Speaker of the House John Boehner, faced with a Tea Party caucus that has made life miserable for him, and held the country hostage on the issue of tax increases, has summarily removed four “troublemakers” from their positions of power on the House Budget Committee and the House Financial Services Committee.
This was a courageous act on his part, but it could portend a revolt, whereby the Tea Party Caucus could refuse to vote for Boehner next month to be Speaker, as the new Congress convenes on Thursday, January 3.
The House leadership under Boehner, including Majority Leader Eric Cantor, is backing Boehner in his actions, but one has to wonder what this means in reality when that vote for Speaker arrives in a month.
It is, however, a good sign that Boehner understands that some kind of deal with the Obama Administration is necessary to avoid going off the fiscal cliff before the end of the month.
But ti also portends a difficult time for Boehner, having to deal in the future with the far right wingnuts in his party, who, as has been described by others as the inheritors of the John Birch Society of the 1960s and after, were repudiated by conservative columnist William F. Buckley, Jr., publisher of the National Review, then and still the leading conservative journal of opinion.
Where is a man of courage and principles in the conservative movement today, to repudiate today’s wingnuts, in the mode of Buckley?