Speaker John Boehner is not in an enviable position. He is taking fire from all sides, including within his own caucus. This shutdown and possible debt ceiling default could even threaten the Republican majority in the House of Representatives if he and his GOP colleagues can’t figure out some way to win the media war which is getting harder every day. In short, Boehner is trapped.
Politicians, especially members of Congress, get away with saying many ridiculous things. They often interpret this as a testament to their cleverness when in truth it is an indication that the wider public doesn’t care, and those paying attention have an interest in looking the other way. Now is not one of those times.
So when Speaker Boehner came out today and said “This isn’t some damn game.” you could practically hear the eye rolls. Not just by the rancid cynics of the DC press corps, but the country in general. Everyone knows Boehner, like all politicians, is a game player and this holier than thou attitude is an absolute non-starter.
JOHN BOEHNER: Good morning, everyone. When we have a crisis like the one we’re in the middle of this week, the American people expect their leaders to sit down and try to resolve their differences. I was at the White House the other night and listening to the president some 20 times explain to me why he wasn’t going to negotiate. I sat there and listened to the majority leader in the United States Senate describe to me that we’re not going to talk until we surrender. I get the Wall Street Journal out and it says “we don’t care how long this lasts because we’re winning.” This isn’t some damn game. The American people don’t want their government shut down and neither do I. All we’re asking for is to sit down and have a discussion and reopen the government and to bring fairness to the American people under Obamacare. It’s as simple as that. But it all has to begin with a simple discussion.
It is absolutely a game – a dangerous, reckless and foolish game. A game that is hurting a lot of people already in pain from a failing economy. Boehner let this shutdown happen and could end it today by bringing the bill to the floor and having Democrats and enough Republicans happily pass a clean CR.
But instead, he wants to play games.