thanks to our old friend Mr. Madison, budget bills have to originate in the House, which means we have to involve the Speaker, which means we have to take into account the fact that he presides over a hatchful of boobies. We take that into account. One, two, three. Okay, we done? It is then explained to Mr. Boehner that the Romney economic plan is not going to be the rock on which we build the church. It is then explained to Mr. Boehner that, henceforward, there will be more punishment for obstructionism than there will be a reward for it. The Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 are as dead as Richard Mourdock's political career. The payroll tax cut goes on. How he explains it to the people in the House is his own business, and he can take as much time as he wants to do it, but there will be no hostage-taking this time around.Sounds fun, but I somehow doubt that Mr. Boehner (or Böhner, as his ancestors wrote it), is really very frightened of the president, or of Steve Israel and his Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which hasn't given a dime to a Democrat running in Boehner's district (like, darling, it simply isn't done!). The person he hates and fears above all else isn't a Democrat, frankly; he gets along fine with Democrats, and probably wouldn't in the least mind schmoozing with Obama in the most hallowed Tip and Gip tradition of bipartisan
Cantor celebrated reelection by writing a letter to the Republican caucus urging a more bellicose approach to legislative business:
"There is no magic procedure that will make someone vote for something to which they are violently opposed," Cantor wrote. "I would suggest that rather than spending our time arguing over which process is the silver bullet that unlocks the votes in the Senate, that we heed the advice of President Reagan: 'When you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.'"Boehner's conference call, in turn, was much more muted in tone:
Boehner is reminding his colleagues why some of them didn't get reelected, and Cantor is associating himself with the irredentist losers. Something tells me Lyndon Johnson would have gotten a deal out of this situation. Something else tells me, now that the fiscal precipice has eased itself down to a fiscal declivity, Obama will get one too. It's going to look like a shit sandwich at first, as usual, but it'll grow on you, like one of those pig-faced bull terriers, or a certain health insurance bill.Their party lost, badly, Mr. Boehner said, and while Republicans would still control the House and would continue to staunchly oppose tax rate increases as Congress grapples with the impending fiscal battle, they had to avoid the nasty showdowns that marked so much of the last two years. Members on the call, subdued and dark, murmured words of support — even a few who had been a thorn in the speaker’s side for much of this Congress.
|The late great George McGovern and Bob Dole, from Dole's very classy eulogy. O'Neill and Reagan don't seem to have allowed themselves to be photographed in an actual bar, and that's not the only reason I like these guys better.|