BOEHNER TO FACE LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE…. House Republicans have lost a combined 52 seats over the 2006 and 2008 election cycles, so it wasn’t too surprising when the party overhauled its leadership team last week. Starting next year, the House GOP will have a new Minority Whip, new chairman of the Republican Conference, and probably a new chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

For reasons that have never made any sense to me, though, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has faced very little pressure. He over saw a debacle, and has no vision whatsoever for the party’s future, but Boehner isn’t quitting, and no one else wanted his job.

Today, that changed.

A conservative California congressman announced Friday that he’s mounting a leadership challenge to House Minority Leader John Boehner, as the GOP continues to assess the fallout from last week’s election losses.

Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., becomes the first rank-and-file House member to announce his intent to challenge the top House Republican in next week’s leadership elections…. “I am embarking on this effort because I think our Party is in trouble,” Lungren wrote in a letter to colleagues Friday afternoon. “If we don’t admit our difficulties and address them aggressively, we not only run the risk of becoming a permanent Congressional Minority but we will do a disservice to our nation.”

The Hill noted that successful leadership bids “are usually announced right after an election. Lungren waited 10 days to make his announcement, which he made in a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter.”

ABC News’ report described Lungren’s bid as “a conservative challenge to Boehner.” I suppose that’s largely true — Lungren is very conservative — but no one can seriously suggest Boehner is some kind of moderate. We’re talking about two wings of the Republican Party here – the far-right and the even-further right.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.