Unity is only a fond memory for Republicans as they deal with new realities and political pressures from colleagues and restive constituents. John Boehner and Mitch McConnell used to be tight as ticks. No longer.
Boehner is under pressure to persuade conservatives in his caucus to accept deals raising taxes and addressing an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the country.
McConnell’s job is to help get major bipartisan deals through the Senate, but he also has to worry about reelection in 2014 and a possible challenge from the right in a GOP primary.
Already, the two leaders have struck different tones on the prospect of boosting federal tax revenues. Boehner has adopted a conciliatory tenor, while McConnell has taken a harder-nosed approach. …The Hill
Boehner is looking for bipartisan deals and moving forward. McConnell is looking at pressure from his far-right Kentucky constituents and 2014. Boehner is talking to Diane Sawyer. McConnell talks to Breitbart News. No more well-coordinated “good cop, bad cop.”
One GOP strategist said it appeared the Boehner and McConnell had taken away different lessons from the election.
“It seems clear from Speaker Boehner’s tone that he had a good chance to review the exit polls from last week’s election, where it doesn’t seem Leader McConnell has had that opportunity,” said John Weaver, a Republican strategist who worked on Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns….The Hill
Questions: What can we do to ease McConnell out of the Senate? Who’s running against him?
With President Obama winning reelection handily, Republican lawmakers are viewing the coming negotiations on the fiscal cliff with anxiety, unsure how much party leaders will ask them to give up to strike an agreement. … The Hill
As The Hill goes on to report, the “fiscal cliff crisis” (yet another Republican-invented “crisis”) has become a real problem for the GOP. For far too many of them, coming to an agreement with Democrats is less attractive to them than putting the nation deep into another recession. Boehner is under fire for even mentioning revenue increases. The pressure comes from within the caucus and — of course — from rightwing activists and commentators like Erick Erickson.
Boehner has already taken fire from conservatives worried that his talk about “revenues” is an early sign of capitulation. Conservative Red State blogger Erick Erickson wrote on Tuesday that House Republicans should consider replacing Boehner with Ryan, the party’s vice presidential nominee.
“House Republicans are being badly served by John Boehner,” Erickson wrote. “[They] should think very carefully if the faux-tanned face of John Boehner is the face they want for their party in the next two years. They should consider Paul Ryan as their Speaker.” …The Hill
As for the House in general, Republican leaders surely noticed that the biggest losers in the election were tea party members.