Here’s a question to worry about in 2012: Does the inability of Speaker Boehner to lead his House caucus foreshadow the inability of a President Romney to lead a dual-chambered Republican Congress?
One of the dominant factors motivating the decisions of rank-and-file right-wing House Republicans—and not just freshmen—is their lack of trust in Speaker John Boehner. They like him, but they just don’t believe he’s a dependable defender of their interests and beliefs. Those suspicions aren’t entirely groundless. Yes, Boehner has gone out of his way to cultivate the most conservative members of his caucus—every time he has hit an impasse, his first move is to the right, to accommodate them, not to the middle to replace some of them with willing Democrats. But the Speaker has also shown a penchant for compromise that right-wing House members can’t abide.
Boehner’s weakness has repeatedly empowered House conservatives to drive the party and the country to the edge of disaster. Would a President Romney wield a stronger hand?