Last week, you may have noticed Republican Congressional Honcho John Boehner seemed to have pulled out of his daily negotiations with President Obama to offer his own plan for the economy, which he cleverly titled “Plan B.”
This was the worst choice of names since the Tea Baggers started referring to themselves as Tea Baggers. Plan B would “cut” taxes for “everybody” who earned less than one million dollars. Obama was willing to accept $400,000, which was up from $250,000 and probably meant he’d settle at a cool half-million. Boehner’s program and entitlement cuts would have been more draconian than Obama’s, including cuts on mental health programs that, for the past ten days, a growing portion of the American public thinks should remain intact. As it turns out, when you add everything up John-boy’s plan would actually raise taxes on the working poor. Ain’t that nice?
The Speaker said he was going to take this directly to the House for a vote, knowing full well once passed it couldn’t make onto the Senate floor. But it was a nice stunt, albeit somewhat obvious, that allowed him to proclaim the President wanted us to fall off the fiscal cliff and he, Mister Speaker John Boehner, would be our savior.
So that sorta makes you think it was Boehner vs. Obama, doesn’t it?
Not so. Not at all.
John-boy wasn’t taking on Obama. He knew his Plan Boehner wouldn’t go anywhere. He was taking on the role of a general in the Republican Party’s polyphrenic civil war, thinking he actually had an army behind him. He was jockeying for position, or, as Mel Brooks famously said (all together now) “We’ve got to protect our phony-baloney jobs here, gentlemen!” Boehner wants to remain Speaker of the House.
At the very last moment the Speaker pulled his own bill, which is something the Republicans have become good at lately. He was so busy positioning and preening he forgot how to count noses, and that is and has always been the most vital skill a politician must have. It turned out John-boy couldn’t get his own bill passed in a Republican House. His bill simply did not have the support.
More important, nor did he. There is the fish, and then there is the fish-wrap.
So instead of looking like the savior of our economy, John Boehner looked like left-over macaroni and cheese: an fool who didn’t understand his own party was in an all-out war – not with the HNIC, but with itself.
To the rest of us, it looked like Boehner wasted what was shaping up to be a promising week, the last week before everybody left Washington for the holiday break. But to a growing number of Republicans, John-boy looked like something that needed to be scraped off their plates and into their garbage.
Mike Gold performs the weekly two-hour Weird Sounds Inside The Gold Mind ass-kicking rock, blues and blather radio show on The Point, www.getthepointradio.com , every Sunday at 7:00 PM Eastern, rebroadcast three times during the week – check the website above for times. Gold also joins Martha Thomases and Michael Davis as a weekly columnist at www.comicmix.com where he pontificates on matters of four-color.