August 03, 2017

Will the Turtle follow Boehner off the Congressional GOP dunghill?

The Turtle: gone at some point?
Last week's anti-Goldlocks events in the US Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell couldn't get his caucus to pass skinny repeal, fat repeal or in-between repeal of Obamacare, made me wonder if he might be tired of playing King of the Senate Hill.

I don't see a House-like revolt, like former Speaker John Boehner was facing for months and months before he stepped down in favor of Paul Ryan. Mike Lee, about the closest thing to a pure Tea Party/Freedom Caucus type in the Senate, is a back-bencher. Rand Paul has a constituency of one, or perhaps a touch more. Ted Cruz has a constituency of barely one. I doubt that John Thune would try to vault one spot in the leadership, let alone John Barasso two. And I certainly don't see anybody lower down the Republican Conference making a move like that.

I think the Turtle is respected, if not always liked, among fellow Republicans. But, the Senate GOP, vs the House, may well see the fuller force of Trump's nuttery, in part because it has to deal with nominations and foreign policy, not just domestic issues.

The Turtle's in office up to January 2021. He could resign early, like Boehner. Or he could simply step down as majority leader.

That would leave current Majority Whip John Cornyn taking over. And, while there's been bits of speculation about Danny Goeb challenging him, and while Big John did face a spirited primary his last run (against a dog's breath of GOP foes), he's not up again until 2020 himself, if Mitch leaves early.

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