Why did Kevin McCarthy drop out on the very eve of the vote? Rumors have cited a threat to expose an extramarital affair, his gaffe quasi-admitting that the endless Benghazi wankfest was just a ritual meant to jinx Hillary (like there was anybody who didn't already know that), or the simple realization that the wingnuttier-than-thou faction(s) would never let such a Boehneresque "moderate" reach the needed 218 votes.
They're now completely at sea. Who else have they got? Chaffetz? Boehner is said to be trying to persuade Paul Ryan to jump in. But Ryan has made it clear that he doesn't want the miserable, thankless job of herding all these distempered cats around, and who knows whether the foaming-at-the-mouth element would vote for the former running mate of the despised arch-RINO Romney any more than they would for McCarthy? And most of the other options are worse than a joke.
It would be vastly amusing except that there are critical votes on the debt ceiling and government funding coming up, tasks which in the past have proven almost impossible to get done even when the wingnuts aren't screeching and flinging feces at each other. They're fighting over the steering wheel of a bus that's heading for a cliff, and we're all passengers. Remember, too, that whoever ultimately wins is third in line to the Presidency.
Speaking of which, this doesn't bode well for the party's eventual Presidential nominee. A race with fifteen (at last count) candidates is absurd enough, but if the Congressional factions can't even unite to choose a Speaker, how are all the variegated wingnut tribes -- the Jebbushites, Trumpolines, Randroids, Marco-Rubes, Hucksters, etc. -- going to unite behind a single standard-bearer after a year of denouncing each others' candidates and threatening not to vote for the "wrong" nominee? Trump's likely independent run may be only the beginning of their problems next year.
So long as the Republicans fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little party, a silly party -- greedy, barbarous, and cruel.
Boehner has, at least, promised to stay on as Speaker until a replacement is chosen. Maybe this was his plan all along: he offered the wingnuts what they wanted -- his resignation -- knowing that the inevitable subsequent fiasco would serve as a humiliating reminder of why they need him.
Or maybe there's no grand plan here and the feces-flinging will just continue until it drives the "moderates" to the wingnuts' ultimate nightmare -- a deal with the evil Democrats to get somebody, anybody, elected Speaker so they can get back to work. If that happens, the screeching and cries of betrayal across the right-wing internet will be truly deafening, and peace in the House will have been bought at the price of even deeper Dolchstoßlegende-fueled infighting later on -- hopefully right in the middle of the 2016 election.
Oh, hell, I'm just going to relax and be vastly amused. Yes, the situation is dangerous, but it's dangerous having these crazies anywhere near the levers of power at all, and we're getting inured to that. If we couldn't let ourselves laugh at them, we'd go mad.