In this week's edition of The Daily Banter Mail Bag, Ben, Bob, and Chez discuss the tea party breaking off to form a third party, John Boehner's future and Ted Cruz's punch-me face.
1. With all the whining about betrayal from the Right after last night's vote, what do you think the chances are that a tea party revolt will actually lead to a third party? Would that be better or worse for the country?
Ben: I don't see it happening because the Tea Party idiots at least understand they can't make a go of it by themselves. Either way, it doesn't make much difference to the electability of the Republican Party. If the Tea Party split off, they'll be completely unelectable. If they stay in the Republican Party, they'll make the Republican Party completely unelectable (as they are doing now). It's also worth bearing in mind that without the Tea Party the Republicans themselves are completely unelectable because a huge swathe of their base won't come out for them. In other words, the Right is completely fucked in America, and in some ways it's quite good for the Democrats. Unfortunately, the the US political system means that Tea Party members will almost always be represented in government, and they get to cause all sorts of problems when it comes to getting bills passed in the Senate and Congress. The Democrats are virtually guaranteed to win national elections with the Tea Party around, but won't really be able to do much when in power. So basically, there are no good outcomes with the Tea Party still existing.
Chez: I'd love to see it happen because a real fracture within the Republican party would simply break off votes and leave the the center-left in a better position to consistently win elections. They want to pick up their toys and go home (which is certainly in keeping with their tendency toward childish tantrums)? Fine. Be my guest. Will they, though? I'm not sure. While there are a hell of a lot of people on the right who are just blinded by their furious hatred of Obama and the LIBTARDS there are people pulling the strings and speaking to them through media who know that a civil war would leave conservatives not just vulnerable but open for utter annihilation at the polls. Problem is the only way to save the party is through a consensus willing to compromise within it for the greater good -- to get some of what it wants rather than nothing at all -- but you've seen how willing the Tea Party dolts are to accept that kind of thing.
Bob: If the tea party breaks from the GOP and forms a third party it'll be way better for everyone, especially the Republicans. Of course, the American political system isn't set up for viable third party challenges to the two major parties. (Full disclosure: I'm a supporter of the two party system.) A Tea Party would basically be relegated to obscurity. Abandoning the GOP to form a third party would be the best thing the tea party could ever do. Fingers crossed!
2. What are the chances Boehner will survive as speaker in the face of his own party's wrath? WE know he's done nothing during his tenure as speaker other than try to corral his pack of crazies but the crazies don't even much like him.
Chez: Early word is that he's being blamed less than the moderates who "folded." Many on the far-right seem to think that he did his best, but there are always going to be people who want absolute ideological purity and at this point that probably means throwing all of old-school establishment Republicans out. Then again, if the GOP pulls this same shit again in a couple of months there's a strong possibility that the question will be moot since the Democrats will have an advantage. Wishful thinking, I know, but we'll see.
Bob: The only people who will knock the gavel out of Boehner's orange hands will be Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Party.
Ben: Hard to say really. I think he'll keep his position because who the fuck else would/could do it? He's the perfect person for the job - a spineless, hack politician who now pretty much exists to get beat up on by Tea Party whack jobs and lie to the public about whatever bullshit they tell him he has to say. He does everything badly, but he's predictably slimy and part of the status quo in Washington - and that counts for something these days. Sadly, nothing is going to change in the US political system for a long time, and that probably means we still have to watch Boehner slobber away on live television while he aids his party in tearing down what is left of the American government.
3. How bad do you want to punch Ted Cruz's face? As bad as me?
Bob: I don't want to punch anyone, but Steve Stockman's face is way more punchable:
Chez: Depends on how badly you want to punch his face. If you want to punch it, say, every second of every day, I'd say that I don't want to punch it as badly as you -- only because I'd be willing to take a break from punching it for a few hours a day so I could sleep, eat, play GTA V, that kind of thing. Other than that, though -- yeah, I want to punch the shit out of that pudgy bastard.
Ben: I'm not sure punching him would do much good. Only being confronted with everything he hates in life can atone for the near catastrophe he created. In my opinion, Cruz needs to be forced to live on vegan food in a black, lesbian commune for a minimum of 5 years to make up for what he has done. And if anyone wants to make a reality show out of that, I'll tune in every day to watch it.