Will Post-Boehner Deliver Trick or Treat?

Speaker of the House John Boehner announced his resignation from the post as well as Congress effective Oct. 30.

Between now and Halloween Eve — what some call “Mischief Night” — political intrigue will reach “House of Cards” levels in and around Washington. The House of Representatives will serve as the front line in the Republican Civil War currently being waged between GOP Establishment operatives and Tea Party/Constitutional Conservatives also know as “The Freedom Caucus”.

As he addressed his caucus-mates Friday morning, Boehner immediately endorsed his second in command — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) — as his heir.

ConservativeReview.com’s score on Kevin McCarthy:
Conservative Review

Boehner seemed amazingly relieved and calm during his press conference calling it a “A great day.” Perhaps Boehner merely expressed relief after concluding a stressful period or continued to bask in the afterglow of his meeting with Pope Francis.

But what if Boehner’s departure marks a “be-careful-what-you-wish-for” moment?

Potential Outcomes

Fact: The GOP Establishment isn’t going to relinquish power this easily.
Outcome: Boehner claims he was going to announce his retirement on Nov. 17th, his birthday, meaning he’d be gone by the end of the year. The Establishment can now pursue installing a new Speaker while having Boehner finish up the dirty work that remains over the next four weeks.

Fact: This isn’t entirely a GOP decision, the Democrats have a say.
Outcome: The Democrats can help elevate a GOP Establishment candidate to the Speakership. In fact, Lefties on Twitter unanimously decided Boehner’s replacement would be “worse” or, in their version of hand-wringing, less likely to help their agenda.

Leftist Boehner Tweets

Fact: GOP Conservatives won’t be able to unseat the new speaker for at least a year.
Outcome: The new speaker will probably last long enough to usher in the remainder of the Obama agenda while assisting Establishment candidates in the primary process. What will have been gained?

Fact: Next year represents another re-election cycle for the House. Combined with a presidential election, voter turn out should be strong. The GOP will be keen to hold on to both Houses.
Outcome: Establishment candidates will face primary battles in some states. Some candidates will be trapped between doing the bidding of their donors or answering to their constituents. Considering the public has lost all trust in the GOP after the last election cycle, results are more important than words.

In the wake of Boehner’s announcement it seems all parties are worried:

  • The GOP Establishment wants to maintain control and tandem with Mitch McConnell in the Senate.
    Democrats fear a hard-core conservative who will actually fight effectively against the Obama agenda and McConnell.
    Conservative GOPers and their voting base don’t want another Obama rubber stamper.