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John Boehner’s Parting Words For His Critics Are Spot-On

John-BoehnerIn his first interview yesterday after Friday’s surprise retirement announcement, House Speaker John Boehner let lose on the critics and those inside the Republican Party who have hounded him virtually from the day that he took up the Speaker’s gavel:

In his first one-on-one interview since his resignation announcement, Speaker John Boehner blasted right-wing lawmakers and groups as “false prophets” who “whip people into a frenzy” to make legislative demands that “are never going to happen.”

The Ohio Republican also declared on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday that there won’t be a government shutdown this week, though he’s “sure” it will take Democratic votes to pass a temporary funding extension.

“The Bible says, beware of false prophets. And there are people out there spreading, you know, noise about how much can get done,” Boehner said.

“We got groups here in town, members of the House and Senate here in town, who whip people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things they know — they know! — are never going to happen,” he added.

(…)

Visibly exasperated, Boehner said his top accomplishments as speaker – including the first major entitlement reform in decades, and deficit reduction – “all were voted against by my most conservative members because it wasn’t good enough. Really? This is the part I really don’t understand.

“Our founders didn’t want some parliamentary system where if you won the majority you got to do whatever you wanted,” he added. “They wanted this long, slow process. And so change comes slowly. And obviously too slowly for some.”

Asked if his critics on the right are unrealistic, Boehner exclaimed, “Absolutely they’re unrealistic!”

When the history of Boehner’s Speakership is written at some point in the future, the central theme will likely be his efforts to deal with these false prophets on the right who have spent the better part of the last four years trying to undermine him and forcing him into impossible situations that have caused more harm to the Republican Party than anything else. In retrospect, the issues that Boehner has had to deal with seem as though they were the largely inevitable outcome of political forces that the GOP and conservative activists have been exploiting for some time. The Tea Party, for example, can trace its roots to well before the events in the spring and summer of 2009 that led to the rallies against the President’s economic stimulus and health care plans that gripped the nation for the better parts of the next year. In some respects, that movement was just the next step in the same movement that had helped stop efforts to pass an immigration reform package in George W. Bush’s second term and the protests that sprung up during the fall of 2008 surrounding both the election and Washington’s effort to respond to the unfolding economic crisis, which ultimately resulted in the passage of the Troubled Assets Relief Program. One could even find roots of what ultimately became the Tea Party in the conservative backlash against President Bill Clinton that led to the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994 and everything that followed.

Whatever the ultimate source of this movement, though, by the time 2009 and 2010 rolled around it had become a loud, vocal, and popular political movement and Republicans, naturally, sought to take advantage of it in an effort to bounce back from the election losses in 2006 and 2008. In doing so, however, the GOP ended up allowing itself to be co-opted by the movement and in the process ended up making a whole series of political promises that never could have been realistically kept. Throughout the 2010 campaign, Republicans promised that they would repeal the Affordable Care Act and rollback other initiatives that the President had implemented since taking office. While this made for a good campaign slogan to attract these voters, it was never something that could actually be achieved in reality as long as Barack Obama was President. It made for good campaign commercials, though, so Republicans went with it, and many other impossible-to-fulfill promises, and rode it to an historic victory in 2010 and control of the House of Representatives that will likely last until well past 2020.

Republicans weren’t the only ones talking to these people, of course. Almost overnight, an entire cottage industry was created online and in the grassroots that aimed its message, and it’s fundraising appeals, at the people going to Tea Party rallies, listening to talk radio, and watching Fox News. Groups like Freedomworks, Senate Conservatives Fund, Tea Party Nation, and even the Political Action Committee established by Sarah Palin bombarded these people daily with messages accusing the “establishment” on Capitol Hill of betraying them, and promising that things could be changed if only they donated enough money. During the 2012 and 2014 cycles, many of these groups spent more money attacking incumbent Republicans than campaigning against Democrats, and others barely passed any of the money that they raised on to candidates, spending it instead on “overhead” and other expenses. These groups developed what has been called a “purity for profit” model that ended up convincing people to donate money for political efforts that had no realistic chance of succeeding, and then raising more money to defeat the “establishment” when theose plans inevitably failed.

In 2013, these groups spent the summer campaigning in favor of the impossible-to-achieve goal of “defunding” Obamacare as part of the budget that needed to be passed by the end of September. The result of that effort, of course, was a government shutdown that lasted sixteen days and ended up causing real damage to the GOP, at least in the short term. It was only in the wake of that shutdown and during the 2014 election cycle that the Republican “establishment” began fighting back against these groups and, largely, winning in primary contest after primary contest. Despite those losses, though, the Tea Party influence in the new Congress was just as strong as before, as witnessed by the effort to oust Boehner that in some sense led to his decision to step down.

In the end, I suppose, one could say that John Boehner got what he deserved. He and the rest of the Republican Party hitched their stars to the Tea Party’s rising star in 2009, after all, so the fact that this has backfired on them doesn’t make them entirely sympathetic. Additionally, the fact that the radicalism and obstructionism that they helped engender has been causing headaches for leadership in the House and Senate ever since may even cause some to be happy. At the same time, though, I would suggest that the fact that Boehner and the rest of the leadership didn’t simply bend to the Tea Party’s will once they took office demonstrates that they were at least trying to control the phenomenon. To a large degree, though, Boehner lost the ability to control his own caucus thanks in no small part to the reforms that Republicans made to House procedures when they gained power, especially the elimination of earmarking, which made it much harder for leadership to impose party discipline. Because of that, leadership found itself pulled along in directions it clearly didn’t want to go, as we saw during the 2013 shutdown crisis.

Boehner’s opponents and critics in the Republican Party and the conservative movement, of course, are celebrating his decision to step down. If they had any understanding of political reality, though, ,they would recognize that John Boehner and the rest of the leadership in the House and the Senate got them about as good a deal as should have been reasonably expected, possibly even a better. one. Time after time, whether it was the 2011 shutdown crisis, the showdowns with the President over making the Bush Tax Cuts permanent, the various other budgetary showdowns, or even the deal that ended up resolving the 2013 shutdown. In each case, the deal that Congress walked away from was one that gave them a great deal of what they wanted —- spending cuts and tax cuts especially —- while the Administration actually got very little. Considering that this occurred during a time when a Democrat was in the White House and, for four years, when Democrats controlled the Senate, any reasonable person should have been quite pleased with the job that Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy, McConnell, and the others were doing. They largely weren’t, though, because these are people who have no real understanding of how politics works and no desire to learn how it works who are being led by grifters who have turned political activism into money-making business. The fact that it doesn’t accomplish anything doesn’t really matter to them, as long as they get their hotel rooms in Vegas and craft beer bars and headquarters.

None of this is going to go away with John Boehner, of course. The political realities will still exist, and whomever succeeds Boehner, most likely Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, will soon find themselves subjected to the same attacks that he was. That doesn’t bode well for the ability of Republicans on Capitol Hill to actually accomplish anything, and it doesn’t bode well for the country.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. anjin-san says:

    he’s absolutely right

    Which means absolutely nothing in the rightverse…

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  2. Ron Beasley says:

    A very good realistic analysis Doug. The Republican party sowed the seeds of it’s own demise.

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  3. Mu says:

    Too bad it’s only a demise as an effective political mover. They’re doing pretty well as political roadblocks to progress.

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  4. Bokonon says:

    Depends what you mean by “backfired” and “harm to the Republican party”. Maybe the ongoing government-by-crisis garbage has damaged the party’s effectiveness and credibility from a governing standpoint. And maybe the Tea Party has done a lot of harm to the national welfare. But …

    For all the economic harm that the shutdowns and debt ceiling crises have done to the nation (and roadkill along the way like the Import-Export Bank), the Republican Party itself seems to be getting rewarded pretty handsomely by the voters. And the GOP continues raking in the business bucks in spite of objectively creating governing chaos and economic headwinds.

    The continued lack of traditional political accountability here doesn’t makes any rational sense. But we are dealing with an emotion fueled and ideologically-driven dynamic which is not rational. And frankly, since it seems immune to facts and numbers (including with people who are supposed to know better in the business community), the whole thing is kind of scary. And it is going to continue under there IS accountability.

    Shutdown city, here we come!

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  5. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Or he could have manned up and taken a different direction than going along with the make-the-Kenyan-usruper-a-one-term-president agenda to begin with.

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  6. Ben says:

    Yeah, I don’t know how much you can say that the Republican party has been “harmed”. As you’ve alluded to, they are basically locked into controlling Congress and 2/3rds of the state legislatures until the end of the decade at the soonest. There’s almost zero the Democrats can do about that. To this liberal, the Republicans keep looking like they’ve shot themselves in the foot, and then come out of it running circles around the spineless, cant-win-for-losing Democrats. It pisses me off, but obviously at this point, I have to admit that the Republicans seem to know what they’re doing.

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  7. C. Clavin says:

    Man, that’s a lot of hand wringing. But I have to ask? WTF did you expect?
    This is the only group of people on the planet that refuses to acknowledge climate change. They believe in voo-doo economics. And death panels. And that dinosaurs walked the planet with men. And that the answer to gun violence is more guns. And that the real victims of discrimination are white Catholic males.
    Yet for some reason, you expected them to act in a responsible manner?
    This all started with Reagan telling tall tales of welfare queens and tax cuts that paid for themselves and talking big about not negotiating with terrorists while at the same time selling them arms. He opened the door for hucksters and carnival barkers like DeLay and Gingrich and Limbaugh and Hannity…and ultimately Trump. Are we today, 35 years later, seeing the last throes of the GOP? Who knows? Can they go lower? How far down does the death spiral go???
    Trump. Carson. Fiorina. Cruz. Another Bush. Rubio. Jindal.
    How any intelligent person could vote Republican is beyond me.

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  8. Ben says:

    @C. Clavin:

    That’s all very funny and smug, but here’s the thing, what does that accomplish? The Republicans are winning. Obviously they’ve figured out what works to win elections. The Democrats have had their asses handed to them so far this decade. Who cares about the Presidential race, it’s a side show. Look at they’ve accomplished: both chambers of Congress, 2/3s of the state legislatures, 2/3s of the governorships. The Democrats need to get off their asses, stop being smug, and actually DO something about it. And I have no idea what that is.

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  9. Scott says:

    All the handwringing is just that. No amount of whining is going to change anything. This country is in the grips of a small, loud minority that has as its motivation the goal of just burning the whole system down, regardless of the consequences.

    So things are not going to change. If things get worse, so much the better for these people. It just fulfills their predictions and point of view.

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  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Ben:
    What you are talking about is three-fold:
    1. astro-turf groups like the Koch’s have been spending millions to buy those seats
    2. districts have been rigged thru gerrymandering to protect Republican incumbents once they have bought a seat
    3. https://tribuneofthepeople.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/wfnue.jpg

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  11. James Pearce says:

    @Bokonon:

    the Republican Party itself seems to be getting rewarded pretty handsomely by the voters.

    I’ve heard a variation of this a few times, and while I take the point, implicit here is that getting elected is the finish line, as if winning a seat in Congress is an end unto itself rather than a means to an end.

    While it’s true that the Republicans picked up some seats in the last election, I wouldn’t take that as an endorsement of their agenda or their tactics by the public at large.

    An endorsement would come with power and the Republicans don’t have it. Instead, they have a couple of useless seats in Congress.

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  12. Mike CJ says:

    boehner got caught up in the game. The “game” is that no compromise is offered by Obama, Democrats trumpet far and wide they want a bi-partisan solution, the public accepts the OR and think only Democrats are acting in a bi-partisan manner, and Boehner caves, getting not even one crumb of a wanted GOP policy. Used to be bi-partisan meant you get something you strongly believe in and we get one thing we believe in. Obama will not accept ANY policy the GOP strongly wants. So, Boehner goes along, maybe gets some totally minor, milk toast thing, and Obama and Dems get what they want. Then, Boehner talks about “what we can get” and “unrealistic.”

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  13. the Q says:

    I think the current modern day Republican wingnut mentality can be summed up by a writer from my era, viz the Tea party and wingnut anti-intellectualism is “nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge,’” as Isaac Asimov once put it.

    The GOP is finished. The only way they command any influence is due to the gerrymandering of districts by wingnut state legislatures who ensure these lunatics victories. Hence, faced with secure re-election, they are free to spew their ignorant bile across the country and hold up progress and solutions which affects all and not just their parochial interests.

    They will soon go the way of the Whigs and Hillary supporters.

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  14. Rafer Janders says:

    @James Pearce:

    I’ve heard a variation of this a few times, and while I take the point, implicit here is that getting elected is the finish line, as if winning a seat in Congress is an end unto itself rather than a means to an end.

    Well, this is the point where the individual incentive is not aligned with the group incentive. For the Republican Party, getting control of Congress is not an end itself, it wants, ideally, to use that power to do things. But for very many individual members, getting the seat which can hold for decades if you want it, or eventually trade in for a six or seven figure lobbying job, is actually the end in itself. You therefore wind up with many of the members taking actions which, will entirely rational for their individual purposes of staying in that seat, turn out to be counter-productive for the group as a whole.

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  15. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:
  16. Grewgills says:

    @the Q:
    I love that Asimov quote. I wish you were right about the current movement conservatives, but I think your assessment there is wishful thinking.

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  17. jukeboxgrad says:

    C. Clavin:

    This all started with Reagan … He opened the door for hucksters and carnival barkers like DeLay and Gingrich and Limbaugh and Hannity…and ultimately Trump.

    Yes, and I think it’s helpful to notice the direct connection between Reagan and Limbaugh. It was Saint Ronnie himself who described Limbaugh as “the number one voice for conservatism.” Reagan led to Limbaugh, and Limbaugh led to Trump, and no one should be surprised.

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  18. michael reynolds says:

    A good tactical analysis but it misses the larger, strategic problem, which is this: small-government conservatism is a discredited, dead ideology. The idea that we can or should have a tiny, powerless government in a nation of 320 million people living on 3.8 million square miles and generating a GDP of 17 trillion dollars is absolute nonsense. It is fantasy. And Doug, it’s about time you and the rest of the fantasists updated your Reagan-era delusions on that score.

    And that – not Tea Party fanaticism – is why Republicans cannot govern. They and you are out of touch with reality. Faster than light travel is more likely than small government. You’re the intellectual peers of tween girls imagining Zayn Malik will fly in through their bedroom window for a chaste romantic affair after which they will be princesses. Not in this reality.

    This core departure from reality, this blind adherence to nonsense is compounded by Tea Partiers who simultaneously want opposite things: a small government that can arrest 11 million people and force them out of the country; an inexpensive government that can start wars willy-nilly with never a thought for the cost; a united country with a patchwork set of laws that will validate or invalidate marriages depending on state and county.

    You can ignore reality for a while, but in the end reality tends to win those battles. Reality is a redistributionist future: socialism. Reality is also tolerance, because the only alternative is oppression and division and the destruction of this country. Republicans and Libertarians need to stop believing in the tooth fairy. Come join us in reality and let’s see if we can’t fix some problems.

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  19. Boyd says:

    I have to question your leftist analysis on the previous government shutdown, Doug. You, most of the OTB commentariat and the mainstream media have all proclaimed that the Republicans were losers in the 2013 shutdown. And yet we have the noteworthy gains Republicans made in Congress the next year, the largest Republican House majority since the 1920s, if I remember correctly.

    So if gaining seats against Democrats in the next election isn’t the correct measuring rod for gains or losses in reputation, what would it be?

    N.B.: I hasten to add that I would prefer that we not shut down the Federal government next week. I’m not bringing this up because of my position, but because I notice what appears to me to be a pretty significant hole in your argument.

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  20. Grewgills says:

    @Boyd:
    The loss to republicans is short term. Their approval ratings dropped, at least in the aggregate. By the time the election had rolled around there was the very rocky roll out of the ACA web presence and the public at large had moved on. I don’t think a government shut down hurts the republican electorally unless it is close enough to the election that something else doesn’t eclipse before votes are cast. If the shut down had happened after the ACA web roll out we might have seen a very different election the last time round.
    The other part of that puzzle I think is that a shut down motivates a segment of the republican base, doesn’t much discourage republican leaners from voting and doesn’t motivate a correspondingly large portion of the dem base. When you combine that with gerrymandered districts and a bad election map for democrats it might have been baked in even without the bad ACA rollout.

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  21. James Pearce says:

    @Rafer Janders: @Rafer Janders:

    But for very many individual members, getting the seat which can hold for decades if you want it, or eventually trade in for a six or seven figure lobbying job, is actually the end in itself.

    I think this same dynamic is playing out in the presidential race. A certain percentage of the candidates are running for careerist, cash-in motives. It’s about money. It’s about ego. It’s about legacy.

    If it’s about policy at all, that’s not very important.

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  22. al-Ameda says:

    @Ben:

    Yeah, I don’t know how much you can say that the Republican party has been “harmed”. As you’ve alluded to, they are basically locked into controlling Congress and 2/3rds of the state legislatures until the end of the decade at the soonest. There’s almost zero the Democrats can do about that. To this liberal, the Republicans keep looking like they’ve shot themselves in the foot, and then come out of it running circles around the spineless, cant-win-for-losing Democrats. It pisses me off, but obviously at this point, I have to admit that the Republicans seem to know what they’re doing.

    I don’t know how anyone can say that the Republican Party has been damaged by any of this.

    Polling consistently shows that the public disapproves and hates Congress, in fact, hates everything – however they surely do not hate the Republican Party enough for their 2 shutdowns, which included 1 debt limit f***-up where they said a federal default would have little consequence. During all of this the GOP has taken control of Congress and may very well take the White House next Fall.

    Looks to me like they’re running the table.

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  23. Boyd says:

    @Grewgills: Accepting everything you say, I still find it hard to believe that the Republicans were hurt in the slightest by the shutdown. Approval ratings dip and climb with a change in the weather, so my point remains: there certainly doesn’t seem to be any evidence that the previous shutdown hurt them.

    Man, how I’d love to see a party actually govern. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

    Call me a dreamer.

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  24. jukeboxgrad says:

    Boyd:

    And yet we have the noteworthy gains Republicans made in Congress the next year

    That was a midterm election, which means turnout is heavily skewed R. Republicans planning the next shutdown are making a big mistake if they forget that.

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  25. jukeboxgrad says:

    Michael Reynolds:

    Reality is a redistributionist future

    We already have redistribution, except that it’s upward.

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  26. James Pearce says:

    @Boyd:

    You, most of the OTB commentariat and the mainstream media have all proclaimed that the Republicans were losers in the 2013 shutdown. And yet we have the noteworthy gains Republicans made in Congress the next year,

    The GOP Congressional gains can be seen as either a preference for divided government or as constraints on the Obama administration, rather common mid-term election type stuff. It was not, by any stretch, a mandate.

    You’re not the first of OTB’s conservatives I’ve heard making this point and it makes me sad. It makes me think you guys learned the wrong lessons from the shutdown, ie, that it has little downside (untrue) and a bit of an upside (GOP congressional gains!), which is also not true.

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  27. James Pearce says:

    @Boyd:

    Accepting everything you say, I still find it hard to believe that the Republicans were hurt in the slightest by the shutdown.

    Define “hurt.” It’s true, it didn’t hurt them in the last election.

    But it’s hurting them now. They can’t pass any legislation. Their shutdown strategy won’t result in GOP friendly legislation. (Seriously, Obama farts in the general direction of the shutdown. He can’t be scared on this and he won’t be moved.)

    What it will do though, is only going to harden people’s preference for divided government leading to an implicit deal where the GOP get a Congress that can’t pass any legislation and the rest of us get to say, “Hello, Madam President.”

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  28. Rafer Janders says:

    @Boyd:

    Man, how I’d love to see a party actually govern. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

    Just in recent memory, 1993-2001 and 2009-present spring to mind for the Democrats.

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  29. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Republicans planning the next shutdown are making a big mistake if they forget that.

    I sincerely wish that were true, but there is an awful lot of time between the general election and a potential shutdown. That is a lot of time for people to forget and move on to the next shiny.

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  30. Grewgills says:

    @jukeboxgrad:

    Republicans planning the next shutdown are making a big mistake if they forget that.

    I wish that were true, but there is an awful lot of time between a potential shutdown and the general election. That is a lot of time for the public at large to forget and be distracted by the next shiny.

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  31. jukeboxgrad says:

    That is a lot of time for the public at large to forget and be distracted by the next shiny.

    I agree with you that a lot of people have a short attention span. My point is that this is probably not the main reason it didn’t hurt them last time.

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  32. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    In the short term, it seems as though nothing is happening for the GOP. Maybe that scenario extends into the midterm. In the long run, Mitch McConnell (IIRC) is right–the party is running out of old angry white males to keep them in power.

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  33. HelloWorld! says:

    Two things:

    1 – The American people have a very short memory
    2 – Republican always start passing legislation 6 months before an election.

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    And yet we have the noteworthy gains Republicans made in Congress the next year, the largest Republican House majority since the 1920s, if I remember correctly.

    And yet for all of that what can they accomplish other than shutting down the government? It’s not like they can get any of their agenda passed and implemented…

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  35. Boyd says:

    @Rafer Janders: Nice joke! Ba-dum-dump!

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  36. Boyd says:

    To all: While I was briefly a Republican for a couple of years to help out a friend who was running for office at the time, I am most certainly not one today. I consider myself to be a Little-l libertarian, but that’s not exactly a fit, either. So if I wasn’t clear in my earlier comment that I don’t support a government shutdown over the budget, here it is again: I’m not a Republican, nor especially conservative, although others quite often incorrectly label me as both.

    And please understand, I’m mostly prognosticating, not advocating. I’m trying to understand the political realities, not trying to state The Way Things Ought To Be.

    I know that many of you hope that everything the Republicans do causes them to crash and burn. I know many of you like nothing better than disparaging Republicans. Fine, go ahead, I can’t stop you, nor do I want to. I do think it makes you fairly one-dimensional, and uninteresting, to boot.

    Those who want to have a meaningful conversation outside the echo chamber, that’s what I like to hear! Or read. Or something.

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  37. Tyrell says:

    The members of congress need to use common sense, get together for some good bourbon and cigars, and work things out. It does take a little will power, and statesmanship.
    Something is wrong somewhere. It did not used to be this way.

    Rayburn, Johnson, Humphrey, Fulbright, Russell, Ervin, Hollings, O’Neill, Nunn, Dirksen, Bayh, Mills

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  38. James Pearce says:

    @Boyd:

    I know that many of you hope that everything the Republicans do causes them to crash and burn. I know many of you like nothing better than disparaging Republicans.

    I can admit to wanting, on occasion, “everything the Republicans do causes them to crash and burn,” although in my heart of hearts, what I really want is for Republicans to stop being the party of dumb.

    And shutting down the government because you can’t get the president to sign your legislation is just dumb.

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  39. msscott says:

    John Boehner’s Parting Words For His Critics Are…
    much like what commenters here have been saying the past five years.

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  40. Tony W says:

    @Tyrell: As usual, you assume goodwill on the part of the Republicans. As usual you are wrong.

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  41. rachel says:

    @Boyd:

    I know that many of you hope that everything the Republicans do causes them to crash and burn.

    It’s not that we want that to happen; it’s that we see that it is going to happen when the Republicans go ahead and do that those things against all advice and warning. To be told after that we were cheering for said crashing and burning to happen is just icing on the cake of dumb.

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  42. C. Clavin says:

    @Boyd:

    Man, how I’d love to see a party actually govern.

    Have you missed the last 6 years, Boyd? Health Care for millions that didn’t have it before. Historic diplomatic efforts. Obama has been governing the shit out of it…in spite of an reflexively-opposed Republican party unprecedented in American history.
    I’d refer you to Reynolds comment:
    @michael reynolds:

    Come join us in reality and let’s see if we can’t fix some problems.

    @Boyd:

    I know that many of you hope that everything the Republicans do causes them to crash and burn.

    Yeah…No…it’s more like that stupid fwcking race series from the south where they fly flags commemorating slavery and they can only turn left…no one is hoping for a crash…but when it happens you can’t stop watching.
    schadenfreude; ‎
    1. Malicious enjoyment derived from observing someone else’s misfortune.  

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  43. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:

    The members of congress need to use common sense, get together for some good bourbon and cigars, and work things out.

    Dude…have you not been paying attention? Republicans have no interest in, or capacity for, governing. They are not interested in getting together and working things out. That’s why they ousted Boehner. It wan’t because he tried to get together and work things out…it’s because he wasn’t mutinous enough for them. They want Government shut-downs. They want to burn the country down and build it back in their own authoritarian vision…where it’s their way or the highway. Where everyone is here to serve the old white rich male Christians.
    Work things out? You’re living in a fantasy land.

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  44. KM says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The idea that we can or should have a tiny, powerless government in a nation of 320 million people living on 3.8 million square miles and generating a GDP of 17 trillion dollars is absolute nonsense.

    People who espouse small government forget their history. We tried that before – it’s called the Articles of Confederation. So many people ignore that the Constitution as we know it is the second try because the Articles were too weak to function. This was in a time when the population of the country was approx 2.5 million (smaller then some cities we have now) and wasn’t even the entire East Coast as we know it. If they couldn’t make it work back then in a time when they truly preferred to have a hands-off governing style and lived with the idea of government as a distant presence instead of in-your-face connectivity, why in the hell people think we can do it now without sacrificing any of the quality of life we possess is truly mind-boggling. The necessity of losing some of the vaunted privileges of a wealthy first world to the downsizing process doesn’t sink in until it’s too late – the old meme about libertarians needing to go to Somalia or some other hellhole to live out their dream exists for a reason.

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  45. grumpy realist says:

    @KM: Oh, I’m sure they’ll be willing to hand over all their power to the corporations….

    As long as they can gamble, drink, wench, and drive one’s car on roads without any speed limits everything is fine.

    Just wait until they discover why historically living in company towns really wasn’t all that nice for those at the bottom of the heap.

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  46. Tyrell says:

    @C. Clavin: When I worked in construction, everyday was problem solving. We put our heads together and get it done.

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  47. James P says:

    Boehner is a RINO and I’m glad he’s gone.

    We need to find someone B Hussein Soetoro can’t blackmail. I’m reasonably convinced that Boehner surrendered time after time because Hussein Soetoro was blackmailing him. My guess is that’s why he retired – he was sick of the blackmail.

    BHO is a guy who only won office by using his opponents sealed divorce records to get them to drop out of the race — it’s not a reach to assume he’d try a similar tactic on Boehner.

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  48. C. Clavin says:

    @Tyrell:
    Good for you.
    Today’s Republicans are not interested in getting it done. They aren’t interested in getting anything done.
    What about that are you unable to understand???

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  49. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    Hey…it’s James P….the guy that has to lie about his credentials to boost his self-esteem!!!!
    Nothing more impressive than someone who believes his own lies.
    Anyway…he’s here to spout some unrelated right wing nonsense that makes no sense to anyone but the voices in his head.
    Yay!!!!

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  50. James P says:

    @michael reynolds:

    [”

    And that – not Tea Party fanaticism – is why Republicans cannot govern.
    “]

    We don’t want to govern. We want to tear down. We want to shut down the government.

    We want to make B Hussein Soetoro’s life a living hell for the next 20 months. We want to ensure he accomplishes NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING.

    This isn’t about advancing an agenda for the next 20 months – it is about tying the hands of and tearing down Barry Hussein Obama. He’s evil and he never should have been elected in the first place.

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  51. James P says:

    @C. Clavin: The fact that you are jealous of me does not mean that I lied.

    The only one who lied was the guy who said he got an email he didn’t.

    The reason I believe what I said is because it is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Your jealousy of me does nothing to effect that.

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  52. Deserttrek says:

    what weepy is saying is , the will of the people and the votes of the electorate make no difference

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  53. C. Clavin says:

    @James P:
    Yes…I am so jealous of you. Embarrassingly so. If only I lied about my credentials….who knows what I could accomplish.
    You stupid fwck.

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  54. DrDaveT says:

    @Deserttrek:

    what weepy is saying is , the will of the people and the votes of the electorate make no difference

    On the contrary — when the people want unicorn tears, and consistently vote for that, it makes a big difference. Just not the difference they wanted.

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  55. grumpy realist says:

    You know, maybe at some point we’re just going to have to let these idiots cause the default of the US and drive us into another world depression.

    They still won’t learn anything and we’ll undoubtedly have a lot of dead people result from it, but maybe everyone else will learn to not give the car keys to a pack of doped high teenagers who don’t think they have to obey traffic lights or speed limits.

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  56. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell:

    When I worked in construction, everyday was problem solving. We put our heads together and get it done.

    How many of your co-workers had declared publicly that construction can’t work, that construction is the problem, not the solution?

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  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @James P: Wow! you really are Radical X whatever it was from another thread! Great call, panda!

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