Sunday, September 19, 2021
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Get Ready for WTF Smackdown

Let me set this up, for this coming budget showdown is all about John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives. Not the budget. Not the Democrats. Not the Tea Parties, nor the House Freshmen.

John Boehner.

Going into the last CR vote, about two weeks ago, which Boehner won, but with several freshman defecting, there was a lot of noise coming out of the hustings about Boehner’s lack of steadfastness to “the People.”  Many urged the GOP House leadership to shut the government down then. Coward! some yelled. Turncoat! still others screamed.

I demurred, but not because I thought Boehner’s plan was the better plan, but because he is the elected Leader and he had done nothing (yet) to deserve that sort of preemptive condemnation. You see, John Boehner had convinced most of the members of his party that he indeed did have an End Game in this budget battle, and the freshmen, like me, knew that eventually he’d have to put all his cards on the table. So they let him play his cards. If he is a coward, it will come out soon enough.

The time for the End Game has come. The time for brinkmanship is here.

It’s near time for the House leadership to put up or shut up.

And yes, Boehner is afraid, as I would be, and so would every last one of you unless your name is Cromwell. Boehner truly is between a rock and a hard place. In truth, the Dems in Congress understand his dilemma better than most of you out there, which explains why they’ve been targeting those soft spots in Boehner’s armor, trying to get him to make the wrong choices in this showdown-smackdown negotiation.

Boehner’s worries are not the 80+ freshmen, or the angry, irate citizens who sent them to Congress. He knows there will be more, not less, in 2012. But he looks behind him, literally, at all the colleagues he’s served in the House with for years, many good friends, and he can see his dilemma clearly. He has to choose his friends or choose the right. But then, if he chooses the right, he must then lead his friends in the same direction. That takes some doing, I’ll tell you now.

For you see, John Boehner can also look inside himself at the bedrock rightness of what he’s facing. This I also know. He knows what’s right here, and that yielding to Democrat blackmail will achieve none of the right objectives. He knows he can’t blink.

In other words, Boehner knows what it’s all about, but I can’t say this for all the House leadership and some of the old hands Boehner calls friends. Boehner knows many of his old friends are scared out of their pants (I won’t call them cowards…not just yet) and it is having to stare them down that has him most afraid. They are the ones who see little they like in this End Game of his. He must first tell them “No” then get them to follow in a direction they don’t want to go. That’s leadership, only unlike Saddam or Pelosi, he won’t put a gun to their head to get it done. He’ll have to actually lead.

So his concerns are only human. This is a fear we all know. Having to risk old friendships is never an easy task. Democrats like Schumer, Reid and Howard Dean almost have it right here, only they are speaking about the wrong faction. They are squawking about dissension in GOP ranks, but when they blame “Tea Parties,” they are really saying “newbie Members who are not your friends, Mr Boehner.” That’s the wedge they want to drive.

Democrats most want to project to the voters back home that the GOP is really Caspar Milquetoast, sweaty, frightened Caspar.

Budget negotiations are going on between Boehner and House and Senate Democrats right now. Typically, what is and is not on the table is rarely disclosed to the public. But maybe Boehner should lay his cards out before the American people now, for it will serve as a way to convey to the Democrats there’s no going back. He will have to be able to rake in a good portion of that pot or indeed there will be a government shut-down. Nothing in-between. The Dem’s are not accustomed to the GOP going all-in.

Only with that sort of jutted jaw, it will not be the kind of shutdown the Dem’s imagine and pretend to want now, for they picture a few days of this fellow, Caspar, (above) sweating, and then we will cave. They don’t want to picture a defiant House GOP in a government shut-down.

Life After Shut-Down

There’s an old rule: When in doubt, always take the high road. Boehner’s leadership will be tested here, for winning will not mean taking the high road then tip-toeing in squeaky tennis shoes as if over egg shells. To win they must take the high road in cleated boots, stomping with defiant talk and much  beating of the chests.

This is what the Dem’s fear most, and explains why they have spent so much time warning Boehner that his worst enemies are the Tea Parties and this dangerous new sentiment the freshmen brought to Congress. Deny them this one thing and Dem arrogance and boasting will turn to abject fear, for then Boehner will have unmasked their leaders for the spindly pugilists they really are.

A government shut-down is about none of those things. It is about winning and rubbing the losers’ noses in it. It will set the tone for 2012.

About a Shutdown

Mike DeVine, who writes here often, wrote last year about selective shutdowns. I’m for that. Herman Cain and I discussed a “Dirty Dozen” in December, and I plan to do a post later in the year…but let’s name a few:  Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, the regulatory and legal arm of EPA, Dept of Agriculture, parts of the Interior, FCC, Corp for Public Broadcasting, and The National Endowment for the Arts. Send them home. Remind them of the wonderful kindness of the people who pay their salaries, and who can remind them, from time to time, to show a little gratitude. Who will miss any of these, anyway?

Once you have set you jaw, Mr Boehner, do not waver. Go into a shut-down planning to keep it shut down for weeks, not days. Gird yourselves for the media onslaught, for with the right attitude, you will prevail.

Remember most what Newt Gingrich didn’t know in ’94, and that was the knowledge that the American people are behind you, and no, you cannot rely on the media to tell you, or us, that simple fact. You shut it down, we have your back.

Accept this as an article of faith, Mr Boehner, for if you do, as Jehovah told Abraham, your numbers will multiply. Those who abandon you in this fight we will replace. From where the sun now stands, we will not cease supporting you, and the men and women who carry this fight to victory.

That’s why we’re here. We don’t cheer. We move things.

vassarbushmills
Citizen With Bark On

11 COMMENTS

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I hope somebody shows him this! I’ve spent an hour or two lying in a cold, wet, dark ambush position. No talking, no moving, nothing to distract your mind from the terrifying events soon to unfold. The only comfort there is knowing there is somebody on your left and right and somebody’s got your back. I imagine his position right now is similar.

  2. Typical of Democrats they are already shouting that the seniors won’t get their SS checks, Grandma will be eating dog food, and the kids won’t get there free school lunches and they will starve. I’m happy to announce the Cowboy poetry festival will go on, and the cowboy will once again fall off his horse in a cactus patch, and he will again prick his pickle. The Chili will have it’s hefty share of beans.

    The thing that the Republicans are very terrible at is messaging. They can send people out in the field to show that none of the above is true. Heck the Liberals are big on props, take a lesson Republicans. Take pictures of postal workers putting SS checks in mail boxes. Take pictures of school lunch buffets with all the carrot sticks and celery sticks, and the kids buying candy and junk from the vending machines. Take pictures of grandma picking up her prescriptions at the pharmacy, and don’t forget the grocery store. Prove what the Liberals are saying are lies with a photo history.

    There is no possible way that Boehner loses only 54 Republicans this time. He will lose many many more. Does he save face and do what is right, or does he lose the vote and destroy the Republican party once again. Even Cantor said there will be no more extensions.

    Will someone please offer Bill Kristol a free mental evaluation as he claimed tonight there will be another short term CR. That’s on the heels of saying that Obama’s Libya speech was one of his best.

    • The lib’s have always been good at the messaging. Any time you she them on TV they continue to ad lib their talking points to the extent you want to throw something at the TV. Then when the conservative person starts to talk and make a few points the lib starts laughing or going into gyrations and trying to talk over the other poor smuck who stops politely to let the lib continue talking. I swear some of these people need to grow a stiffer spine and get into the trenches with these lunatics, instead of being a bunch of pollyanna’s.

      The libs live off of fear and have no problem with scare tactics to get what they want.

      I certainly like idea of selective shutdowns. Shut any particular dept down and see if any one notices!

  3. Great analysis VB. Yes, courage remains an issue for many if not most of the GOP oldbies, but it appears to be worse than that, in that so many appear not to want to end the appropriating bandwagon. Moreover, I think the leadership has already failed the intelligent and well-executed strategy tests esp in that they haven’t prepared the nation for the inevitable shutdown; seem to be choosing to use the debt ceiling deadline for no good reason and many bad ones given that this concerns the full faith and credit of the US abroad. Moreover, given the paucity even of the original $100B cut proposal, it is all the more critical that they kill many liberal programs lest they betray the election mandate and miss an opportunity to strike big with the momentum. But they could still pull a rabbit of the hat and win the PR battle (not so hard given the way the public sees the Dems now) but also a substantive battle that actually cuts government this month, in October and beyond. We shall see the End Game substance soon. They will be judged by me on that, more than the strategy.

      • The time for delay is Over…the Dems have proven they will not cooperate

        in fact they are rubbing our nose in it

        Repubs have to put up what they want and if they don’t get it, they need to shut it down quicker than a bar at 5pm in Sayer, Oklahoma

        no end game needed, they get what they want or it stays shut….for as long as it takes

        I repeat, the Dems don’t want a deal, so there is no better time to call them on it

        NO MORE DELAYS

  1. I hope somebody shows him this! I’ve spent an hour or two lying in a cold, wet, dark ambush position. No talking, no moving, nothing to distract your mind from the terrifying events soon to unfold. The only comfort there is knowing there is somebody on your left and right and somebody’s got your back. I imagine his position right now is similar.

  2. Typical of Democrats they are already shouting that the seniors won’t get their SS checks, Grandma will be eating dog food, and the kids won’t get there free school lunches and they will starve. I’m happy to announce the Cowboy poetry festival will go on, and the cowboy will once again fall off his horse in a cactus patch, and he will again prick his pickle. The Chili will have it’s hefty share of beans.

    The thing that the Republicans are very terrible at is messaging. They can send people out in the field to show that none of the above is true. Heck the Liberals are big on props, take a lesson Republicans. Take pictures of postal workers putting SS checks in mail boxes. Take pictures of school lunch buffets with all the carrot sticks and celery sticks, and the kids buying candy and junk from the vending machines. Take pictures of grandma picking up her prescriptions at the pharmacy, and don’t forget the grocery store. Prove what the Liberals are saying are lies with a photo history.

    There is no possible way that Boehner loses only 54 Republicans this time. He will lose many many more. Does he save face and do what is right, or does he lose the vote and destroy the Republican party once again. Even Cantor said there will be no more extensions.

    Will someone please offer Bill Kristol a free mental evaluation as he claimed tonight there will be another short term CR. That’s on the heels of saying that Obama’s Libya speech was one of his best.

    • The lib’s have always been good at the messaging. Any time you she them on TV they continue to ad lib their talking points to the extent you want to throw something at the TV. Then when the conservative person starts to talk and make a few points the lib starts laughing or going into gyrations and trying to talk over the other poor smuck who stops politely to let the lib continue talking. I swear some of these people need to grow a stiffer spine and get into the trenches with these lunatics, instead of being a bunch of pollyanna’s.

      The libs live off of fear and have no problem with scare tactics to get what they want.

      I certainly like idea of selective shutdowns. Shut any particular dept down and see if any one notices!

  3. Great analysis VB. Yes, courage remains an issue for many if not most of the GOP oldbies, but it appears to be worse than that, in that so many appear not to want to end the appropriating bandwagon. Moreover, I think the leadership has already failed the intelligent and well-executed strategy tests esp in that they haven’t prepared the nation for the inevitable shutdown; seem to be choosing to use the debt ceiling deadline for no good reason and many bad ones given that this concerns the full faith and credit of the US abroad. Moreover, given the paucity even of the original $100B cut proposal, it is all the more critical that they kill many liberal programs lest they betray the election mandate and miss an opportunity to strike big with the momentum. But they could still pull a rabbit of the hat and win the PR battle (not so hard given the way the public sees the Dems now) but also a substantive battle that actually cuts government this month, in October and beyond. We shall see the End Game substance soon. They will be judged by me on that, more than the strategy.

      • The time for delay is Over…the Dems have proven they will not cooperate

        in fact they are rubbing our nose in it

        Repubs have to put up what they want and if they don’t get it, they need to shut it down quicker than a bar at 5pm in Sayer, Oklahoma

        no end game needed, they get what they want or it stays shut….for as long as it takes

        I repeat, the Dems don’t want a deal, so there is no better time to call them on it

        NO MORE DELAYS

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