Bill Kristol warned fellow Republicans today about the dangers of opposing the Boehner plan. Since the House Republicans are retooling the plan today we don’t know yet what is in it.
Regardless of the outcome, Speaker Boehner has stood strong against the onslaught of the democrat media complex throughout the debt limit debate. If Republicans come out of this battle with no new taxes and a plan that reduces the debt as much as the debt limit is increased, then it is a win for conservatives and the tea party.
The Weekly Standard reported:
To govern is to choose. To vote is to choose. To vote against John Boehner on the House floor this week in the biggest showdown of the current Congress is to choose to vote with Nancy Pelosi. To vote against Boehner is to choose to support Barack Obama. It is to choose to increase the chances that worse legislation than Boehner’s passes. And it is to choose to increase the chances that Obama emerges from this showdown politically stronger. So when the Heritage Action Fund and the Club for Growth, and Senators Vitter, Paul, et al., choose to urge House Republicans to join the Democrats to defeat Boehner, they’re choosing to side with Barack Obama.
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Unfair!—these fine groups and senators will say. We’re not siding with Obama. We just want Boehner to do more, to go further.
Very well, then. Can the pro-Obama right explain how defeat for Boehner on the House floor would redound to conservatives’ benefit, to their ability to do more and to go further? They can’t. Read their statements (here, here, and here). They don’t even pretend to explain how defeating Boehner would produce a better policy or political result for conservatives—in the near or medium or long term. Because they can’t explain how defeat will produce victory. Defeat will produce … defeat. There is no path to a better conservative outcome that follows from Boehner going down on the House floor this week.
This isn’t some bad bipartisan establishment deal of the sort conservatives have sometimes opposed in the past. Then conservatives were opposing Democrats as well as Republicans, and could plausibly explain why doing so was in conservative interests. Now, Heritage Action and the Club for Growth are siding with and strengthening Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. They’re working to produce a policy and political defeat for John Boehner and Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan and the Republican majority in the House. This isn’t principled conservatism. This is self-indulgence masquerading as principle, sectarianism masquerading as conservatism.