Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 27, 2011

BOEHNER OFFERS MEASURED SUPPORT FOR RYAN PLAN (AGAIN).... Two weeks ago, talking to reporters on Capitol Hill, House Speaker John Boehner called Paul Ryan's House GOP budget plan "an option worth considering," which was hardly a rousing endorsement. The comment drew so much attention, the Speaker's office felt compelled to later add that Boehner "fully supports" the radical proposal.

Yesterday, this happened again.

The Republican-controlled House approved House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposal before Congress left for a two-week break earlier this month -- putting GOP members on record for a plan that would phase out Medicare for those 55 years of age or under.

But while the Ryan plan now is the House Republican plan, House Speaker John Boehner cautioned in an interview that Ryan's proposal is just "an idea ... worthy of consideration."

"I'm for it," Boehner said. "It's our idea. Right? It's Paul's idea. Other people have other ideas. I'm not wedded to one single idea, but I think it's -- we have a plan." It prompted ABC News to note that the Speaker is "putting just a touch of distance between himself and the Ryan plan."

Once again, Boehner's office felt compelled to "clarify" matters, explaining that the Speaker "strongly supports" the Ryan agenda approved by House Republicans.

I don't want to read too much into this, but it's worth noting that John Boehner, for all of his faults, is generally on message. He may not always understand the subject matter, but the Speaker understands the importance of listening to his aides, reading the talking points, and sticking to the script.

And yet, twice in two weeks, Boehner has publicly suggested he's not fully committed to his own caucus' budget plan -- a plan that, it just so happens, most Americans don't like.

Of course, it's a little late in the game for the Speaker to back away from the Ryan proposal, since House Republicans overwhelmingly already voted for it. But Boehner's measured, borderline awkward, comments on this may offer a hint of below-the-surface GOP apprehension. Something to keep an eye on.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (10)

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Well, give Boehner some credit, I mean, even the Captain of the Titanic slowed the ship down after it hit the iceberg.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 27, 2011 at 8:07 AM | PERMALINK

Titanic is an apt metaphor, since the GOP appears to be hell bent on full speed ahead, damn the torpedos as they approach the abyss that is the debit ceiling.

ceiling/abyss? get in touch with your inner editor, DAY!

Posted by: DAY on April 27, 2011 at 8:26 AM | PERMALINK

In some circles this would be called 'double speak'.

Posted by: k l m on April 27, 2011 at 8:28 AM | PERMALINK

Could it be that the republicans are getting a lot more pushback from the folks back home as they go out and try to sell the plan? The budget that guts medicare and other social programs in order to further enrich the already wealthy received almost unanamous support from the GOP is proving to be a hard sell to the constituents. Boehner seems to be wanting to crawfish out of what he and his crew voted for, but he can't without losing the tea party and, of course, Grover Norquist. Poor John, things were so good when all he had to do was oppose that socialist Nancy. Now he has to work, actually trying to pass meaningful legislation without disrupting his golf schedule. More popcorn; the show's getting better.

Posted by: sparky on April 27, 2011 at 8:32 AM | PERMALINK

"...below-the-surface GOP apprehension."

Hahahaha - there's nothing below-the-surface about it! There are lots of videos and news stories about the, shall we say, HEATED reception Republican lawmakers are getting at their town halls.

Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of slugs!

(And I'd like to point out that so far, while citizens have been heated in their comments, it's a far cry from the downright ugliness we saw during the astroturfed town halls in 2009.)

Posted by: blondie on April 27, 2011 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

I would rather have the Postal Service run my health insurance than have EXXON, AT&T, or GE run it, wouldn't you? But that's what Republicans want with their new budget proposals to privatize Medicaid and Medicare.

It's all very fine if you are a member of the upper class who can afford health costs out of pocket, but for the rest of us who deal with health insurance companies we know they do not have the public interest in mind, only short term profit.

Work against the public interest? Corporations? You say.

Well, my young Randian apprentice let's look at the record, which shows many companies cut corners which proved disastrous to the public interest.  Union Carbide in India, BP in the Gulf of Mexico, EXXON In Alaska. There is no reason to think that health companies do any different given they continually raised premiums IN A RECESSION.

Remember, we had pass laws to reign in corporations' greed 100 years ago. 

So to the idealogue Republicans, I say not only NO, but HELL NO!

 America and the world was never more prosperous than during those times when people paid their fair share, this means we must tax the rich and use the money to build infrastructure paying good wages for good work to good people while protecting those who cannot protect themselves.

Posted by: KurtRex1453 on April 27, 2011 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

The guy can stay on message, but he sure seems like and asshole to me...

Posted by: bigtuna on April 27, 2011 at 9:06 AM | PERMALINK

I will count courageous the reporter who puts a microphone in front of Speaker Boehner to answer the question asked about the Progressive Caucus budget proposal that truly works at deficit reduction!

Who will be such a journalist in our time? What network would send such a courageous reporter into the field?

George Seldes is long gone, and there are too many SOBs left in our nation! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 27, 2011 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

So Boehner voted for the bill to become law but doesn't support it?

Posted by: anandine on April 27, 2011 at 10:46 AM | PERMALINK

I haven't yet seen anything about forcing insurance companies to accept people who are 65 years old or have some condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure. What is going to be done to make sure that people with a preexisting condition of any kind will be able to get coverage?

Remember that many of these people lose their insurance when they retire because their insurance was tied to their employment. What insurance company is going to then pick them up at any price?

Posted by: Texas Aggie on April 27, 2011 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK
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