How Boehner Gets The Last Laugh
Credit: DonkeyHotey
September 25, 2015

All the right wing crazies are erupting in glee over Boehner's resignation. When I saw him on the Speaker's balcony with Pope Francis yesterday, I thought then that he'd reached the apex of his career and might well abandon it, but I wasn't thinking it would be the very next day.

With his political future settled, Boehner could still have the last laugh. Democrats in the House would gladly help him pass a budget resolution that goes through the end of 2016, and include a debt ceiling increase taking them through the 2016 election, too. With those two issues out of the way, the House could simply waste time passing more bills to repeal Obamacare, end abortion, defund Planned Parenthood, and more. They wouldn't actually have to govern.

Brian Beutler agrees:

Boehner probably can’t end the vicious cycle that hobbled his speakership. But he could plausibly clear the deck for his successor for long enough that the big issues Republicans want to fight over can play out in the election, rather than in the throes of governance. He could place legislation on the floor that funds the government for a year, extends the debt limit through 2016, and replenishes the highway trust fund, and allow Democrats to supply most of the votes required to restore calm. If Boehner were determined to make the next speakership less volatile than his own, and to end his own speakership on a note of responsible stewardship, he almost certainly could. What remains to be seen is whether he has one last fight left in him.

I'm torn about this prospect. On the one hand, it would be delicious to see Boehner take the bone away from the mad dogs trying to take over Congress. On the other, having them fight over government shutdowns and debt defaults in an election year would be a constant reminder of what we're fighting for in 2016.

But in the end, being responsible with the nation's finances is good for all of us, and our futures. Still, Digby isn't so sure a plan could be implemented:

It's unlikely the president will negotiate over Planned Parenthood so this new shutdown threat is of a different color. (The administration learned their lesson after that episode.)Boehner resigning now is supposed to make it possible for him to cobble together a continuing resolution with Democrats. The question will be whether he can find enough Republicans to go along. Maybe there's a whole group of them ready to resign, who knows?

As for whip Kevin McCarthy succeeding him, good luck getting the wingnuts to approve a newbie (elected in 2007) immigration squish from California in 2015. If he wins, it will be with mostly Democrats and it's hard to see how that puts him in any better position than Boehner.

These people are nuts. And they're getting nuttier. I don't think the chances of a shutdown have actually diminished much.

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