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U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 28, 2012. Boehner voiced optimism that Republicans could broker a deal with the White House to avoid year-end austerity measures, saying on Wedn
House Speaker John Boehner apparently thinks the GOP's "defund Obamacare or shutdown the government" is crazy—or at least that's what he reportedly told his leadership team during a private meeting on Tuesday. When he's not behind closed doors, however, Boehner tells a different story:
In public, Boehner refused to directly comment on the strategy, which is being promoted by high-profile Senate Republicans like Ted Cruz (Texas), Mike Lee (Utah) and Marco Rubio (Fla.).

Asked directly after the strategy meeting how he feels about holding up government funding to starve Obamacare, Boehner said, “we’ve made no decisions about how we’re going to proceed with the” continuing resolution, which will needs to be passed by the end of September to avoid a government shut down. He said he didn’t know whether the government funding bill could be used to defund implementation of the law.

So instead of calling out an idiotic idea for what it is, Boehner is now proposing that Republicans take even more meaningless votes against Obamacare. But even though this strategy gives beltway reporters an opportunity to try to divine what John Boehner really thinks ...
The subtext of the leadership strategy is that they think it’s insane to shut down the government in an effort to defund the health care law.
... what it really shows is that he's so damn scared of his own party that he can't even bring himself to condemn one the most obviously dumb ideas to come from Washington Republicans in a long time. Instead, he's trying to distract them.

It's a pathetic display of weakness, but it's also kind of hilarious, because even if Boehner gets his way, it's not taking another half-dozen votes to repeal Obamacare will do anything to help Republicans repair their damaged brand. Basically, he's asking them to do something really dumb in order to avoid doing something even dumber. No wonder he doesn't want to talk about it in public.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Wed Jul 31, 2013 at 09:39 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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