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Speaker Boehner Loses It

By       Message John Nichols       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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Cross-posted from The Nation

No one has worked harder in recent days to delegitimize John Boehner than John Boehner.

Boehner's boneheaded "Plan B" scheme, which crashed and burned Thursday night after his own House Republican Caucus refused to provide the needed votes, will rank as one of the greatest failures ever by a House Speaker.

The latest Gallup Poll suggests only a quarter of Americans now support Boehner's approach to the "fiscal cliff" negotiations, as opposed to 48 percent who approve the way President Obama is handling the fight over taxes and spending.

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So Boehner is losing it. Literally.

So embarrassing was the Plan B charade that there is now widespread discussion not about if but rather about when Boehner will be relieved of his speakership.

But Boehner's troubles did not start this week, or this month.

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He lost his legitimacy on November 6.

The American people voted that day for a Democratic House of Representatives.

The Democratic vote was 59,318,160.

The Republican vote was 58,143,273.

The Democrats won 49.1 percent of the vote to 48.1 percent of the vote.

Yes, of course, Republicans control the majority of House seats. Thanks in no small measure to redistricting abuses and massive spending, the Republicans took 53.8 percent of the seats in the House versus 46.2 percent.

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But the fact that Republicans in the states gamed the redistricting process sufficiently to hold the House, and to keep Boehner as the Speaker, did not make Boehner a legitimate leader, or a legitimate "fiscal cliff" negotiator.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

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