Ashely Parker and Jeremy W. Peters write in NYT today:
A major source of Mr. Boehner’s limitations as speaker is simple math. Republicans control 232 seats, and 218 are required for a majority when there are no vacancies, meaning that in most instances, he can afford to lose only 14 Republican votes.
I am disturbed at this bland equation of being a Speaker of the House of Representatives with being the leader of only one’s own party within it. Boehner isn’t trapped by “simple math”, he is trapped by his decision not to function as a true Speaker of the House, which would involve drawing votes from both parties at least some of the time. By failing to point this out, the NYT story is normalizing Congressional behavior that is in fact well outside the historical norm.