Another Brave Conservative Goes Under the Bus

Why write about the media lionization of yet another marginal GOP voice speaking truth to the Norquistian Power when you can quote Charles Pierce?

It appears that Tom Cole, a heretofore obscure congressdude from Oklahoma, is the latest darling of our courtier press. The other day, he suggested that the Republicans in the House Of Representatives take the deal on offer from the president as regarding the expiration of the Bush tax cuts — Keep them for families making under $250,000 a year and let the rest expire — and then live to fight another day on everything else. Huzzah, said the courtier press. Tom Cole is the latest sage come to lead us out of the terrors and night-sweats of the made-for-TV economic thriller that has come to so occupy us.

Except, of course, that Tom Cole swings approximately the same clout in the House as the senior members of the custodial staff. John Boenher, meanwhile, is still the Speaker. John Boehner, meanwhile, would like to remain the Speaker. Therefore, John Boehner still needs to placate the crazy people in his caucus. So, alas for Tom Cole and his newfound fan base in the various green rooms, but under the bus, he goes.

After chronicling Cole’s repudiation by Boehner and every other GOP congressional colleague who’s gone on record, Pierce goes on to argue that instead of arguing over the Bush tax cuts we should be getting rid of the Reagan tax cuts. And that’s why reading his stuff is always a fine tonic late on a slow news day.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.