In his Washington Post column, Eugene Robinson says that the failure by House Republicans to vote sooner on compromise legislation providing a two-month extension of unemployment benefits and the payroll-tax cut was the height of dysfunctional ideology. It also showed that they don’t care about the impact of their actions on struggling families.
“Are Republicans getting killed now in public opinion? There’s no question,” said Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who urged House Republicans to just “get it over with.”
But Boehner hung tough, not out of principle but because he had no palatable choice. He didn’t dare bring the Senate bill to the floor for a vote, fearing that non-Tea Party members of the GOP caucus might defect. So he did nothing for four long days — and let the Republican Party be portrayed as so out-to-lunch that it would blithely raise taxes on 160 million Americans. The week before Christmas. As we roll into an election year.
The thing is, this portrayal is quite accurate, at least as it pertains to the Tea Party faction. More sensible Republicans have been so eager to take advantage of the Tea Party’s energy and emotion that they have essentially allowed the inmates to run the asylum. You will recall that it was the GOP, led by the Tea Party types, that threatened to send the Treasury into default last summer rather than approve a routine and necessary increase in the debt ceiling.
Read Eugene Robinson’s entire column at the Washington Post.