Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mr. Speaker Irrelevant

John Boehner was re-elected Speaker of the House today but his handling (really non-handling) of the Fiscal Cliff negotiations coupled with his repeated failure to manage his caucus in the last Congress has made him largely irrelevant when it comes to negotiating with Obama and the Democrats.  Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell has signaled that he will be the Republican chief negotiator as we go forward.  McConnell will be making the deals and has shown that he has the power to force any deal he reaches on a sufficient number of Republicans in the House to pass the legislation.  Nancy Pelosi has demonstrated that she, not Boehner, is the true leader of the House.  McConnell will do the negotiating with the Democrats and Obama.  Once the Senate passes bi-partisan legislation, Pelosi will secure near-unanimous Democratic support in the House and McConnell will assemble the necessary additional Republican House votes to pass the legislation he negotiated.  Boehner  will give in and bring the legislation to the floor but other than that he will be irrelevant as will the ultra-right T-Party Republican nuts.  That’s how legislation will move forward in the new Congress.  As the song says, “Bye, bye Boehner/T-Party, bye, bye.”

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