“You’ve always been crazy, this is just the first chance you’ve had to express yourself.”
– Louise to Thelma
Even the folks on the Wall Street Journal editorial board understand that the House GOP is acting suicidal, noting that the squabble with Senate Republicans has turned into a “circular firing squad” and that “the political rout will only get worse” unless they concede the standoff with President Obama.
“At this stage, Republicans would do best to cut their losses and find a way to extend the payroll holiday quickly. Then go home and return in January with a united House-Senate strategy that forces Democrats to make specific policy choices that highlight the differences between the parties on spending, taxes and regulation. Wisconsin freshman Senator Ron Johnson has been floating a useful agenda for such a strategy. The alternative is more chaotic retreat and the return of all-Democratic rule.”
But Thelma and Louise, also known as John Boehner and Eric Cantor, show no signs of altering course, as the New York Times reports:
“Mr. Boehner of Ohio, the first-year speaker who has struggled throughout 2011 to corral his members, said House Republicans would not relent and accept a two-month extension of the tax cut that was approved by the Senate on Saturday as a way to buy time for a more permanent solution. He instead named members to a committee to negotiate a new agreement with the Senate, which adjourned Saturday….
Mr. Boehner called Mr. Obama to summon the Senate back to Washington to bargain with House Republicans despite the approach of the holidays. “I just think the American people expect us to do our work,” Mr. Boehner said.
But he was rebuffed by Mr. Obama, and by House and Senate Democrats, who said they would appoint no counterparts to Mr. Boehner’s newly named negotiators. And more Republican senators who voted for the Senate bill urged Mr. Boehner to get his lawmakers to do the same, saying the ugly fight was damaging both Republicans and the already badly battered Congress.
“It is harming the Republican Party,” Senator John McCain of Arizona said in an interview on CNN. “It is harming the view, if it’s possible anymore, of the American people about Congress. And we’ve got to get this thing resolved and with the realization that the payroll tax cut must remain in effect.”
Obama and the Democrats must think it’s Christmas or something.
– Jay Bookman