I refer, of course, to Kevin McCarthy. We're pretty well isolated from day to day news here at Montauk, but we do have access to NPR. We get highlights -- and it appears yet another politician has decided that if he can't win with 100% unanimous support the heck with it, the thing to do is just bail out completely. All or nothing. If even a small but vocal minority isn't going to support you, well, then what's the point in trying at all? Or at least that appears to be McCarthy's reasoning.
Back in the '90s the Republicans in Congress were stupid enough to decide that they're supposed to operate in lock-step, nothing gets done unless they all agree.Even worse, they've more or less given up on the idea of ever cooperating with the Democrats in Congress on anything. Compromise, which is the way politics works in the real world, got replaced by "our way or not at all." And then the "Tea Party" came along. They now have a group, a minority within their party, that won't agree with the more moderate (saner? pragmatic?) members on anything. It can be something as innocuous as renaming a federal building and there will be Tea Party types who will oppose it just for the sake of being contrary. Still, the GOP members who bought into that 100% agreement concept back in the days when Dennis Hastert pushed for it think they can manage to achieve it today despite clear evidence they're screwed if they do.
In a rational world, the slightly more rational GOP members of Congress would recognize they've got the numbers to marginalize the extreme reactionary Tea Party types, but it's unlikely that's ever going to happen. Instead, it's a classic case of the cliched tail wagging the dog. The vocal minority is setting an agenda that the craven majority knows is either not achievable or a really, really bad idea, but the craven majority remains incapable of shutting the loudmouths down. John Boehner couldn't "control" the Tea Party types, neither can anyone who succeeds him as Speaker, so why do they even bother to fantasize about it?
I suppose it is possible McCarthy bailed not because of fear of losing, but because he's worried about the fallout from his faux pas regarding the Benghazi hearings. After all, he did publicly admit to using those hearings for a purely political reason -- to damage Hillary Clinton's image -- and that's definitely not legal.
And, speaking of cliches, it is inevitable that I embed this particular video: