A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Tag: boehner fiscal cliff

What Would Newt Gingrich Do?

by evanmcmurry

It’s come to this:

Huelskamp was shocked at the very idea that Boehner would allow a bill to pass without majority Republican support. “I think most Republicans would be stunned if the speaker moved forward on something like that,” he said. “Denny Hastert wouldn’t have done it. Newt Gingrich wouldn’t have done it.”


Adventures In Compromising

by evanmcmurry

It’s cliche to call something “political theater”—I swear, the words have been used so much, they’ve lost all meaning!—but sometimes you gotta call it as you see it, which is exactly what Steve Benen does over the far-right attacks on John Boehner’s fiscal cliff offer:

Conservative activists are criticizing the GOP offer, or at least, they’re pretending to…We’ll probably never know for sure what leading far-right activists are thinking, but by complaining about a deal in which GOP gives up nothing, they seem to be engaged in some political theater.

In other words, the Koch brothers’ operation and the Heritage Foundation’s lobbying wing are trying to offer some cover for House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership — if the left and right both claim to oppose the GOP’s so-called “counteroffer,” then maybe it’s the moderate solution between two extremes.

While there are certainly members of the 2010 class who view intransigence as a means rather than an end, this current move sure seems to be a decoy: if everybody focuses on the loud crazies long enough, then when Boehner goes “against” them by proposing a plan that contains everything they want he’ll be seen as bucking the radical wing of his party. That should not be treated as a compromise.

Lessons In Negotiating

by evanmcmurry

From Greg Sargeant:

The basic fact remains that Dems have made a substantial proposal, while Republicans haven’t. Dems have meaningfully detailed what they want, and Republicans haven’t. Republicans keep telling us that Obama must show “leadership” by detailing the spending cuts the White House is willing to accept, and that the Dem proposals are not “serious” because they have yet to do this. But how are we supposed to know what will count as “serious” spending cuts, if Republicans won’t detail what they want? It’s doubly curious that Republicans refuse to do this, given that they keep saying the 2012 election gave them a mandate for cutting spending.

Look, this is just a sucker’s game. What Republicans really mean when they demand that Obama “lead” is that they want him to propose bigger concessions up front so Republicans can denounce them as insufficient — which they would do no matter what he proposed — pulling the debate further and further in their direction.

Just like during the Romney campaign, we’re in a weird netherworld in which Republicans think detailing what they want is the compromise. They think they’re being bipartisan just by engaging in negotiations.

John Boehner Is The Saddest Man Alive

by evanmcmurry

The GOP’s opening salvo on the fiscal cliff negotiations* is so radical it wouldn’t even pass the House. The House Of Representatives. The one that set itself on fire in the summer of 2011, cost us our triple-A rating, etc., that one. Via Weigel:

The “balanced plan” is the Ryan budget, which can’t pass the Senate. The sequester replacement takes all the savings from defense and applies them to social programs. It lost 16 Republican votes when it passed the House in May, so not only is it doomed in the Senate, it probably couldn’t pass with the smaller House GOP majority taking office in six weeks.

Most likely, this is an indication that Boehner hasn’t figured out how to change his rhetoric to reflect the post-2012 election political landscape. Which is ironic, as he only went this far to the right because the 2010 tea party-infused election petrified him into his current position. Now he’s stuck repeating empty proposals his own chamber won’t endorse. This guy can’t win for losing.

* It’s not a cliff.