Shuffling Boehner Before the Muskets

by Ryan Sanford Smith

The always astute Luke Russert drew the wise and amusing comparison today between the latest obstructionist measures by Speaker John Boehner and his Just Say No faction in the House to Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, a costly and foolish waste of life at the hands of General Lee that marked the sounding of a pitiful clarion note for the Confederacy.

These measures, ostensibly perpetrated because the proposed two-month payroll tax cut extention is too short in term, is clearly determined to allow a implicit tax hike on the middle class to come into being as the end of the year rounds out. The reason these moves continue to backfire is due to the fact that even the least informed of us are of a frustration, mounting exponentially, that absolute nothing is moving in Congress, and the pseudo-reasoning behind the speaker’s motives don’t hold up to even cursory scrutinity, namely that it will never make sense to anyone that Boehner genuinely wants a one-year extension, and is willing to have absolutely nothing rather than the compromised something of a two-month holiday.

Luke Russert’s metaphor seems particularly apt as we remember that it was the apex of Pickett’s Charge that has become known as the high-water mark of the Confederacy’s efforts in the entirety of the Civil War–not exactly a proud monument. Likewise, much of a mind with the lovely observation in the same Wall Street Journal piece mentioned in my last post that the GOP were more or less forming a circular firing squad these days, the always incorrigible Mitch McConnell has now even come out in favor of the two-month extension that easily cleared, with bipartisan support in the Senate, earlier this week. This is the same fellow who literally said his top political priority was making President Obama a one-term president.

Every thinking person is aware of the wisdom on picking one’s battles; Boehner and his cohorts continue to pick every battle–to charge every line–despite the mounting casualty of their political capital, and despite marking one nadir after another.