Has Boehner finally found a set of cojones?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by joepistole, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Has Boehner finally found a set of cojones?

    Yesterday Boehner finally, after more than 5 years, stood up to the Tea Party. If so, it’s about bloody time!

    “When John Boehner briefly lashed out Wednesday at conservative groups that had been agitating against the bipartisan budget bill, it turns out he had more to say. Much, much more.

    On Thursday, reporters asked the Republican House Speaker to elaborate on his comments the day before, when he called conservative opposition to the budget “ridiculous” and accused certain right-wing groups of “using the American people."

    Boy, did he.

    “I thought it was my job and my obligation to stand up for conservatives here in the Congress who want more deficit reduction, stand up for the work that Chairman [Paul] Ryan did,” Boehner said. “I think they're pushing our members in places where they don't want to be. And frankly, I just think that they've lost all credibility.”

    Earlier this week, lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan budget blueprint that would set funding levels for the next two years. (The House plans to vote on it Thursday night.) The bill would replace parts of sequestration, but effectively increase federal spending by $63 billion. By funding the government into 2015, it would help avoid future fights over government shutdowns that have brought Congress to a standstill during the past few years of Obama’s presidency.

    Conservative groups, such as Heritage Action for America, The Club for Growth, FreedomWorks and others, immediately opposed the plan when it was released — some, in fact, did so before the final details were confirmed by the authors.

    The public display of frustration from Boehner over the tea party groups’ behavior was long in the making, and probably will have broader implications than merely a budget deal. In both the House and Senate, outside groups are ramping up pressure on incumbents by launching and funding challenger campaigns against them in next year’s midterm elections. Republicans in both chambers are forced to fend off both tea party challengers and Democrats, a phenomenon that has rankled the party establishment and sparked debates about what defines a “true conservative.”

    Boehner specifically blamed these groups for dragging Republican lawmakers into a dubious plan to defund the federal health care law that led to a disastrous government shutdown last fall. Boehner said he was outraged when one group that engineered the failed plot admitted that they never thought it would work in the first place.

    “They pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. Most of you know, my members know, that wasn't exactly the strategy that I had in mind. But if you recall, the day before the government reopened, one of the people that — one of these groups stood up and said, 'Well, we never really thought it would work,'” he recapped, before shouting, “Are you kidding me?!” -Chris Moody, Yahoo News


    I guess the real question is how long will this last? In the past it has only been a matter of hours before the repentant offender, in this case, Boehner, shows up on the Rush Limbaugh Show falling all over himself apologizing for having the audacity to make a few lucid and truthful statements. I guess we will have to see if this lasts. But I applaud Boehner for finally finding the balls to standup for reality and against the right wing whacko birds that have controlled his party for decades now. I hope I don't see or hear him apologizing for his outbreak of honesty to Rush Limbaugh in the coming hours and days.

    This could be a game changer for American politics if it lasts.
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  3. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member


    The Tea Party was/is a game changer also.
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  5. billvon Valued Senior Member

    While I agree, it looks like even conservatives are tired of Tea Party games.
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  7. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    He wants to reject the crazy and destructive Tea Party, while keeping his association with Paul Ryan - obviously this is a matter of image, rather than policy or wisdom. He's trying, in the rhetoric, to separate himself from the bad smell of Tea Party behavior while keeping his actual factional support and continuing agenda (tax cuts for rich people) - just as a few years ago he successfully separated himself and faction from the bad smell of W&Co's behavior, and took the new name "Tea Party" as if it were something new under the sun.

    If the past is a guide we will soon have a new name for that faction, and denials of former allegiance and behavior all around.
  8. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Before Wednesday the House was the whacko bird palace and the few remaining rational Republicans resided in the Senate. Now it appears Republicans in the Senate have become drunk with the whacko bird Kool-Aid and House Republicans appear to have recovered from their many bouts with the whacko bird juice.
  9. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

  10. ontheleft Registered Member

    The Tea Party. A blip in American political history.

    A Koch and Rove funded manipulation of red faced, angry whites who saw a Black Man in a White House. A manipulation that has come back to bite their pearly white ass.
  11. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    Well, we can hope it is a blip in American political history, but the Koch brothers and their money and secret retreats with the Supremes and other Republican leaders are not going away.
  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    You guys got it all wrong. The liberals and liberal media desperately need something to change the topic away from the failure of ObamaCare. So the republican strategy is to not give the liberals anything to complain about. The goal is to keep the self destructing ObamaCare in the forefront for the 2014 elections. They are willing to lose ground to gain ground. Once thy gain the house and senate in 2014, then it is time to do right by the givers and not the takers.

    Boehner and the establishment Republicans will now be able to build up support in the middle of the political spectrum, and come electron time they will combine again with the extreme Conservatives like the Tea party. Once in power, they will do the sane things, such as limit huge deficits and shrink the giant government that will destroy the future. The strategy is working as displayed by your reactions. There is nothing to complain and distract with. The democrats now have to recycle boring mantras like the war on women, which is not enough seeing the harm to women caused by ObamaCare with huge increases in costs will be able to neutralize the mantra.
  13. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    LOL, as long as the Republican Party has people like you calling the shots, I don't think Democrats have much to worry about.

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  14. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    In the coming days it will be interesting to see how this works out. I was surprised to see nearly 75% of House Republicans back Boehner. We may be witnessing an epic battle for control of the Republican Party. I think it is safe to say Boehner, like McConnell, will be facing a Tea Party challenge in the not too distant future.

    “Tea party activists are pushing back hard against Speaker John Boehner for attacking conservative groups that are opposed to bipartisan budget legislation approved this week by the House, claiming he has "declared war on the Tea Party" with his blunt criticism.

    In a fundraising email to supporters, Tea Party Patriots referred to the Ohio Republican as a "ruling class politician" who only pretends to be a conservative while remaining a "tax-and-spend liberal," The Hill reported Friday” http://www.foxnews.com/politics/201...p-war-words-against-boehner-over-budget-vote/

    Assuming Senate Republicans get their act together and Boehner can hold on to his newly found cojones, and that is a big assumption, there may be a chance for some responsible legislation getting through congress next year.
  15. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The names come and go - the Birchers, the Klan, the Tea Party - the faction, and its corporate manipulators, remains. The recent power grab was quite successful, the Crash worked out well for them, and they are not going to give up their gains without a fight.

    For one thing, they want to get rid of Social Security soon, before they have to repay the money they borrowed from it - that's a major goal that will require a solid base in Congress.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    (chortle!) and Review

    Uh-huh. Articles of faith hope?

    It will be hard to build up that moderate support if, for instance, Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), already excessively conservative, plays hardline in his upcoming primary against extremist Steve Stockman. How will conservative candidates respond to the coming storm about rape insurance? And so on.

    Really, as long as they're trying to force both government and people's employers between patient and doctor, it's hard to see how the GOP intends to build the support of the political center.


    —your brand of vapid fantasy isn't playing right now.

    Remember that conservatives are those who want to put government into our bedrooms, between us and our doctors, and empower wrongdoers who denigrate everyone's quality of life. They wish to use government as a weapon, to stratify society and create layers of privilege buffered by force of law. The GOP is the voice of corruption these days. That is, sure, politicians of any stripe might take the bait and do wrong, but it is Republicans who advocate and defend such behavior.

    In the end, the fantasy belies your argument. Recycling boring mantras like the war on women? How about economic populism while we're at it? After all, it's not like Republicans aren't desperately trying to spin the notion of a war on women, or economic inequality. The reason you don't hear much about it, though, is that what few people believe the hype happen to be part of the movement in the first place. That is to say, there is a reason we to the left of center are aware of the conservative argument that the ACA is part of a Democratic war on women because, as Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC02) explained, "After all, it's often women who make the healthcare decisions for our families. We put a lot of time and thought into these choices and how they'll affect our budgets." Or that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) is trying to blame the (ahem!) "socialist" President Obama for concentration of wealth. The reason is that we're all taking a few minutes here and there to share the laughter. To the other, though, perhaps the reason the general public isn't hearing about the Republican attempt to "recycle boring mantras" is that nobody takes them seriously; that is, there is no substance.

    The rubber-glue phenomenon, however, reminds that, in the end, it is Republicans who are without a useful agenda. And the problem with denouncing the Republican war on women or class warfare as recycled, boring mantras is that it's kind of like, well, okay ... in the Seattle area, when I was a kid, we heard regularly about the Green River Killer, a serial killer. And he got away with it for a long time, you know? After a while, recycling boring mantras like serial killer just gets old. The media wasn't being fair to the Green River Killer. Why not call him a prostitution regulatory entrepreneur? Or the Green River Crimefighter?

    The thing is that he was committing murder, over and over again. Maybe people get tired of hearing the name Green River Killer, or the term serial killer, but that's what he was and will always be remembered as.

    With Republicans, the problem is that no matter how much they disdain talk of a war on women or class warfare, they keep doing it.

    All of these labels that conservatives loathe—misogynist, elitist, racist, homophobic, delusional, &c.—keep coming up because they are accurate descriptions of the behaviors.

    And we to the left of center would love to just laugh it off and move onto the next thing, but when we move onto the next thing, there's the fucking Republicans, waiting with another idea to denigrate people and degrade their quality of life.

    In terms of the broader topic discussion, no, Boehner hasn't developed a pair of stones. Rather, as Eugene Robinson noted last week:

    Does all of this mean Republicans are willing to stop the brinkmanship and work alongside Democrats at the task of governance? Perhaps, but only in pursuit of a larger goal: It now appears that Republicans want to win.

    The heat is still on, and playing out in the Senate. As Brian Beutler reported today:

    Right now we're witnessing a dramatic role reversal, which could threaten passage of a crucial budget bill, and underscores the delicate balance Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell must strike between his leadership responsibilities and his political obligation to defeat his primary challenger, Matt Bevin.

    The Bipartisan Budget Act, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., passed the House overwhelmingly on Thursday — 332-94. Only 62 Republicans voted against it. So great was the imperative to prevent a GOP revolt that House Speaker John Boehner broke his silence and excoriated the conservative pressure groups that have been trying to defeat it and thus invite another government shutdown.

    And in the end, it will probably pass the Senate, too. (While Sen. Dick Durbin said on Sunday that there were not yet enough votes to overcome a filibuster, Republican Ron Johnson came out in support of the bill, and many observers expect it will ultimately pass.) But it won't be by the safe margins we're used to.

    The bill is in relative limbo for several reasons, but chief among them is that McConnell can't affirmatively whip for or against it. He's personally opposed to the legislation, supposedly because it eases sequestration's budget caps, but you don't have to be Sherlock Holmes to suspect that his primary challenge is motivating his opposition, too. At the same time, he doesn't oppose it so strongly that he's willing to kill it with a filibuster. He knows that if it dies, there's a strong chance that the government will shut down again, and he's vociferously opposed to letting that happen again.

    So he's in a familiar bind. "Vote no, hope yes." His whip, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, faces the same conundrum.

    And this is the the conundrum: The GOP establishment needs to win something, else the spectre of right-flank insurgencies will continue to haunt them. It's not that the leadership has suddenly developed a set, even between them, but that they have nowhere left to go. McConnell is treading a fine line trying to not destroy the broader GOP by tanking the budget deal and wrecking his own re-election campaign by breaking the sequester.

    I don't envy the GOP leadership in Congress, but neither do I have any sympathy. Certes, we have all created our own misery at one time or another, in some shape or another. But while my heart breaks for the accidental victims of gun violence who had nothing to do with the discharge of the weapon that killed them, there is nothing I can say for the idiot who points an (ahem!) "unloaded" gun at his head and squeezes the trigger. Shooting yourself in a blind, suicidal fit is tragic. Shooting yourself because you're just a moron with a gun is natural selection.

    Boehner and McConnell need to reel in the Party; the last thing any of us, leftists and liberals included, is effective one-party rule. Consider the ostensibly nonpartisan Seattle City Council, which has governed with effective one-party rule for years. The Democratic-sympathizing nonpartisans have become so conservative and ineffectual that voters just made Seattle a two-party town again ... by electing a Socialist.

    For Boehner and McConnell, this isn't about courage. It's about political survival.


    Benen, Steve. "A 'pathetic' spin on the war on women". MSNBC. December 9, 2013. MSNBC.com. December 16, 2013. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/pathetic-spin-the-war-women

    —————. "Cruz tackles wealth concentration". MSNBC. October 25, 2013. MSNBC.com. December 16, 2013. http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/cruz-tackles-wealth-concentration

    Robinson, Eugene. "The GOP mainstream strikes back". The Washington Post. December 12, 2013. WashingtonPost.com. December 16, 2013. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...90ee78-6368-11e3-91b3-f2bb96304e34_story.html

    Beutler, Brian. "Mitch McConnell's potential cataclysm: Why his budget antics created huge risks". Salon. December 16, 2013. Salon.com. December 16, 2013. http://www.salon.com/2013/12/16/mit...s_failure_how_he_blew_it_in_the_budget_fight/
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Is that why they tried to repeal it 41 times?

    By alienating women, moderates and minorities? And Catholics? (Apparently the Pope is now too liberal for conservatives.) Perhaps if you alienate enough people you will . . . get their support? Maybe it's some strange reverse psychology.

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