As we declare President Obama's political suicide and holler about who to primary the President with over speculative reports, everyone seems to be missing one thing: Boehner is the one in trouble (politically).
See, one reason why the debt negotiations have become so complicated, so bizarro-world impossible, is not principally due to President Obama's weak negotiating stance, as some claim. (Though it has not been stellar.) Rather, it's because John Boehner has become held hostage by a Tea Party with which he doesn't ideologically agree, and any concession by Boehner in negotiations – ANY – will spell his political demise.
Oh, and one thing is certain: any deal with the White House will contain a compromise. Which will mean one thing: his ultimate political doom.
Do I feel sorry for him? For getting in bed with a Tea Party that will likely run him out of office?
Not in the slightest.
E.J. Dionne, Jr. seems to feel similarly about this. He writes:
If Boehner can’t assemble a majority with Republicans, he will have to negotiate with House Democrats...But concessions to Democrats will further alienate conservatives in Boehner’s own party.
Boehner could thus either court a rebellion against his leadership or push the country toward default on its debt.
I’d actually feel bad for Boehner — an old-fashioned sort who’d normally reach for a deal — if he and his party had not shamelessly stoked the Tea Party to win power. The GOP is now reaping the whirlwind, and Boehner may be forced to choose between his country and his job.
Between his country and his job.
Now, lest one be mistaken, this diary is not a support of the way the White House has handled negotiations with the GOP on this. However, I am of the mind to give pause and see, exactly, which items are going to be offered as cuts in Medicare/Medicaid before engaging in "despair porn" of biblical proportions.
If benefit cuts are offered by the President – rather than provider cuts and measures to shore up Medicare corruption – then yes, I will be enraged. But until I hear such things, I'm going to hold off on calling for his ouster and declaring his political demise.
And Social Security? On that I too will wait to see what, exactly, the White House intends, rather than hyperventilate over reports this morning from journalists who, like some Daily Kos diarists, seize upon sensationalizing what has yet to be confirmed.
But Boehner? His fate, it seems, has already been set. And he set it himself. Bow completely to the Tea Party, or face the gallows.
And I'm betting on the gallows.