Watch the above performance by John Boehner, and take his words at face value---don't assume or infer---he is the Speaker of the House, if he doesn't know how to make an explicit argument, it's not your job to do it for him. He says that he "came here to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable federal government, and this budget agreement takes giant steps in the right direction." His argument here is simple, and so are the facts: This bill increases the size of government and substantially adds to the national debt. He then admits that it's not "everything" that he wanted, before attempting to deflect the attention away from the actual content of the bill---away from the merits of the bill, and onto the critics of the bill---focusing the spotlight, not on their arguments, but on their motivations: "When groups come out and criticize an agreement they've never seen, you begin to wonder just how credible those, uh, those actions are."
You should notice that Boehner merely "begins to wonder just how credible" they are, and goes no further. This is weasel wording, as Boehner is giving the impression of an argument without actually making one; he is implanting that impression in the mind of the listener---"begin to wonder"---and allowing the subconscious to finish the process. How does Boehner know that these groups have never seen the agreement? Which groups and which criticism is he specifically referring to? If the circle was so small that Boehner can confidently assert that these groups hadn't seen the bill, or talked to trusted sources who had, what does that say of the "openness" of this process? In what sense was the deal "agreed to" if so few people had seen it? Here's a video of Boehner's hypocrisy:
On the House floor, an indignant minority leader gave an impassioned speech: "Look at how this bill was written. Can you say it was done openly? With transparency and accountability? Without back room deals struck behind closed doors---hidden from the people? Hell no you can't! Have you read the bill?..Hell no you haven't!"
That was John Boehner's closing argument against Obamacare back in 2010; that was the speech that established Boehner's credentials to be Speaker in the eyes of those outside of the DC Establishment---in the eyes of Americans across the country who were rising and joining together to say "HELL NO!" to Obamacare, more taxes, and more government spending. Eight months after that speech, those Americans delivered what Boehner called "an unmistakeable message," with an historic swing election that took the Speaker's Gavel from Nancy Pelosi and put the Republicans in the majority. On the evening of that victory, Boehner, who would soon be voted in as Speaker by the Republicans in the House, spoke about how the American people had "repudiated Washington…(and) big government" and about how it was "not a time for celebration"---"not when we've buried our children under a mountain of debt."
A few days ago, we saw a flash of that same Boehner we saw a few years ago. The controversy once again surrounded a bill that was written secretively, via "back room deals struck behind closed doors---hidden from the American people." Yet again, the House Leadership demanded that members vote on a bill without having time to properly analyze it, or to gauge the extent to which their constituents supported it. And Boehner again expressed that same fiery passion that set the House Floor ablaze when he thunderously declared "HELL NO" to the Democrats celebrating the passage of Obamacare. This time, though, it was the opponents of the bill that served as the object of Boehner's ire. The man who once scolded the supporters of a bill that added to the debt for celebrating it before reading it, now scolded the opponents of a bill that added to the debt for criticizing it before reading it. It would seem that the consistent theme in Boehner's argument is not opposition to growing government and increased debt, but rather in his insistence that people read bills before passing judgment on them.
During his "not a time for celebration" victory speech back in 2010, which got more attention for the crying than the content---as he was openly weeping by the end, Boehner asserted that the American people had put Washington on notice: "For far too long, Washington's been doing what's best for Washington, not what's best for the American people. And tonight, that begins to change…It starts with cutting spending instead of increasing it; reducing the size of government instead of increasing it." Boehner finished by reiterating that it was no time to celebrate: "We can celebrate when small businesses begin hiring again; we can celebrate when the spending binge here in Washington has stopped." 2010 Boehner advised us not to celebrate while the spending binge in Washington was ongoing; 2013 Boehner demands that we not criticize that same spending binge. Ignoring this context, Boehner claimed of his scapegoats…whoops…I meant "the groups"…on Thursday: "Frankly, I think they've lost all credibility." Why is that? Because they criticized the mathematical results before reading the sentence structure and word choice of the bill?
On Fox News Sunday this morning, Paul Ryan attempted to downplay Boehner's insulting rhetoric earlier in the week by claiming that his "Irish" had gotten the better of him---or something to that effect. During the panel discussion that followed the interview, conservative commentator, and DC dinosaur, Brit Hume claimed that Boehner let some faction of outside right-wing groups, referred to as "them" but presumably aligned with the likes of Ted Cruz, "have their way" in regard to shutting down the government, because he wasn't "strong enough to stand up to them." This was offered as a defense of Boehner, not as a repudiation of his leadership! Hume continued: "(Boehner) feared it would be unpopular, which indeed it turned out to be, and that they'd get nothing out of it, which was exactly what happened."
Let's apply logic to Mr. Hume's comment, if Boehner's principle fear was that this strategy would be unpopular, why did he pursue it? The answer is: Nobody forced John Boehner to do anything Mr. Hume, and to imply otherwise is cynical and dishonest. If these groups, and men like Ted Cruz and Mike Lee had the backbone to stand-up for what they believed was the right strategy, there is no reason that Boehner couldn't have done the same---what defense is it to say that Boehner went along with this strategy but never actually supported it? Mr. Hume is defending Boehner by calling him coward---but the fact of the matter is John Boehner is by no means a coward, he knew exactly what he was doing.
Boehner did not allow "them" to get their way in regard to the defund strategy because he was "not strong enough," he did so knowing that he had the power to ensure that it failed. He did so with this Ryan-Murray budget deal in mind---he pretended as though he was a mere bystander, powerless to contradict the will of a couple freshmen Senators, because he knew that he could use the spectacle to discredit the faction within the Republican Party that believes the status quo is no longer acceptable---that believes that any deals that fail to stop Obamacare and reverse the trend of more government and more debt are categorically unacceptable. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee recognize with their actions that which men like Boehner only recognize rhetorically---this country has reached a tipping point, and can no longer compromise on these issues.
John Boehner is a Speaker without a voice. He attacks outside groups for one reason---to protect that one monstrous inside group that's destroying this country---that unstoppable force that's consuming our resources and freedom like a slow but determined glacier---the DC Establishment. The New Deal, World War II, and the Cold War combined to create a DC Establishment that is fundamentally contradicted by the fundamental principles of the Constitution and of capitalism. This budget was a rubber stamp for that Establishment, but if Boehner thinks that's the right thing to do, he should use his voice to make that case, rather than spit in the face of the Party's base.
It is time to stop supporting the Republican Party as the "lesser evil," because this does nothing but perpetuate evil---it does nothing but ensure an evil outcome. Two years of Barack Obama, and Democratic control of Congress did more for the conservative cause than any Republican congress or president (other than Reagan) ever has. If we step aside and let the Republican Party die, and thus force the DC Establishment to come out of the shadows and actually defend its right to rule, it will shrivel under the light instantaneously, and will continue to grind forward only on it's own momentum, like a train off its tracks.