Search Results For "boehner's backbone"


A reader writes:

The fact is, John Boehner has made a deliberate choice all along in his speakership. You can moan all day about leadership and and herding cats, etc. But he has made the choice that his slavish devotion to the Hastert Rule is more important than anything else … more important than the financial health of the country, even the globe.

His choice of requiring a majority of the majority on every single vote continues to give unprecedented power to a relatively small minority in his party. He’s made a choice letting roughly 12% of the House drive the entire government. That’s all it is – a choice. There’s no law, rule or even recognized precedent for that. He’s taken the (occasional) practice of one of his predecessors and turned it into something more important than the law of the land. All he needs to do is stop, and everything immediately goes back to normal but for the screaming.

Another is far too generous to the Speaker:

I’ve never to be politically sophisticated but I did have a manipulative mother whose upbringing required me to develop survival skills in interpreting the underlying motivations of others.

Regarding John Boehner’s recent handling of the debt crisis, it seems to me by having the balls to let the extremist Republican element in the House play out their power play, while appearing to support them, has resulted in their demise.  This  greatly enhances his ability to control them in the future, which he managed without appearing to undermine their effort and, thus, gives him a much stronger hand in dealing with Democrats and puts the balance of power within their party back in the hands of their establishment.  The biggest winners in this show are Boehner and Mitch McConnell, who for his part and all at once, just neutralized his primary Tea Party opposition and his his eventual Democrat opponent, Allison Grimes, who has based her campaign on his perpetuation of gridlock.  These guys didn’t get to where they are by lacking in Machiavellian skills!

Another fumes:

I just can’t believe that this Speaker and his party will move on from this with no resignations, no apologies and no responsibility. This is an utterly disastrous event for the Republican party and the stories we read state that the Speaker’s position is not in question? WTF?

Previous Dish discussion here.

A reader tries to get into the Speaker’s head:

I believe Boehner is looking towards the debt-ceiling, which he recognizes as potentially catastrophic. He has said more than once that he “will not risk the full faith and credit of the federal government,” and I actually believe him.

Right now he is letting the cabal of far-right nuts slowly hang themselves while at the same time maintaining wacko-bird cred. When it comes time to either raise the debt ceiling or go over the brink, I predict that Boehner, having exposed the true insanity of the crazies, will suspend the Hastert Rule and let the debt ceiling be raised in a bill that includes the McConnell Rule as permanent law. This way he truly breaks the Tea Party fever, keeps his Speaker-ship via grateful Democrats and sane Republicans, and goes down as the hero of the whole debacle.

And then I woke up.

Boehner, House Leaders Speak To Press After Republican Conference Meeting

A reader writes:

Why is there not more coverage of the Hastert Rule? The speaker chooses to be bound by this rule – which explicitly makes compromise unwelcome – when a full majority of the House would be happy to pass the clean CR and move on. Boehner could lift the Hastert Rule and move the CR to the floor, where Democrats and many members of his own party would pass it.  If he were challenged as Speaker, he could conceivably extract support from the Democrats – especially Democrats in safe districts – to support him against a Republican challenge as Speaker.  Surely the Democrats would rather have Boehner than someone to his right?  The Speaker is elected by the full House!

But Boehner lacks creativity and is trapped in a cage made from his own cowardice.

Another scenario from a reader:

What if John Boehner were a man of principle – well, let’s pretend – and when it came time to raise the debt ceiling and his very right-wing party members refused, he does the truly unexpected. Instead of giving up on the Hastert rule and having to have Democrats come to his rescue, fueling more right-wing scorn, what if he resigned?

That would allow the extreme right wing Tea Partiers to take the blame for the ramifications – whatever they might be – of not raising the debt ceiling. Who would they point their fingers at then?  I’m assuming, of course, that there would be considerable fallout to going over the cliff, but most every reasonable person I have read expects some kind of negative impact on the economy. This might lance the boil that has infected the Republican Party for too long.

If he is so afraid that he won’t be re-elected Speaker that he is giving into demands that he knows are wrong – not just bad politics, but plain wrong – it might be the only way he could regain any sense of being a man with a conscience.

From that Costa interview we linked to earlier:

EK: This may be a bit of an odd question, but why does Boehner want to do his job like this under these circumstances? From the outside, it seems like a miserable existence. 

RC: I think John Boehner is frustrated by leading the Republicans in the House but I think he very much loves being speaker. To understand him you have to understand that. He gets to the Capitol early. He relishes the job and the position but he doesn’t relish being at odds so often with his members. He loves being a major American political figure, but he’s not a Newt Gingrich-like figure trying to lead the party in a certain direction. He’s just trying to survive and enjoy it while it lasts.

(Photo from Getty)