House conservatives will never topple John Boehner

Notice that the report contains almost no specifics about what the ultras want to actually do. They’re mad at Cantor for passing a “doc fix” bill by voice vote — a routine measure that in the pre-Tea Party days used to pass without a fuss — but they don’t outline what they would have done themselves. If history is any guide, they would have demanded something so cartoonishly extreme that it could never possibly pass the Senate or be signed by the president, then voted against it anyway for not being extreme enough.

Why pass a doomed-to-fail bill anyway? To “send a message,” or something, which is why the House has passed 50 pointless repeals of ObamaCare.

Indeed, the hapless campaign to oust Boehner reeks of a politics obsessed with slights and symbolism. This obsession to the almost total exclusion of a substantive agenda has become the signature trait of House ultras, which means the leadership has no choice but to treat them like cake-addled five-year-olds.