A coup appears to be in the works after John Boehner's two-year track record of failed leadership: repudiating the conservative base that brought him the Speakership; punishing Tea Party Republicans; abandoning first principles; and failing to address America's catastrophic spending problem.
[House s]taffers have compiled a detailed action plan that, if executed, could make this a reality.
...[T]he first step is to re-establish the election of the Speaker of the House by secret ballot, rather than by a public roll call vote. That’s because the members who would oppose Boehner, if there ended up not being enough votes to achieve their desired result or if Boehner scared via threat or coaxed via prize some of the opposition into voting for him, would be sitting ducks for retaliation in the near future.
...To establish a secret ballot election for Speaker of the House, one Republican member will need to step forward and introduce a resolution on the House floor on the morning of January 3, 2013, before any other business takes place. Those close to this plan are convinced that a member will step forward and introduce this resolution... the first order of business is for the House to elect a Speaker...
...[I]f a member introduces that resolution for a secret ballot, the whole House will vote on that first. That vote will need to have a public roll call, meaning the American people, the press, and Boehner will know who voted which way. Even so, those who are considering this path forward to unseat Boehner know that Boehner and other establishment Republicans can’t legitimately oppose the concept of a secret ballot election for a leader of a political body [because of widespread GOP opposition to union "card check" tactics].
...If a secret ballot election for House Speaker is established, step one of this plan against Boehner is complete.
Republicans need not worry about handing the Speakership over to Nancy Pelosi or some other Democrat in this process, either. “Don’t worry about Speaker Boehner losing GOP votes in a secret ballot..."
It is still not possible for Pelosi to become Speaker even with 100 % of Democrats united behind her and a split GOP vote. The reason is to become Speaker it is not enough to win a plurality. One must win an absolute majority of all votes cast for an individual.
...even if all 201 Democrats vote Pelosi, Boehner gets 1 vote, and the remaining 233 Republicans each vote for a different individual, Pelosi does not win. Pelosi would need 218 to reach a majority of the 435 votes cast for an individual. Since Republicans have a 33 vote advantage in the House, the only way Pelosi wins is if 17 Boehner opponents affirmatively vote Pelosi or abstain rather than simply vote for an alternative candidate. Both these scenarios are easily avoided...
Rumor has it that Paul Ryan's name is being circulated. I believe he is one man who gets it; and who could unite the conservative base as well as the establishment.