Skip to main content

John Boehner chokes up before being sworn for his second term as Speaker of the House.
If John Boehner keeps down this path, he'll be giving the gavel back to Nancy Pelosi
after the 2014 midterms. And then he'll really have something to cry about.
The Wall Street Journal doesn't come out and say it definitively, but this is a pretty clear sign that they think congressional Republicans are bluffing about demanding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid cuts in exchange for raising the debt limit:
We'll support efforts to cut spending and reform entitlements, but the political result will be far worse if Republicans start this fight only to cave in the end. You can't take a hostage you aren't prepared to shoot. Do the two GOP leaders have a better strategy today than they did in 2011, and do they have the backbench support to execute it?
Instead of threatening default, the WSJ editorial board suggests Boehner embrace a less ambitious policy agenda:
Mr. Boehner needs a plausible counter-strategy. Recognize that he can't govern from the House, but use the leverage of the spending sequester and power of the purse to see what few policy victories can be had. Find some programs and special interests to showcase and defund, in the manner of the Bridge to Nowhere. Take on corporate welfare. And unleash other Members in the House and Senate—the Toomeys, Hensarlings and Johnsons—to make the GOP's growth and reform case to the public. Mr. Boehner can't be the main party spokesman.

Push smaller reforms that are good policy but might also have a chance of picking up Democratic support.

The most amazing thing about this is that you've got The Wall Street Journal editorial page encouraging a Republican Speaker of the House to back off a hard-right agenda. It's not that they disagree with Boehner's objectives—it's just that they (like Newt Gingrich and Judd Gregg) don't think he can plausibly achieve them. Nonetheless, Boehner says he's plowing forward with the debt limit gambit. And as long as President Obama and congressional Democrats stand firm in their pledge against negotiating over the debt limit and to only consider spending cuts if Republicans are willing to raise revenues, Boehner and the House Republican Conference will be headed off the political cliff in November 2014.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Fri Jan 04, 2013 at 09:27 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site