McCain to House GOP: This payroll-tax standoff is hurting the party, you know

posted at 9:25 pm on December 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

Is he right? Over to you, WSJ:

GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell famously said a year ago that his main task in the 112th Congress was to make sure that President Obama would not be re-elected. Given how he and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the payroll tax debate, we wonder if they might end up re-electing the President before the 2012 campaign even begins in earnest.

The GOP leaders have somehow managed the remarkable feat of being blamed for opposing a one-year extension of a tax holiday that they are surely going to pass. This is no easy double play.

Republicans have also achieved the small miracle of letting Mr. Obama position himself as an election-year tax cutter, although he’s spent most of his Presidency promoting tax increases and he would hit the economy with one of the largest tax increases ever in 2013. This should be impossible…

At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation. Wisconsin freshman Senator Ron Johnson has been floating a useful agenda for such a strategy. The alternative is more chaotic retreat and the return of all-Democratic rule.

McCain’s worry is that public esteem for Congress will slide further, which seems nearly impossible at this point. The greater concern, I think, is House and Senate Republicans taking a page from Maverick and waging a war of words against each other in the media as this thing drags on while Obama sits back and cackles. Scott Brown’s already throwing stones, no doubt to try to impress Massachusetts independents who might be intrigued by Elizabeth Warren’s class-warfare appeals to the middle class. Quote: “It angers me that House Republicans would rather continue playing politics than find solutions… We are Americans first; now is not the time for drawing lines in the sand.”

Major Garrett puts the odds of a House GOP cave-in at 50 percent. I’d say they’re even higher than that provided that Boehner can get Reid to agree to add some sort of small face-saving GOP goodie to the two-month payroll-tax holiday extension in order to squeeze a few more votes out of the House caucus. Some extra spending cuts, maybe? Obama would go along that. He’s a big deficit hawk, you know.

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Why didn’t Boehner and McConnell coordinate their positions? Don’t they talk these things over?

Tasha on December 20, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Why would they? Boehner was put in power by the ’10 sweep and knows the voters are angry with business as usual. McConnell is part of the establishment GOP and he’s desperately hoping the Tea Party goes away so he can go back to business as usual.

Come and take it on December 21, 2011 at 12:03 AM

Good gravy. Why doesn’t McCain just sit on a couch with Obama?

csdeven on December 20, 2011 at 10:49 PM
—————————————————————-

Because Barney Frank is laying on top of Obama while Moochelle is in Hawaii, and there’s no more room on the couch?

KOOLAID2 on December 21, 2011 at 12:21 AM

McCain’s worry is that public esteem for Congress will slide further, which seems nearly impossible at this point. The greater concern, I think, is House and Senate Republicans taking a page from Maverick and waging a war of words against each other in the media as this thing drags on while Obama sits back and cackles

Ha! Hilariously put, AP. This reminds me so much of the debt-ceiling raising “crisis” of last Summer. How inept and self-defeating can the GOP leadership get? They never cease to amaze. But like the Venerable Yoda would say: “Keep their feet to the fire we must!”

minnesoter on December 21, 2011 at 12:38 AM

Republicans are so stupid, even a dunce like Harry Reid can out maneuver them. Republicans have never been good at one-ups-manship. They lack the win at all costs gene. They will never out smart liberals in the house, senate or WH. We are 20 years past time for a third party.

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM

The “logic” exhibited by both Brown and McCain is the problem. Instead of insisting on solutions to problems they’re all for kicking the can down the road in the form (this time) of a 2 month extension…

Gohawgs on December 21, 2011 at 12:44 AM

Fact: John “The Dunce” McCain finished near the dead bottom of his graduating class at the naval academy, and he parleyed it into a lifetime career at the highest echelons of power. Wake Up America! The dumb and grasping are lording over us!

Resist! Vote Rick Perry! ..errr lemme get back to you on that.

Spirit Crusher on December 21, 2011 at 12:47 AM

I’ve thought it over and Perry is the only way to go…mental lapses and all.

Perry 2012

Spirit Crusher on December 21, 2011 at 1:03 AM

We have a two party system in this country. The idiots, and the idiots that can’t beat them.

mtucker5695 on December 20, 2011 at 9:46 PM

haha, good one.

The Republican Party seriously needs to collapse and start over. There has not been a conservative presence in D.C. since the New Deal started. Reagan was a conservative president and there have been some conservatives in Congress but there has not been a conservative party.

J.S. Kline on December 21, 2011 at 2:07 AM

Republicans are so stupid, even a dunce like Harry Reid can out maneuver them. Republicans have never been good at one-ups-manship. They lack the win at all costs gene. They will never out smart liberals in the house, senate or WH. We are 20 years past time for a third party.

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM

This year watching the Republicans in Congress has forced me to see the logic of your statement. Do I want Obama re-elected? Of course not. But if our party is this weak-minded and pitifully incompetent in the face of the crisis we face today-they most certainly are-the Republican Party deserves to die. And if voting Third Party re-elects someone like Obama, so be it. This doesn’t mean I will, but I’m way past emotionally responding to such a logical argument with “If you vote Third Party, you’re responsible for Obama destroying our country!” If we vote Republican and we get more of the same, more Boehner-Ryan-Cantor-McConnell-Bush-McCain garbage, we’re basically saying socialism and massive debt is totally fine, so long as its not initiated by the Democrats. And that is anything but principled or conservative or smart. When will we hold the line, not just on Obama, but on these impotent Republicans in Congress? If not now, when? Honestly, if Palin or Bachmann or some other true conservative were to go Third Party, and the GOP keeps playing the stunts and games they have been this whole freaking year, I will go Third Party in a heartbeat. Right now, the biggest reason I’m not is because no Third Party is viable or big enough to go anywhere at the moment, and I want Obama gone, period.

LevinFan90 on December 21, 2011 at 2:08 AM

I have an idea for a third party:

The Republican Party

J.S. Kline on December 21, 2011 at 2:12 AM

At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation. Wisconsin freshman Senator Ron Johnson has been floating a useful agenda for such a strategy. The alternative is more chaotic retreat and the return of all-Democratic rule.

That is a recipe for disaster akin to Newt’s in the 90′s. The Repubs must stand their ground. The bill must go to conference. If it does not the taxes must go up. The House passed a bill and the Senate then changed it. The two bills must go to conference to be consolidated. End of story. Reid and the Senators are not allowed to make new rules. This entire episode proves once again that the Repubs in the Senate are not qualified to lead. They know it and so do independents. Obama sleeps very soundly at night.

Imagine if you would that all the players in this drama were reversed. Can you imagine the outrage if McConnell refused to bring the Senate back from vacation to conference a bill out of a Democrat House. Exactly, McConnell would be a monster causing taxes to go up.

Only this Repub leadership is capable of screwing this up. Worse still, they have no spokesman that can explain how the electorate is being rolled. They deserve their continued second class/back bench status.

patrick neid on December 21, 2011 at 3:02 AM

Fact: John “The Dunce” McCain finished near the dead bottom of his graduating class at the naval academy, and he parleyed it into a lifetime career at the highest echelons of power. Wake Up America! The dumb and grasping are lording over us!

Spirit Crusher

Could you have made a more illogical post?

xblade on December 21, 2011 at 3:14 AM

I really voted for Sarah Palin not McCain.

CoolChange80 on December 21, 2011 at 4:39 AM

Although this guy would have probably been better than what we’re currently employing, thank God he didn’t get elected president.he & his daughter have actually done more to harm the Republican brand than anything John Boehner can do.

Boats48 on December 21, 2011 at 4:40 AM

That’s the way to go Johnny. Politics first – principals second.

Please leave destroying the GOP to the liberals and the MSM.

You’ve helped too much already.

Alferd Packer on December 21, 2011 at 5:13 AM

Begging for just s few more minutes of relevance. Sorry, Johnny, you’re time was up a few years ago. Leave already…vertical or horizontal, I don’t care.

swinia sutki on December 21, 2011 at 5:58 AM

scott brown-shut up!

cmsinaz on December 21, 2011 at 6:11 AM

s few more = a few more. Fat fingers and an aversion to “preview”.

swinia sutki on December 21, 2011 at 6:26 AM

morning joe wants more folks like scott brown

not suprised

cmsinaz on December 21, 2011 at 6:32 AM

CoolChange80 on December 21, 2011 at 4:39 AM

That’s the only reason any conservative would have voted for this dolt!

flytier on December 21, 2011 at 7:24 AM

Scott Brown is a opportunist tool who fooled many people.

Of course he’s ‘the best we can do’ but he will literally say anything at all in the desperate hope he can somehow hold onto his seat in Taxachussetts. If that means he goes full-on Progressive and promises to vote for Obama next year, he absolutely will go there.

CorporatePiggy on December 21, 2011 at 7:25 AM

Even Neal Boortz, who was just on F&F recognizes what a political fiasco this is. He noted correctly that the “inexperienced” Tea Party cannot continually stand on principle – they have to be aware of the political implications of their actions and when you end up making Obama look like a tax cutter you lose the argument. And of course he noted the obvious fact that Boehner and McConnell need to talk to each other.

Buy Danish on December 21, 2011 at 7:36 AM

McCain lecturing anybody about hurting the GOP is akin to listening to Bill Clinton discuss marital fidelity. If the cranky old RINO really cared about the party, he wouldn’t have torpedoed the party in 2008 by running for the Presidency. In short, he more than GWB foisted Obama on this nation. I don’t really care what he has to say, I just wish he’d retire and ride off into oblivion, taking his with his vapid idiot of a daughter along with him.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2011 at 7:42 AM

Wow that McLame sure is a fighter!

Just ask him!

Now excuse me while I puke again.

VelvetElvis on December 21, 2011 at 7:42 AM

J-Mac hurts “the party, ya know” simply by being J-Mac!

Bugger off Manchurian plant!

insidiator on December 21, 2011 at 7:45 AM

I wish that dead-ringer for Charlie Chaplin would shut up and go back to Arizona and take that little pipsqueak Megan with him. His candidacy in ’08 hurt the party more that any “obstruction” the GOP could do in Congress. I remember screaming at the TV when he told us that we had nothing to fear from Obama. Oh, yeah?

Qzsusy on December 21, 2011 at 7:51 AM

John McCain – every time you open your mouth you hurt the Republican party. It’s time to RESIGN and give someone who isn’t a RINO the representation that Arizon deserves.

IlonaE on December 21, 2011 at 7:56 AM

At this point, the best thing the Senate Republicans can do is come back to Washington DC for a vote on the one-year extension and dare Reid not to show up.

That’s the only way I can see out of this clusterfark.

DRayRaven on December 21, 2011 at 8:03 AM

Any idiot would know that a two month extension is worthless. The government can’t do anything in or for two months.

Since when do Democrats fight for a tax decrease? The real issue is their beloved “continue-to-extend” unemployment benefits until they become permanent which is also part of the bill.

Dems scream that Social Security is sancrosanct and yet they push to cut it’s funding. Go figure!

And let’s not forget, this so-called tax cut has been in effect for one year. If it’s extended, count on it being made permanent. I say let the ss tax cut expire and reduce the income tax to offset the ss increase if they are so worried about people being devasted by the pittance they will lose.

Republicans fault? Give me a break. The Democratic senate has been blocking legislation passed by the Republican congress for at least a year and has failed to pass a budget in close to 900 days. When has that ever happened in this country’s history since budgets were started?

iamsaved on December 21, 2011 at 8:05 AM

time for mclame to retire and shut that hole under his nose

he got the nomination from the party and campaigned like he was part of comrade hussein’s staff

and when mclame departs, hopefully he will drag his loud mouth empty headed brat with him

strange how the supposed maverick turned into comrade’s mascot, claims to understand what is happening in dc

too bad he didn’t fight for the oval office

tuttle from tacoma on December 21, 2011 at 8:31 AM

Boehner and McConnell are making Biden look smart.

bloviator on December 21, 2011 at 8:32 AM

McCain is definitely an expert on how to hurt the party.

BBReggie on December 21, 2011 at 8:36 AM

“Crossing the aisle” again.

ninjacoastie on December 21, 2011 at 8:47 AM

Go away John. Take Megan with you.

kozmo on December 21, 2011 at 8:48 AM

I’ve thought it over and Perry is the only way to go…mental lapses and all.

Um…no.

Good Lt on December 21, 2011 at 8:49 AM

Pubbie House being sabotaged by Pubbie Senate – remember the cave in to the supercommittee. Where did that get anybody??? As usual, McCain proves the rule of the Pubbie Senators – ‘go along; get along’. Most of the Pubbie Senators are a wish list for losers with a ‘Kick Me!’ sign on their backs: McCain, Brown, Collins, Snowe, Lugar, Alexander and the rest of the RINO suspects.

Bob in VA on December 21, 2011 at 8:53 AM

McCain is abolsolutely right. McConnell and Boehner have completely screwed the pooch on this. Managing to make Obama look statesmanlike and reasonable is quite a feat. Whatever they’re paying their strategists and PR consultants is way too much.

ombdz on December 21, 2011 at 8:55 AM

Maybe the repubs should buy a copy of the Chicago playbook so they can keep up with these dirty tricks. Has anybody explained why the so called tax cut is only extended for 2 months? I know the behind the scenes reason is so they can hash it all out again, but they must have put out a reason for taking the House bill and reducing the time line by 10 months. There is something afoot here.
I hated voting for McLame and only did so because of SP. When McLame goes, Meggie will, too.

Kissmygrits on December 21, 2011 at 9:43 AM

We already know you’re the stupid party, you don’t have to keep reminding us.

BTW, I only wish the evil party got this much attention by the media during their own little reminders.

Ukiah on December 21, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Republicans are so stupid, even a dunce like Harry Reid can out maneuver them. Republicans have never been good at one-ups-manship. They lack the win at all costs gene. They will never out smart liberals in the house, senate or WH. We are 20 years past time for a third party.

they lie on December 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM

I’d be more concerned that WE can’t beat them. If they play the same game WE lose. I’d be looking for more honesty, frugality, and doing the RIGHT THING.

They play the same game, I vote them out. Try it.

landowner on December 21, 2011 at 10:27 AM

Boehners biggest mistake was putting his faith in McConnell to deal with anything. McConnell has always been in it for McConnell and McConnell along. Plus McConnell and Reid are like Blood Sisters they share in one anothers victories and winnings. As for McCain, his old rear needs to be kicked out of congress so he can spend more time with that buldging daughter of his and maybe straighten her silly arse up.

RiCkY.D. on December 21, 2011 at 10:53 AM

McCain is what the establishment Republicans gave the party in 2008. Typical dumbasses.

MoreLiberty on December 21, 2011 at 11:57 AM

I’m wondering…is John McCain related to Jimmy Carter, by any chance?

uncle_fweddy on December 21, 2011 at 1:04 PM

McCain is an idiot who has been there way too long. The only reason he ever got elected is because of his prisoner status in VN. So what? Many of us served in VN and we don’t go around trying to use it as an excuse to get elected. Time for him to go home, he’s got mad cow desease or something.

rjulio on December 21, 2011 at 1:53 PM

Feel free to shuffle off to Buffalo at the first opportunity, McRINO.

mojo on December 21, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Both McCain and the editorial staff of the WSJ are in danger of having Man-cards revoked.

applebutter on December 22, 2011 at 1:27 AM

Political gamesmanship of and by the big time looser McCain, go figure… Why are the GOP establishment types dictating to the only GOP controlled part of our Government, the House, to get behind the business as usual, no budget for three plus years, Democrat controlled Senate? Will the nullification of the 2010 election by the GOP establishment never cease?

aposematic on December 22, 2011 at 7:39 AM

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