"Several conservative House Republican members are contemplating a plan to unseat Speaker John Boehner from his position on January 3," Breitbart News reports.
"Staffers have compiled a detailed action plan that, if executed, could make this a reality... Dissatisfaction with Boehner is growing in the House Republican conference, but until now there hasn't been a clear path forward."
If the unrest generated by Boehner's Plan B debacle has gotten to this point, it may actually be serious. Unlike 2010, when Health Shuler and the Blue Dogs went after Nancy Pelosi (and that plan went nowhere, resulting in the remaining Blue Dogs getting thrown out of Congress in November) this assault on Orange Julius's job seems to be a much more serious prospect.
Still, I'll believe it when I see somebody step up to challenge him. So far, it's nobody, officially. John Stanton over at BuzzFeed points out that odds definitely remain in Boehner's favor for a good reason: the Tea Party doesn't want to govern, nor do they have to if they control Boehner and he remains around to take the slings and arrows.
None of this is to say a coup, and a successful one, is impossible. Boehner is clearly weakened by the last week’s events, his conference has become more, not less, conservative. And there are a number of scenarios under which Boehner is forced out of leadership.
But consider this: a weakened Boehner in the speakership may be exactly what conservatives ultimately want. Having one of their own atop the House puts the burden on them to actually govern, find common ground with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama, and marshal an effective electoral strategy for the 2014 midterm elections.
Remaining on the outside of a leadership team that is not in firm control of the House conference gives movement leaders the freedom to operate and push their agenda with none of the responsibilities that come with actually being in charge.
Meanwhile, President Obama has reportedly told Orange Julius exactly where he can go with his Plan B (via Bob Cesca):
Mr. Obama repeatedly lost patience with the speaker as negotiations faltered. In an Oval Office meeting last week, he told Mr. Boehner that if the sides didn’t reach agreement, he would use his inaugural address and his State of the Union speech to tell the country the Republicans were at fault.
At one point, according to notes taken by a participant, Mr. Boehner told the president, “I put $800 billion [in tax revenue] on the table. What do I get for that?”
“You get nothing,” the president said. “I get that for free.”
Like I said, right now I'm not seeing anyone step up for Boehner's head so until that happens, he stays Speaker. But I'm betting that changes in the next week or two. How far that challenge goes? Stay tuned.