Unlike his GOP predecessor Tom DeLay, John Boehner will be brought down not by corruption but ideological crossfire between a now-liberated President and an immovable Tea Party caucus led by his own Iago.
Eric Cantor’s ambition to succeed Boehner will dovetail nicely with Paul Ryan’s 2016 hopes to make the Speaker an inevitable sacrificial victim of the fiscal cliff battle, which can only end with their followers’ resentment, if not unhappiness.
Some without pity may shrug at the irony, mindful of Boehner’s arrogance during the previous debt-ceiling crisis when he turned away from a possible Grand Bargain to humiliate the President.
Now with a Barack Obama who never again has to face voters, the leverage is all his, with surrogates confirming their determination to raise taxes.
When all this plays out, John Boehner will be standing alone in the GOP ruins to take the blame and eventually step down.
Hard to believe, but what follows him will be worse until 2014 but could end with Democrats taking back the House and making Republican internal struggles moot.
No matter what, we are seeing the beginning of Boehner’s long goodbye to real power. Perhaps sooner rather than later, he will be out of sight unless he chooses to join DeLay on "Dancing With the Stars."