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The Dawn Patrol Richard Falknor on 03 Oct 2013 10:06 am

Mr. Boehner’s New ‘Bargain’ Vision: His Desperate Hope?

Very early this morning NRO’s Robert Costa reported here

‘…Speaker John Boehner is interested in crafting a ”grand bargain” on fiscal issues, perhaps as part of a debt-limit agreement. House Republicans tell me he quietly made this known in a series of small meetings on Wednesday afternoon. After that story posted, the emails came fast, including this one from a senior Democratic source, who said Boehner also talked about the idea at the White House on Wednesday night.
‘Boehner raised the prospect of a grand bargain-type deal at the White House meeting and was laughed at because everyone feels like they’ve heard this song and dance before. The general feeling is, if he’s really ready to make some tough choices – read, revenue – then great. But the history of this from where we sit is Boehner talking a big game, then bailing as soon as he runs into the inevitable resistance from a certain faction in his caucus. So we will believe it when we see it, but are proceeding under the assumption that this is just more of the same big talk, no walk.’
Boehner may have been ‘laughed at,’ but that doesn’t mean the pitch is dead, at least according to House insiders. In conversations late tonight, several of them say it remains one of the best options for Boehner, who is struggling to balance the pressure to compromise with his conference’s conservative bent.”

The ‘pressure to compromise’ may be coming in part from Wall Street donors (see the illuminating Politico post here by MJ Lee).

Reportedly, however, the calls from the base to the House last week to stop Obamacare were not only of avalanche volume but exceeded in vehemence even earlier big pushbacks from the conservative grass-roots such as the uproar here over the 2005 Harriet Miers Supreme Court nomination.

Clearly senator Ted Cruz sparked and blessed last week’s surge against Leviathan. We are told that the outpouring of calls to stop Obamacare had many GOP members ‘running for the tall grass.’

Trying to put all this in perspective, we revisited the coverage of the Speaker’s ousting of Kansas Representative Tim Huelskamp from his Budget and Agriculture committee posts last December.  An article at the time by Dan Voorhis in the Wichita Eagle here quoted a local academic who explained –

“Huelskamp is suffering the consequences of his particularly uncompromising form of conservatism in a body that really exists to make deals and balance competing interests.” (Highlighting Forum’s.)

The crux of the matter is that making deals with no higher purpose than to keep one faction of the Political Class in campaign donations — and thus presumably in office at the next election — seems to be how the House GOP leadership sees its role. Whether or not the GOP is in real policy power or merely in ceremonial incumbency apparently doesn’t matter so much.

Consider this: how many House GOP members initially recruited by the Speaker — or by majority leader Eric Cantor and his team — were exhorted to come to Washington–

  • to ‘take our country back’ from the national elites,
  • to expand the circle of liberty,
  • to rein in the administrative state,
  • to stop Federal funding of intrusions on our freedoms ranging from ‘smart growth’ to ‘common core’ to attacks on free speech and due process in our universities, and
  • to protect our national sovereignty on our borders and elsewhere? 

The question answers itself. 

Thus we wonder whether the Speaker’s vision of any bargains is now simply desperate fantasy. 

We use the words ‘desperate fantasy’ because the chasm between how he sees his role and what the conservative base expects has grown very wide. And the chasm is not just one of policy. It is also one of trust: the leadership’s scheming behind the scenes (scroll down in our post here) to enact some kind of amnesty might not trouble the majority of House Republicans — but it will surely outrage many of their constituents as it all comes to light.

DawnPatrol1930(Picture via Wikipaedia)

 

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