Friday, December 21, 2012

Stick a Fork in John Boehner

Republican Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner's "Plan B" was a stunt, a wheel-spinning exercise meant to strengthen his hand with President Obama. "Plan B" was going to show that House Republicans were willing to raise taxes a smidge for people making over $1 million a year, thus saving us all from "the fiscal cliff." (Of course, there was no way that "Plan B" would ever pass the Senate, so Boehner wasted days mounting the illusion of fiscal leadership in a last-ditch effort to save face.)

The whole thing collapsed yesterday because -- guess what! -- a sizable fraction of the House Republican conference would NOT -- O definitely NOT -- raise taxes on millionaires. They're stuck in their own amber. And they stuck John Boehner with the defeat and the lasting odor of conservative extremism that's willing to see the entire country suffer for the sake of their rich masters.

Oh Boehner reportedly cajoled them, pleaded with them, offered some of them committee goodies and door-prizes for their districts if they would just support him. One report said he almost cried. Almost?

Rep. Steven LaTourette, Republican of Ohio who is close to Boehner, tried to defend his friend. In perhaps the most unfortunate analogy he could have used, LaTourette said that the idea that the resounding crash of "Plan B" has hurt Boehner’s speakership is “like saying the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn’t control the crazy people. I mean that’s nuts.”

Unfortunate analogy, but apt: the Republican conference in the U.S. House is very much like an insane asylum.

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