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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Friday, December 21, 2012


You want to bet John Boehner wasn't too thrilled to see the sun rise today?

While the Mayans may have been off in their predictions for the end of the world, the Tea Party is still very much alive and well in its efforts to destroy the economy. The inmates have taken over the asylum and are working hard to push the nation over the fiscal cliff.

Boehner has been preaching to every TV camera that would listen that we could solve all of our problems if only Barack Obama would "get serious" and surrender to the GOP demands to spare millionaires while sticking it to granny.  Never mind the election where a disappeared vulture capitalist managed to garner only 47 percent of the vote.

After avoiding any concrete proposals for months, Boehner and his "leadership" team offered "Plan B," a cynical maneuver that extended the Bush tax cuts that helped get us into this fiscal pickle to anyone earning $1 million annually. You know, those elusive "job creators."

He even trotted out St. Grover to offer a dispensation that raising taxes on seven-digit annual income earners wasn't even a violation of Norquist's Holy Grail.

And what does Boehner get for his troubles? He can't even get his own caucus to support him.

There's actually little difference between this disaster and the previous cases of GOP obstinance that has brought gridlock to the Capitol, not to mention a downgrading of America's credit rating. The one significant change is Obama no longer has to back down in negotiations that have essentially been with himself.

The scene brings back memories of Massachusetts circa 1990, when Speaker George Keverian failed to wrangle his own unruly members to agree upon a solution to the state's fiscal crisis. That brought a not-so-great change at the top -- three successive speakers imbued with so much power that they wound up on the wrong side of the law,

While that's not likely to happen here, it does point out the dangers associated with a failure of leadership, not being able to make members swallow a bitter but necessary pill in order to avoid poison. This latest debacle virtually ensures Boehner will be near the top of the list when history records the worst legislative leaders.

In the meantime, Plan C anyone? Unless the Mayan prediction has a 24-hour window.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barack got 52-53 % of the vote. Liberals are acting as if this is some sort of a mandate to make their positions unassailable. Look at it this way, if you took 100 people and had them play Red Rover based on their vote it would be a pretty even game. The difference of 4-5 people out of 100 is not that great. I just finished reading The Amateur and the book is interesting in that it shows the scope of Barack's ego. If he had beaten his opponent(who was a weak choice) 75-25% maybe we could say there was a national mandate.

December 21, 2012 11:13 AM  
Blogger Outraged Liberal said...

A majority is 50 percent plus one. 53 percent is significant. Of course for a party that thinks it takes 60 votes to say Gesundheit, it's trivial.

But until Republicans changed how we count -- both votes and what is debt -- recently we believed majority ruled. Stop rationaizing.

December 21, 2012 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really believe in a room of 100 people if 51 (or even 53) agree on something that is an overwhelming mandate? That is why the founding fathers had the wisdom to include things such things as a 2/3 majority to approve amendments. Even the construction of the country as a republic, with the House and Senate, limits the tyranny of a small simple majority (51%) imposing their weak mandate over the rest of us. Or do you want to change that to? Let's disband the Senate then, or just have a President who is all controlling.

December 23, 2012 12:47 PM  

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