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Hullabaloo


Saturday, December 29, 2012

 
No danger to Boehner

by digby


If anyone's still laboring under the illusion that John Boehner is some kind of hero trying madly to wrangle his recalcitrant Tea Partiers and putting his speakership at risk to do it, this should clear it up:

“There’s no ‘better plan’ to get the House GOP out of this mess, i.e., ‘If I were speaker, I would do ‘X’ as an alternative,’” explained one House Republican.

A GOP aide echoed that: “[N]o outsider, were there even a path for them – which there isn’t – has any interest in doing this dirty work. They don’t want to have to meet with the president, work with Harry Reid, or even Mitch McConnell. They want to stay pure, and the only way to do that is to shout from bleachers.”

In fact, in closed party meetings, most of the chatter is about how Boehner is sticking up for Republicans, even if they feel pressure from the outside to oppose him. While those displays aren’t always indicative of the real mood inside the GOP Conference — party leaders often push their allies to speak out during the meetings — it does show there is strong, vocal support for Boehner.

And to bolster his conservative bona fides, Boehner is tacking to the right. He has said he would only press for a fiscal cliff deal that has backing from a majority of Republicans. The speaker is taking a hard line on the debt ceiling. And when asked about gun-control legislation in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. massacre, Boehner committed to merely looking at Vice President Joe Biden’s suggestions but promised no House action.

Another sign that Boehner is probably safe: His staff is not engaged in any kind of aggressive whipping effort that would signal that he’s truly afraid of losing the speakership, according to more than a half-dozen lawmakers and senior aides.

The reason is because no one is actively running against him.

The painfully drawn-out fiscal cliff talks with President Barack Obama and rejection of Boehner’s “Plan B” million-dollar tax hike gives the speaker something he’s been long seeking in this debate: political cover.

There will be no “Boehner Plan B” or a “Boehner-Obama compromise.” The entire leadership is either leaping off the cliff, or joining together to pass a smaller bill to avoid tax increases for most Americans.

After Friday’s White House meeting, all eyes are on whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) can cut a deal, with Obama’s blessing.

Boehner’s could also be helped by his insistence that the Senate pass a bill first – something he told the president repeatedly in Friday’s session at the White House, sources said. A bill has to pass both chambers, and if the Senate goes first, Boehner can insist that the upper chamber is stifling the will of House Republicans.

Gosh that sure doesn't sound like a set-up for a deal to me. I'm not sure why McConnell is eager to be the face of some sort of compromise anyway, but I honestly can't see what he could come up with that the House Republicans would like better than Plan B. (But hey, maybe it's all a dastardly plan that will reveal itself as brilliant once it's all over and done. Me, I'm still thinking we're going cliff diving.)

One wonders if this article will show the Villagers that their imbecilic notion that Obama must agree to enact the Republican agenda on taxes and spending in order to "get anything done" in the rest of his term isn't operative. Boehner's moving right, not left. And there's zero reason to believe that's going to change.


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