You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.
Posting a Diary Entry
Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as
is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.
When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.
If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.
ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.
One diary daily maximum.
Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries
that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
Well, wouldn't you also be upset if you had to lead today's House GOP?
Just a few days ago, House Speaker John Boehner backed off his debt limit threats by telling The Wall Street Journal that the debt limit was "not the ultimate leverage" for House Republicans seeking spending cuts. Instead:
Mr. Boehner says he has significant Republican support, including GOP defense hawks, on his side for letting the sequester do its work. "I got that in my back pocket," the speaker says. He is counting on the president's liberal base putting pressure on him when cherished domestic programs face the sequester's sharp knife. Republican willingness to support the sequester, Mr. Boehner says, is "as much leverage as we're going to get."
That leverage, he reasons, is what will force Democrats to the table on entitlements. "Think of it this way. We already have an agreement [capping] discretionary spending for 10 years. And we're already in our second year of it. This whole discussion on the budget over the next several months is going to be about these entitlements."
So, in John Boehner's world, Republicans are perfectly willing to let the sequester's spending cuts move forward unless Democrats are willing to axe Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid to avoid them. He's found his BATNA and he's happy with it—or so he says.
One defense-minded Republican lawmaker said Boehner’s position would amount to a broken promise to his conference.
“In order to get the Republican Conference to pass the debt-limit increase last time, he promised them sequestration would not go in place,” the Republican House member said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “To be using sequestration and these defense cuts in the next debt-limit talks certainly is pretty bad déjà vu for the Republican Conference.”
The lawmaker doubted Boehner had the support he claimed from Republican defense hawks.
“I believe the president wants sequestration cuts to occur, and the Republicans don’t,” the member said. “It is the No. 1 priority for the Armed Services Committee to stop.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) as well as an aide to the head of the Armed Services Committee. In other words, Boehner has it exactly wrong: when it comes to the sequester, Democrats, not Republicans, have the leverage.
From Boehner's perspective, the worst thing about this is that not only are members of his conference already undercutting his negotiating posture on the sequester, he can't take back his admission that the debt limit wasn't the GOP's "ultimate point of leverage." Basically, Boehner was calling his own debt limit bluff—and now his colleagues are calling his sequester bluff. No matter how you look at it, Boehner is in a weak position, a fact that should give Democrats the courage to hold their ground.
Originally posted to The Jed Report on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 08:01 AM PST.