Last month up in the hallowed halls of Congress, Speaker John Boehner slipped on a banana peel – deciding it was time to flex his muscles he stripped four Republican Congressmen of their blue-chip committee assignments – which, in Washington, is the same as the army stripping off a general’s epaulets in public.
Back then, watching, I half-figured, half-guessed with the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ vote coming up Boehner figured it was time to scare the bejesus out of the members of his caucus, who, like the Barons and Earls who tormented King John, tend to have too little respect for their leaders.
And humiliating a few Congressmen in public was one way to do the job.
But if that was the plan, it backfired.
Because when the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ bill rolled onto the House floor instead of marching in lockstep House Republicans split into two armed camps – one camp voting with Boehner (for the compromise) and the other voting against him. In the end, Boehner carried the day but only because almost every Democrat voted for the bill.
Next, the Hurricane Sandy bills rolled through Congress and the same thing happened again – half a dozen times. One Republican camp voted Yes, and the other voted No. And the bills passed because the Democrats voted Yes.
So are we looking at the new normal in the House?
If so, it sure seems like stripping epaulets off Congressmen wasn’t a good idea.
Worse for Republicans – with the votes on raising the ‘Debt Ceiling’ and the ‘Continuing Resolution’ rolling toward the House Floor, the rooster in the White House is now sitting in the catbird seat.