Mr. Boehner sends his regrets

Apparently, no matter how you feel the fiscal cliff and debt ceiling negotiations turned out, not everyone is satisfied. That includes the person doing most of the negotiating in question. Speaker Boehner is making the rounds this week and expressing a bit of remorse over the strategy employed.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is sharing his regrets about his “fiscal-cliff” strategy, less than a month after the House bitterly swallowed a last-minute deal hatched in the Senate.

In a private speech to the Ripon Society on Tuesday, Boehner said that he should have taken a different course after the November election by immediately demanding that the Senate produce a bill to avert the worst parts of a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that were due to hit on Jan. 1.

Well, that would have been another way to go I suppose. The confessional session left National Review’s Michael Walsh in a bit of a Good Grief mood, though.

Ahh . . . l’esprit de l’escalier, never in short supply among the weepers and the hand-wringers in the current GOP “leadership.” Just the thing to rally the troops, who are looking for somebody — anybody — to take control of the rudderless opposition and organize the pushback against a “fundamentally transformative” Obamaism that now stands fully revealed for what some of us always knew it was all along.

But don’t worry — things will get worse before they get even worse. After all, Boehner’s House is “ready, willing and able” to work with Harry Reid’s Senate.

I’ve been reluctant to be overly critical of Speaker Boehner given the current circumstances. He’s playing a hand with very few face cards in it these days and I understand how the realities of the negotiations would cause him to consider some rather the best that we can get solutions. But I can see how Walsh would feel less than generous in his response. Not getting a good deal is one thing, but I would hope that it would have been a strategy that he was prepared to defend even after it went mostly pear shaped. Issuing that sort of a statement of regret could readily be seen as weakening his hand for future discussions with his own caucus.

Still, there is tough sledding ahead and if the GOP had wanted to replace Boehner, they had their chance and passed. There are more battles to come and I hope that the members will be able to provide him with frank, unreserved feedback to construct the best strategy possible. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with a link to this video, where Newt Gingrch offers some advice to the Speaker going forward. And now I’ll return to drinking my rainbow cocktail with unicorn tail garnish.