Republicans are writing the 2012 election ads for Democrats.
A beaten and dazed John Boehner responding to questions from reporters today said, “We have fought the good fight…. Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want.”
This little tidbit came after the spin that Republicans were fighting for the right things, fighting to give us all tax cuts for a year (funded by spending cuts rather than a small tax increase on the 1% and loaded with poison pills), and that they have finally come to an agreement. We are to assume that they wanted the long-term extension (but only on their terms) but for some reason, suddenly changed their mind.
Of course, Boehner had already agreed to the Senate-passed short-term agreement and only when the Tea Party caucus balked did he back out of his agreement. The truth is that Boehner was forced to do the right thing for the American people.
Watch the video of the press questions after Boehner’s statement from NBC News here:
Tea Party Republicans didn’t want to extend the payroll tax extension, unemployment benefits, and Medicare. They had been arguing that payroll tax extensions were not an economic stimulant as “job creators” would not hire more people just because of the payroll tax cuts.
The Tea Party caucus was ignoring the fact that $40.00 a week less for working Americans would definitely cause a problem both for them and for the economy, as economists warned the Republicans to no avail. They also ignored the political fall out of raising taxes on the middle class while they staunchly refuse to raise taxes on the 1%.
Boehner and the House were forced to cave on the payroll tax cut extensions due to political pressure from within their own party. They tried to take political cover under claiming to want the year long extension, but of course, Boehner had already agreed to the two month extension.
Speaker Boehner’s future career has careened wildly in the last few days as conservatives blamed him for re-electing Obama in 2012 with his refusal to vote on the payroll tax extension, allowing Obama to run as a tax cutter and position Republicans as the tax cutters for the 1% who refused to cut taxes for the middle class.
Boehner’s leadership has even been called into question by his own party over the last week.
It’s simply not accurate that House Republicans, specifically the Tea Party caucus, wanted to extend the payroll tax cuts. They first argued that they were not a stimulant, and then when that went over like a ton of lead, they stabbed the Senate in the back by going back on their agreement to sign the two month extension, claiming they wanted a full year extension (loaded with hostage taking poison pills for the Democrats). The Democrats wouldn’t budge and the Senate Republicans refused to play Tea Party hostage over their Christmas vacation.
So, today John Boehner caved to the mounting backlash. His response to reporters will haunt him for the next year:
“Why not do the right thing for the American people even though it’s not exactly what we want.”
Remember those words, because I suspect they will be playing in a commercial near you very soon.