It should take more than a couple of choice sound bites from John Boehner
to prove that Ted Cruz is no longer pulling the strings.
Greg Sargent, House Speaker John Boehner slamming tea party groups
on Thursday morning
moments before heading to the House floor to block a vote on extending emergency unemployment benefits:
“Frankly I think they’re misleading their followers. I think they’re pushing our members in places where they want to be. And frankly I just think they’ve lost all credibility,” he told reporters at his weekly press conference Thursday. [...]
“You know, they pushed us into this fight to defund Obamacare and shut down the government,” he said. “It wasn’t exactly the strategy I had in mind. [...]”
Asked if he thinks the groups should “stand down,” Boehner said, “I don’t care what they do.”
As Greg notes
, this is really a ridiculous display from Boehner.
First of all, even though it's true that tea partiers pushed for the defund Obamacare/government shutdown fight, it's equally true that Boehner decided to support their position. Don't forget, he had a choice in the matter: As speaker of the House, he could have allowed a vote that would have prevented the shutdown from ever happening—but he refused, because he was afraid of the tea party. And that makes him every bit as responsible as they were.
Second, if Boehner is trying to declare his independence from the tea party, it's going to take more than a sound bite or two criticizing them in order to demonstrate it. Words are cheap—he needs to show some action, and this budget deal does not represent action.
If Boehner wants people to believe that something has really changed, then why are they blocking a vote on extending emergency unemployment insurance? Why aren't they allowing a vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act? What about immigration reform? Why, in the very same press conference, did he once again talk about repealing Obamacare and getting to the bottom of Benghazi?
Boehner wants the media to believe the GOP has changed—that it's become grown up and responsible. They might report what he wants, but for it to be true, he needs to deliver more than press conference theatrics—he needs to deliver substantive change. And so far, he hasn't done it.
Comments are closed on this story.