In his presser this morning, Speaker Boehner(R-OH) accused conservative groups of using their members and said they lost all credibility.
He told the press that the House had been working on jobs all year (what?). He concern trolled Obamacare and gave a hat tip to the orgasmic Republican fantasy of the IRS targeting conservatives.
But the Speaker had a cold this morning which may have emboldened him. Asked about the conservative groups targeting Republicans for real (unlike the IRS) over the Murray/Ryan “Mini Budget”, the Speaker told reporters, “Frankly, I just think they’ve lost all credibility.” He then proceeded to unload on them, ending with him shouting, “Are you kidding me!!!?”
“These groups are using our members. They are misleading their followers, they’re pushing our members in places they don’t want to be. They’ve lost all credibility. They pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and to shut down the government. And most of you know, our members know that wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. One of these groups stood up and said ‘We never really thought it would work?'”
Boehner’s entire face twisted in outrage as he continued shouting over the reporters’ laughter, “I said, ‘Are you kidding me!!!?'”
Boehner looked as shocked at his own behavior and the GOP shutdown as any sane person. Poor thing.
Asked if Republicans would be more willing to compromise now, the Speaker said, “When groups come out and criticize an agreement they’ve never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those actions are.” This is ironic, since Republicans criticize all kinds of Obama’s policies and agreements that they’ve never read about and indeed, we have all wondered just how credible those actions are.
Boehner was then asked if this was an example of him finally saying no to the Tea Party. A reporter asked, “Some Tea Party groups are calling this a sellout bill that you’re compromising too much. Is this an example of you finally saying no to the Tea Party?”
Boehner puffed up proudly, “This budget will get us more deficit reduction than what we have under the Budget Control Act. I came here to cut the size of government!” (When he’s not making sure the House gym is operating during a GOP shutdown.)
What Boehner didn’t say is that compared to the sequester, imposed by his party and then publicly denied by his party when it cuts things the public wants, the “Mini Budget” is a “compromise”. It is not a compromise in any real sense and it does not acknowledge the fact that Democrats won the White House and the Senate running on their plan for Americans, while Republicans only kept the House by gerrymandering themselves into safety. But by doing anything at all or even pretending to do something, Boehner causes the GOP to lose austerity points.
A reporter then asked a very clever question that the Speaker pretended not to understand, and that was if his members agree to this budget then they won’t have any cause for a debt ceiling showdown since they approved the spending. Clever woman. But Boehner’s not having any reality imposed upon his presser. He pronounced, “I don’t understand. Listen we are taking these issues on one at a time. The goal for today is to get this budget agreement passed.”
The Speaker is pretending that the House’s approval over spending would have no bearing on their refusal to pay for said spending come time to raise the debt ceiling. Luckily for Boehner, the Republican base doesn’t understand the debt ceiling.
Now we know where Republicans feel safe drawing the line with the big money that runs them. If the big money attacks Paul Ryan, the Republicans “Jesus”, even Speaker Boehner will find his center. And that is truly the only reason he felt safe enough to stand up. He had little Paul Ryan, the GOP Jesus, next to him in spirit.
But the truth is that this show that Boehner is “compromising” with this noxious deal feeds into a narrative that helps Republicans. Republicans are seen as unwilling to compromise, the party of “No”. So it helps Boehner to make a big show of saying “No” to the groups leading his party around by the nose.
In reality, any budget touched by Paul Ryan is bound to be a way to enrich the top 2% at everyone else’s expense, and true to form, this budget acts as if Republicans had a leg to stand upon when it comes to fiscal responsibility. They do not.
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.