The end of the irresponsible tea party might be in sight. Hallelujah.
And the unexpected hero of the moment is U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. After getting tread marks on his face from being run over by tea party-linked groups in recent years, Boehner recently decided to defy the ultra-conservative forces.
The defining moment came earlier this week after a bipartisan budget deal was put together by GOP House member Paul Ryan and Democratic U.S. Sen. Patty Murray. The excellent goal is to keep the government open and not suffer through another costly shutdown like the one that tea party boosters championed — with Boehner’s endorsement at the time — a few months ago.
Immediately after the new budget compromise was announced this week, groups such as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth attacked the plan. So did conservative radio shock jocks like Sean Hannity.
So did Boehner once again kowtow to the tea party supporters? Nope.
In a news conference,the usually taciturn Boehner lashed out
at the tea party-associated organizations, saying, “Frankly, I think that they’ve lost all credibility.”
The House continued its push-back against the tea party by overwhelmingly approving the budget compromise on Thursday. The Senate takes it up next.
Now what happens?
Sure, frustrated tea party members may go ahead with threats to try to oust Republicans who aren’t as ideologically pure as the ultra-conservatives want.
Then again, about three-fourths of U.S. House members voted for the budget deal. So it would be tough to attack that many Republicans in primaries, especially when Democrats at least in some districts are waiting to pounce and possibly pick up weak tea party candidates who might advance to the general election.
Overall, the fact that Boehner finally grew a spine and stood up to the tea party is a positive move for getting things done in Washington.