The Misadventures of Agent Orange


Philip Klein:

Why on earth would anybody want Boehner’s job?

Ever since John Boehner’s “fiscal cliff” backup plan went down in flames on Thursday, there’s been a flood of speculation as to whether he can still survive as speaker of the House. But there’s a very fundamental question that a lot of people floating this possibility need to address: Why on earth would anybody want the job?
Boehner is in an impossible situation. Details aside, the bottom line is that Boehner won’t be able to negotiate any deal that will satisfy President Obama and pass the Democratic Senate that would also be remotely acceptable to House conservatives. So, if he shows a willingness to strike a deal with Obama that passes with Democratic support, he’ll be blasted by conservatives for caving. Should he refuse to negotiate, he’ll be lambasted as intransigent and take the brunt of the public blame for any consequences that come from a failure to reach a deal. And this isn’t limited to the current “fiscal cliff” debate. It goes for any future showdowns over the debt ceiling, a potential government shutdown, or any other issues that come up. This will be the case at least until after the 2014 election, should Republicans figure out a way to regain control of the Senate and shakeup the current political dynamic.

Most people would agree that it’s unlikely that, for lack of a better term, an “establishment” member of the House GOP caucus would challenge Boehner. So any challenge is more likely to come from a conservative frustrated with his lack of progress on cutting spending. But right now, if you’re a conservative in the House, the current state of affairs is quite good with Boehner in charge — at least as far as your career is concerned. You get to blast any deal that gets struck, reiterating your support for lowering taxes, reducing spending and reforming entitlements — all of which burnishes your “true conservative” credentials. You get to go home to your constituents and attack back door Washington dealmaking. And if no deal gets struck and Republicans get blamed for any consequences that ensue, it’s Boehner that will absorb punishment as the public face of the party. Sure, the media will generically blast “tea party extremists” — but no individual member will be singled out for blame. And individual members can argue that if only Boehner had listened to them and pursued a different strategy, Republicans could have won the showdown. But if you’re actually in charge, suddenly you’re the one in the cross hairs. You become tainted by the Washington process. And because everybody who is being intellectually honest knows that Obama will never sign on to a small government agenda, you’re destined to be ineffective and to lose your conservative street cred.

John Boehner is turning out to be the worst Speaker of the House since Nancy Pelosi.

About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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15 Responses to The Misadventures of Agent Orange

  1. tommy says:

    Boehner, is being castrated by 30-35 house repubs cos of their reactionary behaviour. IMO, Boehner is a good leader, but managing rhetorical idiots is difficult. They’re still in the campaign mode, don’t know how to govern. Reminds me of Captain Dick. Constantly in campaign mode, zero governance.

    • myiq2xu (D) says:

      The current situation is pretty much guaranteed gridlock. The voters reelected the same mess for at least two years.

    • angienc (D) says:

      I agree with tommy. What we are seeing among those who call themselves “conservatives” re: plan B — which was a good STRATEGY to make sure Obama “owned” going over the fiscal cliff in a way that even the MSM couldn’t cover up for him (as it was never going to actually pass the Senate) — makes me appreciate how fucking-fantastic Romney did to get the 61 million votes that he did.

      As I’ve been saying & saying (and the numbers in states where a Senate race occurred proved as Romney got more votes in those states than the GOP senatorial candidates did –even those who won) — the problem wasn’t Romney, it was the circus going on with the right for failing to present a united front against a very united left, who covered for Obama no matter what outrageous thing he said (“you didn’t build that”) or did (flying to Vegas the day after Benghazi) if it meant ignoring it totally or outright lying (see: every single thing Debbie Wasserman Shultz said). In fact, these fools who call themselves “conservatives” are de facto Obamacrats — without them, Obama would never have been elected, much less re-elected.

    • 49erDweet says:

      tommy, no disrespect but Boehner being a “good leader” is wishful thinking, IMO. When you have a divided crew a good leader is extra careful in exposing his crew to potentially sticky situations. B just seems to forge on ahead in total denial. Seems like he can’t even count. Those racist tea party members of congress need to be taken into account. Spending will eventually need to be reduced, unless Yomama right away brings us the biggest boom ever – which seems unlikely.

      B made the mistake of assuming. Who would want to replace him? I say leave him there, twisting in the wind. The next R caucus leader needs to figure out how to blend the two camps, or he/she’ll suffer the same fate.

  2. HELENK says:

    Added: I propose we start using “Boehner” as a verb: “To utterly and publicly screw up”.

    Andy has a great example.

    The Jets really Boehnered that contract with Sanchez.

    from ace of spades article boehner is about his head

  3. DeniseVB says:

    I keep hearing Paul Ryan as Speaker rumors. Wonder how he would do ?

    I think, as they say, Boehner’s making sausage, maybe we don’t want to know how it’s made ? He’s already ruined Obama’s vacation (due home on Weds I think), so there are perks to this mess, heh.

    I really don’t care if we do go off the cliff, Obama will own it anyhow and may mean keeping the House and taking back the Senate in 2014. Yipppeeee. I think.

  4. HELENK says:

    I just want someone to stand up to backtrack. Remember who they represent. If Boehner can not do it, get someone who can.
    Paul Ryan would be a good choice. He can out think backtrack in a new york minute. Would the republicans back him, who knows?

  5. swanspirit says:

    I still like John , but I think that Paul Ryan as speaker would be KARMIC for Obama , because he would have to deal with him , even though he lost the election . I would love it !

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