That’s what Greg Sargent’s assessment of Boehner’s press conference today says about the Speaker. Or lower-case speaker, the guy sounds so defeated. “He resembled nothing so much as a football coach nervously eying the clock with time running out — with his team losing and no new set of plays to run.”
Boehner said Obama has an obligation to offer a plan that can pass both Houses of Congress. But even some Republicans, such as Reps. Tom Cole and Tim Scott — believe that extending just the middle class tax cuts — which Obama is demanding — could pass the House. Boehner has this option; it’s on him if he isn’t taking it. …Sargent, WaPo
But his tea partyers aren’t flexible. They didn’t come to the House in 2010 to compromise. Now the Republican party is stuck with them and knows it.
I really hope that what we saw today is Boehner holding out for as long as he can, until more Republicans — contemplating the prospect of going home for the holidays and explaining why middle class taxes went up — begin to break with the leadership, forcing him to allow the House to vote on extending them. Then he can claim he had no choice and fought to the bitter end. I still suspect that this is how it will play out. If not, we’re going over the cliff. …Sargent, WaPo
The president, by the way, is under no “obligation to offer a plan that can pass both houses of Congress,” as Boehner suggests. The president has to opt for the best possible solution for the country, not just for a little gang of querulous, me-firsty, suburban radicals.