Boehner's Departure and What Happens Next

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. Hans Noel is correct: If Donald Trump wins, that will mean parties do not control presidential nominations, and throw plenty of other political science findings in doubt as well. We might be thrown back to Nelson W. Polsby’s Consequences of Party Reform, which argued that reform in the 1970s had taken the parties out of the nomination process and replaced them with media influence, yielding unpredictable results (and presidents ill-equipped for the job). Or perhaps some other, completely new explanation. Parties and processes do change; Polsby was correct for the 1970s, but once parties adapted they were (we believe!) once again able to control nominations. Including, most likely, in 2016. We’ll see.

2. Sarah Binder in the New York Times says that John Boehner's departure won’t change anything in the House.

3. At the Monkey Cage, Jeffery A. Jenkins and Charles Stewart III on the possibility that things really are changing -- and it could lead to chaos soon in the House. Plausible, but I’m a skeptic. I treat the floor voters against Boehner in the speaker elections in 2011 and 2013 as protest votes, not a real attempt to defeat him, and so far the evidence is at least as strong that he just was fed up with the job rather than that he was forced out or even worried about being forced out. We just don’t know enough yet. But if there is trouble ahead, this is the article you’ll need to understand it.

4. Remember Whitewater? Kevin Drum does, and he isn’t enjoying this year’s version of it.

5. And HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery checks on what it’s like out there in the federal courts when the Senate refuses to allow vacancies to be filled and new seats on the bench to be created.

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