JOHN BOEHNER AND HIS FOOL’S ERRAND…. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) isn’t in the most comfortable of positions. Indeed, by all indications, he knew going into this Congress that there were traps ahead, which Boehner desperately wanted to avoid.

Two months later, the Speaker seems to have discovered that he’s stuck. Boehner wants to avoid overreach, but finds himself being pushed around by wild-eyed freshman. He wants to satisfy public demands, but feels forced to go far beyond what the American mainstream will tolerate.

And it’s apparently getting worse for Boehner. The Speaker continues to champion a plan that would slash funding in education, health care, job training, and national security, undermining the economy and making unemployment much worse. It’s not quite the plan Boehner wanted to pursue, but his right-wing party demanded it. The public, not surprisingly, hates this policy.

But at least Boehner is satisfying the unhinged base, right? Wrong.

In another display of the Tea Party movement turning on its own ideological supporters, the head of one prominent group has said that House Speaker John Boehner looks “like a fool” as House Republicans push spending cuts in their budget proposal. And that leader wants the Tea Party movement to set a goal for 2012: to defeat Boehner in a Republican primary. […]

“We’re getting more of the same political games as we have gotten in the past,” [Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips] told CNN. “Boehner can redeem himself if they will get serious about cutting spending.”

When asked if he was delivering an ultimatum, the Tea Party leader responded: “Yes.”

“If Boehner doesn’t get up there, get on the ball, and start getting us some serious budget cuts — I’m going to do whatever I can to have someone run a primary against Boehner.”

The irony is almost amusing. John Boehner is pursuing an agenda that’s intended to satisfy the ridiculous demands of the Republican base, and no one else. But the effort itself is a fool’s errand — it’s practically impossible to satisfy right-wing GOP activists. If Boehner did manage to meet the hysterical right’s expectations, it would cost the Republicans their majority.

So the Speaker keeps pandering, giving in to far-right demands, doing what extremists tell him to do, and for his trouble, he has Tea Party activists running to the media making threats and ultimatums.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.