Orange Man Blues

Nancy Pelosi’s recent mockery of John Boehner’s weakness gathers more credibility every day. As The Hill‘s Molly Hooper reports, he can’t even maintain control of his own chamber’s boffo production, Benghazi!:

House Republican members are defying Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and five committee chairmen by endorsing a measure that would set up a special panel to investigate the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

A growing number of members on the committees with jurisdiction over the Benghazi matter — Intelligence, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform, Armed Services and Foreign Affairs — have signed onto Rep. Frank Wolf’s (R-Va.) resolution.

Boehner and the chairmen of those committees do not support the legislation. Instead, they have worked together to investigate the Obama administration’s handling of the Sept. 11, 2012 assault.

Outside the committees of jurisdiction, of course, the idea of a Star Chamber to provide a big Show Biz lift to future Benghazi! hearings is even more popular among Republicans, since it gives them an outside chance of appearing before the cameras to sternly question Obama administration officials–yea, perhaps the Red Queen herself, Hillary Clinton! That opportunity, of course, is like legal tender for campaign contribution and a talisman against primary challenges. All told, Wolf’s resolution has 146 Republican co-sponsors.

So much for “regular order.” And so much for Boehner’s waning illusion of real power. He serves at the sufferance of the furies that control his Conference and his party, and they’re more powerful than ever now that “the Vetting” is fully taking over the GOP’s agenda.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.