The Plot To Oust John Boehner

Tim Alberta covers it:

The conservatives’ exasperation with leadership is well known. And now, in discreet dinners at the Capitol Hill Club and in winding, hypothetical-laced email chains, they’re trying to figure out what to do about it. Some say it’s enough to coalesce behind—and start whipping votes for—a single conservative leadership candidate. Others want to cut a deal with Majority Leader Eric Cantor: We’ll back you for speaker if you promise to bring aboard a conservative lieutenant.

But there’s a more audacious option on the table, according to conservatives involved in the deliberations. They say between 40 and 50 members have already committed verbally to electing a new speaker. If those numbers hold, organizers say, they could force Boehner to step aside as speaker in late November, when the incoming GOP conference meets for the first time, by showing him that he won’t have the votes to be reelected in January.

Beutler is unsure the mutiny will succeed:

From my own reporting, I can confirm that these conversations are ongoing, and not even particularly hushed. I can also confirm that the rebel faction (such as it is) hasn’t found an heir apparent. It’s not even clear anyone who could feasibly be an heir apparent would want to participate in the rebellion. That doesn’t mean a dedicated group of disaffected conservatives couldn’t deny Boehner the speakership. But without a prospective replacement, it’s the kind of bluff Boehner could probably call if he wanted to.

Allahpundit wonders if “this is all just a bluff to scare Boehner into appointing more conservatives to key committee posts”:

If, say, there are only 20-25 conservatives committed to ousting him, not 40-50, then he might survive a new insurrection from the right in January. By making him think now that their numbers are greater than they really are, House conservatives might muscle him into quitting or at least making concessions to them. (First concession: No more voice votes.) The problem, highlighted by National Journal, is that no one wants to risk Boehner’s wrath by volunteering to be the insurgents’ nominee for leadership. Both Jeb Hensarling and Jim Jordan have reportedly refused, maybe because they really don’t want to be in leadership or maybe because they fear stepping on Boehner’s toes right now when his future is still undetermined.

Bernstein doubts replacing Boehner would solve anything:

As long as Republicans have a House majority and Barack Obama is in the White House, the only way to get any measure enacted is for the House Republican leadership to vote for something that will be signed by the president conservative talk-show hosts describe as a Kenyan socialist. And as long as there are must-pass bills, the speaker is going to be perceived as a RINO. Yet even for the most conservative Republicans — though not the irresponsible radicals — things such as keeping the government open, avoiding a default, and second-tier issues such as the so-called Medicare doc fix, are must-pass.

Anyone who replaces Boehner, no matter how much of a True Conservative he or she might be before taking over, will end up in exactly the same position, and anyone in a position to be the next speaker knows it. Which is why they’ll want Boehner to stay at least two more years, when there is a possibility of a Republican president. It would be different if the main complaint against Boehner was that he is too willing to accommodate Obama.

Ryan Cooper suspects that Boehner’s job is secure:

The truth is that Boehner is probably the best speaker the ultras could reasonably ask for: he’s willing to indulge them to a seriously irresponsible degree, but not so much that they actually cause crippling damage to the nation. A true believer at the helm might actually allow the ultras to, say, default on the national debt for no reason. And that would keep them out of power for a long time.