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Good piece over at PJ Tatler from Rick Moran:
Perhaps the most lasting damage done from the attempt to deny Boehner re-election is the appearance of weakness in Boehner’s position…
…Boehner could only convince 85 out of 241 Republicans to vote for the fiscal cliff deal. He couldn’t count on his caucus to vote in favor of an aid package for hurricane victims. True, it was a flawed bill with pork galore stuffed into its $60 billion worth of spending. But a practical, competent party leader would have been able to ram it through anyway in order to avoid the public relations disaster that followed.
His partner in the GOP leadership, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, voted against the fiscal cliff deal. How that will affect their relationship going forward is unknown, although Cantor was very careful not to make the vote a challenge to Boehner’s leadership. Cantor wisely chose not to challenge Boehner’s re-election, but he may be beginning to chafe under Boehner’s uncertain leadership. And with battles over the debt limit and more fiscal cliff votes ahead, cracks in the GOP leadership team will only help Obama and the Democrats.
Conservatives in the House are tolerating Boehner’s leadership at the moment. But the revolt can be reignited at any time if the speaker fails again in standing up to the Democrats on taxes, spending, and the debt limit. At bottom, his performance must improve, else he will be unable to carry the Republican conference with him, making his speakership nearly irrelevant.