Open Thread

Alright, we are working on fixing the reply button. What else is pissing you off that I need to fix?

Good luck with that…


Things are pretty bad for John Boehner. While the nutters in wingnutopia are doing just fine, the Orange Speaker’s political career is over. It is just a matter of time until he feels the urge to “spend more time with his family”.

That Boehner is doomed is becoming conventional wisdom. The only pathway out of the Republican Party’s manufactured debt crisis is to compromise with Democrats and President Obama. If Orange John takes that route he is doom–even if the final compromise would be judge as a total wingnut Win by any sane person. OTOH, he could continue to try and appease the endless fantasies of the extreme wingnut suicide squad and own the destruction of the economy–which also kills his political future.

Dana Milbank had a solid column up Friday about the slow political death spiral of Orange John and his surrender to the nutter nihilists. This framing of his political future seems spot on:

“Get your ass in line,” Speaker John Boehner had told House Republicans who resisted his plan to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a default.

But really, it was Boehner’s butt that was on the line — and late Thursday night, he had it handed to him.

For his six-month-old speakership, it was a grievous if not mortal wound. The legislation under consideration was fairly pointless — a solution to a self-inflicted crisis that faced certain defeat in the Senate — but Boehner made it into a test of his leadership. And rank-and-file Republicans returned a vote of no confidence.

Mostly Dead seems like a generous description of the weakest Speaker of the House in the Modern Era.


Drunken wrestling is probably fine, even encouraged, but the kids in the car will do him in

This is sort of small change, but the national situation is so dispiriting and disconnected from reality I think we need a distraction.

Plus. I love this headline:

State rep found drunk was on House speaker’s car

On the car. An important detail.

State Rep. Jerrod Martin was passed out drunk on then-GOP Minority Leader’s William G. Batchelder’s Chevy Suburban when Martin was discovered by Riffe Center security last year.

Newspapers are working backward from the OVI/child endangerment charge which came last week:

The Dispatch reported today that Martin, charged with DUI and child endangerment a week ago, was found intoxicated and unresponsive in the House parking garage early the morning of March 24, 2010. The Beavercreek Republican was treated by a medic at the scene and released shortly after 4 a.m. to Dittoe, then with the GOP House campaign team and now communications director for House Republicans. Dittoe had been sent by Rep. Ron Amstutz, a Wooster Republican and veteran lawmaker who was back in his district.

And there’s more:

On May 16, 2010, the night manager at the Residence Inn in Beavercreek called police about guests yelling and fighting on the fifth floor at 4:30 a.m. Officers found Martin and six other men “highly intoxicated” at a bachelor party. The men said they weren’t fighting; just having a “friendly wrestling match in their hotel room,” a Beavercreek police report said. Martin’s parents were called to pick up the men and their belongings, according to the police report. Police noted that the room was tidied up and not damaged.

An OVI is taken seriously, and a child endangerment charge in Ohio will trigger a concurrent investigation into whether the children in the vehicle with the impaired driver are abused, neglected or dependent.

It looks like he finally staggered over the line. Calling his mom or a GOP hack won’t get him out of the latest charge.

Republicans in Ohio dropped the push for a photo ID requirement at the polls in 2012. I’m starting to think it’s because their leaders won’t have a valid driver’s license.

h/t Plunderbund

Open Thread

Got a phone call from my mother this morning: “Your readers are very upset about the Reply button. They were reading you the riot act. Are you ever going to fix it?”

Wisconsin recall bleg

If you’ve got the money, honey….

Goal Thermometer

Open Thread: Today’s Song for John Boehner

If you lived in the Rocky Mountain West in the late 80’s and early 90’s, you heard these guys a few times. Open thread.

This Is How Change Starts

One of the major challenges for Democrats in blue states is the tendency for machine politics to take over. A big part of this is the machine’s ability to draw districts to favor machine darlings and stave off primary challenges. And even when there’s a primary challenge, if the incumbent wins, he or she ends up steamrolling a weak Republican candidate in a dull, pointless general election. The whole process increases corruption, decreases the addition of fresh, younger representatives, and makes voters believe that their vote in the general is pointless.

So, there are three pieces of good news for Democrats and liberals/progressives in the California redistricting news. First, the Cook Report thinks that Democrats will pick up three House seats in the next election. Here’s the rest of the good news:

Mr. Wasserman said the redrawn boundaries, combined with California’s new open primary system — in which the top two candidates, regardless of party, advance — could produce as many as 20 competitive Congressional races in the fall of 2012.

Having more competitive races is good news by itself — that means that representatives’ feet can be held to the fire for back room dirty deals, and the media will pay attention, since there’s a horse race involved. But far more important is the possibility that two Democrats will face off in the general election. This means that a well-financed incumbent can’t just finish off their opponent in a low-turnout, no publicity primary and cruise to a general election win over some weak Republican. It means that primary challengers will be more likely to do the hard work to challenge a vulnerable incumbent, since they’ll have two chances to knock him or her out. And it means that voters will be more likely to vote and be engaged in the general because they’ll have interesting choices.

Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’m convinced that non-partisan redistricting would lead to fewer unchallenged idiots and fossilized dinosaurs serving in the House.