In what was ultimately never going to be a good moment for Conservatives, John Boehner (R-OH) has managed to create a media firestorm about the possibility of a Republican Civil War. Conservative groups were very unhappy with the final terms of the budget deal, seeing as how it doesn’t actually do anything for conservatives. The budget continues to grow, the cuts involved are minimal and even the tiny victories won by the sequester are ultimately somewhat undone by the deal. So for Speaker Boehner to act as if the House Republicans have just negotiated some amazing deal that conservatives should love is ridiculous.
But Boehner just couldn’t help himself as he continued to throw rhetorical grenades at his party’s base.
What Boehner should have done from the start is simply admit that the deal wasn’t perfect and that he and the rest of the Republican leadership were hopeful that they could work towards fixing this horrible budget in the new year. That’s it. Then just walk away. But no. He had to freak out and defend himself, like he is what is most important here.
House overwhelmingly votes to approve budget through 2015 fiscal year, 332-94. 62 Republicans defect.
— Mike O'Brien (@mpoindc) December 12, 2013
In fact, Boehner could have learned from the example of his opponent across the aisle on this one. See, Democrats were not happy with the bill either, because it didn’t spend enough new money. Conservatives were mad that no money was cut and liberals were mad that no new money was added. Boehner freaked out and said that conservatives had lost their credibility. Nancy Pelosi stayed calm and told liberals to, and I quote, “embrace the suck.”
Boehner should have stayed quiet and followed Nancy’s lead on this. His reaction will only cause problems for Republicans down the road. Meanwhile, Pelosi’s reaction will make the Democrats look calm, cool and collected to the outside world.
Personally, I think conservative groups are right – this deal sucks. Some big name Republicans who voted against the budget are Justin Amash (R-MI), Michelled Bachmann (R-MI), Paul Broun (R-GA), Phil Gingrey (R-GA), Louis Gohmert (R-TX), Steve King (R-IA), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Raul Labrador (R-ID), and Mark Sanford (R-SC). There were a bunch of others too.
Hopefully, Boehner can patch things up with these conservative groups, otherwise we may have bigger problems come 2014 and 2016 then a simple budget battle.