Reading the news reports, at first it sounded like Boehner was somehow inspired by the Pope's visit. Boehner stated that he woke up and knew that "this is the day."
The same story says that Boehner had determined to resign on his 66th birthday on Nov. 17, but brought it forward by a few weeks. Foolish me, I thought he finally got fed up.
Luckily I can read, and found much more revealing reports elsewhere. This article lays out the actual reasons pretty clearly:
- The Freedom Caucus (a very conservative group in the House) were planning to challenge Boehner's speakership if he didn't let them shut down the government by sending appropriations with poison pill/veto bait provisions defunding Planned Parenthood.
- Boehner found out that the Dems weren't going to help him stay as speaker, so the threat of being unseated was credible.
- Boehner will resign, avoid the challenge, and gets to avoid the shutdown with a clean appropriation bill that lasts until mid-December.
- The GOP will have between now and mid-December to elect their new speaker, if they can settle on someone.
Maybe they'll wait until February, except that it's primary season, so that's not a good time either. The further they push the shutdown, the closer to Election Day it gets. So a failed shutdown (the outcome I predict) will be fresher in the minds of voters.
THIS IS THEIR STRATEGY?
Unbelievable. I have got to watch this melodrama unfold. It may even be better than The Walking Dead. We may have flesh-eating conservatives attacking fellow GOPers on the House floor. Maybe Dems will come in toting assault rifles. What a spectacle! I can't wait! (Or maybe I'm losing my mind. Time to stop blogging for tonight.)
Extras. The conservative press didn't seem to know the resignation/ouster was about to happen. No articles in HotAir, Daily Caller, etc. announcing a planned move. The Hill warned about the coup two days before Boehner's resignation. A member of the Freedom Caucus told a local Arizona paper about growing discontent. But when hasn't there been growing discontent?
A listing from 538 of the ultra-conservatives who ousted Boehner. Maybe some Democrats were going to prop up Boehner. A reasonably good summary of Boehner's history from a MSM perspective. Most interesting point: Boehner got to the top of the leadership pyramid because he wasn't highly implicated in the lobbying (Abramoff) scandals that wiped out most of the House GOP leadership.