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Boehner Stays on Defense

Rep. Boehner apparently misinterpreted conservative demands that he toughen it out on fiscal cliff negotiations.  He came out with a very short press release this morning and did nothing more than tell Obama to take  or leave the GOP’s plan or come up with his own.

I disagree with this approach (yeah, I rarely cut Boehner any slack).  It’s not the President’s job to propose this, it’s Congress’s and specifically the House of Representatives.  Boehner is engaging in needless dick-measuring with Obama when he should instead pass something through the House and let the Democrats explain their votes and vetoes.  This gridlock plays perfectly into the President’s hands and bolsters the media-driven perception (which the electorate is falling for) that the failure of negotiations will be the GOP’s fault.

I’m on board with others who say that the House should simply pass the recommendations of the Simpson-Bowles committee.  When the Democrats kill it, let them explain why they wouldn’t support the findings of the President’s bipartisan commission.  We have no truly good options.  Let’s go for the one that most deflects blame.

Putting it back on the President just gives him more ammo to stand up and bitch about Republicans.  Smack the mic out of his hand and make his party do something.

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  1. TxAg94 says:

    As with the election, I find myself wondering if the GOP isn’t TRYING to be completely incompetent. There must be a reason they always seem to do the dumbest thing possible. They set themselves up time and again for the president to point out how stupid they are. They play into the media strategy of shielding the president by giving them and easy target on which to lay blame. Just seems like sooner or later they would get lucky and make a smart move.

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  2. Mississippi Yankee says:

    The more I watch this the more I suspect a scripted Kabuki Theather. This much ‘teh stoopid’ couldn’t happen without a screen writer.

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  3. Thrill says:

    I’m inclined to agree with you both. Maybe they think that we’ll feel sorry for them for being mentally challenged and will spare them being hanged from lamp-posts when all hell breaks loose.

    Might work.

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  4. richtaylor365 says:

    They should just vote “present”, that would be something Obama can understand.

    I’m going to take (apparently) the minority opinion on this and say I think you guys are being too hard on the GOP. It’s not that they are incompetent (I think some of the smartest most capable and budget savvy guys in congress have “R”’s after their name) but they are swimming against the tide. This tide comes in the form of the president’s intransigence (asking for twice the amount of tax revenue as he did the last time? Saying that the raising of the debt ceiling is off the table and is a done deal, really?) , a complicit media that spends all off its air time discussing taxes and no time on cutting spending or the entitlement bomb, and the notion, held by all Obama voters that all problems could be solved by raising taxes on the wealthy. Then you have the Pew study that just came out where almost 80% of those polled blame the Republicans for all the flirting done with the fiscal cliff. It is a mind field out there for the GOP to navigate, naturally there is going to be some divisiveness and division on what to do. What would you like, a total abdication of all moral authority and just give Obama the checkbook? Should they make any demands at all and allow him to do whatever he wants, knowing that this radical and extreme position would finally give him the car keys and all ownership of the economy? And like no matter what they do, the dems won’t blame us anyway for any bad news or any disruption of a turn around economy.

    And Obama is so worried about the fiscal cliff that he and the brood are bugging out of town for two weeks to go scare the fish and brace up the Waikiki economy. I’m no Boehner lover and would like a change of leadership, but it has to be understood that we are not bargaining from any position of strength. I do not envy them in their task.

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  5. Thrill says:

    Rich, the House GOP should pass a bill. Any bill, really. They’re getting blamed for the gridlock by the public, so it seems pretty obvious that the stupidest thing to do is keep the gridlock going.

    It’s Boehner’s job to get bills passed in the House. If he’s not doing that, he’s fucking up already. His response on this was cowardly. He should not have deferred to Obama and waited for his next move. Take the initiative and pass something creative that Obama will have to work at justifying a veto.

    Don’t defend these guys when they’re not doing their jobs. Their job is to vote on legislation, not haggle with the White House. Expect them to work, not posture.

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  6. West Virginia Rebel says:

    Boehner seems to be thinking more like a Senator than a Congresscritter. Also he seems to be trying to consolidate his own power base in the House.
    West Virginia Rebel recently posted..The Peoples’ ChoiceMy Profile

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  7. Thrill says:

    Yes, he is. He’s offered the president the opportunity to present another deal AND sent a chilling message to the fiscal conservatives who might try to block it once Boehner accepts it. I’m not exactly delighted about this.

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  8. richtaylor365 says:

    Rich, the House GOP should pass a bill. Any bill, really.

    How is passing a bill, the substance of which the WH has already rejected and the Senate won’t pass anyway not the very definition of “posturing”?

    Serious negotiations require a give and take, right now the president has laid out his terms, the doubling of tax revenue, a new stimulus package (more spending through borrowing) and removing the debt ceiling, oh, and he will only discussing raising taxes, not cutting spending, “You give us what we want now, and maybe later on we will discuss what you want”.

    Factor in that this intransigence is backed by the majority of the folks, they want the rich sheared and they don’t want any of their goodies looked at, they back raising taxes on the rich but reject spending or programs they they count on being looked at.

    Then you have disunion within the GOP members of the House. Some think Boehner is already caving in when he agrees to raising revenue through cutting deductions (playing into Obama’s hands without any quid pro quo), some are even willing to cave on the tax rate hike for rich folks, but they want something, anything, in return, no deal.

    I don’t mind Beohner and Obama working on the sidelines ,if in fact that is what they are doing, to work out some compromise, some bill that can be passed. If the devil is in the details, they need to discuss those details, then pass a pass a bill that will get signed and placed into law.

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  9. Thrill says:

    I don’t believe Obama really wants a deal. I think he wants to let all tax cuts expire and then come back later with an offer to cut taxes on the middle class. The GOP takes the fall for the deal failing and he gets the credit for lowering taxes. Boehner is falling for it and causing disunity within his party at the same time.

    Boehner’s job is to get bills passed. Period. Pass something that both raises revenue and cuts entitlements and throw the hot potato at the Democrats. I see no point in fighting over an imaginary bill.

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  10. TxAg94 says:

    How is passing a bill, the substance of which the WH has already rejected and the Senate won’t pass anyway not the very definition of “posturing”?

    Because that’s their job. They are supposed to pass a bill that they support. Yes, in ideal times with real leaders you can negotiate that bill in advance. When you are faced with a guy who crosses his arms and yells NO NO NO like a 2 year old all you can do is fall back on your narrowly defined job. They’re gonna get blamed either way so why take the high road anymore? They can and should say, “We did our job. This is what we think we need.”

    It is NOT their job to play into the president and media’s hands and try to negotiate so hard that they fulfill the notion that they are holding up the process.

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