Political Quote of the Day: House Republicans Marginalize Themselves — and Their Party?

Democratic strategist Bob Shrum gives us our political Quote of the Day in a post on The Daily Beast discussing the total political humiliation of House Speaker John Boehner whose Plan B solution to the fiscal cliff flopped utterly by not getting enough Republican support — even though it was a plan that would have flopped utterly even if it did.

The set up:

John Boehner’s Plan B is pure BS. It couldn’t even pass the House. It would have no chance in the Senate. And it would be vetoed by the president. Talk about a trifecta of futility.

John Boehner’s Plan B is pure BS. It couldn’t even pass the House. It would have no chance in the Senate. And it would be vetoed by the president. Talk about a trifecta of futility.

Boehner himself isn’t crazy. He’s weak. He leaves his tanning bed for a meeting with his caucus only to find himself in a Tea Party tank of crazed ideologues. His latest complaint about Barack Obama sounds like a Freudian slip into a rare moment of self-consciousness: the speaker whose words can’t be trusted is the one who “can’t stand up to his own party”—because he dreads being kicked out of the leadership as he summarily was in the 1990s. His “obsession,” says a White House adviser, is never again to be reduced to the status of just another back-benching golfer from Ohio.

His predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, courageously risked her majority and her speakership to prevail in the landmark battle for health care as a right and not a privilege in America. For that, she did sacrifice her majority, but she will hold a high place in history. Boehner, in contrast, bows to the demands of the far right at the first sign of resistance in his ranks—even now, at a moment that could crash markets, cause a recession, and drive unemployment above 9 percent. Boehner makes Mitt Romney look like a guy with a backbone.

I will say it again: Boehner will go down among political scientists as one of the worst, most political impotent Speakers in Congressional history.

Shrum notes how Tea Party and far right GOPers won’t compromise at all on what they want. And he notes that Obama is starting to hear rumblings of resistance from his party’s left wing. At the expense of hearing that tiresome, trite, cliched phrase “FALSE EQUIVILENCY!” it needs to be said that the Republican right wing and the Democratic left wing are both inclined to denounce compromise as partisan betrayal, “caving” and political wimpishess. FACT: compromise is what built some of the greatest legislation and helped create some of the most productive periods in American history.

But here is the quote of the day about what conservative Republicans now face and the challenge the Democratic left faces:

But right now the other side is crazed—and yes, crazy too. GOP House members just humiliated their own leaders. They are in a world of political hurt with more to come. After they finish teetering on the fiscal cliff, they will face an immigration cliff and a gun cliff.

And when Barack Obama responds like a president, a progressive president making genuinely tough choices, our side shouldn’t go off-side. Let’s leave that to the Republicans. Just because they’re crazy doesn’t mean that Democrats should act crazy too.

The spectacle of what GOP House members are now doing to their own party and seemingly willing to do the entire country by pushing it off the fiscal cliff — not just in the interest of ideology but also due to Obama hatred and a desire to show they have power — will add to the imagery that the election results and polls show: an increasingly large chunk of the American electorate no longer feels Republicans care for them, just for power politics. An an increasingly large number of Americans feel the party is too extreme.

House Republicans don’t exactly seem to be trying to ease the toxic image of the Republican Party among many of a party that is obstructionist and willing to bring down the entire economy if they have to force the Democrats and Obama to their knees in choosing between the economy or their seemingly inflexible demands.

As many note: it seems many didn’t read the election results.

Or are they still looking at Mitt Romney’s internal polls?

And why shouldn’t the GOP image take another big hit? If “going moderate” is one of the worst phrases that can be hurled at a Republican, and Boehner is basically being treated like a partisan traitor and is now effectively a speaker who can’t get his members to do his bidding, that seems logical.

As Shrum said, with the immigration and gun control issues looming it looks like it’ll get worse for the party’s brand as Republicans continue — despite the election results — to be a party seemingly in control of the Tea Party and talk show hosts.

Is that an inaccurate assessment? House Repubicans have a chance to show the country it isn’t.

Don’t.

Hold.

Your.

Breath.

1 Comment

  1. I don’t think Boehner should go down as the most incompetent party leader. This isn’t a corporation where he got to hire his team and then lead them to a goal. He has to work with the folks that get voted in. And is just so happens he has to deal with what was stated nicely above, “a Tea Party tank of crazed ideologues”. Saying he sucks as his job implies there is someone who could wrangle the braying jackasses that have gotten into office during his tenure. I don’t think there is such a person. Its very much akin to saying Obama is a bad leader because he couldn’t overcome a GOP who reflexively obstructs any legislation in order to make Obama look bad. Put the blame where it lies. I feel bad for Boehner, he has to deal with crackpots who somehow got elevated to high office.

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