Speaker Boehner made little sense Sunday as did a run around reality after Obama held him responsible for the fiscal cliff negotiation failures.
Boehner pulled out his Republican Get Out Jail Free card, “Americans elected President Obama to lead, not cast blame.” But he sensed that it was no longer enough just to cast general aspersions on the President, though certainly Boehner has given that a good go. What’s a humiliated-by-his-own-caucus Plan B failure to do? Plan C!
Plan C is to blame Obama for being unable to stand up to his own party. Yes, in Boehner’s imagination, it was Obama who was unable to stand up to his party. Not the Speaker, whose own party left him impotent in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Some call this projection, and it happens more often when a person can’t face reality because it’s too painful. Thus, denial becomes projection.
As if to prove this point, the Speaker (figuratively) pointed his finger as far away from himself as possible, “The president’s comments today are ironic, as a recurring theme of our negotiations was his unwillingness to agree to anything that would require him to stand up to his own party. We’ve been reasonable and responsible. The president is the one who has never been able to get to ‘yes.'”
Ah, so the president didn’t put changes to Social Security on the table. He didn’t raise the number from $250,000 to $400,000. And in Boehner world, refusing to do anything that raises taxes on the top 2% (which was the hold up for his tea caucus) is “reasonable and responsible.” Yes, it’s reasonable to hold the entire country hostage so the Republicans can service the top 2% at a rate that would have made Reagan blush.
Boehner might wish America didn’t know about the Republican failure, but they do. With the failure of Plan B, any political cover Republicans might have manufactured died.
Furthermore, Boehner made a rather big deal of walking away (for the second time) from negotiations with the President. He was sure Plan B would save the country. But that was before Plan B collapsed on the GOP, leaving the very teeny, tiny tent of tea suffocated under its own failed ideology.
If the Speaker is still confused about which party is the extreme one, he might wish to remind himself that his crazy house of tea voted to throw 300,000 kids off of food stamps in order to cut taxes for millionaires.
Yes, after Boehner’s failure to get his own Republican House to vote on his Plan B, the power shifted to Obama and the Democrats. Such is the cost of ineptitude.
Speaker Boehner must think this is 2009.
Back in 2009, Republicans were terrified of Obama’s popularity and their loss of power, so they got together to plot their comeback. They eventually planned to bring down Obama. They would do this by acting like they were the majority, not the minority. They would “challenge them on every single bill and challenge them on every single campaign.”
In other words, they would obstruct until they destroyed Obama, because they knew that as they did this, they would be on camera blaming Obama for the obstructions they were creating.
The problem for John Boehner is that while the plan worked in 2010 and they did make some huge gains in the House, it did not work in 2012. Were it not for gerrymandering, Republicans might not have the House now. They lost seats in the Senate and they also failed to make Obama a “one term President.” They were spanked by the public. The public rejected the extremism of the Republican Party.
There’s only so long you can be the Party of Crazy No until the country catches on. The country knows who can’t get their own party to agree to make any concessions. It’s the party that signed Grover Norquist’s no tax pledge, in case Boehner is still confused.
John Boehner says the President was elected to lead. What would he say he was elected to do? Fail and blame? If so, well done sir.
Boehner is just tripping over himself now, and it’s getting embarrassing.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.