Friday, December 21, 2012

The House that Boehner Built


"You Built That"

We woke up today to the realization that while the world may have been spared an Apocalypse, Speaker of the House John Boehner actually didn't. In fact, karma went full-Mayan on him last night as the fickle finger of fate socked it to him in the form of his own GOP House members. You can't make this stuff up.

Last night John Boehner took his "Plan B" non-compromise with President Obama to the floor of the House. Rachel Maddow called it a "Republican Wish List." Everyone knew it wouldn't make any difference, since the Senate would never agree to it, and Obama wouldn't sign it because it has nothing to do with the negotiations on the Fiscal Cliff. But hey, it was something, right? It was all in the spirit of NOT going over the Fiscal Cliff on January 1st, which will raise taxes on everyone, including the poorest. So at least they were appearing to work overtime to fix things for the American people, even if misguided and unworkable with the Democrats. They would take a Friday night "purist" vote among Republicans who had signed on earlier in the day, no biggie french fry.

Except that it was. Because at some point, Boehner realized the Tea Party members wouldn't back Plan B after all, and they were pulling the rug out from under him. He was not in control of his people, and after weeks of talks with Obama, and hours of whipping his representatives in the house, the Speaker just didn't have the votes, and he gave up. He just announced he was giving up, and everyone could go home for Christmas, with no way to solve the Fiscal Cliff.

Twitter went nuts, of course, and Democrats and Republicans alike rushed to shame Boehner and House members:
Snark Amendment: Boehner Shambles as Plan B Fails
Snark Amendment: Boehner's Epic Fail in the House

Stunning. Rachel Maddow compared it to the curtain being pulled back on the Great and Powerful Oz, saying the Conservative Movement is "a complete mess." You could also say the Emperor has no Clothes, if Boehner ever did. But then he's dealing with a Tea Party that is run by a group of Mad Hatters.

Now the ball has been tossed back to Obama and Harry Reid in the Senate, and the Republicans have imploded and beclowned themselves again. The problem is, the rest of the country deserves better than the bewildering display last night in the House. They need Republicans to accept the results of the November election and learn to compromise with the sitting President. Once again we are left dangling while the Tea Party takes care of millionaires at the expense of everyone else, including their own constituents. What can stop the madness?

Rumor is the disgraced GOP will return to the House next week after Christmas to try once again to solve this AGAIN before Jan. 1, but don't hold your breath. Happy New Year!

Robert Costa on National Review
Inside the Meltdown
At a quarter to 8 p.m. on Thursday night, House Republicans gathered in the Capitol basement for an urgent, closed-door conference meeting. The scene was hushed and confused. Instead of huddling in a windowless room, members thought they’d spend the evening on the House floor, voting on “Plan B,” Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal-cliff proposal. But as they took their seats and looked at Boehner’s face, the reason for the gathering became clear: The speaker didn’t have the votes. The whipping was over. “Plan B” was dead.
. . . It was Boehner’s tone and body language that caught most Republicans off guard. The speaker looked defeated, unhappy, and exhausted after hours of wrangling. He didn’t want to fight. There was no name-calling. As a devout Roman Catholic, Boehner wanted to pray. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he told the crowd, according to attendees.
. . . Boehner had spent weeks negotiating with his members and the president. But in this final hour, when he needed Republicans most, he had only a prayer.

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