Is the question now not who's minding the store, but rather what difference does it make since the store hasn't been selling much of anything in the past seven or eight years?
The establishment GOP and the conservative GOP are now gloves off at center ice over the next Speaker of the House, as presumptive favorite Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House Majority Leader, suddenly withdrew his bid to replace outgoing Speaker John Boehner this afternoon. With no clear winner in sight, the Speaker election has been postponed, Boehner said he's sticking around until his replacement can actually be found, and at last report was begging Paul Ryan over the phone to take a shot, even though Ryan had already said his gracious 'oh hell, no!' earlier in the day, rather to the point stating "I will not be a candidate."
What a clusterfuck. After all the hype Boehner and Sen. Mitch McConnell have been building on the Republican brand, now the Speaker's position is up for grabs and no one's quite sure who has the long enough arm. The House Republicans have got some heavy lifting in the upcoming weeks with the impending debt crisis next month, and not only being, but looking rudderless, was not the brand image they had hoped for.
It comes down to McCarthy no longer being confident in his ability to convince either side of the aisle he was not going to be an extension of John Boehner. This is why the Freedom Caucus threw their support behind Rep. Daniel Webster (FL). They haven't been convinced for a while, and their efforts eventually drove Boehner to announce his resignation. This leaves House Oversight chair Rep. Jason Chaffetz (UT) and Webster as the two guys who want the job at present.
And what a job awaits the victor, if that's what one would call the new Speaker. An impending budget crisis, with the typical shutdown play right up front in the playbook, and a party teetering on the brink of internal war, who wouldn't want to be the guy facing the sea steering the damn boat?
With the presidential primaries on the horizon, how is the GOP supposing to gain voters when they can not, at present, show them they even are a cohesive political party? It is the breakdowns such as this that make the inexperienced candidates the front-runners in their own primary race. This is the set-up for a Trump nomination, which would be the stake in the heart of the Republican Party as we know it. Not that I'm saying a stake in the heart for the GOP is a bad thing, I'm just not convinced a Trump candidacy is the appropriate cost.
The fact I've heard even one Republican congressman talk about "broken government" at any level is amusing, given the fact his party, the party that controls Congress, is broken as hell right now, here in real time. The idea the system is still broken, even when both major parties are supposedly in harmony, is irritating. The fact this will mean only a negligible bump in third party or independent voting is even more irritating. The challenge is not getting used to it.
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