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September 30, 2013

Boehner's Grip on Caucus Being Tested

National Review has a must-read piece on the dynamics facing Speaker John Boehner as a government shutdown looms.

"That aura of Republican infighting will create an interesting dynamic if Tuesday morning comes without an accord. While Boehner and other leaders will be defending the GOP's position in front of the cameras, there may be a subtle effort to use the episode -- and what many expect to be its disastrous political results -- as a means of discrediting the hardliners who give the speaker headaches. Conservatives, meanwhile, will try to show that the tactic is helping focus public attention on Obamacare."

Said one veteran House Republican: "It may have to shut down. Until people feel the political pain, I doubt we can come together on anything. Boehner knows that, probably more than anyone."

The Fix: "Boehner's conundrum is this: He knows that most polling shows Republicans will take the blame for a shutdown. But, he also knows that if he gives in and/or is perceived as giving in by cast-iron conservatives, his speakership is all-but-over."


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