Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Boehner Leaving Good for Democrats

Josh Marshall thinks so on Talking Points Memo.

If the right wing of the House GOP caucus really gets to run the show in the House and begins doing things that overwhelming majorities of the public are against, that's actually not a good thing for the GOP. That's especially so during a presidential race since presidential candidates will inevitably get drawn into bidding wars over how much they support the latest quixotic primal scream from the House Republicans, which will in term give them extra baggage to carry into the general election.

Remember, as with the Cruz/Obamacare shutdown of a couple years ago, the firebreathers believe that it's just that they've never shut the government down long enough. If Boehner and McConnell and the rest of the 'establishment' weren't constantly unilaterally surrendering to Obama right when they had the President where they wanted him, they would have finally broken the guy. They just need these appeasers out of the way to get a clean shot. It's a handy logic since it's inherently disprovable. Whenever you finally decide to give up since you're obviously losing, someone can always say that holding out just a bit longer would have brought victory.

We can leave that discussion for an Ab-Psych seminar. The relevant point is that the House firebreathers just got stronger. But contrary to making life more difficult for the White House it actually makes it easy, if perhaps more time consuming. A two term president in his final year in office is not looking to pass new legislation. He or she is also largely indifferent to their own personal standing. Their focus is legacy and the preservation of existing legislative accomplishments. In other words, the focus is on the 2016 election. By that measure, while Boehner's departure may not be good for the country, it is quite good for Democrats. Because it leaves the folks focused on maximizing the self-inflicted injuries to the GOP in charge of the show.

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