Wow, this (from National Review's Robert Costa) is amazing:
Cruz to House Conservatives: Oppose BoehnerFirst Cruz told House Republicans to focus on the continuing resolution intended to the government open, rather than waiting for the debt ceiling fight. Boehner and the leadership have wanted to shift the focus to the debt ceiling, but Cruz said "Jump!" and the House crazy caucus said "How high?" -- so Boehner and the leadership failed to win over the caucus.
On a Thursday conference call, a group of House conservatives consulted with Senator Ted Cruz of Texas about how to respond to the leadership's fiscal strategy. Sources who were on the call say Cruz strongly advised them to oppose it, and hours later, Speaker John Boehner’s plan fizzled.
It’s the latest example of Cruz leading the House's right flank.
Then Cruz issued another order:
Later Thursday, Cruz met again with House conservatives at a venue near the Capitol. According to one House member, the bicameral bloc talked deep into the night about the CR and pressuring Boehner. At the top of the agenda: making a one-year delay of Obamacare a requirement for government funding, and to accept nothing less, should the defunding effort unravel. They fear Boehner is resistant to making that an ultimatum, and they discussed ways to force his hand.We know Boehner's hold on the Speaker's job is tenuous -- if we didn't know that before, it's pretty obvious now -- so why not make this leadership change official? After all, right-wingers are enthralled by the notion that the Speaker of the House doesn't actually have to be a member of the House -- here, for instance, is Mark Levin in 2012 arguing that Scott Walker should be Speaker, and here's a RedState blogger, also in 2012, urging the election of Newt Gingrich. (A few days after that was posted, Louis Gohmert actually nominated Gingrich. In the January Speaker election, Colin Powell and outgoing congressman Allen West received votes.)
Leadership sources, for their part, are startled by Cruz's attempt to shape House strategy and work against the speaker. They knew he'd oppose Boehner's playbook, but they didn’t expect him to huddle with conservatives and ask them to ignore it. So, Cruz’s meetings have made him a key House player, but they’ve worsened his already-fraught relationship with the leadership.
So, House Republicans, if it's true (though many people have their doubts) that a Speaker doesn't have to be a member of the House, why not pick a member of the Senate?
Go for it, kids!
Make Senator Ted Cruz the next Speaker of the House!
(Story via Memeorandum.)
UPDATE: I'm not the only person who's considered this possibility.