Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The TanMan, Weeper of the House John Boehner, came up with the "genius" idea early in the week of pursuing a "Plan B" in the so-called "fiscal cliff" austerity crisis negotiations with the president. Plan B was simple: Tea-Publicans would vote to permanently extend tax cuts
for virtually all taxpayers, while raising rates on millionaires. It was expanded into a Christmas wish list of GOP proposals to hurt the poor and unemployed with added sweeteners of repealing provisions of "ObamaCare" and Dodd-Frank financial regulations, a favorite of the Tea Party tinfoil hats. Boehner’s ‘plan B’ would redistribute wealth upwards.
Boehner wasted an entire week pursuing this Plan B, a plan that was not negotiated with the White House, that Harry Reid said was dead on arrival in the Senate, and that President Obama said he would veto if it ever reached his desk. It was a gimmick to be able to say to the conservative media entertainment complex, "Hey, I tried. Don't blame me."
Boehner and his lieutenant Eric Cantor (a modern-day Iago in Shakespeare's Othello plotting to replace the Speaker) confidently predicted victory on Thursday.
But in an epic fail, the TanMan could not even muster the 218 votes he needed from his own caucus to support his "genius" Plan B. He pulled his bill without even a vote. Like that other "genius" Wiley Coyote, he found himself alone off the "fiscal cliff." (Cue up Tom Petty's "Free Falling").
Boehner's office issued a statement abdicating responsibility for solving the crisis to Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate.
How Boehner’s Plan B for the ‘fiscal cliff’ began and fell apart:
In a statement late Thursday, Boehner said it was now up to Senate
Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Obama to come up with an
agreement — without explaining what role he would play. The speaker
ignored reporters’ questions and, at 8:04 p.m., he walked out of the
That's all folks! I'm outta here!
Boehner threw efforts to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” austerity crisis into chaos when he abruptly shuttered the House for the holidays after
failing to win support from his own Republicans for a plan to let
tax rates rise for millionaires. ‘Plan B’ stumble puts ‘fiscal cliff’ deal in doubt:
[A] grim-faced Boehner hurried from the Capitol on Thursday evening,
his office issued a statement abdicating responsibility for solving the
crisis to Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate.
did not take up the tax measure today because it did not have sufficient
support from our members to pass. Now it is up to the president to work
with Reid on legislation to avert the fiscal cliff,” the statement
said, referring to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).
* * *
No one could say late Thursday what will happen next. Just 11 days
remain until the new year, when more than $500 billion in automatic tax
increases and spending cuts will begin to take effect, threatening to
undermine the sluggish recovery and prompt a new recession.
The White House responded to the chaos created by the failed leadership of Boehner:
“The president’s main priority is to ensure that taxes don’t go up on
98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses in just a few
short days,” Carney said in a written statement. “The President will
work with Congress to get this done and we are hopeful that we will be
able to find a bipartisan solution quickly that protects the middle
class and our economy.”
Here is the problem. The TanMan is a speaker without any authority to bind his Tea-Publican caucus to a deal. President Obama will not do this publicly, but he should say to the Tea-Publicans "send me someone who has the authority to negotiate for your caucus and to deliver the votes for a deal." That is not the Weeper of the House, John Boehner.
Boehner is the weakest Speaker of the House in modern American history. He is the "Worst. Speaker. Ever." He is truly bad at his job.
Boehner's lieutenants, Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy, who have been plotting to replace Boehner as Speaker of the House now have their opportunity on January 3, should they choose to do so. But as Jonathan Bernstein noted, "Any new speaker would be faced with exactly the same dilemma: Too many
House Tea-Publicans won’t accept the reality of the deal they will
eventually have to accept."
So the only alternative for Boehner now is to put the interests of the country ahead of his own interests to remain Speaker of the House, which is seriously in jeopardy, and to deliver the minimum 25 votes necessary from his Tea-Publican caucus to the Democrats to get to 218 for a deal. As Harry Reid's spokeman said, “The only way to avoid the cliff altogether is for Speaker Boehner to
return to negotiations, and work with President Obama and the Senate to
forge a bipartisan deal.”
Boehner needs to surrender his sword and to throw the insurrectionist anti-government Tea Party crazies under the bus.
Any recession that results from going "off the cliff" on the first of the year should forever be referred to as the "Tea Party Recession." These crazy sonsuvbitches ought to own their insane actions.
UPDATE: From Ezra Klein:
Boehner could just decide this Speaker job is a hopeless trap, cut the
deal with Obama, pass it with Dem votes, drop the mic and go lobby.