians and presidential aspirants have hosted in the past —John McCain, Al Gore, etc.—but as far as I recall, none were actively running in a live campaign at the time.)
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:52 AM on October 13, 2015


> Tomorrow's David Brooks column- The Left's Bernie Problem: Sanders Is The Same As The House Freedom Caucus

Good guess, but I'll put $5 down betting that before that happens he'll write a column blaming any impending shutdown on "Pelosi (and Obama) being too inflexible and arrogant to compromise with Boehner."
posted by benito.strauss at 11:59 AM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


(Is there a precedent for this? I know politicians and presidential aspirants have hosted in the past —John McCain, Al Gore, etc.—but as far as I recall, none were actively running in a live campaign at the time.)

I mean, Clinton was on earlier this month...
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:01 PM on October 13, 2015


And the cockeyed caravan rolls on: Donald Trump to host Saturday Night Live on November 7th.
(Is there a precedent for this? I know politicians and presidential aspirants have hosted in the past —John McCain, Al Gore, etc.—but as far as I recall, none were actively running in a live campaign at the time.)


Not so much hosting, but McCain was on the show three days before the 2008 election, unabashedly campaigning.
posted by Etrigan at 12:05 PM on October 13, 2015


They're going to treat him as if his bullshit is cute, it'll be horrifying.
posted by Artw at 12:09 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think making a one-off appearance in a sketch is a bit different than hosting an entire 90-minute show, though.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:11 PM on October 13, 2015


Tomorrow's David Brooks column- The Left's Bernie Problem: Sanders Is The Same As The House Freedom Caucus

I'm routinely stunned how this false equivalence/both-sides-do-it-ism seeps into the consciousness of people who should know better. The latest is Michael Kinsley, who has in the past occasionally written sensible things from the left of center, but somehow thinks that opposition to Social Security cuts is an "extreme" view. I guess the fear of not getting invited to the good parties is enough to force people to pretend that if one side is crazy, then the other must be.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:26 PM on October 13, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I'm routinely stunned how this false equivalence/both-sides-do-it-ism seeps into the consciousness of people who should know better.

Did you read the Krugman piece that T.D. Strange linked to above? He gives approximately the same reason as you do, and then shows how this leads to us talking about Paul Ryan the way we do.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:01 PM on October 13, 2015


Yeah, it's pretty much the same dynamic there. Just seeing more of it outside the usual horse race journalist class these days.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:19 PM on October 13, 2015


My feeling is that he's a big-ol' Congress wonk, and it offends him deeply to see "his" institution used and mis-used so badly.

I've never met him but this seems very true to me of scholars of legislative politics more generally.

Speaking of which...

I don't think there's anything unreasonable about calling out the hypocrisy of the plan they collect compared to what they want constituents to get.

There isn't, but -- no offense intended -- you didn't make that connection explicit in your earlier comment.

Additionally, the supposed rationale of the accelerated growth of annual benefit based on "the uncertain tenure of congressional service" is comical.

It seems a little silly to me too, but I grok it insofar as FERS seems really REALLY driven by the assumption that you're going to work your whole career with the feds, or with military-then-feds, so it doesn't seem crazy to build a semi-separate system for people who we might expect to work for the feds for 10-20 years instead of 35 or 40. ISTR that Congress (and employees) were recently moved from weirdo-FERS to regular FERS in any event.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:35 PM on October 13, 2015


Frankly, I think Congressional pensions are way, way, way down the list of "Reasons Congresspeople are Corrupt."
posted by Chrysostom at 1:55 PM on October 13, 2015 [2 favorites]


Frankly, I think Congressional pensions are way, way, way down the list of "Reasons Congresspeople are Corrupt."

Congressional salaries, on the other hand…
posted by Going To Maine at 2:11 PM on October 13, 2015


that is, embiggen them
posted by Going To Maine at 2:12 PM on October 13, 2015


Atom Eyes: " Donald Trump to host Saturday Night Live on November 7th. (Is there a precedent for this?)"

"Trump last hosted SNL in 2004. The most recent presidential candidate to host during his campaign was Al Sharpton, in 2003, though his episode didn't air on some NBC affiliate stations due to equal time rules."

(And, yeah, doing a SKIT on SNL that shows you can laugh at yourself is pretty much required for serious presidential candidates now. But hosting is different.)
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 3:28 PM on October 13, 2015


whut
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:08 AM on October 13 [+] [!]


I guess they desperately want to cling to the bullshit "both sides" narrative?
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on October 13 [+] [!]
"

So many things.

First off, the folks who own the goddamned papers are all rich assholes and live in the bubbles that rich assholes get to enjoy, so of course they see both sides as vulgar plebeian politics, and of course they're personally affronted by populist anger — why, some of my best friends are rich white men! I know a banker and he personally gave $1,000 to help a poor buy a hat. So from their perspective, both sides are doing it. Being vulgar in their politics — in the old days, things were much more genteel. We didn't fuck the poor — we made love to them.

Second off, the whole goddamned "objective" model was set up explicitly to inculcate the middle-class strivers with the attitudes of the well-to-do. The whole point of the New York Times was that you'd read it on the train to have opinions that agreed with your boss — you wouldn't be seen reading the yellow, penny press. A rich man might own the Post, but mentioning that in mixed company just wasn't done.

Third, American journalism ultimately defaulted to the only objective model they know: Sports matches. One side beats the other, it's inarguable — unless a ref blew it, but still. And if you go on and on about how Brady's a cheat, we all know that's not objective — you're a homer. That's not news, that's opinion. And opinion is biased.

So, rich people own the media and journalists kowtow — because shit, what's AlterNet's 401k look like? — to provide a false balance. It's also easier to get a both-sides-do-it article because you can always get a quote from some staffer saying that the other guy's economic plan will do to jobs what a dog fart does to a small car. And while one may report that a flatulent dog has ruined our game of Travel Yahtzee!, it's untoward to point out whose goddamned dog it is. Everyone who pays attention already knows anyway, and besides, the readers aren't interested in the fine details of canine anal eructation — they can barely make it through an article at the 8th grade level as it is, largely because they have to work a million goddamned hours and when they get home they just want to chill out and watch something that doesn't remind them of how much everything reeks.

Unfortunately, the only people who have figured this out are Fox News, the Smelt-it-dealt-it of journalism.

"Tomorrow's David Brooks column- The Left's Bernie Problem: Sanders Is The Same As The House Freedom Caucus"

Ah yes, when FDR stacked the courts it was just as bad as when Hitler did it.

No matter what two sides Brooks balances, they always weigh the same as a duck.
posted by klangklangston at 11:45 PM on October 13, 2015 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: the fine details of canine anal eructation
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:36 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


When the tea party crazy leads to sweeping midterm gains Brooks is like Oh, thank you Mephistopheles! Thanks for the awesome ride over rural Germany! But then they firm up political power and start chewing up the party from the inside and Brooks is like Oh shit, there's a big ass devil hanging over this town, shiiiiiiiiiiiit!
posted by codacorolla at 7:29 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Report: Boehner Will Push Through Debt Limit Hike Before Stepping Down

He'd help the next Speaker by taking one last bullet in the back from his own side. He'd help the country the most by joining with the Dems to repeal the debt ceiling entirely and enact Alan Grayson's no more shutdowns bill at the same time.
posted by T.D. Strange at 3:56 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Uh oh.

Republicans don't take we'll go having the obvious pointed out on the whole WMD thing, he may have found the "outrageous" thing he can say that will actually hurt him.
posted by Artw at 7:56 AM on October 18, 2015


[Sound of record scratch and then dead silence in the room]
posted by octothorpe at 9:05 AM on October 18, 2015 [2 favorites]




Heh, that made me remember this piece which Jake Tapper wrote on 9/12/2001. I kind of wish the "kept us safe" malarkey had come up before the first Republican debate when he was moderating.
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on October 18, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like it will be Ryan... if the Freedom Caucus shows its belly. I honestly have no idea if they are going to cave.
posted by Justinian at 5:43 PM on October 20, 2015


The fact that Ryan is the centrist compromise candidate really shows how fracking far the window has moved to the right. The guy who wants to privatize Medicare is too liberal to these people.
posted by octothorpe at 6:04 PM on October 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has Ryan enumerated what his “conditions” are?
posted by Going To Maine at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2015


Has Ryan enumerated what his “conditions” are?

Speaker's gavel replaced with sledgehammer and tire.
Total ban on the name "Eddie Munster" being uttered on the floor of the House.
John Conyers can't make him wear "60 MILLION PEOPLE VOTED FOR ME FOR VICE PRESIDENT AND ALL I GOT WAS THIS LOUSY T-SHIRT" shirt anymore.
Tim Commerford can come to his swearing-in, but he has to be seated on the opposite side of the gallery from Buzz Aldrin.
Second and third season renewals of "Best Time Ever With Neil Patrick Harris".
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 PM on October 20, 2015 [4 favorites]








And from the fevered imagination of my county representative: Paul Ryan is the "homosexual lobby’s Trojan Horse." If only.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:50 AM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


Delgaudio says he has a preferred candidate for Speaker but would not name who he or she is.

It's FrankenReagan, isn't it
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:56 AM on October 21, 2015




Johnny Wallflower: "And from the fevered imagination of my county representative: Paul Ryan is the "homosexual lobby’s Trojan Horse". If only."

"Hello in there, Cliff. Tell me - what color is the sky in your world?"
posted by Chrysostom at 12:47 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]


The esquire writer seems to be oblivious to the political mastery Paul Ryan is demonstrating. In refuing to jump into the scum he emerged unscathed from the initial bloodletting and is the last man standing. Now they have no choice but to accept his demands because they have no alternatives. The guys who ousted Bohner are going to be losers in all this.
posted by humanfont at 12:54 PM on October 21, 2015 [1 favorite]




Delgaudio says he has a preferred candidate for Speaker but would not name who he or she is.

It’s FrankenReagan, isn’t it

FrankenReagan’s Monster, you mean.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:26 PM on October 21, 2015 [5 favorites]


The guys who ousted Bohner are going to be losers in all this.

I think we’ve been accepting that as a given. The question is how much does everyone else - republicans, democrats, congresspeople, the president, and the country- lose in the fighting.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I want to give him credit for Nth-dimensional chess, but I do have to wonder if Paul Ryan's goal is to get his candidacy tanked by the freedom caucus. He doesn't really want the job, and if he can get them to kill his prospects for him, he can shrug and tell the rest of the Republicans "well, I tried, it's not my fault".

In effect, he'd get to both play the role of the ultimate party loyalist who is willing to take one for the team, and also not actually have to do it.
posted by tocts at 2:59 PM on October 21, 2015 [3 favorites]


In effect, he'd get to both play the role of the ultimate party loyalist who is willing to take one for the team, and also not actually have to do it.

Ooh, that hadn't occurred to me! It's either that or else he's a complete fool for believing that he can trust and negotiate with the "Freedom Caucus" any farther than he can throw them. Why in the world would he think they'd stick to anything they agreed to? What could ever make him think they have even the caucus discipline (much less the party discipline) to stick to such an agreement?
posted by dialetheia at 3:30 PM on October 21, 2015


News outlets are (confusingly) reporting both that the Freedom Caucus endorsed Ryan and that they failed to formally endorse Ryan, because he got around 2/3 of the membership but couldn't get 3/4. I admit I kind of want to see what happens if he says that's not good enough...
posted by sallybrown at 6:02 PM on October 21, 2015


Ryan is claiming victory even without the formal endorsement. He got enough of the holdouts that he can isolate the remainder.
posted by humanfont at 6:28 PM on October 21, 2015


He got the support of a supermajority but I'm hearing conflicting reports on whether they agreed to his five point plan or whatever those terms were called. If they agree to make him Speaker but refuse to go along with his conditions I'm not sure he'll go for it.
posted by Justinian at 7:35 PM on October 21, 2015






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