John Boehner, Speaker?
Does John Boehner - Republican Congressman (OH) since 1991 and Speaker of the House of Representatives since 2011 - deserve to keep his job?
Speaker Boehner has been feeling a lot of heat recently.
Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader, GOP Young Gun and Tea Party darling, has been breathing down Speaker Boehner's neck seemingly from day one.
Kevin McCarthy (House Majority Whip and fellow Young Gun) went along with Cantor and voted against Boehner as well as Young Gun Paul Ryan in the fiscal cliff deal - in a rare split of House GOP Leadership.
Governor Chris Christie has blamed the House GOP, and Speaker Boehner specifically for failing to even bring a vote to the House floor in order to provide disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy.
The Senate has already passed legislation, but the House of Representatives has failed the 112th Congress and the states of New York and New Jersey.
The 112th Congress, which has now thankfully met it's expiration, has gone down as the least productive Congress in modern history by any measure - they passed the least amount of total bills and they held votes on the smallest percentage of bills.
The 112th Congress will go down as the most inept in history - they failed to even pass a budget.
And the original debt ceiling debacle of 2011 - they made sure our that country's credit downgraded, on purpose! This resulted in Congressional approval ratings dropping to a meager 9%, or worse than a Communist takeover of the country (11%).
They let the Violence Against Women Act expire.
They spent 50 million dollars and 88 hours on 33 votes against Obamacare, all for nothing.
And it started from the beginning, the Boehner failed to swear in two of his freshman members!
While blame can be spread throughout Pennsylvania Avenue (blame Harry Reid for Senate failure to vote on a budget), Boehner's place as Speaker of the House is up for a vote right now.
Reports are that 20 or so Tea Party representatives have been passing around an anonymous petition to stage a coup and throw Boehner out of power.
Even rumors that Speaker Boehner might bow out and resign have been floated.
The question is... would we be better off without Boehner?
While the Speaker has been vilified by the far right, and lambasted by the left - are there any better candidates?
Cantor? McCarthy? Both are true believers in the mold of Jim Demint. Neither has any interest in a functional government. Both prefer libertarian government "small enough to drown in a tub".
While much has been said about Boehner's affinity for golf, tanning, and public sobbing...
Speaker Boehner is an old-school Republican. He is pragmatic. He can negotiate a deal. While everyone is upset with the fiscal cliff deal for different reasons.
Boehner negotiated a grand bargain with Obama in 2011 before the Tea Party caucus reigned him in and forced him to walk away from negotiations.
Boehner has one hell of a difficult job to do. He's trying to herd stray cats here.
He cannot even negotiate in good faith because he can't get the majority of the majority to agree to anything in the neighborhood of reasonable.
The true believers hold compromise in similar regards to leprosy.
We can get into the reason's why this is - from money in politics to gerrymandering to voter turnout - but we are where we are.
So does anyone want Boehner's job?
And could anyone else do any better?