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Why?

Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.

Historians some day will study the events of the past few weeks and will they will never be able to make sense of the iincompetence that overcame the Republican leadership. Speaker Boehner is basically a nice man who understands American politics. He has been around the block enough to know that the entire operating premise of the Tea Partyers in both chambers could never work. Historians will ask why Boehner permitted it to happen. Why did he not have the courage to tell his Party that the destruction they are doing to the Republican Party is far greater than what they are doing to his speakership and his leadership?  It truly seems like every time he came close to saving his party, the caucus blew up in his face; and Boehner stuck around to be slapped around again.

If in the next 24 hours Boehner actually gets a bill passed and it is signed, he still will lose in January 2015; not only the speakership but leadership of the GOP. The Republicans could well now lose the House—although admittedly the gerrymandered districts will still make it a stretch. On the other hand, if he fails to get a bill passed he will have made the effort, lost, and could well lose the speakership now. The question to which no one actually has an answer is why a serious political animal did not have the courage to stand-up weeks ago and tell his party, that it was them or the country. He could have moved the question to the floor and forced his Party to take its licks. Instead, he and the Party will be recognized as fossils by the students of Congress. Meanwhile the United States has successful made a fool of its political system and could well set back the world-wide economic recovery.

There is one other curious political question that also bears watching and needs to be answered. If Senator Ted Cruz does not fight a Reid-McConnell bill on the floor with all types of procedural machinations, why did he control himself–now? Considering his high class education, he has made some of the Senators from not too long ago, who had barely graduated high school, look like political geniuses. What did Cruz get to calm down? What was he promised in the next Congress or was Ted Cruz basically told that during his next year or over the next four years he would be totally marginalized for what he did to a Party which had been close to perhaps re-taking the Senate in 2014?

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