House Speaker John Boehner’s resignation is the beginning of the next chapter of what is becoming an existential crisis for the Republican Party.
Boehner’s resignation was, of course, the result of the divide between his (and my) party’s establishment — which cares about its long-term viability in national elections and the institutions it serves — and the party’s increasingly fractious, right-wing constituents and House members, who are principled to the exclusion of any and all compromise.
Boehner’s unwillingness as speaker to bow down to these self-destructive interests was one of the party’s last safeguards against its extremists’ and leading primary presidential contenders’ agendas.
In the absence of a speaker like Boehner who is willing to stand up to these interests, the Republican Party’s power will, in the long term, be relegated almost exclusively to the local level in Republican states.
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Although Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio may be thrilled right now, neither of them will be smiling when their party is no longer viable in the national general elections in which they hope to compete as the nominee.
Taylor Patrick Biehl,