The Politico is warning that John Boehner’s career is coming to an end. He probably can withstand vacating the chair, but he cannot stand for Speaker again. The votes are not there.
Behind the scenes, I don’t think people realize that Kevin McCarthy is already plotting and is described by various conservative congressmen as “transactional” in a way that Boehner is not. This further undermines Boehner in a way he probably did not expect.
He has all along assured himself that conservatives would rather him than McCarthy and, for a long time, that was true. But conservatives would rather McCarthy to Scalise and in the past year McCarthy has shown them that he is transactional in his dealings with them and not automatically aligned against them in the way Boehner is.
That, in fact, is ultimately Boehner’s undoing. His ruin has nothing to do with bad deals that he has cut. It has nothing to do with being caught between conservatives and the President. It has nothing to do with a failure to push a conservative agenda.
It has everything to do with his outright contempt for his fellow members of Congress. Boehner and a great deal of his staff convey outright disgust with conservatives in the House and with the base in general. Consequently, the base and members of the House in turn hold him in contempt.
Whoever is going to be Speaker will cut bad deals conservatives hate. But the Speaker who is successful will do so while not holding his conservative colleagues in contempt. Again, McCarthy has made it clear he is at least transactional with conservatives and understands them. That, in and of itself, has gone a long way toward ultimately undermining Boehner.