Speaker John Boehner’s epic fail last night — his inability to deliver enough Republican votes for his own “Plan B” for avoiding the fiscal cliff — proves that he has been negotiating in bad faith all along. He has never had the votes to pass any sort of deal, because, as the tea party has shown repeatedly, conservatives want the U.S. economy to fail. Why? Apparently, their objective is to replace our century-old regulatory capitalist system (which in other advanced nations is called “democratic socialism”) with an Ayn Randian, regulation- and tax-free utopia, where the sick and old die in the streets.
David Kurtz at TPM suggests that if the United States had a modern parliamentary system like the governments of all our allies and competitors, Boehner would be history:
It is easy to overreact to these things in the moment, to overread them. But Speaker Boehner just put it all on the line. The entire nation was watching, and he was exposed. He knows it. His conference knows it. Anyone left in Washington who had doubts about this speaker’s clout now knows it, too. In a parliamentary system, he would resign and his party would elect a new leader. We don’t do it that way here … usually. But it’s hard to see how Speaker Boehner continues from here — or why he would want to.
Republican operative Craig Shirley agrees that last night’s fiasco was the equivalent of a vote of “no confidence” for Boehner: