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Tilting at Windmills

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April 6, 2011

IT'S HIS SHUTDOWN AND HE'LL CRY IF HE WANTS TO.... I guess this was inevitable.

John Boehner was driven to tears again today. This time it happened at a closed-door meeting of House Republicans.

According to sources inside the meeting, Boehner it happened while Boehner was speaking to the group about the latest on his negotiations with Democrats over government funding. Boehner talked about his meeting yesterday with President Obama and then, in a rousing conclusion, he thanked the House Republicans for standing by him and supporting him through these tense negotiations.

The Republican conference responded with a standing ovation for their speaker.

As you could imagine, that prompted the Speaker to cry.

Sure, but is there any chance the crying could become tears of joy after striking a deal? Time is obviously running out in a hurry -- we're now counting down by the number of hours, not the number of days -- but there's been some movement this afternoon.

Roll Call reported that the party's leaders are at least talking again, and "there were indications that progress was being made." Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told reporters, "I feel better about it today than I did yesterday at the same time."

This was not a unanimous view. Politico reported that "leaders from both parties are more pessimistic about cutting a deal before the government runs out of money."

There was reportedly some progress on the spending-cut target. Boehner moved the goalposts this week, demanding $40 billion in cuts after agreeing privately to $33 billion, but top aides today apparently met to explore another compromise between the two numbers. The bigger hurdle, apparently, is the GOP demand for policy "riders," which right-wing House Republicans continue to treat as having equal importance to the cuts themselves.

How party leaders can work around this is a mystery to me.

The odds notwithstanding, if a compromise is reached, what about rule GOP leaders imposed on themselves, mandating that a bill is available for three days before a vote? In this case, Republicans are prepared to waive the rule, if there's a deal to even vote on.

In the meantime, the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity held a rally this afternoon across the street from the Capitol, with several dozen right-wing activists on hand to listen to speeches from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), and others. The Republican voters chanted, "Shut it down!" during the rally, and every other sign at the rally urged the GOP to shut down the government.

I think we can say with confidence which side of the aisle is "rooting for a government shutdown."

Steve Benen 4:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (19)

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Comments

Excellent! So by moving the goalposts yet again, and by staging another astroturf rally, Boehner et al. are extracting yet more concessions from the Democrats. And that's even before Mr. Change-the-Way-Washington-Works steps in and magnanimously brokers an even grander compromise! What do you suppose THAT will include? Maybe just "a small number" of riders?

NOBODY can be this bad at negotiation. If there could be any clearer evidence that Democrats in Congress and the White House secretly share the Republican agenda, I don't know what it is.

Posted by: bleh on April 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Dozens of right-wing activists!?! Standards are slipping in DC. I can remember when thousands, if not tens of thousands of activists had to turn out for a rally to get any media coverage.

Posted by: massappeal on April 6, 2011 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

i don't care if it is dozens or just two lost tourists. i want this rally to get wall to wall coverage. let there be no doubt in the mind of the public who wants the shutdown. because it isn't the majority of voters.

Posted by: zeitgeist on April 6, 2011 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

"In the meantime, the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity held a rally this afternoon across the street from the Capitol, with several dozen right-wing activists on hand to listen to speeches from Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Reps. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), and others."

That must be the same several dozen who showed up for the last "rally." I guess they're the official protesters.

Posted by: SaintZak on April 6, 2011 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Are you crying? There's no crying in closed-door political meetings!

Posted by: Jimmy Dugan on April 6, 2011 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

Don't worry! According to the teabaggers, "the Heritage has done some research on shutting the government down and they found out it isn't the extreme kind of situation that the Democrats make it out to be."

I guess they didn't get the memo about the Heritage Foundation's bogus numbers.

Why do they hate our troops?

Posted by: josef on April 6, 2011 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans are rapidly tarnishing their brand beyond recognition. In the course of a week they have suffered multiple blackeyes. "Privatizing Ryan" hasn't gone well and the Wisconsin elections yesterday were a trainwreck. I know they will say Prosser only lost by 200 votes, but a fool can see the Democrats are fired up and ready to go. The Republicans had better cut a deal and fast. The Koch boys need to hire better elected Republicans. The current turds lack the smooth needed for prime time.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 6, 2011 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

I have to watch out for bullying everyday at work, yet the GOP seems to excel at just that.

The ho hum in DC is boring me.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on April 6, 2011 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

Zeitgeist expresses my feelings exactly. We need videos of the rally featuring the signs to take the government down so that if at any time in the future someone has the nerve to complain about the Democrats being responsible for the mess, show them that picture and ask who those people are.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on April 6, 2011 at 5:28 PM | PERMALINK

He was crying because he was thirsty.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on April 6, 2011 at 5:31 PM | PERMALINK

No wonder he was crying when he accepted this job.

Posted by: max on April 6, 2011 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Like the immortal Lord Lundy, Boehner should be sent to govern New South Wales:
http://rcatholic-l.freeservers.com/Lundy.html

Posted by: davidp on April 6, 2011 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

one more thing,

I do not think the Democrats have made the case that the current budget cuts may mean layoffs of government employees. It's been mentioned, but not alot. What happens if you cut jobs, well these government employees become burdens on their state government.... Lost houses, unemployment checks, medicaid, etc.

In addition to loss of valuable services...

You near it, but not enough.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 6, 2011 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

"I do not think the Democrats have made the case that the current gudget cuts may mean layoffs of government employees." KurtRex1453 @ 6:23 PM.

It HAS been mentioned, but for some strange reason there hasn't been any follow-up by the MSM.
I don't want to seem to be flogging a dead horse, but we have to remember that the period from 1930 to 1845 was the LAST time in this country's history that comes close to being called "unifying". The generations that lived through those events are gone or going and so has the idea that this country has a resposibility to its citizens regarding their ability find gainful employment, decent living conditions and all the things that make up a modern society.
What we are seeing now is THIS generation learning the hard way what many of their parents and grandparents learned in even worse circumstances. Apparently, having forgotten our history, we are having a "do-over". The only bright side is that we're not starting at quite as low a point as 1933.
I THINK that's the bright side...

Posted by: Doug on April 6, 2011 at 7:07 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't matter what the end deal is, we've been sold out by Obama and the dems. Tax breaks for the rich and big corporations and gut everything for the middle and low income people. It's republitoopid all the way.

Posted by: Schtick on April 6, 2011 at 7:21 PM | PERMALINK

You know who else cries a lot in public? Glenn Beck.

Posted by: pj in jesusland on April 6, 2011 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

doug, is that inspector gudget?

Posted by: skippy on April 7, 2011 at 1:51 AM | PERMALINK

That's actually quite stunning. I have no problem with a man expressing his feelings, but when the reason for breaking down is due to pride in a failed attempt to broker a sensible agreement over the country's finances, it just shows how much the House GOP is a cult more than political party at the moment.

Posted by: Andrew on April 7, 2011 at 4:39 AM | PERMALINK

It's easy to joke about Boner crying, but WTF is wrong with this guy? Isn't he embarrassed? Not for crying, but for becoming a parody.

Posted by: Hoyt Pollard on April 7, 2011 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK
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