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First take/Boehner

In writing about House Speaker John Boehner’s announced resignation, the Washington Post noted that he has been “faced with a constant conservative rebellion” – true (allowing for whether “conservative” is the right descriptor), and it has been true most of the time he has had the job. Boehner’s fellow Republicans have been far more headachy for him than the House Democrats. The Democrats have been opposition but operate by normal rules Boehner would have been accustomed to. The Republican insurgents – a better descriptor, since “conservative” really doesn’t work here – have thrown out the rule book, and many are content to be simply destructive, not least of the country itself. Too many of those insurgents and (especially) the insurgent forces back home constitute a mindless whirlwind – and if that sounds like simply a partisan blast, consider the analysis of what impact Boehner’s resignation may have on the prospective government shutdown. You might on the surface imagine that it would make a shutdown more likely, since one of the main opponents to that will be going away. Not so: The resignation is figured to reduce chances of a shutdown, because a new fight for the speakership will be coming, and that battle may be enough to draw the attention of the insurgents, diminishing interest in a shutdown. This is government by follow-the-bright-shiny-object. It is a madness. – rs

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