A little more Boehner

Nice post from Mischiefs of Faction rounding up their PS commentary on Boehner.  I especially liked Greg Koger’s take:

Gregory Koger:

The longstanding tension within Congressional parties is that legislators need to cooperate with their parties to accomplish their shared goals, but to do so they must overcome the inherent diversity of American parties.

Since 2010, the House GOP has provided a brilliant demonstration of this tension. The rules of the House, and the Republican conference, provided Boehner with a great deal of power. But his “majority” included a sizable number of legislators who would not or could not cooperate with their party. They had campaigned against the party status quo. They promised not to vote for compromises. They promised outcomes they could not realistically achieve with a majority in one chamber (e.g. repealing Obamacare). They feared a primary challenge from the right more than losing to a Democrat.

It is likely that the next Speaker will suffer from the same challenge because the challenge is systemic. The best chance to end the cycle, however, would be for the House GOP to select someone who is trusted by the Tea Party faction both inside and outside of Congress, so that when s/he says, “That’s a stupid strategy that will fail, resulting in a drop in the polls and a humiliating acceptance of the Democrats’ demands” they will actually trust the Speaker.

Of course, what Koger fails to mention is that I’m not sure such a person even exists and if he did, that GOP leaders would recognize the fact.  Not exactly reason for optimism.

Also, Boehner himself today:

“We have got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know, they know are never going to happen,” Mr. Boehner said in a live interview broadcast on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

The speaker described these conservative members of his party as “false prophets,” who promise policy victories they cannot deliver. “The Bible says, beware of false prophets,” he said. “And there are people out there spreading noise about how much can get done.”

Asked if he thought his conservative colleagues had been unrealistic, Mr. Boehner offered a resolute “absolutely.”

Yep.  And all America suffers the consequences of these nuts.

Photo of the day

Must say, I get quite a kick out of this photo from a gallery of Pope Francis photos:

Picture of Pope Francis

Among His Countrymen

Inside a Vatican auditorium, Francis, who was once the archbishop of Buenos Aires, meets with United Nations troops from his native Argentina at a general audience.

Quick hits (part II)

1) Nice column from Kareem on education under assault from right and (sadly) left:

The attack on education isn’t on training our youth for whatever careers they choose, it’s on teaching them to think logically in order to form opinions based on facts rather than on familial and social influences. This part of one’s education is about finding out who you are. It’s about becoming a happier person. It’s about being a responsible citizen. If you end up with all the same opinions you had before, then at least you can be confident that they are good ones because you’ve fairly examined all the options, not because you were too lazy or scared to question them. But you—all of us—need the process. Otherwise, you’re basically a zombie who wants to eat brains because you don’t want anyone else to think either.

2) I’m so with Drum on the great court decision voiding the copyright to “Happy Birthday.”  Can’t wait till my family’s next birthday meal out when the restaurant can sing the real birthday song.

3) North Carolina Republicans are cutting the mental health budget for short-term savings.  Of course, those will be far outweighed by long-term costs.

4) Emily Bazelon on the intellectual battle going on over sex and sexual assault on college campuses.

5) Nice Thomas Mills piece on why he won’t be voting for Bernie Sanders.  Pretty much captures my view as well.  (And a quick skim through the comments makes me even more sure).

6) Everybody predicted that the rise of Super PAC’s would totatlly change the game in presidential primaries.  Turnst out they haven’t.

But it turns out that there are some things that Super PACs can’t do. Hard money can pay for the full gamut of campaign expenses, from hiring staff to purchasing printer toner to putting ads up on television. Super PACs can pay for television ads, but they can’t pay for campaign staff.

Perry and Walker were hoping to hang on for long enough to allow nominally independent Super PACs to flood the airwaves with supportive ads. But long before the first caucus, their hard dollars dried up, leaving them unable to make payroll.

7) Love this research that is such a compelling demonstration of the power of motivated reasoning.  Americans feel totally different about the same policy if it purportedly comes from a Democrat or a Republican.  People like to think that their issue positions drives their partisanship.  Alas, the causality works far stronger in the other direction.

8) Bill Ayers on Republicans’ fear-based, “Dirty Harry” approach to politics.

9) It ain’t easy being Chief Justice John Roberts and actually having an intellectually consistent (as opposed to ideologically/ and or partisanly (yes, I made that up) consistent) judicial philosophy.


10) So, the government’s college scorecard doesn’t rank schools, but it’s not hard to do it on your own with some basic criteria.  So NPR does.  Nice to see my alma mater as #1 for “schools that make financial sense.”  And go University of California system for so much social mobility.

11) The conservative case against the death penalty making some headway in NC (personally, I support both the conservative and the liberal case against it).

12) Jeb Bush– just as enlightened as Mitt Romney about minority voters.

13) Yeah, so I get totally freaked out by insects.  To the consternation of my wife and the amusement of my children.  But I sure would not jump out of a car I was driving leaving children behind, as this parent did at the sight of a spider.

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