In a private meeting with House Republicans a terrified Speaker John Boehner warned his House Republicans that the Democrats, ‘want to annihilate us.’
According the National Review,
Speaker John Boehner rallied his troops this morning at a closed-door conference meeting at the Capitol. Democrats are trying to “annihilate us,” he told his members. “We can get through this if we stick together.” The Ohio Republican added that a “grand bargain” is off the table. What he wants is something that “builds on the gains we’ve made over the past three years, puts points on the board, and doesn’t raise taxes.”
John Boehner finally gets it. Democrats aren’t playing some damn game. They are taking a stand against the House Republican tactics of obstruction and hostage taking. It reveals the depths of their delusion that House Republicans consider forcing them to govern to be the equivalent of annihilation. Democrats aren’t trying to destroy the House Republicans. They are trying to get them to do their jobs.
Boehner’s language is telling. He was not speaking as a firm confident leader who was planning on victory. The use of the phrase, “we can get through this” demonstrated fear and terror. Republicans aren’t winning. They know they aren’t winning, and now they are just looking to survive.
Boehner also undercut his own claim that this isn’t a game by using the sports analogy of putting points on the board. If this isn’t a game to Republicans, why is Speaker Boehner so interested in scoring political points?
House Republicans were so certain that Democrats would cave on the government shutdown that they never considered what might happen if Democrats simply said no. The more Democrats say no, the more John Boehner tries to lower expectations. The House Republicans have gone from getting rid of the ACA, to delaying the ACA, to looking for something, anything that they can use as a symbolic victory.
Democrats aren’t going to give Boehner and his House Republicans anything. That’s why he is trying to just ride it out. Speaker Boehner now realizes what the real stakes are, and he has been reduced to hoping that the Republican House majority can survive.