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What if the Tea Party overthrows John Boehner?

Assuming a deal to raise the debt ceiling and reopen the government eventually materializes, the big question remains: Will it be able to survive the House? As Salon's Brian Beutler has detailed in recent weeks, the answer resides almost entirely within the mind of one man, Speaker of the House John Boehner. If he wants to, Speaker Boehner can break the so-called Hastert Rule — which says that no bill will come to a vote unless it’s supported by a majority of the majority — and pass the deal with overwhelmingly Democratic votes. Or he can refuse, and plunge the world into grave economic uncertainty.

While only John Boehner knows what he'll do for sure, there have been reports of the Speaker informing close confidantes that he will not allow the U.S. to hit the debt ceiling, period. If true, that means Boehner is willing break the Hastert Rule and pass a bill to raise the debt ceiling with a vast majority of Democratic votes. Breaking this unofficial rule would be a victory for the forces of sanity and competent government. Yet it could spell trouble for Boehner, who would potentially face a coup attempt from the most radical and recalcitrant members of his caucus.

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