Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Buffoonish Boehner Bluffs and Blunders

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Previous Related Posts:
Week Two of GOP Shutdown ~ They Got Nothing
Shutdown Continues with GOP Derp Dissonance Follies (Updated)
Threat Level Midnight ~ Tea Party Terrorists Shut Down the Government


From ABC ~ Speaker John Boehner on This Week with George Stphanopoulos
BOEHNER: But I and my members decided the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Did you decide it or was it decided for you?

BOEHNER: I, working with my members, decided to do this in a unified way. George, I have 233 Republicans in the House. And you've never seen a more dedicated group of people who are thoroughly concerned about the future of our country. They believe that Obamacare, all these regulations coming out of the administration, are threatening the future for our kids and our grandkids. It is time for us to stand and fight.

. . . BOEHNER: We're not going to pass a clean debt limit increase.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Under no circumstances?

BOEHNER: I told the president, there's no way we're going to pass one. The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.

. . . STEPHANOPOULOS: So the clock is ticking on October 17th. You're not going to put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I want to deal with our underlying problem.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes or no, would you put that bill on the floor?

BOEHNER: I don't want the United States to default on its debt. But I'm not going to raise the debt limit without a serious conversation about dealing with problems that are driving the debt up. It would be irresponsible of me to do this.

. . . STEPHANOPOULOS: You see, I'm not hearing much new here this morning. I don't think the country is hearing much new here this morning from either the president or from you and House Republicans. How is this going to end?

BOEHNER: George, it's going to end when the president decides they'll allow Harry Reid to talk to me, or allow Patty Murray to talk to Paul Ryan. The president just can't sit there and say, I'm not going to negotiate.


If Boehner says there are not enough votes, then they should prove it. Hold a vote. Call a vote right now and let’s see what happens.
~ President Obama

Speaker Boehner has a credibility problem.
From refusing to let the House vote on a bill that was his idea in the first place, to decrying health-care subsidies for members of Congress and staff that he worked for months to preserve, to stating that the House doesn't have the votes to pass a clean CR at current spending levels, there is now a consistent pattern of Speaker Boehner saying things that fly in the face of the facts or stand at odds with his past actions.
Americans across the country are suffering because Speaker Boehner refuses to come to grips with reality. Today, Speaker Boehner should stop the games and let the House vote on the Senate's clean CR so that the entire federal government can re-open within twenty-four hours.
~ Adam Jentleson, Spokesperson for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid

If Boehner let a clean funding bill hit the House floor, “it would probably get 300 votes,” New York Representative Peter King, a Republican who has been critical of the party’s shutdown strategy, told TIME last week. “Two thirds of Republicans privately want a clean [bill to fund the government].”
~ Time

Boehner refuses to call that vote, because he knows he would lose. The bill would pass, the hostage-taking by his Tea Party faction would be over, and the Tea Party extremists would hold him responsible.
Boehner's refusal to call a vote on the floor of the House is all that is keeping the government closed. It is also the only thing that threatens the first default by the U.S. government in American history -- an act that could have a catastrophic effect on the financial system and the world economy.
In the end, the question is whether John Boehner is more concerned about being terrorized by a Tea Party minority or having a legacy as the one man who single handedly caused a world wide economic disaster. If he cares about this country, his choice should be obvious.
~ Robert Cramer on Huffington Post

Many people seem perplexed by the transformation of the G.O.P. into the political equivalent of the Keystone Kops — the Boehner Bunglers? Republican elders, many of whom have been in denial about their party’s radicalization, seem especially startled. But all of this was predictable.
It has been obvious for years that the modern Republican Party is no longer capable of thinking seriously about policy. Whether the issue is climate change or inflation, party members believe what they want to believe, and any contrary evidence is dismissed as a hoax, the product of vast liberal conspiracies.
. . . even the shock of electoral defeat wasn’t enough to burst the G.O.P. bubble; it’s still a party dominated by wishful thinking, and all but impervious to inconvenient facts. And now that party’s leaders have bungled themselves into a corner.
~ Paul Krugman in NYT

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