Not this time around.
This time around, Boehner and Company look like cowards, psychopaths, or both, absolute giggling madmen who are at each other’s throats and given to stupid temper tantrums that remind many mature Americans of how the id-driven overaged toddler Newt Gingrich forced the last set of government shutdowns in 1995 and 1996. Meanwhile, President Obama, who has admitted he made a grave mistake in 2011by allowing the debt ceiling to be used as a bargaining chip by House Republicans, is standing firm and resolute, with the backing of every Congressional Democrat from Reid and Pelosi on down.
And now it all comes down to whether John Boehner realizes that he has to get tough with his own caucus if he wants to remain Speaker in more than just name.
This whole mess has been driven by Tea Party Birchers taking advantage of Boehner’s ambition, cowardice, and relative unconcern for the fate of the country he took an oath to defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. They are counting on his being willing to abase himself before them in any way possible in order to hang on to the title of “Speaker of the House”. But is he really the Speaker, if Ted Cruz — a member of the upper chamber, a Senator — has more power than he does over the House GOP Caucus? As Paul Waldman said recently: “If a Democratic senator tried to undermine Nancy Pelosi the way Cruz is undermining Boehner, she’d walk across to the other side of the Capitol, knock politely on his office door, and explain to him that he made a grave mistake messing with her. Then just to make sure he understood, she’d punch her fist through his ribcage and pull out his still-beating heart so he could see it before he died. But John Boehner is no Nancy Pelosi.”
The irony is that the Teepers would respect him more — and thus be more likely to heed him — if he didn’t all but pee on his shoes every time they glanced his way. If, just once, he were to say “Screw it, I’m going to talk to Nancy about a deal” and did so, he’d show that he’s willing to call their bluff. If he did that, he’d be known for something more than crying at the drop of a hat.