Behold, the spectre of House Tea Partiers making Crazy Nancy Pelosi the "kingmaker" in the war for the Speakership.
Tell me again, TPers, how this advances our cause:
Congressional Republicans may have no choice but to enlist Democrats to elect a new speaker if Wisconsin-1 Representative Paul Ryan declines the job.
"I don't see a Plan B" if Ryan refuses the job, said Representative Peter King, a centrist Republican who has represented New York-2 since 2005, told the Hill.
Otherwise, if no other Republican can garner 218 votes from the party's conference, "in that case, we would have to consider having a coalition speaker," King said....
Pennsylvania-15 Representative Charlie Dent, who first broached the idea of the parties coming together on a candidate, called the situation "a very simple question of math."
"If there are not 218 Republican votes on the House floor, then by necessity the Democrats will have a say in who the next Speaker will be," Dent told the Hill. "I still think it's a possibility."
You'll note that neither King nor Dent are thrilled with the idea. But they are being practical. We can debate about how important the House Speakership is, how much ordinary Americans care about or even are aware of who the Speaker is, but the plain, simple fact of the matter is that the House does need to have one. It is a top leadership position, second in the line of presidential succession. It does matter.
And apparently it doesn't matter a whit to the HFC, who are using it to bulldoze the GOP "establishment" into a position for which the former will have a fresh pretext for burning their own party and everything it's managed to regain over the past five years straight back down to the ground. It' a setup, in blunter terms, and one that empowers the Democrat enemy, but that's apparently fine and dandy to House Tea Partiers, as long as they can stick it to their own caucus's leadership.
And that doesn't even mention their delusional insistence on Daniel Webster (R-FL10) as the next Speaker, the odds of which are less than my jowly mug appearing on the cover of the next GQ magazine.
"If we can't have the Speakership, than NOBODY can!" is the unspoken rallying cry. Even if that determination is handed to Nancy Pelosi.
Who, as I predicted, is refusing to play ball in favor of gleefully sitting back and watching the House majority flounder and squirm:
In the meantime, Democrats have ruled out the idea of a coalition speaker, the Hill reports.
"It'll never happen," said Representative Joseph Crowley, the New York-14 vice chairman of the Democrat Caucus....
"Hopefully, the Republicans will come to terms as to who their recommendation will be for Speaker," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told the Hill. "But that's really up to them."
The HFC may not be satisfied until they have handed the Big Gavel back to Crazy Nancy. Because to them, defeat is victory and victory is defeat, no matter how much they embarrass, cripple - and infuriate - the rest of the party.
I guess you can think of this as an intramural "shutdown" that is taking the place of the government shutdown in which Boehner and McConnell did not, this time, indulge them.
It is, nevertheless, having the equivalent result.