Wednesday Open Thread [1.2.13]

Filed in Open Thread by on January 2, 2013

Breitbart News (with is a contradiction in terms) claims at least 20 House Republicans have banded together in an effort to unseat House Speaker John Boehner from his position when it comes up for a vote tomorrow. Now, there are 233 Republicans taking their oaths of office tomorrow. If there are really 20 Republicans who will not vote for Boehner for Speaker, that means Boehner will be denied a majority, as 233 minus 20 is 213. Since there will be two vacancies at the start of the new Congress, only 217 votes is needed for a majority. So Boehner needs to peel off either 4 of those Republicans or 4 conservative Democrats to remain Speaker. Are there 4 conservative Democrats in the House anymore?

Perhaps that is why John Boehner had a short temper with Harry Reid outside the Oval Office last Friday.

“Go fuck yourself.” — House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), quoted by Politico, to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) after Reid had publicly accused Boehner of running a “dictatorship” in the House. He said not once, but twice. Poor crying baby.

The New York Times has the complete House roll call and an interactive map for last night’s vote on the Cliff Deal. The final vote was 257-167. 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans voted for the bill. 16 Democrats and 151 Republicans voted no. Speaker Boehner and Paul Ryan voted yes, and the next Speaker, Eric Cantor, along with the entire remaining GOP leadership, voted no.

The 16 Democrats were varied ideologically, as there were some principled progressives (like Reps. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), Earl Blumenauer (Ore.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.), Rosa DeLauro (Conn.), Jim McDermott (Wash.), Brad Miller (N.C.), Jim Moran (Va.), Bobby Scott (Va.), and Pete Visclosky (Ind.)) who wanted the President to stand firm on letting all the Clinton rates expire or at least at a lower income threshold, and there were some old Blue Dogs who, like Republicans, can never vote for a tax increase, even and especially on the rich (and they are Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.) and Adam Smith (Wash.)).

Ezra Klein looks ahead at future negotiations:

[T]he Republicans aren’t quite as crazy as they’d like the Democrats to believe. They were scared to take the country over the fiscal cliff. They’re going to be terrified to force the country into default, as the economic consequences would be calamitous. They know they need to offer the White House a deal that the White House can actually take — or at least a deal that, if the White House doesn’t take it, doesn’t lead to Republicans shouldering the blame for crashing the global economy. That deal will have to include taxes, though the tax increases could come through reform rather than higher rates.

I think Ezra is very very optimistic. However, if Boehner will allow the Hastert Rule, which was violated, disregarded and destroyed last night, to remain dead, and allow a governing coalition of Democrats and non-crazy Republicans to pass deals, then maybe, just maybe, we all are not doomed.

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  1. puck says:

    Jonathan Weisman:

    Just a few years ago, the tax deal pushed through Congress on Tuesday would have been a Republican fiscal fantasy, a sweeping bill that locks in virtually all of the Bush-era tax cuts, exempts almost all estates from taxation, and enshrines the former president’s credo that dividends and capital gains should be taxed equally and gently.

    Oh, and CBO says it adds $4 trillion to the deficit.

  2. This whole Speaker thing is interesting. I’m guessing that there’s probably more than 20 who don’t want Boehner as Speaker. Which, of course, raises the question, if not Boehner, then who? I’m betting there are also more than 20 who don’t want Eric Cantor as Speaker. Ditto Paul Ryan. If those positions are etched in stone, then perhaps we get a surprise Speaker.

    I DO know this. If Boehner needs a few D votes for Speaker, then Pelosi will want to extract something for those votes because, in effect, you have a bipartisan coalition governing the House.

    Man, I LOVE this stuff…

  3. cassandra_m says:

    Just saw a rumor posted on Facebook (FACEBOOK, people, and The Beer Party page at that) that Boehner is to resign as Speaker of the House tonight at 5 pm eastern time, after a coup by Eric Cantor. This is according to source Ron Mayer, American Majority Action (a conservative PAC.

  4. pandora says:

    I just saw the same rumor on twitter. (TWITTER, people. LOL)

  5. bamboozer says:

    It’s 5:25 p.m., no sign of a tearful Boehner calling it quits. Be glad, it will be much worse with Cantor as speaker.

  6. cassandra_m says:

    Almost 6 and no sign of a resignation. But then I think that the election for Speaker is tomorrow so there is still time!

  7. socialistic ben says:

    honestly, why would Cantor be better than Boehner?
    The best possible outcome of a Cantor speakership is; the GOP is so hated in 2014 that the house flips… but because if redistricting that is very unlikely, and it also relies on 2 solid years of horribly damaging obstructionism. Honestly, the best thing for the country is that things stay the same, because all the possible alternatives are worse.

  8. pandora says:

    Ben, who’s saying Cantor would be better than Boehner?

  9. socialistic ben says:

    no one. but anyone excited about the possibility of Boehner getting the boot, MUST know that Cantor is the most likely successor….. or someone even MORE crazy.

  10. puck-
    The Klukkers from Rising Sun (along w/ their local sympathizers) marched through Elsmere and Browntown/Hedgeville in the early-mid 90s. Thankfully, in both cases there were more protesters than klan members along the parade route.

    The white supremacist/neo-nazi/skinhead/klan/poor white trash types are alive and well in Cecil County. They’re shrinking in number and not nearly as outspoken or publicly active as the once were.

  11. cassandra_m says:

    I remember the KKK activity up in Cecil County (I lived in Balto then) and this rally. A couple of years after this rally, my parents would trust me to drive up to the home of a beloved Biology teacher who lived in Cecil County for her annual party for her advanced students. It was a highly structured routing too — I had to stop at a designated place before getting to the county line to call home, call home when I got to the teacher’s house, call when I left, stop at the designated spot beyond the county line to call again and instructions Not to Pass GO, Do Not Collect $200, Just get home pronto. When I did get home, I didn’t think they’d ever let me go anyplace ever again.

  12. Joe Cass says:

    A stain on our times. Let’s not forget that the ignorant little pissant rascist Chester Doles had to wear improvised body armor everyday during his tenure at Cecil County Correctional. Out of fear from white guys like me.

  13. Jason330 says:

    Doesn’t the speaker-ship go to he person with the most votes? If not Boehner, then Pelosi if the Dems are unified.

  14. Jason330 says:

    BTW – You could tell that Boehner was adead man walking, the way Christ Christie utterly raped him yesterday.