Poor John Boehner, what’s a spineless, emotionally fragile, carrot-toned man to do when he signs up to lead half of a branch of government but finds that he is instead carrying the flag for a zombie invasion? What else? He fearfully marches with them so he won’t be eaten.
Despite Boehner’s casual assertions all Summer that there won’t be a government shutdown or a default on our debt, his hubris in thinking he could trick the dimwitted Tea Partiers out of their political terrorism was once again for Boehner, a crying shame (actually, “A Crying Shame” is the proposed title for Boehner’s autobiography).
After his and Eric Cantor’s very transparent stunt of having a repeal or delay of the Obamacare detachable from the budget bill failed, Boehner was faced with a critical decision. Does he stand up to the frothing-at-the-mouth anarchists in his party and say, “I won’t allow you to harm this nation of our party!” or does he say, “Well, if blowing up the U.S. economy and what’s left of the GOP is what you want, I’m willing to compromise on everything I believe just to keep my position as leader so count me in!”? If you guessed the latter, you win a box of official John Boehner brand facial tissues (they’re extra absorbant!).
There are some questionable pundits who bizarrely portray Boehner as some brilliant tactician who wants the Tea Party to have its shut down and when the public turns on them, they will be tossed out and Boehner will be rid of them in the next Congress. Now, does that sound like the John Boehner we have all come to know and loathe? In the words of John Boehner himself, “Hell no!”
What Boehner has done throughout his time as Speaker, in response to the Tea Party howling that they want ice cream for dinner right now, is to tell them that they can have ice cream for dinner tomorrow night but tonight we have to have an adult meal. Eventually, even those of limited intellect such as Tea Partiers catch on to the fact that they’re being lied to and manipulated…no doubt it has angered them as they expected to be the ones doing that.
So now, they are not accepting, “Let’s not set fire to our own House,” as a legitimate reason not to do so. They’ve been storing up the cans of gasoline and matches, they’ve been putting it off long enough, they want to commit this arson and like spoiled brats, they are not taking “But we’ll immolate ourselves!” for an answer.
So without any mature supervision in the Republican Party, this sure looks like a strong possibility to happen.
However, Boehner may be counting on the pressure from the public and the business community to push his party back from the edge. He is now standing with the extremists in his party like a battered wife and will bring to a vote a Continuing Resolution on the budget that “defunds Obamacare”…even though he knows that this won’t and can’t happen nor pass the Senate. The Senate will ignore that bill and pass their own CR that does not include the kill-Obamacare provision.
So The House, which will try to claim, “Uh-uh, we’re not shutting down the government, Obama is for not agreeing to our extortion threats!” will actually be the ones in the hot seat, with a Senate bill and Obama’s affirmation that he will sign it sitting on their desks. At that point, Boehner probably assumes that the extremists will have to fold and the CR will be passed. He may be right about that but it’s not due to any brilliant strategy on his part, it’s the result of his cowardice and the realities of the democratic process.
But what if the Tea Party loons in The House shrug off the pressure and refuse to sign a CR that doesn’t defund Obamacare? There are two possible outcomes. First, Boehner could bring it up for a vote despite ignoring the Hastert Rule…which isn’t a real rule and is a policy of not bringing anything to a vote that the majority of the party in control doesn’t approve. This is a strong likelihood as Boehner has done it before on big votes when his nutjobs won’t cooperate. That means that Dems could push the vote over the top and Boehner can claim he was serving democracy to bring it to a full vote. The other possibility is that Boehner throws up his hands and fiddles while the US economy and the GOP burns. I find that less likely but a real possibility.
Either way, the GOP is proving their disdain for the American people and democracy, trying to use extortion to force their will on a nation that clearly re-elected their President who championed the ACA, that had its Congress pass the ACA and that had its Supreme Court validate it as Constitutional.
But in the Bagger States of America, there is no majority rule, representational government or respect for the law. There is only, “I want what I want and I don’t care who I have to hurt to get it!” That is their motto yet it seems most fitting for five year olds who throw tantrums than those who swear to uphold our Constitution and serve our nation as stewards of our democracy.
Whatever happens, this only further diminishes the GOP as a party deserving of power and pursuing the best interests of the nation. They are accelerating down the path of permanent minority status (especially after 2020 and much of their gerrymandering is hopefully undone). In the meantime, the U.S. may have an aggressive Department of Homeland Security but they can’t touch the greatest threat to our nation, only voters can.