Inside the Plan B meltdown

posted at 9:01 am on December 21, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

NRO’s Robert Costa was on the Hill last night, watching as disaster unfolded for John Boehner on the House floor.  All day long, House GOP leadership predicted a close but successful vote in forcing the Senate to reject a plan that raised taxes on millionaires while keeping rates at current levels for everyone else.  But when a vote to replace the sequester ended up a lot closer than GOP whips had predicted, Boehner understood that the writing was on the wall for his Plan B political strategy.

When Boehner threw in the towel, though, even his critics in the caucus were stunned:

Boehner’s speech to the group was short and curt: He said his plan didn’t have enough support, and that the House would adjourn until after Christmas, perhaps even later. But it was Boehner’s tone and body language that caught most Republicans off guard. The speaker looked defeated, unhappy, and exhausted after hours of wrangling. He didn’t want to fight. There was no name-calling. As a devout Roman Catholic, Boehner wanted to pray. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he told the crowd, according to attendees.

There were audible gasps of surprise, especially from freshman lawmakers who didn’t see the meltdown coming. Boehner’s friends were shocked, and voiced their disappointment so the speaker’s foes could hear. “My buddies and I said the same thing to each other,” a Boehner ally told me later. “We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and just groaned. This is a disaster.”

Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, a burly former car dealer, stood up and urged the conference to get behind the speaker. “How the hell can you do this?” Kelly asked, according to several people inside the room. A few of Boehner’s critics told Kelly to stop lecturing, but most were silent. They had been battling against “Plan B” all week, and quite suddenly, they had crippled the leadership. Boehner sensed the tension, requested calm, and then exited the room.

It’s not just Boehner allies who may end up regretting the failure:

“I don’t want to talk to the people who ruined this, at least right now,” a retiring House member told me. “They don’t get it.” Another senior member told me that Boehner was always going to struggle with the whip count since most House conservatives have little interest in seeing the speaker strike any kind of deal. “Boehner was trying to play chess and the caucus was playing checkers,” he said, sighing. “Boehner is willing to lose a pawn for a queen. I’m not sure about the rest.”

Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a conservative with libertarian leanings, was stunned. As he walked back to his office, he said the episode was unfortunate, even though he was planning to vote against the measure. For the past month, since House leaders booted him off the budget committee, he has been railing against Boehner for his management style. But even Amash wondered whether the House GOP was making the right move. “Too many people in there were arguing that this thing is a tax increase, and I don’t think that’s what Boehner was trying to do,” he said. As much as he disagrees with Boehner’s approach, even he regretted how the speaker’s plan was killed.

Be sure to read it all.  While Boehner came under considerable heat for this strategy, he’s playing a losing hand overall anyway.  Plan B wouldn’t have even gotten a Senate vote, but neither will any bill pushed by the conservative wing, either.  Plan B would have at least given Republicans some measure of political cover to insist that they weren’t blocking middle-class tax stability, especially since the bill that Boehner pulled would have addressed tax rates separately, as well as the AMT patch. And if by chance the Senate felt forced to take it up and pass it, the bill would have left the debt limit as a big bargaining chip for February without keeping most taxpayers hostage.

Instead, Boehner lost control of the caucus, and with it any juice Boehner might have now or in February.  That’s Boehner’s fault in large measure, too; he shouldn’t have gone to the floor without knowing he could get enough support to pass the bill.  But the failure of this measure makes it very easy for Democrats and the media to paint the House GOP as so resistant to new revenues that they’re willing to obstruct tax relief for over 99% of the country, even though Democrats had said they wouldn’t pass it.

Will this push us over the fiscal cliff?  I will have a few thoughts on that later.


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ButterflyDragon on December 21, 2012 at 9:36 AM

you think this turd sandwich would create voters for the GOP?? its this kind of capitulation taht has lost the party voters. they are staying home in droves because they see it as a waste since all the GOP does is cave and cave and cave again. and the excuse about the media blaming the problems on the GOP just dont fly. they will blame us no matter what.

chasdal on December 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM

I guess it’s time to drop the GOP and register as an independent. It used to be said that politics was “the art of the possible.” No longer.

What the “let it burn” fools fail to realize is that this nation is too great to actually fail in the way they imagine in their fever dreams. Instead, it will wallow along like a great beast with a deep, painful, crippling, but not fatal wound.

Euro-statism, China, and Islamism will be ascendant and the American Experiment will become an interesting two-hundred-year anomaly in political history.

skydaddy on December 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

These guys have been at war with us since they tried passing amnesty in 2006, so I am not sure why they expect us to support them now, especially since they managed to lose to the most beatable president since Jimmy Carter.

Bull crap they have been at war with us since at least 1984 when Reagan won one of the biggest landslides in modern history. They replaced almost all of the Reaganites as soon as bush got the POTUS and every since they have tried to put the genie of conservatism back in the bottle. They thought thety had done it mostly until 2010 and its landslide showe dthe GOPe how little they had accomplished in their decade long war on conservatism. So they redoubled their efforts from Nov 2010 onward. They would rather of a marxist in charge then thesavage “hicks” out in flyover country.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM

SAMinVA on December 21, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Well said! Now maybe a complete change in leadership will be possible. No Boehner, Cantor or Ryan! Ryan’s bugdet had no spending cuts. They continually call a cut in the rate of growth in spending, a cut! All of them are gamesmen protecting their careers. Term Limits ought to be one of the first battles, along with a balanced budget amendment!

tomshup on December 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM

wtf get a lottery ticket both of ya

sesquipedalian on December 21, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I’ll be sure to do that.

forest on December 21, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Fascinating stuff.
Repubs seems to in a circular firing squad.
I really didn’t expect these guys to flail and fail this much.
So much for the NY Jets being the worst team out there…

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Umm.. Yeah. Let’s just never elect a R President again. As in ever. m’kay. That is the way that we’re going right now. It was political theatre last night and about fifty or so in the GOP caucus were too worried about ideological purity to see the bigger picture. Barry won in November, so the tax increases were going through. Apparently there is a parallel universe where we’re currently talking about President-elect Mitt Romney’s transition, but it isn’t this one. Boehner was stupid to bring this to the floor and he isn’t a smart negotiator or leader. Woodward’s book makes that clear. The Rs would benefit from a savvier, younger leader But Boehner was right about the optics of this.

Also, Amash gets the Clueless award for being actually stunned that optics matter in politics. Amash lost his Committee seat because he voted against the Ryan budget. Ryan was likely the one who requested it.

Illinidiva on December 21, 2012 at 10:04 AM

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM

You’ve got a point…but, if you wear a hat, nobody will notice it.

kingsjester on December 21, 2012 at 10:05 AM

How can any future Democrat politician run on a platform of bigger government and generous entitlements when it would take tax rates upwards of 80% on everyone to pay for it?

Doughboy on December 21, 2012 at 9:59 AM

They already figured out how to do it. It went from tax to spend to “borrow and spend” instead of tax and spend. Bush clinton Bush Obama even Reagan engaged in this “new line of thinking”. since that is now at a dead end the politicians moved to the “print and spend” standard. And when that fails. they will move to the next phase “confiscate and spend” and when that results in revolts and such they will disband elections and move to “martial law and spend”

So I’m not holding out hope that the politicians will all of a sudden find God and stop their spending. the only thing that has stayed the same is each policy pushes spending to grow.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:08 AM

I guess it’s time to drop the GOP and register as an independent. It used to be said that politics was “the art of the possible.” No longer.

skydaddy on December 21, 2012 at 10:00 AM

Politics is the “art of the possible,” you’re correct. The problem is, you’re using that term in the sense of making compromises with the Democrats. Unfortunately, the GOP first has to be able to compromise with its own base. Since they won’t, they’re going to keep running into disasters like this.

The conservative vote is not a “captive” vote or an “automatic” vote that the GOP is “entitled” to.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Well if you read this it sounds like both parties are a lot closer than we think and maybe they can still reach a deal.
http://news.yahoo.com/hot-rhetoric-tiny-numbers-separate-214205203.html

scalleywag on December 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:03 AM

You should be happy, the path to Utopia is getting cleared of debris.

By this time next year we should be enjoying massive success in every economic indicator as the left is predicting.

See you then! :)

Bishop on December 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Sweet sweet conservative retribution there Johnny. A new conservative party is the only way forward.

Mr. Arrogant on December 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

We’re poised at the cliff’s edge whether Plan B passed or not. Let’s say it did pass, The Narrative was already in place: Oh it was a show vote only, unserious, a waste of time, done for political cover blah blah blah. CNN was fomenting this before Boehner even took the floor.

Face it folks, the media has de-legitimized the GOP and everything the party is supposed to be about. Low taxes are selfish. Not pandering to skin color, gender, etc. is being a bigot. Freedom is out of date and irresponsible.

Too many decent people who are conservative at their core but don’t know it, and do not pay attention to politics, are still asleep.

LetsBfrank on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

It’s up to you now HARRY!!!!!!!!

Rovin on December 21, 2012 at 10:16 AM

I can’t stand the GOPe anymore Can’t stand the dems either. Its time for a third party.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

You should be happy, the path to Utopia is getting cleared of debris.

By this time next year we should be enjoying massive success in every economic indicator as the left is predicting.

See you then! :)

Bishop on December 21, 2012 at 10:10 AM

What every economic indicator has been reacting to for the most part in the inability for these guys (Dems/Repubs/Prez) to get anything done.
I actually thought Boehner had managed to somewhat outmaneuver Obama here. I didn’t like it, but it seemed savy and positioned him/Repubs well.
But that was yesterday.
(And don’t be too bummed. You can have a ride on my Utopian Unicorn!)

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

Just a thought…
Was ‘Plan B’ really the best name for something you wanted to sell to the right wing of your party?

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM

I asked in the Headlines and didn’t get a substantial answer: What’s the plan, now? It’s got to be better than “CONSERVATISM! And hoping for the best! Ummm, I don’t know…”

You don’t kill the king without something ready to replace him. You don’t kill a plan without something to replace it. So what is replacing Plan B as the Plan To Eternal Conservative Winning?

Sekhmet on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Problem for U.S. is that the plan was and still is to sneek it past U.S. and they all still get re-elected.

Problem for U.S. is that there is a leadership in Washington D.C. that is in fact a “TWO PARTY EVIL MONEY CULT”.

Problem is they now hope we are distracted with this bull shit and they can slip the full Amnesty by U.S..

Hold the line.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

The Bush ‘tax cuts’ are going to expire because the election has already been won by the socialists. They are going to get what they want – higher taxes. There never was going to be a ‘compromise’.

The House still has the power to stop the spending, if they would just exercise that power. Not likely – too many Rhinos still in there.

TerryW on December 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Too many decent people who are conservative at their core but don’t know it, and do not pay attention to politics, are still asleep.

LetsBfrank on December 21, 2012 at 10:14 AM

the GOPe put them to sleep and keeps them asleep. In 2010 many woke up and the GOPe did everything in their power to make sure they went back to sleep then was shocked when Mitt lost. They want to win without conservatives and they can’t. The GOPe hates that but reality is tough sometimes. Either the GOPe moves back to the right or a third party will form and it will cost the GOPe every election for the next 40 years.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

The trouble is that “don’t blame us” is more like begging than a strategy, when so much of the country still prefers to scapegoat Bush (and by extension all Republicans) for its problems. It also fuels the misconception that higher taxes on the rich are important to economic recovery when (pure politics aside) they are at best irrelevant. So although I understand Boehner’s desire to salvage Republicans’ electoral prospects, and his frustration at ungrateful conservatives, the game he is playing bears a closer resemblance to tiddlywinks. Somehiw it doesn’t dignify the stakes.

Seth Halpern on December 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM

So what is replacing Plan B as the Plan To Eternal Conservative Winning?

Sekhmet on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM

McCain and Romney?

weaselyone on December 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM

somehow

Seth Halpern on December 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Since the Busgh tax cuts brought in almost $1 trliion in new rev I would suspect once they expuire that revenue will dry up and out budget will be more like $2 trillion in a year or so. If Congress ever passes a budget again.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:23 AM

Hold the line.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on December 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

+1000

DanMan on December 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Who f’ing cares? The majority of voters in this damn nation surely don’t.

LET
IT
BURN

RedNewEnglander on December 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM

You know what the calamity of this whole thing is? These are the same people who spent and spent and spent and it’s laughable to listen to any of them, from either side, talk about how they want to improve our economic situation when they’re the ones who created it in the first place. I don’t think the left has any intention whatsoever of cutting spending, they want more money so they can spend more. I don’t think the right has any room to talk when it comes to spending because they don’t exactly have a record of being frugal with our money. They remind me of hoarders…collecting as much money of ours as they can and then wasting it on piles and piles of worthless programs. They need an intervention, they can’t be trusted to work together. They need a big boy to tell them to sit down and shut the @#$# up and listen to what WE WANT them to do.
WE ARE the adults in the room.

scalleywag on December 21, 2012 at 10:27 AM

This sets it up perfectly for the Dems to come in next year, propose something similar, get it passed and become the party of low taxes for the middle class, while the Republicans are portrayed as the party of the rich. As usual. But this time there will be a record of the Republicans refusing to maintain lower tax rates for the 99% because it wouldn’t protect their most precious 1%. That, at least, is how it is going to play out in the press. Someone tell me that I’m wrong. Those opposed to this proposal (that was going nowhere anyway) are extremely shortsited. We are taking a weak political position today and using it to make an even weaker political situation in the future. I don’t see how that is smart.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Just a thought…
Was ‘Plan B’ really the best name for something you wanted to sell to the right wing of your party?

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM

It was worth it to have Democrats in the Senate vote against Plan B

gwelf on December 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

If he cant get people to follow, he doesnt know how to lead, he doesnt articulate why his position is the right move and he used repulsive bullying to get his way. Why should we trust the guy who went along with the spendathon during the bush years and made this idiotic debt ceiling deal to begin with. Why should we trust the very people that failed to make the tax cuts permanent? With very few exceptions I dont trust any of them on either side of the aisle. We have no leadership no rudder and no good faith in Boehner so he needs to be replaced.

ldbgcoleman on December 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

Just a thought…
Was ‘Plan B’ really the best name for something you wanted to sell to the right wing of your party?

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM

It was worth it to have Democrats in the Senate vote against Plan B

gwelf on December 21, 2012 at 10:28 AM

Touche.

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:30 AM

He did. Now he’s going to tell Obama and Reid to get him a bill to vote on. When Obama and Reid fail to do that, it will be obvious who the obstructionists are – even with the MSM desperately trying to provide cover.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Wrong. They will wait until January. And then send a proposal to cut the taxes for everyone under 200/250. And the GOP will choke on it as the Dems become the party of low taxes and the GOP is reinforced as the party of and for the rich only.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Bull crap they have been at war with us since at least 1984 when Reagan won one of the biggest landslides in modern history. They replaced almost all of the Reaganites as soon as bush got the POTUS and every since they have tried to put the genie of conservatism back in the bottle.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:01 AM

Yes, but 2006 was when the break became open and the intra-party “civil war” really got started. Before that conservatives had been quietly going along with things for the most part. My suspicion is the internet made it easier for conservatives to organize and thus to resist GOP pressure to cave.

Either the GOPe moves back to the right or a third party will form and it will cost the GOPe every election for the next 40 years.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I think we should stop thinking about a third party and start thinking about a new second party. The GOP position is already pretty bad and when they get destroyed in 2014-2016 they’ll be ripe for overrunning with a new party. The GOP strikes me as being like the Whigs after the defeat of Winfield Scott – hopelessly divided and unable to agree on anything.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:32 AM

I actually thought Boehner had managed to somewhat outmaneuver Obama here.

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:18 AM

He did. Now he’s going to tell Obama and Reid to get him a bill to vote on. When Obama and Reid fail to do that, it will be obvious who the obstructionists are – even with the MSM desperately trying to provide cover.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

Well Boehner seems to be quite depressed about all of it.
Maybe he’ll get to a ‘f*ck ‘em’ point and come back and negotiate a deal that’s a compromise and will pass. He’d likely lose the Speaker-ship, but he’d earn/deserve respect from most Americans and most of his colleagues. Tears of joy?

verbaluce on December 21, 2012 at 10:33 AM

LET
IT
BURN
RedNewEnglander on December 21, 2012 at 10:26 AM

My view at this point is that the cliff is the antithesis of LiB. For LiB, we need to pass Obama’s $1.6T tax hike out of the House (voting present). And that vote wouldn’t likely matter either because I strongly doubt the Dem Senate wants to touch that thing with a 10 foot pole.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:34 AM

He did. Now he’s going to tell Obama and Reid to get him a bill to vote on. When Obama and Reid fail to do that, it will be obvious who the obstructionists are – even with the MSM desperately trying to provide cover.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:24 AM

In a perfect world. But the GOP has passed bill after bill dealing with these issues but they have died in the Senate without any action taken (usually with a meaningless threat to veto from the rat-eared commie).

IMO, Boehner’s days as leader are numbered and the filthy Dems are not going to like the next one as much as they do the orange rag doll that they’ve been able to manipulate these past few years.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

IMO, Boehner’s days as leader are numbered and the filthy Dems are not going to like the next one as much as they do the orange rag doll that they’ve been able to manipulate these past few years.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

Until 2014 when the party of tax cuts clobbers the party of the rich and the Dems (with John Roberts) take over complete control of the federal government.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

IMO, Boehner’s days as leader are numbered and the filthy Dems are not going to like the next one as much as they do the orange rag doll that they’ve been able to manipulate these past few years.

Happy Nomad on December 21, 2012 at 10:35 AM

It really depends who wins. I agree Boehner is doomed, but I don’t think an Eric Cantor speakership would necessarily be much different from Boehner. But after the “purges” and the like I’m not sure conservatives have the power to get one of their people in either. And given Jim DeMint, I wonder how many conservative stalwarts would even want such a thankless job.

I think this intra-party stalemate will continue indefinitely.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:40 AM

You people need to stop picking on Tears Boehner, he is just following the script of our political Kabuki Theatre. He gives in and then the Republican leadership will tell us they will really give it to Obama and the Dems next time. You just wait, and wait and wait!

Africanus on December 21, 2012 at 10:41 AM

Until 2014 when the party of tax cuts clobbers the party of the rich and the Dems (with John Roberts) take over complete control of the federal government.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

Your humorless and utter pessimism makes me laugh – go fiscal cliff! :D

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Until 2014 when the party of tax cuts clobbers the party of the rich and the Dems (with John Roberts) take over complete control of the federal government.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:39 AM

That was going to pretty much happen anyway regardless of what the Republicans did. Boehnerite-style procedural tricks aren’t going to help us as we discovered in 2011-2012 and the media is going to “paint” us negatively no matter what we do. Even if plan B had passed it would have either been dismissed by the media or else Obama would have been given credit.

Unless the Republican party takes radical moves to oppose Obama (which they’ve shown no inclination to do) we’re headed for a major defeat in 2014 as more and more of the conservative base walks away from the party.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

People like to whine here about Boehner, and I too wish we had a more charismatic, intuitive Speaker. The fact that we don’t is because of the seniority rules in the House.

Paul Ryan received a waiver to be Budget head, he is not senior enough to get that. A lot of the plum jobs go the way of seniority, and establishment members expect that. I think they need to abolish the seniority rules within the republican side of the House, or the entire House, if possible. There are things in which experience counts, but not if it is only to drag bad practice thru to the present. I am not for hasty knee jerk decision making. But some of the 2010 tea party members do not have the seniority to qualify for the best jobs, just like Rubio in the Senate. That said, I don’t see the tea party’s plan to get anything done in the House, where is it, have they held a news conference? Is it credible or is it just let the economy fall to shambles? I can manage the cliff if it is with the promise of some real solution, tax reform, SS reform, and a message to the country that the rates are not going to be what they are on Jan. 1. They don’t have to be. There is a year to change the 2013 tax bill, but SAY it.

I would like to see Boehner hand the mantle to Ryan. I would also like to see our side not have to disparage our own in public, because when the left joins in, and 75% according to the polls don’t like Boehner, the media reports that 75% don’t like Boehner’s conservative ideals and prefer Mrs. Pelosi’s ideals, they conveniently conclude.

I also think that the media is communicating to our members their own point of view, not ours and so they are not getting what we think, they are getting the mass media perspective.

When Boehner left, he said they had passed measures earlier in the season, that await the Senate’s action. The tools are there, unpleasant for Harry Reid and Obama as they are. We follow the rules and we suffer for it. Does anyone have any idea how to get Reid and Obama to swallow this unpleasant meal if they don’t want to? Reid has not passed a budget in four years, how do we force that, it is required by law?

The media is not going to prosecute this case for us, perhaps those with 503c status might do it?

Fleuries on December 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Pass Obama’s plan and let the Senate choke on it. Let Obama fight Reid – obstructionist vs obstructionist.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

IMO, this is the best strategic plan.

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM

The fact that we don’t is because of the seniority rules in the House.

Fleuries on December 21, 2012 at 10:45 AM

Well, then there lies the problem within itself. The party should elect the person who is most qualified to lead, not by some determination of how long they’ve been sucking off the public teat.

It’s a crazy thought, but that is supposedly how we put these “public servants” in office in the first place.

LoganSix on December 21, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Obama doesn’t want compromise, but Obama also doesn’t want his own plan to become law.

Pass Obama’s plan and let the Senate choke on it. Let Obama fight Reid – obstructionist vs obstructionist.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I’ve been popping popcorn for a long time, waiting for this to happen – you are more than welcome to help yourself to what I’ve popped! :D

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 10:49 AM

That was going to pretty much happen anyway regardless of what the Republicans did. Boehnerite-style procedural tricks aren’t going to help us as we discovered in 2011-2012 and the media is going to “paint” us negatively no matter what we do. Even if plan B had passed it would have either been dismissed by the media or else Obama would have been given credit.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

That is true, but the GOP needs to do something to try to inoculate themselves against this meme when it comes (or at least mitigate it a little!).

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM

Pass Obama’s plan and let the Senate choke on it. Let Obama fight Reid – obstructionist vs obstructionist.
blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

I’ve been popping popcorn for a long time, waiting for this to happen – you are more than welcome to help yourself to what I’ve popped! :D
Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 10:49 AM

I’d gladly enjoy some popcorn with you if they passed Obama’s plan. Otherwise – humorless pessimism!!

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM

The winning Republican message should be, we’re willing to raise taxes but the additional revenue has to go towards bringing down the debt and, if we’re going to increase revenue, there has to be spending cuts, immediate spending cuts.

I totally disagree with this. Nobody really cares about bringing down the debt, and a clear majority opposes any specific spending cuts. Why should we sacrifice standing for what is popular (low taxes), in return for getting and then getting blamed for what is not popular (spending cuts)? Makes no sense to me. Just stand for low taxes, all the time, everywhere, for everyone, plus no cuts to military, and then let the Dem’s and “the bond market” worry about what needs to be cut.

Progressive Heretic on December 21, 2012 at 10:56 AM

The conservative vote is not a “captive” vote or an “automatic” vote that the GOP is “entitled” to.

Doomberg on December 21, 2012 at 10:09 AM

Damned skippy!

astonerii on December 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Good. We’re all going down with the ship together. No lifeboats for the Obamavoters.

portlandon on December 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I’d gladly enjoy some popcorn with you if they passed Obama’s plan. Otherwise – humorless pessimism!!

besser tot als rot on December 21, 2012 at 10:52 AM

It would be great to watch.

It would be fun if Pelosi had it voted down. It would be fun if Reid voted it down. It would be the most fun if Obama vetoed it as some “Republican trick”.

The worst thing that could happen is that it becomes law, but then the democrats own the economy 100%. They will have nobody to blame. Let it burn.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:53 AM

To be clear, I should tell you two I think the GOP has already passed the bills it needed to to set the table for the 0dumba vs. “American Gothic” Reid battle – if the GOP holds firm here and sits on the sidelines until some Dumbocrats show they are capable of acting like adults, I believe they’ll be ok.

Knowing my mindset, I’ll be a little sad if besser now won’t enjoy my popcorn with me :(

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 11:03 AM

Pass Obama’s plan and let the Senate choke on it. Let Obama fight Reid – obstructionist vs obstructionist.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

That strategy won’t work. Reid won’t bring any of 0bama’s plans up for a vote in the Senate. He can’t afford another embarrassment like when they brought 0bama’s budget proposal up for a vote and it didn’t get a single “yea” vote from either party.

He’d leave it sitting on his desk and blame the GOP for not doing anything. And the loyal press will dutifully report that the “do-nothing GOP congress” let taxes go up for the poor and middle class.

UltimateBob on December 21, 2012 at 11:05 AM

Another wheel just came off.

Seems to me this is just one episode of our out of control government careening towards fiscal insolvency. Budgets not presented, debt ceilings raised, taxes up and down and sideways–who can plan a life or business with this constant turmoil?

PattyJ on December 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

Representative Justin Amash of Michigan, a conservative with libertarian leanings, was stunned. As he walked back to his office, he said the episode was unfortunate, even though he was planning to vote against the measure.

Lol. Party of No has reached such an extreme that they tell no to themselves.

lester on December 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Damn, if only Plan B had passed. Republicans would finally get good press from the MSM, and start turning Obama voters./

Dongemaharu on December 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Just another epic fail brought to you by the Moderate get along party of R. Fire them!

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

Good. Boehner needs to go, and anyone who thinks this cute trick would’ve absolved the GOP of blame for the fiscal cliff hasn’t read the 2012 exit polls showing that the majority of the country still blames Bush for the economy. Republicans need to let everyone know that they’re not voting for a tax increase on anyone, and let the negotiating start from there.

Progressive Heretic on December 21, 2012 at 11:12 AM

L.I.B. Out of the ashes, a Phoenix will arise.

they lie on December 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Nancy Pelosi had more balls as speaker than John Boehner. She beat Bush on any number of issues. She got Obama everything he wanted.

John Boehner is the biggest failure of a GOP house speaker ever.

Newt Gingrich was masterful as speaker. Newt was a speaker who knew how to manipulate the media, use the Presidents popularity against him, and get things done.

Boehner has to go.

portlandon on December 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

blink on December 21, 2012 at 10:42 AM

Should have, would have, could have. Now the hand the R’s have to play is even weaker. Thanks to all the weak kneed R’s. Replace them with Conservatives not afraid to fight, not willing to appease.

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 11:13 AM

Good. We’re all going down with the ship together. No lifeboats for the Obamavoters.

portlandon on December 21, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Yep, and, all things considered, I like it! :)

The way I see it, the only path to victory here for the GOP is to be the Party of “No, and HELL no!” – better for them to lose honorably in the name of fiscal sanity and responsibility than “win” dishonorably by compromising with fiscally irresponsible Dumbocrats, who only want to keep kicking the can down the road because they are too stupid to think of anything else to do.

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 11:17 AM

I hope this isn’t a preview of these bozos handling anti-gun legislation. Haven’t Republicans done enough losing for 2012?

claudius on December 21, 2012 at 9:14 AM

That, and the debt ceiling negotiations will be collateral damage from this debacle – all credibility is now gone.

The Republicans just cut off their noses to spite their faces.

right of the dial on December 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

@UltimateBob: You don’t think it’s a stretch to believe the country will absolve Reid for sailing over the cliff even if Republicans totally lie down and play dead?

Seth Halpern on December 21, 2012 at 11:23 AM

I’m ok with that plan, too.

I recommend that we either:

1. Let It Burn; or

2. Shut It Down.

No in-between!

blink on December 21, 2012 at 11:22 AM

:)

I have been thinking this showdown is our sides’ chance to redeem ourselves after Newt blinked before Clinton did during the gov’t shutdown in the 90′s – if we play our cards right this time, we’ll win.

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Let’s see The speaker goes to war with conservatives last month, he goes to war with the grassroots during the RNC convention and then wonders why conservatives nor grassroots support him? Mr. Speaker go to hell resign you are a disgrace.

unseen on December 21, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Bingo! +1000

“I am taking you off all the committees, but please vote my way against your principles.”

If this stupid vote was for Repub cover then it was risky and BONER should have made sure he had the fricking votes.

melle1228 on December 21, 2012 at 11:29 AM

You’ve got to be kidding me.

House Republicans actually grew a spine and told the insanely-over-his-head-RINO-speaker to pound sand?

They actually stuck to their core principles?

Well no friggin’ wonder Ed’s panties are in a twist!

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 11:35 AM

Hey Ed….Let’s go play checkers.

I’ll let you whine the whole time!

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

lester on December 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Ladies and gentleman, it’s lester, who gleefully supports a President who wants to impoverish ALL the citizens of the nation he presides over.

Right Mover on December 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

“He has worked his heart out to try to get the best deal he can, and to have this happen is very sad for the country,” McKeon said.

No. What is very sad for the country is that NEITHER Obama’s so-great-that-it-cannot-be-reduced-to-paper plan and Plan B address the greatest, long-term issues facing this country: the unsustainable spending, the unsustainable entitlement programmes, and the national debt, which will cost $1 trillion per year to service within the decade.

Raising taxes on the top 2% will fund 8 days of the Federal government. It is nothing, but a symbolic gesture to feed the class warfare monster.

Over 200 years ago, men and women in the American colonies declared their independence from a King maintaining, among other things, that there should be no taxation without representation. Earlier this month, I read a poll where a majority of Democrats said that no cuts should be made to either Social Security or Medicare even if it means that trillions of dollars of debt is passed onto their future generations, who have no say in the matter at present. How shameful.

“I place economy among the first and most important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers to be feared. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labor and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people, under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

– Thomas Jefferson

“I hope a tax will be preferred [to a loan which threatens to saddle us with a perpetual debt], because it will awaken the attention of the people and make reformation and economy the principle of the next election. The frequent recurrence of this chastening operation can alone restrain the propensity of governments to enlarge expense beyond income.”

-Thomas Jefferson to Albert Gallatin, 1820

“I think we have more machinery of government than is necessary, too many parasites living on the labor of the industrious.”

-Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Ludlow, 6 September 1824

I propose: a 10% across-the-board cut* in spending to start, along with the elimination of baseline budgeting, and an across-the-board tax RISE.

Until the American people feel the pinch of the government they vote for, they will continue to vote for the government to rob Peter to pay them, Paul and Mary.

* It works and the world doesn’t end. Sweden cut spending by 11% across-the board in the early 90s and, in the late 90s, Canada cut spending by up to 20% within four years across the board. Both saw dramatic and positive results.

Resist We Much on December 21, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Feel free to tell me how we will win a shut-down this time. The media is much more supportive of Obama than they ever were for Clinton. If you’re the House Republicans, then how do you manage a shut down this time?

The only thing I can think of is to only agree to spending resolutions that only allow for necessities. All types of spending can be held up during this period. The GOP will get clobbered every day by the media running stories about how the “Republican shut down” (which is exactly what it will be called) is ruining the country.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I wasn’t suggesting a gov’t shutdown, was I?

However, I do see this present battle as an extension of that one – we didn’t hold firm then when we should have, and now, we have a golden opportunity again to prove that we are responsible adults rather than tepid ones – our backs truly are against the wall here, and I believe we’ll rise to the occasion rather than wither away.

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

I think it’s a great idea to rely on the media to do the honorable thing and cover this correctly. They have after all always done the R’s right in the past. Certainly they will start going after 0 and the Dims any moment now.

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Cliff doesn’t scare me anymore

we need a Fiscal Pit of Infinite Destruction

also I heard Beohner cried. It’s not the end of the world! John’s still crying.

Slade73 on December 21, 2012 at 9:08 AM

That’s not what’s going to happen, in my opinion. Obama will introduce tax cuts for the middle class and the conservative wing of the GOP will be forever the wing of the fat cats who tried to sacrifice the middle class in order to help the millionaires and billionaires.

That’s ironic, because the anti-RINOs have always been the class warriors in the GOP, fighting for the little man against the establishment.

I don’t really understand why they allowed the Democrats to paint them as the allies of the greedy rich against the average American.

Gelsomina on December 21, 2012 at 11:56 AM

This ‘Conservative Principles’ phoniness is gonna be exposed soon. Go over the fiscal cliff, and the progs will come out with an Obama middle class tax cuts. Thats when we’ll see the ‘Conservative’ Kabuki. If they’re true to their beliefs, they’ll vote against the Obama tax cuts. They can screech bout ‘NO SPENDING CUTS’ and tax cuts for all Americans. If they do that, they’ll have my respect bout ‘Conservative Principles’. But they won’t. They’ll vote for the Obama middle class tax cuts. Oh, they’ll give a perfect reason: the economy is in a tailspin, and the markets are sinking, we have to do something. And their supporters will believe it, hook, line and sinker. But the dirty fact would remain that if they voted against the middle class tax cuts, they’d lose their seat in the next elections. At that point, ‘Conservative Principles’ be damned.

tommy71 on December 21, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I think it’s a great idea to rely on the media to do the honorable thing and cover this correctly. They have after all always done the R’s right in the past. Certainly they will start going after 0 and the Dims any moment now.

Bmore on December 21, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Hey….here’s a crazy idea…

How about we stick to our core principles?

You know….those crazy things that made this country so great…and worry less about the MSM.

That battle was lost decades ago.

Pandering to a liberal media in hopes of obtaining crumbs of approval is not only a waste of time and effort…it’s truly pathetic.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Second look at that Mayan thing?

Chuck Schick on December 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Just three points:

1. Boehner is Speaker because of the Tea Party and their electoral success in 2010. For some reason he thought this meant he was coronated Speaker and could then cut out the very ones who gave him his position. So he eliminated then from Committees. He wanted the freedom to negotiate without their influence. How can he…or anyone…be surprised, therefore when they opposed his machinations? He needed to work with those he tried to cut out.

2. As someone who comes from a parliamentary system, this looks very much like a “no confidence” vote. The leader was unable to gain the support of his caucus on a vote of policy. He should be out and replaced.

3. The most serious problem, in my opnion, is one identified by a lot of commentators above…how the public will view what has happened. The facts of the matter will be meaningless…what will count is how the media will portray it. For example, it will fall completely unremarked that the Senate, controlled by the President’s party had indicated that Boehner’s Plan B (ironically the trade name of an abortion drug) would not even be called for a vote in that body. This problem with the media is now something that needs to be addressed seriously because it is leading to an uninformed…indeed a deliberately misinformed…electorate incapable of making necessary decisions.

BONUS 4th POINT: I still think Cantor is a snake.

Blaise on December 21, 2012 at 9:43 AM

This!

Boehner won because he rode the TEA party wave. Not because of a thing he did. More like in spite of everything he did.

I hate to rip on Boehner… I don’t enjoy attacking the guy. I am sure he is nice. Is personally a very good man. He would make a nice neighbor if you lived next door to him.

But he needs replaced. He’s destroying not just the party, but America’s future.

JellyToast on December 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

I hate to rip on Boehner… I don’t enjoy attacking the guy.

JellyToast on December 21, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Good Lord…I do.

He represents everything I detest about career politicians and wothless RINO’s.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM

I really don’t care at this point. All the proposed “solutions” are a joke and fix NOTHING.

Obamaphone voters will never be convinced anything needs fixing.

We’re going to have to fix this the hard way.

LET IT BURN
FMCDH
BLOAT

SirGawain on December 21, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Ha ha ha ha…

I am a happy man.

TheRightMan on December 21, 2012 at 12:17 PM

So we are going to the mats, or going over the cliff, so to speak, to protect the tax rates of millionaires, most of whom live in blue states and probably voted for The One anyway. Ironic isn’t it?

Once all the tax rates increase automatically, then what incentive does Obama and the Dems have to pass a bill that would restore the middle class tax rates. It ain’t gonna happen.

Old Fritz on December 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

LET ME ASK AGAIN:

WHY does the GOP have to propose or initiate anything at all? The MARXIST IN CHIEF won reelection. Let him lead. Let him propose. Let him push it through. That’s his damn job.

bgibbs1000 on December 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Conservatives were right to go against a horrible Plan B with no real spending cuts and tax hikes on the people who hire other people and spur the economy during this recession.

Especially when Boehner is a nice man but a terrible speaker and slaps down conservatives every chance he gets. He needs to go so we can have some successes in the future.

The GOP cares more about blame and trying to get the media to like them and being moderates at heart than WINNING elections, like Reagan and Newt and an at times conservative talking W. Bush and the Tea Party in 2010 did.

The media will never let the Republicans win in the court of public opinion no matter what deal is struck.

Voters only care about what happens to them. Other than that they are busy with their lives and asleep and just believe whatever the media tells them.

So here is what the GOP should pass.

Leave everyone over $250,000 with the Bush tax rates and make them permanent.

Everyone under $250,000 gets a .5% (half a percent) real tax decrease below the Bush tax rates for them and make them permanent.

Then add some serious spending cuts to Obamacare that people don’t like anyway and some moderate (at first) spending cuts to few other things.

It would spur the economy.

Then the media and Obama can talk till they are blue in the face that the GOP is increasing middle class taxes, but it won’t fly.

Because people will know that the GOP was going to really lower their taxes and Obama denied them and people only pay attention when it personally affects them.

The spending cuts will partially offset the .5% real tax reduction to the middle class. Doesn’t matter if the budget all balances or not. It doesn’t balance now and it won’t balance for the next few years under Obama.

So we might as well take back the middle class.

Elisa on December 21, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Boehner and his band of RINOs only have themselves to blame.

After losing many budget battles with Obama – some which he should never have lost – what did he expect conservatives to do? Follow him into the abyss as he throws away not only his Speakership but the Republican majority?

And the moderates/party apologists on this forum should keep their lectures to themselves. The GOP won the majority in 2010 thanks to the Tea Party/conservatives but what did they get in return? Being sacked from committees for holding onto their principles?

Let RINOs burn…

TheRightMan on December 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

What the heck does this mean? It’s great to claim that you want the R’s to be responsible adults, but you need to be realistic about where that will lead. It will lead to a shutdown showdown. If you don’t have a plan for dealing with that, then you’re just being short sighted.

blink on December 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I am more than willing to see the gov’t shut down if it ever were to get to that point – that doesn’t mean I believe such an event is inevitable or that it’s my goal or desire now, does it?

Try to not to take this as a personal attack, because it’s not meant as one, but I’ve noticed you seem prone toward getting into tedious arguments over minutiae – that’s not my style, so forgive me if you choose to keep digging about a gov’t shutdown that isn’t presently a concern of mine, and I don’t participate! :)

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

Boehner did his best. The guys who voted against this will regret it — for the next deal will involve the Democrats of the House.

unclesmrgol on December 21, 2012 at 12:26 PM

WHY does the GOP have to propose or initiate anything at all? The MARXIST IN CHIEF won reelection. Let him lead. Let him propose. Let him push it through. That’s his damn job.

bgibbs1000 on December 21, 2012 at 12:19 PM

+1

so friggin’ tired of seeing the messiah wave his hand….and then watching boner negotiate with HIMSELF like the lemming little punk he is.

Present your plan li’l bammie…push it through…actually OWN something.

Tim_CA on December 21, 2012 at 12:29 PM

@unclesmrgol Exactly. Lol.

tommy71 on December 21, 2012 at 12:31 PM

What the heck does this mean?

blink on December 21, 2012 at 12:11 PM

What I meant was, the GOP should say “HELL no!” to any discussion about new revenue until 0dumba shows he is serious about cutting spending and living within our means, and that goes double for discussing raising the debt ceiling.

Anti-Control on December 21, 2012 at 12:33 PM

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