Throwing Conservatives Off the Fiscal Cliff


While the White House and congressional Republicans shadow box on the verge of the fiscal cliff, the federal government is busy digging below the cliff and raising its height. According to a Congressional Budget Office report released on Friday, the federal government borrows 46 cents of each dollar it spends. We’re only two months into Fiscal Year 2013 and the debt has already increased by about $300 billion.

On Friday, Speaker Boehner told the press, “This isn’t a progress report because there’s no progress to report.” That’s one part of the good news. The other part is that whatever deal Boehner and Obama may yet reach isn’t guaranteed to pass into law.

Boehner’s purge of dissenting conservatives from key committees should have pushed his conservative members too far. Removing from the budget committee those who didn’t support the Ryan budget because it didn’t do enough to balance the budget — which it didn’t — Boehner is stamping out conservatives’ ability to affect House action. If they go along with him — if they vote for a Boehner-engineered deal that raises taxes without major spending cuts including Social Security and Medicare cuts — they shouldn’t be re-elected in 2014.

Conservatives know that, but Boehner apparently doesn’t care. Boehner is so desperate to keep his personal power as Speaker, he’s apparently willing to throw the conservatives overboard. Boehner is thinking as if he were a liberal: his cognitive dissonance believes that he can preserve his power by sacrificing the conservative margin by which he holds it.

The question comes down to this: how long will House conservatives go along with Boehner’s political malpractice in dealing with Obama? This problem isn’t new. When Obama came into office in 2009, Boehner forbade House Republicans from criticizing the new president. A bunch of House members called me asking for help and as a result of press pressure from me and others, Boehner relented.

Read More at . By Jed Babbin.


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