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Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:25 AM

Inside the Meltdown

Source: The National Review (yes, yes, I know)

At a quarter to 8 p.m. on Thursday night, House Republicans gathered in the Capitol basement for an urgent, closed-door conference meeting. The scene was hushed and confused. Instead of huddling in a windowless room, members thought they’d spend the evening on the House floor, voting on “Plan B,” Speaker John Boehner’s fiscal-cliff proposal. But as they took their seats and looked at Boehner’s face, the reason for the gathering became clear: The speaker didn’t have the votes. The whipping was over. “Plan B” was dead.

Boehner’s speech to the group was short and curt: He said his plan didn’t have enough support, and that the House would adjourn until after Christmas, perhaps even later. But it was Boehner’s tone and body language that caught most Republicans off guard. The speaker looked defeated, unhappy, and exhausted after hours of wrangling. He didn’t want to fight. There was no name-calling. As a devout Roman Catholic, Boehner wanted to pray. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,” he told the crowd, according to attendees.

There were audible gasps of surprise, especially from freshman lawmakers who didn’t see the meltdown coming. Boehner’s friends were shocked, and voiced their disappointment so the speaker’s foes could hear. “My buddies and I said the same thing to each other,” a Boehner ally told me later. “We looked at each other, rolled our eyes, and just groaned. This is a disaster.”

Representative Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania, a burly former car dealer, stood up and urged the conference to get behind the speaker. “How the hell can you do this?” Kelly asked, according to several people inside the room. A few of Boehner’s critics told Kelly to stop lecturing, but most were silent. They had been battling against “Plan B” all week, and quite suddenly, they had crippled the leadership. Boehner sensed the tension, requested calm, and then exited the room.

Read more: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/336287/inside-meltdown-robert-costa#



I hate linking to the National Review but this is a fascinating and well-sourced story and, frankly, none of "our" outlets are going to get this kind of access for a "process" piece.

44 replies, 5600 views

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Arrow 44 replies Author Time Post
Reply Inside the Meltdown (Original post)
Recursion Dec 2012 OP
dkf Dec 2012 #1
lin_e65 Dec 2012 #2
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #18
groundloop Dec 2012 #24
jpak Dec 2012 #3
Recursion Dec 2012 #6
BumRushDaShow Dec 2012 #4
GraniteDem Dec 2012 #5
WilliamPitt Dec 2012 #7
leftynyc Dec 2012 #8
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #19
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #33
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #41
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #43
leftynyc Dec 2012 #36
yardwork Dec 2012 #9
Bernardo de La Paz Dec 2012 #15
Recursion Dec 2012 #16
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #17
randome Dec 2012 #42
merrily Dec 2012 #21
sendero Dec 2012 #28
blackspade Dec 2012 #10
merrily Dec 2012 #22
JoePhilly Dec 2012 #11
Indykatie Dec 2012 #12
Berlum Dec 2012 #13
Jennicut Dec 2012 #14
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #20
1StrongBlackMan Dec 2012 #26
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #30
Recursion Dec 2012 #31
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #32
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #34
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #40
Cosmocat Dec 2012 #44
merrily Dec 2012 #23
Jennicut Dec 2012 #35
BlueStreak Dec 2012 #38
Historic NY Dec 2012 #25
L0oniX Dec 2012 #27
maxsolomon Dec 2012 #37
Politicub Dec 2012 #29
wordpix Dec 2012 #39

Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:30 AM

1. Interesting...thanks.

 

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 08:57 AM

2. On election night....

Barack Obama placed calls to Boehner and McConnell. Both men were "sleeping" and didn't take the President's calls. What goes around comes around. Isn't karma sweet???? Now let's get them out of office. I'm saving my money.

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Response to lin_e65 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:35 AM

18. "Sleeping" as in

!xlMedium.jpg

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Response to lin_e65 (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:38 AM

24. The President can call me at 3 AM and I promise I'll find a way to take the call


I can't believe the disrespect shown towards President Obama.

As to the original post, yes, thanks for sharing and that's interesting insight. I'm wondering, now that they're weak and in disarray how do we move forward?

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:05 AM

3. They shoulda just extended the tax cuts for the middle class - and cheered "Merry Christmas"

They would have looked sooooooo reasonable.

But they aren't

and they suck

yup

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Response to jpak (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:22 AM

6. That was my worry, personally

That they would concede on revenues and then march on happily forward with their new sequestered spending baseline. It's certainly what I would have done in their tactical situation. Thank God for stupid opponents...

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:15 AM

4. They made their beds

they nurtured the loonies, and they laid down with the Norquists and Roves and Kochs, and woke up infested with the roaches that make up their party.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:20 AM

5. Serenity.....

[link:|

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:33 AM

7. Great read, thanks.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:40 AM

8. Interesting read

Both the article and the comments. Some on the right see what's happening but the teabagger brigade thinks protecting billionaires from tax cuts is the way to the land of milk and honey. The fight for the soul of the gop has begun in earnest.

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Response to leftynyc (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:40 AM

19. Yesterday was the first time in recent memory I recal hearing from

any non-teabagger Republican in the House. They have all been hiding under rocks, trying to avoid being "primaried". It looks like yesterday's events may have given some of them just a little backbone.

That is remarkable because I believe the non-teabaggers actually are the majority of the caucus. Aren't there about 80 real teabaggers in the House? That means there would be well over 100 Republican Congressmen who are not (at least officially) teabaggers.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:35 PM

33. Even if there is a tea bag vs corporatist whore split

it still dooms the House because they are absolutely locked into one party rule.

Plan B wasn't something a D would vote for, so even with a decent 25 seat or so advantage, if the tea bag assholes are not on board, he is sunk.

Beyond their extraordinary extremacy, what this displays is the bizarre world that has developed with republicans over the last 15 years, where they are totally incapable of doing ANYTHING that involves some partnership with the democrats.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:08 PM

41. Agreed. If he leaves the teabaggers behind, Boehner has to support more reasonable legislation

And then he has to deal with the heritage Foundation and everybody else in the right-wing machine.

It is completely dysfunctional. The only way forward is to beat these assholes in 2014.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #41)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:22 PM

43. As Maddow brilliantly broke down

a week or two ago, they have their majority in great part due to gerrymandering.

But, people simply just need to wake the fuck up about them.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:43 PM

36. It's a reasonable fear

Anyone not standing firmly in the teabagger camp can expect to be primaried - and the bagger will win.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:48 AM

9. The Republicans have destroyed their own party.

It's been a race to the bottom. Unfettered greed. Abandonment of even minimal decency. The Republican Party has now elected so many complete morans who know absolutely nothing except what their corporate masters tell them to do, they have reached critical mass. They can no long function in the real world.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:15 AM

15. What you wrote ... so true

The Republicans have destroyed their own party.

It's been a race to the bottom. Unfettered greed. Abandonment of even minimal decency. The Republican Party has now elected so many complete morans who know absolutely nothing except what their corporate masters tell them to do, they have reached critical mass. They can no long function in the real world.


You nailed it. Every word. It is unfortunately too true. Unfortunate because the "body politic" (the public) thrives best when there is rational and real debate with compromise at the end. The Republicans can't offer rationality, realness, or compromise. The Ts are even worse.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:17 AM

16. A rational conservative voice would be a good thing to have in US politics

Say, your Andrew Sullivan's and David Frum's and John Huntsman's and Chuck Hagel's. That way the Democratic party wouldn't feel this pressure to make both the liberal and conservative arguments for things.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:29 AM

17. We must give Mittens credit for his part in the current disarray.

as well as the real far out lunatic fringe.

"Horses and bayonents" killed Romeny, and the Republicans.
No one takes them seriously anymore.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 02:51 PM

42. Romney was another symptom of the collapse. So was Palin.

The only thing I 'thank' them for is the endless hours of ridicule and entertainment they provide.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:30 AM

21. That's what everyone said between November 2008 and October 2010.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:12 PM

28. Now if only..

... Democrats could learn to take full advantage of that fact.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:48 AM

10. Looks like Boehner stepped on his own boner.

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Response to blackspade (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:31 AM

22. LOL!

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:52 AM

11. I assumed this thread would be about DU's recent freak out about how Obama had caved and

killed social security.

Not your fault.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:54 AM

12. Good Piece - Thanks for Posting n/t

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 09:59 AM

13. Somebody should lock the Republicans in that basement

...before they come out and cause any more harm to America...

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:07 AM

14. What is sad and scary about the Repubs is that Boehner is not even the worst Speaker they could have

There could be far worse. Cantor is way worse. Boehner is just pathetic. And as conservative as Boehner is, there are nuts in the Repub party that are way more conservative. But hey, the Repubs destroyed their own party. Sucks for them. Boehner also chose to go down this route like an idiot instead of keeping the negotiations with the President going.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 10:46 AM

20. Boehner made the fatal decision to continue the "Hastert rule"

Last edited Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:30 PM - Edit history (1)

That is how the teabaggers have him by the short hairs. That was a big mistake. Early on, he should have said, "We are in an era of divided government and Americans expect us to work together across the aisle to do the people's business. While I agree in general with the idea behind the 'Hastert rule,' I will not adhere to that as a strict operating principle. Whenever possible, consistent with our core beliefs, we can work with the Democrats in this body, we will do so. And if that means that sometimes we pass legislation with a majority of Democratic votes, so be it."

That would have forced the teabaggers to be must more cooperative. They have blocked things, not because they had the votes to win on the floor, but because the :"Hastert rule" allowed the teabaggers and a few friends to prevent things from being voted on at all.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:47 AM

26. I'm pretty sure ...

he should have said, "We are in an era of divided government and Americans expect us to work together across the aisle to do the people's business.


He did ... it's just the teapartiers, don't care about doing the people's business.

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Response to 1StrongBlackMan (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:29 PM

30. If Boehner said that, then he should act on it by ending the "Hastert rule"

Right now, the "Hastert rule" gives the teabaggers disproportionate power just as the filibuster rule gives Senate Republicans disproportionate power.

Boehner can end the "Hastert rule" any time. It is just a tradition. It is not a formal rule.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:30 PM

31. Yeah, it's a "rule" solely affecting the Speaker

It's not like an actual procedural rule and he doesn't have to ask anybody's permission to change it.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #31)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:33 PM

32. If Obama sticks to a "moderate Domocratic" solution, he can force Boehner

to go forward without the teabaggers. But that won't work if he keeps giving away things that are dear to his base with nothing in return from the Republicans.

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:38 PM

34. BINGO

Never in my 45 years have we had a congress where you had a party that COMPLETELY locked out the other party for this period of time. There have always been things passed strictly on partisan lines. But, NEVER has it been COMPLETE one party rule by one party for nearly 15 years now.

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:06 PM

40. And that is because the Democrats refuse to play hardball

There is this ongoing belief that if we are just a little more patient, just a little more understanding, they'll come along.

No, they won't. They only understand force. You have to be willing to use every tool available to pressure them.

The perfect example is the 14th Amendment. It is absolutely insane to take that off the table as a potential response to the Republican hostage-taking. That is unilateral capitulation, otherwise known as "third way Democrats"

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Response to BlueStreak (Reply #40)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 06:25 PM

44. I wanted to smash our TV this afternoon

both Pelosi and Hoyer were talking, and they just coddled the shit out of Boehner and the republicans.

It was real compassionate in tone.

I am thinking, after all the crape these asshole shoveled on them, do they even remember what they did after 9-11?

IF this had happened to Pelosi, every R would have, on the record just went to town on her.

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Response to Jennicut (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:32 AM

23. And Ryan would be worse than Cantor.

Or maybe they are equally repugnant.

I can't make up my mind.

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Response to merrily (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:40 PM

35. It goes from really bad to really, really bad to horrifically bad.

The Republican party is so far to the right these days.

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Response to merrily (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:00 PM

38. Well, it all depends on if there are enough "moderate Republicans" with some backbone.

Numerically you would think that there are maybe 80 solid teabaggers and another 30 or 40 sympathizers. But that would still leave nearly 100 who don't really align with the teabaggers, which is how Boehner has been able to keep the job so far.

I can't see them electing Cantor. I could see them electing Ryan. But both of those scenarios would be worse than Boehner.

Another possibility is that the lass extreme faction pulls together and insists that Boehner stop being driven by the teabaggers. Frankly I can't see that happening because those "moderate Republicans" are terrified by the right wing pressure groups.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 11:42 AM

25. And then Boehner said Merry Cliffmas to all & some bourbon tonight....

too bad he didn't have the stomach to put the Presidents plan up. the one that extracted them from they disastrous sequestor that they the republicans voted for in 2010. They want cuts but they don't want to touch the "sacred cow" military spending.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:00 PM

27. HERE'S THE REAL SHIT THAT'S GOING ON...

so we go over the cliff and tax rates go back to the Clinton rates. OK now Obama and (if they have the guts) the house Dems submit a bill to reduce taxes to those making under 100<250k. Now watch the repukes try to skirt around that. OH NOES ...what will we do? If they obstruct that bill then they get tagged as being for higher taxes which will be a good thing for us in 2014. O yea I am sure they (not all) know this too. They can take their chances with Obama and hope he and the Dems don't offer a tax reduction bill or fight the loosing battle they are in now up to the end. Let them go eat cake!

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #27)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:57 PM

37. this is all theatre - the "reasonable" GOP wants to go over the cliff

they know the only way to achieve compromise, and call it a tax cut, is to start from zero in the new congress.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 12:16 PM

29. When the new term starts maybe some more moderate republicans will vote

For some proposals from dems so the economy and country won't get stuck in the mud. The recovery is here, and they have more to lose from botching the economy than a tea party threat.

It won't take as many repubs because of the gains dems made in the house.

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Response to Recursion (Original post)

Fri Dec 21, 2012, 01:03 PM

39. cry me a river, repugliCONS, your party is a FAIL

At least now we'll get defense cuts and the rich will pay more in taxes.

But so will the rest of us.

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