There has been chatter the past week about a potential move by House Republicans to unseat Speaker John Boehner.
I’ve laughed at this chatter, because it simply isn’t going to happen. I’ve laughed at Republicans who think that Ted Yoho or Louie Gohmert could become the next Speaker. I’ve laughed at Democrats who think that Nancy Pelosi could become Speaker. I’ve laughed — because I’ve looked into the process to unseat and replace a Speaker, I’ve looked at the process of electing a Speaker, and it’s simply not going to happen.
First, let me deal with the Democratic chatter about Pelosi. “If the Republicans split their votes and the Democrats stick together, then Pelosi could win.” No, the Speakership vote doesn’t work that way. To be elected Speaker, you have to win 50% plus 1 of the House membership. Pelosi would need about forty Republicans to vote for her, and the way that Fox News has demonized Pelosi, any Republican who voted for a Pelosi speakership would have multiple primary challengers enter the 2016 race within fifteen minutes.
Now, for the Republican chatter about Yoho or Gohmert. Again, the same thing — they would have to get 50% plus 1 of the House membership. I don’t see either of these clowns getting 218 Republican votes. They certainly aren’t going to get Democratic votes for the Speakership; Democrats recognize that a Tea Party-run House wouldn’t function and would be actively dangerous. For example, a debt ceiling increase needs to be approved within the next week; could anyone trust Yoho or Gohmert to move such a bill to the floor of the House? I certainly don’t.
Now, we have Democrats speaking, on the record, that they will support Boehner if there’s a move to unseat him. I think this is a calculated move to tell Republicans who want to unseat Boehner that it’s not going to happen. I think it’s also a move to reassure Boehner that he can move necessary legislation, like the debt ceiling increase, without worrying about a revolt on his right flank.
If a faction of Republicans tries to unseat Boehner in the next few weeks, it will be amusing but ultimately futile.