Broadening Obama’s Coattails
As the GOP wannabe dogfight gets uglier, the actual President is on a winning streak that parallels Linsanity in the sports world.
In eye-to-eye confrontation, John Boehner has just blinked after more than a year of being held hostage by his Tea Party caucus, backing not only a bill to extend a $100 billion payroll tax rollback without spending cuts to pay for it but agreeing to extend unemployment benefits and prevent a large slash in reimbursements to doctors who accept Medicare.
In addition, the Speaker is backpedaling on a crucial $260 billion highway bill, sending it to the House floor in three pieces to avoid defeat by using a procedural maneuver that would allow it to be recombined after each segment passes. Such a bypass might overcome intra-party wrangling over GOP legislation estimated to leave a $78 billion hole in the highway trust fund.
In the context of last year’s temper tantrum leading to a national credit downgrade, this signals a turning point for responsible Republicans who finally recognize that, if they don’t find a way to legislate, they may be hammered at the ballot box in November for wall-to-wall obstruction in Congress.
Such anxiety will only be heightened by a new poll showing President Obama with a solid lead over each of his potential GOP opponents…