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.