John Boehner Becomes a Man
Maybe you saw House leader John Boehner on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. I missed it, but a written account of the interview shortly after may make me take back everything bad I have ever said about Mr. Boehner. It appears he has received a dose of courage from the Wizard, and is ready for a fight.
He is now on record as saying there will be no let-up in the GOP “shutdown stance” until the President decides to negotiate. Of course, so far, Obama is not budging. He’s not talking. Period. Playing golf and discussing how the Washington Redskins have an offensive name? Sure, he has time for that. But that’s it!
Boehner told Stephanopoulos: “He knows what my phone number is, all he has to do is call….The president just can’t sit there and say, ‘I’m not going to negotiate.'” He said it all without shedding a single tear! Where has this version of Boehner been all this time? What brought about this change? How did John Boehner finally find his testosterone?
The GOP has found their feet because of the Syria debacle. Obama doesn’t have Putin to bail him out this time. I don’t think anybody has truly realized how much damage the red line that the President says he never drew caused.
The GOP thinks they can win this showdown, despite polls saying they’re taking the blame. If Boehner and Company stay on point, which they’ve been doing the last few days, stressing that they’re ready to talk and ready to partially fund the government in the meantime but the Democrats won’t budge, they may turn the tide. The Democrats are depending on public opinion to pressure the GOP to cave, but that’s a strategy about as good as “hope”. Obama is steering the ship. Right now he’s sitting at anchor. He can’t do that forever, especially if the public sees no effort from him. If the situation were reversed, the GOP would have a problem. But this can quickly become Obama’s problem if he’s not careful. We know from past experience that Obama caves when the heat’s on.
So turn up the heat, Johnny! Political theater has never been so fun!
BRIAN DRAKE is a broadcaster in California and the author of The Rogue Gentleman, a thriller in the tradition of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Follow him on Twitter.