John Boehner may be in over his head. He explained his reasons for telling Harry Reid to “go f*ck yourself” to Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal, in an interview titled, “The Education of John Boehner.”
“Those days after Christmas,” he explains, “I was in Ohio, and Harry’s on the Senate floor calling me a dictator and all kinds of nasty things. You know, I don’t lose my temper. I never do. But I was shocked at what Harry was saying about me. I came back to town. Saw Harry at the White House. And that was when that was said,” he says, referring to a pointed “go [blank] yourself” addressed to Mr. Reid.
Yes, you see, Harry said mean things about Boehner and this is something you just don’t do in politics. I mean, you would never hear Republicans calling Obama Hitler, a Socialist, a Marxist, a Kenyan, or asking for something ridiculous like his birth certificate. If they had, certainly President Obama would have resorted to a good old “FU!” because that’s how the great leaders handle name calling. And certainly had a Republican accused Obama of “You lie!” during a State of the Union address, well, you would expect Obama to whip out a Boehner, “FU!”
The Speaker seems to think highly of his own political instincts, claiming that the sequester has Obama in a bad place because the President’s “liberal” base will come after him for the cuts to “entitlements” (aka: a Republican name for the Social Security fund that Americans have paid into all of their lives). “I got that in my back pocket,” he told Moore. (It’s stunning that Republicans do not know yet that it’s not just liberals who are opposed to cuts to Medicare and Social Security. They don’t read polls in order to deal with facts, but rather to mine for the next hit of denial.) However, this is the same man who was insulted by Harry Reid calling him a dictator, as if Reid really meant that Boehner was a dictator.
Psst, Boehner: Reid was making fun of your inability to get anything done and your utter lack of control over your House GOP caucus. As insults go, it was not the crude, inaccurate, preschool taunt that Republicans are so fond of; rather, it cut deep in laying bare John Boehner’s biggest weakness. That is why Boehner resorted to curse words. He had nothing else, because Reid got him in the heart.
It should be noted that it appears it’s his own party that thinks he’s a dictator, with Rep. Tim Huelskamp, one of the plotters of the Boehner coup, asking the Tea Party for money because Republicans leaders will “punish me” and “attack my family.” (Translation: I can’t fund raise off of beating Evil Obama anymore, so now we’ll try grifting off of the New Evil, John Boehner. Send money or my family gets it!)
Boehner also told Moore that he was shocked that the President allegedly told him, “We don’t have a spending problem.” The Speaker expressed blind amazement at this sentiment, later claiming, “I just don’t do debt.”
Moore describes Boehner chain smoking throughout the interview like one does when they are on the top of their game, and not worried about anything. “At one point he grimly says: ‘I need this job like I need a hole in the head.’” Boehner should thank his stars that the job of leading the House Republicans is such a nightmare, otherwise someone might have wanted to take his place during the coup (this coup was apparently“larger than first thought”) launched against him by his own party. As it was, reportedly there were no takers.
I pointed this out to conservatives during their hopeful pre-coup phase – that no one they wanted would be dumb enough to take the job, since it would ruin their political career. But you know how reality sits with the tea crowd.
Boehner confirmed that Obama did say to him, “You get nothing.” This, of course, was used to further Boehner’s larger narrative of Obama, which bears little resemblance to the man the rest of us know: Big spender, clueless, bad negotiator, and so ideological that he wouldn’t stand up to his own party. None of these characterizations actually fit the facts, but then, this is how Republicans keep ending up on the losing side of elections and negotiations. They are not dealing in facts.
Republicans are dealing in a fictional narrative they carefully crafted for the last five years. They skew their polls and misread them in order to fuel this narrative. And when faced with humiliating defeat, like Mitt Romney was and John Boehner is now, all they can do to save face is blame Obama and throw around scatter shot insults like “spender” that don’t stick because they don’t fit the facts.
John Boehner doesn’t do debt? Does he have any idea how we got here? Congress voted yes on things that cost money, that’s how we got here. And technically, since the House is constitutionally responsible for the budget, we could say that if Boehner doesn’t like the job he’s doing, he should take it up with himself.
But in reality, Boehner — like most Republicans, was happy to spend recklessly while lowering taxes when a Republican was in the White House. He found his concern over spending after Republicans decided their best chance of beating Obama would be to obstruct every single thing he did. That meant that in a recession, they were fighting against stimulating the economy – not because it was good for America, but because they thought it would be good for their party.
John Boehner needs this job like he needs a hole in his head, but he’s sure he’s got the President over a barrel on the sequester. According to Boehner, Republicans don’t mind those defense cuts kicking in (LOL). Somehow, this barrel does not include much bravado about shutting down government, in spite of the tea bluster.
Boehner also thinks he saved face by waiting until the tax cuts expired before finally agreeing to give in to Democrats’ demands that the middle class get a tax cut while the top 2% get a tax hike. It’s as if Boehner thinks that since he believes this false narrative, so does America.