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Tilting at Windmills

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June 29, 2010

WHAT BOEHNER CONSIDERS AN 'ANT'.... In retrospect, maybe I buried the lede.

We talked earlier about House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R-Ohio) over-the-top interview with the Scaife-owned Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, and noted some of the highlights, including his belief that Democrats are "snuffing out the America that I grew up in."

On further reflection, perhaps this was the most notable comment in the interview.

Boehner criticized the financial regulatory overhaul compromise reached last week between House and Senate negotiators as an overreaction to the financial crisis that triggered the recession. The bill would tighten restrictions on lending, create a consumer protection agency with broad oversight power and give the government an orderly way to dissolve the largest financial institutions if they run out of money.

"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon," Boehner said. What's most needed is more transparency and better enforcement by regulators, he said.

Just to be clear here, what Boehner considers an "ant" was a severe economic crash that nearly collapsed the global financial system.

Jon Chait added, "Republicans have tried not to admit this, but Boehner pretty much spelled out what they think. The underlying problems in the financial system are minor ('an ant') and the main solution is just to hope regulators do a better job than they did before."

This, like a variety of other candid Republican moments of late, seems like the kind of quote that might matter to voters. Indeed, it's something of a bookend to John McCain's "fundamentals of the economy are strong" line from 2008 -- the GOP sees an economic crisis, the likes of which we haven't seen in generations, and Republicans just don't think it's that big a deal.

This was a crisis that led to 8 million U.S. job losses and $17 trillion in lost retirement savings and net worth. What's more, it was a crisis that could have been prevented had safeguards and accountability measures been in place to regulate Wall Street.

And now that Democrats want to approve such safeguards, Boehner's not only against the effort, he thinks the whole endeavor is unnecessary, since the crisis was just "an ant."

Ladies and gentlemen, the man who would be Speaker.

Steve Benen 1:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

To this day, they look on the Great Depression as some kind of hiccup that would have worked itself out if FDR hadn't interfered.

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on June 29, 2010 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, that's it. Add a dash of "lash out at government", a pinch of transparent free enterprise, and simply waive a wand to make highly risky, poorly understood, opaque investment vehicles right as rain. If that doesn't work, repeat steps 1 - 3 while chanting there's no system like capitalism, there's no system like capitalism, ..........

Posted by: Oh my on June 29, 2010 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

not to mention, that "nuclear weapon" is hardly raid to that "ant."

Posted by: sadly on June 29, 2010 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

"...the main solution is just to hope regulators do a better job than they did before."

Actually, I'm all for that, if you accept the assumption it means that Republicans should never have control of the White House, Congress or the Supreme Court again, because every failure of regulators to regulate is due to their theories of (non)governance.

Posted by: Lance on June 29, 2010 at 1:34 PM | PERMALINK

.
"You've heard of mental depression; this is a mental recession."

"We have sort of become a nation of whiners."

- Republican Phil Gramm 7/10/08

how did that work out?

Posted by: mr. irony on June 29, 2010 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

the main solution is just to hope regulators do a better job than they did before.

No, they're lying about that part, too.

Posted by: Steve LaBonne on June 29, 2010 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

The invisible hand is God's will. The gubment's got no business futzing with it.

Posted by: John Henry on June 29, 2010 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

To this day, they look on the Great Depression as some kind of hiccup that would have worked itself out if FDR hadn't interfered.
Posted by: Roddy McCorley on June 29, 2010

I think this is dead accurate. That the depression lasted longer than it would have if Roosevelt hadn't backed stimulus off too soon is frighteningly parallel to where the European countries seem to be today.

Posted by: Johnny Canuck on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Does Boehner have anything that he is for - he is against health care for ordinary folk, against social security, bank regulation, clean energy, the democrats, job bills etc.
Oh I forgot, he does like war and tax breaks for super rich, and of course oil companies.

Posted by: jJS on June 29, 2010 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Judas H. Priest on a skateboard! What a dork!

Posted by: Texas Aggie on June 29, 2010 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

"...the main solution is just to hope regulators do a better job than they did before."

I see Chait as being inaccurate here. Republicans do not hope regulators will do a better job, they actively work to de-fang and de-claw regulators to the extent where a poor job is the best anyone could hope for from our reguklators. The true goal being to rid the world of regulators altogether.

Posted by: Perspecticus on June 29, 2010 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Well the Great Pumpkin and his pals weren't affected so Johnny B. Orange really doesn't understand what all the fuss is about. Why can't these so-called "unemployed people" just eat cake or something? Or even bake him a cake. He'd be willing to give a couple of bucks to someone who brings him a cake. Provided they aren't the wrong color and vote Republican. He might even let them watch him eat it. (He's partial to orange frosting.)

However, he apologizes if you mistakenly took his comments to be mean or hurtful or politically suicidal, also2.

It's like I always say. If you want to hurt a Repug, stick him in front of a camera and let him talk.

Does Boehner have anything that he is for

More rights for Orange-Americans!

Posted by: The Answer WAS Orange on June 29, 2010 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Of course, when they're trying to blame this 'ant' on Obama, it's a HUUUUUGE deal...

Same with the oil spill.

Posted by: Kreniigh on June 29, 2010 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

It's obvious that the orange man had not been bitten by this particular fire ant.

Posted by: exlibra on June 29, 2010 at 2:54 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe Boehner is confused, and thinking of that classic sci-fi film Them, where nuclear weapons testing has led to giant mutant ants as big as a tank that threaten to destroy L.A.

Because they don't have any ants that big in Ohio, I'm pretty sure.

Posted by: biggerbox on June 29, 2010 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't that just like a boner? It just pops up all orange-like regardless of the circumstances..

Posted by: Trollop on June 29, 2010 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

"the main solution is just to hope regulators do a better job than they did before." No, the main solution is to assert that nothing bad could ever possibly happen again !

Posted by: H-Bob on June 29, 2010 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

What's most needed is more transparency and better enforcement by regulators, he said.

Boehner acknowledges that the regulators weren't doing their jobs. The economic crash may have been prevented if they had. In a similar vein, the 9/11 attacks may have been prevented if the people in charge of national security had been doing their jobs, as Richard Clarke said. Obviously, the solution is to never let the Republicans be in charge of anything ever again. Good thinking for once, Boehner!

Posted by: josef on June 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

That will surely help John "Lehmann Bros" Kasich defeat Gov. Strickland!

So Kasich, if your party leader says the financial collapse was an "ant", what was your Lehmann brothers? A pimple on a dimple on an ant's ball?

Posted by: Ohioan on June 29, 2010 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Given how Boehner turned out, preserving the America he grew up in would not seem to be a great idea.

Posted by: gelfling545 on June 29, 2010 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

Here's a good one: Type into Google "Why is John" and it will have in its hit list "Why is John Boehner Orange?"

Posted by: Marko on June 29, 2010 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

orange boner =DICK

Posted by: danny on June 29, 2010 at 9:33 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we keep saying we lost 8 million jobs? In fact, if the percentage of the working age population employed in December 2009 had stayed where it was in April of 2000, there would be more than 15 million more jobs. In real terms, that's a job loss of over 15 million that happened almost entirely during the Bush administration. Why downplay the negative impact with what is fundamentally a bogus figure?

Posted by: urban legend on June 30, 2010 at 12:43 AM | PERMALINK

Ya but the regulators who did their jobs so poorly the first time were appointed by, and loyal to, Republican President George W. Bush. So if Republicans want regulators to actually do their jobs, they should resign from office and STFU.

Posted by: FGS on June 30, 2010 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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