There’s a group of people inside the Beltway who are in favor of removing
politics from the political process. Talk about a mission so impossible that
neither Peter Graves nor Tom Cruise is up for the job. But these centrist
fethishists have a crush on “moderate” Republicans like Jon Huntsman.
I’m not sure what’s moderate about him but Norm
Ornstein thinks he should replace Boner as Speaker. I am not making this up,
What if Boehner doesn’t survive? Go to Article I, Section 2: The
Constitution does not say that the speaker of the House has to be a member of
the House. In fact, the House can choose anybody a majority wants to fill the
post. Every speaker has been a representative from the majority party. But
these days, the old pattern clearly is not working.
Even in a multi-ballot marathon, there is no way 17 or more
Republicans in the new House would opt for Nancy Pelosi, or any other Democrat.
The danger is that a fatigued GOP will settle for a take-no-prisoners firebrand
or find another candidate willing to pledge fealty to the radical minority
within the majority, turning the current, really bad situation into something
The best way out of this mess would be to find someone from outside the
House to transcend the differences and alter the dysfunctional dynamic we are
all enduring. Ideally, that individual would transcend politics and party — but
after David Petraeus’s stumble, we don’t have many such candidates. It would
have to be a partisan Republican.
One option would be Jon Huntsman. By any reasonable standard, he is a
conservative Republican: As governor of Utah, he supported smaller government,
lower taxes and balanced budgets, and he opted consistently for market-based
solutions. As a presidential candidate, he supported positions that were in the
wheelhouse of Ronald Reagan. But a Speaker Huntsman would look beyond party and
provide a different kind of leadership. He would drive a hard bargain with the
president but would aim for a broad majority from the center out, not from the
right fringe in. He could not force legislation onto the floor, but he would
have immense moral suasion.
I wonder which state Ornstein
got his potent legal weed from: Colorado or Washington? All I know is that I want
some since it’s super hallucinatory and gives you delusions of grandeur to
The whole thing is totally bizarre since Ornstein is a noted Congressional
scholar and the House has never and will never elect a non-member as Speaker.
Besides, Jon Huntsman? Really? Jon Fucking Huntsman? The dude who won the 2012
media primary and was a total disaster as a Presidential candidate. He was a
centrist’s dreamboat then and apparently Ole’ Norm has been pining for him
ever since but all this suggestion does is make Normy look like a barmy idiot.
I guess Ornstein will get points in some quarters for thinking “outside the box” a phrase that should be buried forthwith. It’s only a matter of time until centrist fuckwits like Bloomberg and Tom Friedman will take up the cudgel and support Stormin’ Norman. Me, I’d rather watch Cheers: