Boehner for Boehner

The evidence at this point would seem to indicate the John Boehner’s first priority is saving his speakership.  Everything else is secondary.  Understandable, but given the circumstances, clearly the actions of a very small man.  I caught a bit of his speech yesterday afternoon and it was almost 100% fabrication.  He was basically lying the whole time.  Sure, politicians lie in speeches, but this was truly breathtaking.  Clearly, he was counting on journalists not calling him out on things which were simply empirically not so (my guess is he was right on this).  First, Chait:

The basic problem is this. Lifting the debt ceiling requires a bill that’s acceptable to 217 members of the House, 60 Senators, and President Obama. The easiest way to get a bill like that would be to write something that passes the House with maybe 10-20% of House Republicans supporting it, and the rest of the votes coming from Democrats. Unfortunately for Boehner, such a scenario would probably result in House Republicans kicking him out of his job. So we’re stuck relying on a vote coalition containing most of the House GOP caucus, which means relying on people who are extremely reluctant to raise the debt ceiling or to compromise at all.

So basically, we’re risking mass financial havoc so that… John Boehner can remain as House Speaker

And Ezra (with a fabulous analogy):

Lately, Boehner has not been governing. What should have happened Friday is obvious: Having failed to pass a conservative resolution to the debt crisis without Democratic votes, he should have begun cutting the deals and making the concessions necessary to gain Democratic votes. That, after all, is what he will ultimately have to do anyway, as whatever he passes will also require the approval of the Senate and the president.

But Boehner went in the opposite direction. He made his bill more conservative. He indulged his members in the fantasy that they wouldn’t have to make compromises. It’s as if Pelosi, facing criticism for dropping the public option, had tried to shore up her support by bringing a single-payer health-care bill to the floor. Even if that would have pleased her left wing, what good would it have done her? Her job was to prepare her members to take a vote that could lead to a successful outcome. Pretending that that outcome could be far further to the left than it actually could be would ultimately make her job harder.

And that’s exactly right.  Here’s the Post’s news report:

The House GOP leaders offered party members a reworked plan Friday morning designed to appeal to arch-conservatives…

Seriously??!!  At this point and he thinks its time to make the most extreme members of the House GOP caucus (and that’s saying something!) happy?!  What a truly appalling failure of leadership.  I used to think that Boehner and I disagreed, but that he actually cared about the welfare of the country.  Maybe he does care about the welfare of our country, but he clearly cares a lot more about the welfare of John Boehner.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

One Response to Boehner for Boehner

  1. John says:

    I know there are good people on both sides of the aisle but I don’t believe that all of them love this country. How could they? Their vision of it is some fictional fantasy in almost every sense. They l love A country but it sure as hell ain’t the one you and I live in.

    The other group seems to only exist for their own enrichment and power. And I draw that conclusion not just from this manufactured “crisis” but from a long string of them. I think of those lead by Karl Rove who would push an unnecessary war for the Republicans’ midterm election prospects and the certain reelection of W. That was a vile act of high treason. And anyone chalking the timing of that up to circumstance is a useless idiot. In what alternate reality would that be faithful to the Founders’ intentions or the Constitution?

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