Friday Open Thread [12.21.12]

Filed in Open Thread by on December 21, 2012

First Read: “In covering politics, you always want to resist the temptation to overstate things. After all, what’s up one day can go down the next. But it’s difficult to see what took place in Congress last night as anything other than an unmitigated disaster and embarrassing blunder for House Republicans — all over something that was viewed as a negotiating tactic or PR move.”

Steve Kornacki: “Last night was hardly the first public humiliation that John Boehner has suffered at the hands of his fellow Republicans, but it’s probably the most stark. And it raises some very basic questions about the House speaker’s political future – like whether he even has one.”

“The demise of Plan B also calls Boehner’s job security into question. The Obama-era conservative base has never trusted him; he’s been in Washington too long, he cut too many pre-2008 deals with Democrats, and he voted for too much spending. Since he claimed the speaker’s gavel, they’ve been watching him like a hawk for any sign he’s about to sell them out, virtually eliminating his ability to cut deals on their behalf. What happened last night indicates that this dynamic hasn’t changed since the election, and with the January 3 vote for speaker coming up, there is some chatter now that House conservatives might attempt to dethrone Boehner.”

I’m not really sure why John Boehner didn’t resign last night. If he were a man of principle, he would have. But he still wants the power and the position even though he made it as plain as day last night he has no power. If the House of Representatives were a Parliament, he would have had to resign, and new elections would have been called. Personally, I have no idea how he hangs onto the position. The Republican caucus has decided to preserve nihilism as a strategy. The best leader for that is Cantor or Paul Ryan, or if they really want to go crazy: Michelle Bachmann.

But then again, a fellow Republican congressman was unusually blunt, and perhaps accurate:

Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, who is close to Boehner, said the idea that this episode has hurt Boehner’s speakership is, “like saying the superintendent of an insane asylum should be discharged because he couldn’t control the crazy people. I mean that’s nuts.”

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  1. heragain says:

    I got more “science news” today from CRI. It just amazes me… do you suppose they have “binders full” of corrupt wingnuts to create this stuff?

    Here’s the “issue.”

    Here’s the “source.”

  2. John Young says:


  3. John Manifold says:

    Trooper Lawson waxes visionary. From today’s DSN:

    “On Friday, Sen. David G. Lawson, R-Marydel, announced that he will introduce a resolution to expedite research into the feasibility of con­structing ‘panic exits’ in Delaware public school classrooms.

    “But first, the former Delaware State Police lieutenant wants to see if his plan is practical, a press release said. The fact-finding resolution is the first step in what Sen. Lawson hopes will become legislation to fund the construction of an escape door in each ground floor exterior classroom through which students and teach­ers could escape in the event of an emergency.

    “’Most classrooms have large win­dows,’ said Sen. Lawson. ‘If there was a panic door in place of one of the windows, the occupants could escape quickly. These doors would be secured in a man­ner that they could only be opened from the inside.

    “’This type of exit would also be valuable for fires, bomb threats and any time that a quick evacuation was necessary.'”

  4. puck says:

    Not breaking: It’s all about the very rich:

    Reid argues the Senate has already done its work on the expiring tax rates by passing a bill in July shielding family income below $250,000 from tax hikes. He has insisted for weeks that the House take up and pass that bill.

    Republicans, however, say the legislation is inadequate because it would allow taxes on inheritances and dividend income to soar.

    I TOLD you it was all about the dividends – the biggest and least-known of the Bush tax cuts. Bunch of whiny trust-fund babies.

  5. jason330 says:

    Please think of the job creators. Won’t anyone think of the job creators?

  6. puck says:

    Chris Coons still fighting for cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.

    “Coons says what’s needed between now and New Year’s Day is passage of bipartisan legislation containing responsible tax hikes and spending cuts to shore up the economy and deal with the federal deficit.”

    No, no, no, a thousand times no! What’s needed is a middle class tax CUT between Jan. 1 and Jan. 31, with a second package of spending cuts that cuts cost but doesn’t cut medical or old-age benefits. In January, make Repubs give up something for restoring defense spending.

    Will Coons not be happy until we cut Social Security and Medicare?

    Coons: “Republicans have virtually all signed a pledge to this group led by Grover Norquist that they will not raise taxes of any kind on anyone, or allow any tax loopholes to be closed, or tax cuts to expire, and that has really painted them into a corner, into a particular position.”

    Except that Norquist blessed Plan B.