John Boehner Finds a Shred of Courage and Gets Smacked Down By the Kochs and Heritage

Last updated on September 25th, 2023 at 08:41 pm

Image: John Boehner

A rare moment has occurred in which Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) found some courage in the land of OZ. The cowardly lion did deploy said courage in an effort to keep his troops rallied behind the “Mini Budget” crafted by Republican Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

Boehner must have had high hopes that his House could deliver one thing. Just one thing in a several year losing streak.

Boehner is fighting the Big Money behind “conservatism”, including the Koch Brothers Freedom Works, Heritage Action and Americans For Prosperity, and Club For Growth — all of whom are against the Budget Deal (some of them were against it before they read it, giving GOP leadership a taste of their own medicine).

Boehner was profoundly irritated. So in a presser today, he called them out for doing exactly what they are doing:

“They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous,” Boehner said loudly. “Listen, if you’re for more deficit reduction, you’re for this agreement.”

Conservative groups already fired back at the Speaker, with Americans For Prosperity, Heritage Action, and Club For Growth releasing scalding statements condemning the Speaker for failing conservative principles. Freedom Works statement exemplified the mess:

“Speaker Boehner’s real problem here isn’t with conservative groups like FreedomWorks, it’s with millions of individual Americans who vote Republican because they were told the GOP was the party of small government and fiscal responsibility,” Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, said in a statement.

Kibbe went on: “Once again Republicans, led by John Boehner, are working with Democrats to increase spending yet again on the taxpayers’ tab while promising ‘savings’ down the road. We know how this movie ends. How can leadership credibly promise spending cuts later, after agreeing to a plan that rolls back the sequester savings promised two debt increases ago? There’s a predictable pattern here.”

Yes, there’s a pattern alright. Speaker Boehner stuck his cowardly head out from the rock he’s been hiding under, and tried to do the thing that would allow his House to do one paltry thing among its many failures. The historical failure of Boehner’s House must eat away at the Speaker, lodged as he is between a single celled jingoistic base and the endless money of big corporations. But his caucus is now being trolled by the big money, and Boehner simply can’t compete.

Can Boehner keep his caucus together under this kind of calculated, organized duress? The man can’t keep his caucus together ever, so unless Nancy Pelosi is going to step up to help Boehner pass a semi budget since he won’t permit a sit down for a real budget, Boehner might be out of luck again.

Sarah Jones

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