THE CHUCKLEHEAD FACTOR: Whatever you do, don’t blame Boehner, Cantor, or LaTourette for the demise of “Plan B”
Guess who’s to blame for the embarrassing failure of John Boehner’s “Plan B” to avoid the fiscal cliff?
You are. The Constitutional Conservatives and the Tea Party movement that brought Boehner into power:
Republican Rep. Steven LaTourette said that Boehner is not to blame for the stalemate, the Tea Party is.
“I don’t know what the number is but say the number is 40 out of 240 – that’s not a repudiation of his leadership. That’s the same 40, 50 chuckleheads that all year … have screwed this place up. And he has done everything in his power to make nice to them, to bring them along, to make them feel included, but it hasn’t mattered,” he said.
It’s not because of Boehner’s secret negotiations with Obama, bypassing the traditional committee process in formulating a deal:
House Speaker John Boehner reportedly had another secret meeting with President Barack Obama on fiscal cliff negotiations on Monday. This is the latest in a series of behind-closed-doors talks between the two.
On Friday and over the weekend, Boehner caved on the debt ceiling and on taxes enraging conservatives while failing to delight the president enough to cut a deal…
[This] was “their third conversation in the last five days.”
It’s not because Boehner jammed a secret plan down the throats of the majority without even soliciting other opinions from Republicans:
…Leadership never worked with members in crafting Plan B. “We walked into conference” on Monday, one Republican member told me, “and we were told, ‘Here it is. Here’s what we’re going to do.’ ”
“I don’t think they ever really gave members an opportunity to weigh in,” one House chief of staff told me. One Boehner ally suggested that rather than reach out to the rank and file, Boehner used Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan as “proxies,” to gauge conservative sentiment.
The conservative Republican Study Committee wanted a floor vote, during consideration of Plan B, on an amendment to permanently extend all Bush tax rates. Boehner quashed that idea…