On Thursday I spent most of the day storm watching, and being awed by the beauty of Mother Nature.
But the news from Washington was really quite remarkable too, and even friends from around Madison when on the phone were commenting not only about the blizzard, but the implosion of congressional Republicans.
I had truly felt that Speaker Boehner had made strides in getting control of his caucus, and showing some real leadership in the weeks following the election.
But when he introduced ‘Plan B’ I knew that he was caving too much away from pragmatic leadership which I think his party needs.
The results yesterday were simply embarrassing for the Republican Party.
So what now?
I think this is a test for the GOP. Do they wish to be a fundamental player in relation to national governance or be a party controlled by dim-wits and the half-baked crowd?
That has become a legitimate question in the aftermath of last night. Because House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy were also stained by what took place, it seems to us that the only person who’s capable of toppling Boehner right now is Paul Ryan. But does he — or anyone else — want that job? But it’s also possible that Boehner could emerge from this wounded but not critically. So he seems to have three options, and none of them are good. One, he does what the Senate agrees to, even if that means bringing legislation to the floor that doesn’t have majority support from House Republicans. Two, he throws himself on the mercy of the White House. And three, he and his caucus stand their ground and do everything they can to not budge. But that’s about it. Indeed, conservative columnist John Podhoretz tries to cut Boehner a break. “The speaker’s doing what little he can with what little he has.” The question is do other Republicans realize that? By the way, this Washington Post story might raise the question of whether leaks on both sides were part of the problem. Because of the tinderbox that is his conference, Boehner didn’t want his negotiating details to become public, but they did, leading to scrambling and “Plan B.”)