House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is obviously scrambling to secure as much Republican support for his budget plan as possible, and took his sales pitch to Laura Ingraham’s radio show this morning. One line in particular stood out:
A large number of conservative Republicans are opposing Boehner’s proposal, arguing it does not go far enough in reducing government spending.
But Boehner said he couldn’t understand why any Republicans would position themselves with Democrats opposing his plan.
“Barack Obama hates it, Harry Reid hates it, Nancy Pelosi hates it,” he said, naming off the Democratic leadership.
Now, at a certain level, it makes sense that the House Speaker would try to rally his side by leveraging partisan feelings. Boehner probably figures Republicans will be more likely to support a plan that Democrats “hate.”
But let’s not lose sight of the larger context here. The United States is in the midst of a crisis of Republicans’ making, and a potentially catastrophic deadline is just days away. We have a Republican-led House, a Democratic-led Senate, and a Democratic White House, so the nation will need a solution that can generate approval from all three institutions.
Speaker Boehner, meanwhile, isn’t just abandoning the search for a bipartisan solution; he’s publicly bragging about pushing a plan he knows isn’t a bipartisan solution.
I support this leads to two questions some enterprising reporter may want to ask the Speaker:
1. If you know the Senate leadership and the White House hate your plan, why are you intent on pushing it six days before Aug. 2?
2. On Monday night, you used the word “bipartisan” five times. If bipartisanship is important, why are you bragging about Democratic opposition to your plan?
Say hello to Boehner Brand Bipartisanship: the kind where one side gets what it wants, and the other should expect to be blamed for wanting a compromise.