Less than two months ago, some of us thought Obama-ism was dead and an era of conservative ascendancy was at hand. If that sounds apocalyptic, well, blame the Mayans and the solstice. (And Karl Rove and Dick Morris.)
How the hardly-mighty have fallen! Mitt Romney is more secluded than Howard Hughes, leaving the Republicans with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner as the face of their party.
If only Paul Ryan had thrown Boehner off that cliff instead of the invalid granny!
After the failed effort to get the fiscal cliff “Plan B” passed this week, some powerful conservatives on Capitol Hill are reportedly pushing for Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan to replace embattled House Speaker John Boehner.
On Friday night’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” fill-in host Laura Ingraham said her sources indicate a coup may already be underway in Congress.
“I had a well-placed conservative voice today on the Hill email me and said he’s beginning to hear rumblings — I already gave something away, ‘he’ — he’s beginning to hear of a move to replace the speaker of the House,” Ingraham said. “We’re in the middle of this tussle with the Democrats, more than a tussle, and is that the right time to put that out there? And people are floating the name of Paul Ryan to be House speaker. But Ryan did support … Plan B.”
There is policy, and there is politics. The GOP is right on policy—we don’t have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem—but hopelessly outmatched on the politics. Granted, it’s not fair when the media persistently depict your opponent as the Messiah, complete with halo…
… but at least you have to try!
Actually, I think Boehner had the politics right here, too. As counterproductive as it is to raise taxes in an economic slump (or moribund recovery), that’s where the sentiment of the people is. Obama may have used demagoguery to steer it that way, but he was reelected, and, to paraphrase Aggie, reelections have consequences.
Boehner’s Plan B would have let the Bush-era tax rates expire for people with incomes over a million dollars—the very millionaires whose wealth Obama wants to spread. Not quarter-millionaires (those earning $250,000): the real McCoys. Again, I disagree with the policy, but it makes a better argument. We gave you the millionaires you asked for, Mr. President; now what are you going to give the American people? Obama’s threatened veto, and Harry Reid’s refusal to even take it up, would at least have made it clear who were the stonewallers.
What an epic fail when he could not deliver. He may have been torpedoed by the Tea Partiers to his political right (with whom I am in broad agreement), but the failure was still his.
I have felt since the election that the Republicans need to re-brand. Not on policies—or not all policies, anyway—but on image. We are not a party of double-chinned, googly-eyed, cry-babies—or not all of us, anyway—but young men and women, some of color, who are as passionate about the direction of this country as any MoveOn or Code Pink activist.
Maybe this is the time and the opportunity to show that.