Tag Archive: John Boehner

The Republicans’ ludicrous “negotiation” definition

Republicans have already revealed their strategy in the GOP shutdown: take America hostage by shutting down the federal government, and then criticize President Obama and Congressional Democrats for not “negotiating” major concessions, including defunding the Affordable Care Act, in return for Republicans reopening the government. Republicans skillfully repeat this word “negotiate,” but their definition of the term is absurdly narrow. In this context, Republicans only mean that President Obama should negotiate away popular Democratic principles and new laws while he has the GOP shutdown gun pointed at his head.

Republican civil war spills into open

A couple of actions by Congressional Republicans hours apart this past Tuesday night and Wednesday morning demonstrated how the Republican Party is in open warfare with itself. First, House Republicans were sharply divided in their vote to avoid the so-called “fiscal cliff.” Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, atypically, did not make a speech on the House floor in support of the vote. Boehner’s second in command, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia, not only voted against his speaker and the fiscal cliff deal, he spoke out against it for all to hear. The Republican fiscal cliff vote tally in the House went against Speaker Boehner, with only 85 voting “yea” and 151 voting “nay” (the bill passed due to the overwhelming Democratic “yea” vote). This follows an embarrassing failure by Boehner to bring his own fiscal cliff “plan B” bill up for a vote in the House on December 20.

On Payroll Tax Cut, Democrats Find their Message

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Analysts on all sides of the political spectrum are calling the payroll tax cut extension a clear win for the Democrats and a significant political loss for the Republicans and their House Speaker, John Boehner. During the debate over extending the payroll tax cut, it appeared that Democrats finally hit their communications stride. For example, check out the above video featuring Democratic Senator Charles Schumer of New York, who appeared on December 22 on MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” with host Ed Schultz. Here’s what Schumer, who appears at about 2:40, said:

  • “What they (the Republicans) have done this whole year is play brinksmanship and paralysis.”
  • “The American people have pretty good sniffers, and they’re beginning to smell that this Tea Party is extreme, and not really interested in what’s good for America…. They’re basically trying to paralyze government and get nothing done.”
  • “It is true that people are upset with government. But it’s not because it’s doing too much, it’s because it’s doing too little to help them.”
  • The Republicans’ flip-flop over the payroll tax cut, being against it before they were for it, “doesn’t pass the laugh test, and again, the American people sort of saw through that”.
  • “Since September, we (the Democrats) have done a lot better. Why? Well, we have focused on the economy, jobs, and income inequality.”
  • On tax policy, the Democrats “separated the middle class from the millionaires.”
  • “The American people are with us, not with the Republicans, on those issues” (jobs, the economy, and income inequality).

President Obama Gets the Message

President Barack Obama gave a stunning speech yesterday in front of the “functionally obsolete” Brent Spence Bridge connecting Ohio and Kentucky. The President’s speech touting his American Jobs Act marks a sharp turnaround from the cool, professorial, unemotional Barack Obama that America has become used to, and which many voters dislike. This time, as with his recent speeches to promote the American Jobs Act, Obama is doing almost everything right regarding effective political messaging: