What Boehner’s Caucus Can’t Do

If he can’t do it now, he never will.

The beauty of Speaker Boehner’s cave — agreeing to continue funding Planned Parenthood and “ObamaCare,” as of this 11 PM, early report — is that it describes the parties’ negotiating posture in all other high stakes conflicts likely to arise. Here’s what we know: the GOP couldn’t hold the line. They knew they’d get blamed for a shutdown; the backbenchers couldn’t take the pressure; and for whatever reason, the Democrats held the stronger hand. Republicans do not have the clout to force a shutdown over social issues, healthcare, or over some half-felt concern about fiscal integrity.

Oh, we’ll get a Senate vote on the “ObamaCare” repeal. Cool! Hey, wonder if Obama would veto it?

By the way, do not miss this Fox headline: “Government shutdown not so shutdowny after all.” Yes, really.


  1. I feel conflicted about all this. Damn two-party system where neither party aligns well with me.

  2. Ames – your analysis is pretty weak. It was never about the social issues. They were a bargaining chip. Democrats were only willing to cut $6 billion and Boehner got $38 billion. That is HUGE. EJ Dione (liberal) was just saying yesterday that if Boehner got $38 billion AND avoided a shutdown he was ‘threading the needle’ and the WH would need to completely rethink their negotiating strategy with him. On top of all of that we have a promise of those up/down votes which will force moderates to go on record before next year’s elections.

    This is a big win for the Right – could have been even better but we will take it. The President got completely schooled here.

    1. I am not sure he got schooled, so much as showed how unwilling he is to defend the liberal and independent voter base that got him elected. As with the Affordable Care Act, the President got what he wanted out of the deal, or there would have been no deal.

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