Friday, April 15, 2011


    Q.  By which you mean?
    A.  I always thought that at 82 I couldn’t be fooled.  Hah!  The Boehner CR which the Speaker and his staff hailed as a great victory…supposedly cutting $38 billion from the rest of fiscal year 2011 budget was filled with fiscal gimmickery—as if I told my wife I “saved” $100,000 by not buying a new Mercedes.  They “cut” $2.5 billion from highway funds that can’t be spent anyhow because of restrictions by other legislation prevent them from being spent.”   More: “cuts” from unspent monies left over from the 2010 census.   A total of $3.9 billion from the Children’s Health Insurance program that for technical reasons (the inability of most states to qualify) wouldn’t be spent anyhow. 
         The spending bill produces less than 1% of the $38 billion promised by Boehner this year. Part of the misconception is something I should have known, having worked in the House as a staffer but which I forgot:  It’s the House’s arcane and confusing way of mixing authorizations and appropriations.  The lack of immediate budget-cutting punch is derived because the budget year is more than half over and cuts in new spending authority are slow to  be reflected in deficit figures which may take a year or more to show up.  Also $8 billion of cuts in domestic programs are zeroed out by automatic increases in defense spending.  But Boehner knew this certainly and is guilty of rank misrepresentation.  
     Q.  If you were in the  House and had known the full truth what would you have done?
    A.  Opposed the CR and supported closing down the joint. Breaking off negotiations and really going for the shutdown.  I don’t believe for a minute that a shutdown would hurt the Republicans singly—since even with Newt Gingrich’s great strategic lapses it didn’t interfere with Republicans retaining control of the Congress.
      Q. Does this mean you owe Rush Limbaugh an apology?
      A.  Apologize my--!
     Q.  Don’t say it!
    A. He’s of great value to the conservative movement because of his huge listenership.  Like the proverbial stopped clock which is right twice a day.  You say “no” enough when others say “yes” you’re bound to be right sometime.  Apologize to somebody whose sole political experience is just running his mouth and puffing a cigar sitting behind an artificially painted “golden”  microphone who viscerally reacts to pump up the audience and who has never, ever been involved in negotiations himself?  You know he’d argue pulling the plug if the cuts were real and hit $90 billion—just ten short of the Tea Party goal.  He’d do this for audience appeal because he’s a marketing genius. The people I apologize to are the Tea Party’ers.  I should have listened to their objections at the outset.
     Q.  What’s Boehner’s future?
    A.   I for one will never trust him again.   He’s followed the age-old political rubric of overstating his case. The Tea Party’ers should burn his hide.   One more and he will lose control of his caucus.   As it is 59 Republicans voted against it—and I’d have been one of them.   The thing I don’t like is that Boehner had to go supplicating Steny Hoyer, the Democrats’ minority whip to carry the day 260 to 167…and God knows how much he’s indebted to them.  I really think this is a case of fraudulent misrepresentation.  It’s as serious as old Charlie Halleck’s drinking for which they dumped him for Jerry Ford.   The House Republican caucus ought to convene and give Boehner a reprimand.  They really ought to scout around for a possible successor.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Don Tomas, may I monte the infinitive?


    "You are never too old to get EVEN, though taken at 82."

  3. The people I apologize to are the Tea Party’ers.

    Accepted. For your penance, say three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

  4. Actually, you do owe Rush an apology. Analysts with political experience have a role to play, analysts without have a role to play. Rush's analysis was spot-on. Sure he's an entertainer and sure he does things to gain and hold audience which equals money.

    But, I hate to break it to you, Professor and Pontificator Roeser, you'll need some evidence that that's what motivated his analysis in this case. I don't see any such evidence. He smelled a rat. So did Hewitt, so did Levin. So it wasn't impossible to see, just well disguised, so it snookered a lot of people. You are in good company, having been snookered on this one, you draw the correct conclusion from having been snookered: won't trust Boehner again. Nothing to be ashamed of there. But also no reason to savage Rush yet again.

  5. Rush was right! And not just "twice a day" as you say. Too much hatred there -- you need to repent. Focus your anger on the "experienced negotiator" who promised $100,000,000,000 and delivered $0. Joe Walsh would make a better Speaker.