Ted Cruz's (TP/R-TX) phony filibuster spectacle alienated almost everyone. If his goal were to reduce the Senate's dignity and stature even more than it has been in its filibuster frenzy over the last several years of Republican shenanigans, he succeeded.
Cruz has now turned his attention to the House of Representatives, in particular the 60 (?) hardline Tea Partiers, plus their frightened-about-being-primaried colleagues. With that coalition, Cruz has become the equivalent of a Somali warlord, able (he believes) to extract tribute from the American people.
How many times does John Boehner need to be humiliated before he cries? Time-after-time his followers have undermined his leadership, many times also humiliating Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), his heirs apparent.
The sword-of-Damocles hanging over Boehner's head has been the loss of the Speaker's position. Even this year, his re-election as Speaker required a prolonged vote, as many of the Tea Party members sat it out, hoping not to have to cast a ballot for him, and certainly sending him a message.
I argued in advance of that vote that the Democrats should cast their ballots for Boehner, as it would have demonstrated to him that he could turn to them if his right-wing acted up. Instead, Democrats did the same old thing in the same old way and cast meaningless votes for former Speaker Nancy Pelosi whose chances of being elected again were absolute zero.
There must be a time, perhaps now, that John Boehner can no longer tolerate his continued public humiliation, and when the relatively small remaining cadre of rational Republicans tire of being merely obstructionists. All he needs is 17 (beyond himself) and all 200 Democratic votes, and Boehner could retain his Speaker's chair.
It requires just a little bigness from the Democrats. They would need not only to enable Boehner to be Speaker, but for all the Republican committee chairs to remain in place that Boehner wanted to keep. He would likely need that in order to corral his other 17 Republican members to stick with him in a fight over his chair.
It might also require Democrats not to mount challenges to the 17 who join Boehner in fulfilling their oaths of office first-and-foremost to the United States of America. They may be challenged in primaries, and the Democratic slot should remain open for them to do what Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) did, win handily with a combination of Democrats, Independents and non-extremist Republicans.
Many of these Republicans may be too right-wing for the palates of many Democrats.
To that, one should respond: so what? A Democratic coalition of right-wing (and racist) southerners and liberal northern, midwestern and westerners, and ethnic minorities governed the country effectively for decades. For a couple of decades the racist southerners first threw shit-fits following the likes of the late Strom Thurmond and George Wallace (who vowed one time never to be "out-niggered again"), and then joined the Republican party permanently thereafter, providing Republicans their new base along with religious fundamentalists.
Let the realignment begin.
John Boehner, regaining his manhood and humiliating those who have been dancing on his grave, will certainly be moved to tears.
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