This is a two paragraph excerpt from today's Joan Walsh column, Biggest fiscal cliff lessons. A link to the full column is posted at the end of the excerpt.
Democrat Nancy Pelosi is still House speaker.
Poor John Boehner. Whenever he wants to pass actual legislation, the kind that will also be passed by the Senate and signed into law by the president, he’s got to rely on his predecessor, Nancy Pelosi. Once again, just as she did with the bill to keep the government running back in February 2011, Pelosi had to round up the Democratic votes to pass a bill that Boehner purported to want passed. (In the end, he voted for it, but his No. 2 and 3 guys, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, voted against it.) Pelosi kept 172 of 188 House Democrats on board; Boehner only got 85 of 240 House Republicans. Boehner further shamed himself by closing the session without a promised vote on Hurricane Sandy relief already passed by the Senate.
It’s ironic that Boehner is going around boasting that he told Harry Reid “Go fuck yourself” after Reid said he was running a “dictatorship” last Friday. Reid was paying the speaker a compliment. Far from running a dictatorship, Boehner can’t even deliver the votes of his top two lieutenants. He’s unlikely to face any real challenge to his speakership when Congress reconvenes tomorrow, but he’s speaker in name only. With a smaller majority he’ll be even less able to make a significant move without Pelosi.