Saturday, January 05, 2013

"I'll go back and find something productive to do with my life. As opposed to the last 18 years."

Wow, now-former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) spilled all about the GOP House Caucuse to The Atlantic. Two nuggets jumped out to me, beyond info on how dysfunctional the House GOP really is. First, there is some serious mistrust between House and Senate Republicans ("With Mitch McConnell's reputation as a deal-maker, we... knew we were going to get back something that didn't look good."). Second, the schism between Boehner and his lieutenants is growing ("He had expended a lot of political capital to get the 85 votes [on the fiscal-cliff deal], and he felt a little betrayed that the other members of the elected leadership walked on him.").

I lost most of my respect for Boehner over Plan B, but gained a lot back when he broke the Hastert rule. The Sandy crap aside, I also admire him as a person for being a deal-maker and not being a punitive individual. That said, he is a terrible politician in a tight spot. I don't know how he gets anything done at all. And as LaTourette said, "If the purpose of the place is to govern -- if your ideology is you don't believe in governing, I can't say anything to that. But if you want a smaller, more responsible government, you have to go for the achievable. Or you can say 'no' all you want, but then you can't squawk if leadership has to go across the hall to get Democrats to vote for it... Boehner can't be a leader if he doesn't have guys behind him to lead."

And the GOP caucus aside, this was a particularly blistering statement from LaTourette about Washington: "I'll go back and find something productive to do with my life. As opposed to the last 18 years."

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