Speaker John Boehner’s capitulation to the militant conservative wing of his party commanded by Tea Party loyalists whose principal goal is not to govern but to thwart every effort to do so by those who disagree with them does not auger well for a Congress in near total disarray or for a troubled nation.

His exit is likely to only reinforce the unmistakable resolve of these extremists to push even harder against the moderates in their party who would prefer to restore some semblance of order.

Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Bakersfield) appears to be the front-runner to succeed Boehner but who would want the job?

What he will have to promise in exchange for support will make any accommodation with the Administration that much tougher or will be insufficient to appease the forty to fifty dissident Republicans in open revolt against their own party.

This internecine warfare must inevitably spill over into the presidential campaign which has catapulted to the top of the polls the candidates who have tapped into the same anger that is driving the conservative hardliners to give no quarter.

This includes a trio of outsiders seeking the GOP nomination who have never held elective office including foremost, Donald Trump, Ben Carson (who is dead even with him in the early Iowa polls) and a rising star—Carly Fiorina.

Perhaps most emboldened by the bloodletting is Texas Senator, Ted Cruz, another presidential candidate whose anti-government tirades which have energized House Republicans made it appear sometimes as if he is running a proxy Speakership from the well of the U.S. Senate while Boehner continued to falter.

It has become clear that the wave of insurgent conservatives, most of whom came into power in the 2010 GOP sweep will not stop short of total victory which presumably means installing a majority in the House leadership who will be further empowered to set the Republican agenda.

Kevin McCarthy is a congenial fellow with an indisputably conservative voting record. However there were mixed feelings amongst the Right-Wingers when he took over the majority leadership position in 2013 after the shocking defeat of his predecessor, the more doctrinaire and intellectual Virginian, Eric Cantor.

Were he chosen, McCarthy gives Californians, along with Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi (D-SF) even bigger clout to deliver for the state. But it may have only negligible value if McCarthy is pulled even more to the Right by members to whom he may owe his Speakership that are at opposite ends of the political spectrum with the state’s Democrat-dominated House caucus.

Whoever is selected, the next Speakers’ honeymoon could be much shorter than the one given Boehner who effectively lost control of his caucus months ago.

While prospects for a government shutdown over the issue of defunding Planned Parenthood has apparently lost much of its steam with his departure, his successor will have to tangle with the President on whether to increase the federal debt limit, reduce spending, and adopt genuine immigration reforms—-all anathema to conservatives.

Many observers, I among them, saw the emergence of the Tea Party as a temporary phenomenon that would quickly peter out.

Instead it has morphed into a more potent force with institutional presence that is altering the nation’s political trajectory. The 2016 presidential election will be the sternest test yet of its continuing durability and the power of its message.

If the front-running candidates hoping to get on the GOP ticket to the White House decide to frame the issues in the ways most attractive to the most rebellious elements of their party on the assumption that the current polls cannot be wrong, it is a major gamble.

Voters are currently enjoying the non-stop entertainment heightened by the debates which the media has been more than happy to exploit and this has helped some of the candidate ratings.

When the voters turn serious about the task of picking the next leader of the free world which is still many months away the confident images of many of the would-be Oval Office occupants may have taken on a decidedly different look.

At the moment we are viewing a not so friendly brawl as to who actually represents the heart and soul of the Republican Party.

Likewise the Democrats have to settle internal differences of their own albeit involving a much small field of competitors who are just as fiercely seeking to take the helm of their party.

As of now, with the exception of the inordinate and over-blown attention being given to the ongoing e-mail saga which Hillary Clinton would like to put behind her and the surprising popularity of Bernie Sander’s challenge from the Left, the Democrats are being gleefully drowned out by the noisy infighting amongst their opponents.

Boehner’s exit stage right with an untested Speaker yet to be named and the upcoming facedown with the Obama Administration over the budget, a long-stalled transportation bill, climate change initiatives, financial deregulatory actions, moves to eradicate the Import-Export Bank and other pressing issues before year’s end do not bode well for a happy holiday season in Washington.

The public is looking for solutions and its patience has grown thin. Whichever party can show it has a better handle on solving the problems will have the upper hand going into next year’s election.