I had a conversation with someone after House speaker John Boehner failed to pass the farm bill because of a revolt of the most right-wing legislators in his party. And I said that as much of a schmuck as Boehner is, I feel sorry for him. His job is simply impossible.
Opposition was bipartisan. Almost all Democrats voted no because they opposed the food stamp cuts. But 60 Republicans also voted against the bill, mostly because it didn’t cut enough.
This is another demonstration of the impossible hand that Speaker John Boehner is playing. He wants his caucus to pass alternatives to Democratic policy proposals from the Senate. But the conservative wing of his caucus places high demands and is willing to vote against leadership-backed proposals.
The GOP used to be nearly legendary for its ability to whip its own caucus. Not anymore. The Tea Party movement brought a wave of legislators into office who can’t be controlled. I’m sure that’s why Eric Cantor didn’t even bother mounting a challenge to Boehner when the new congress was sworn in. He knows it’s an impossible job and he doesn’t want it. It’s just another example of why the Tea Party movement, while it helped fuel the Republican takeover of the House in 2010, has become the tail that wags the dog and thus a big problem for the GOP.