Thursday, July 28, 2011

I'm beginning to think John Boehner may not be the wisest of men

Hello. If you follow the doings in our government, you may remember this incident a few months ago:
House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) said Thursday that he would not agree to another temporary extension of federal government funding at current levels, upping the stakes in the debate over federal spending.

Read my lips: We’re going to cut spending...

Shortly thereafter he was overheard saying he couldn't believe he'd said that.

Why? Because--
The phrase “Read my lips” is rarely heard in politics since George H. W. Bush used it during the Republican National Convention in 1988 to emphasize that he wouldn’t raise taxes — something he did as president to shrink the deficit.

And breaking that promise was one of the things--not the only thing, but one of the things--that killed Bush's chances for a second term. So you can understand Boehner's disbelief.

You might think, however, that he'd have learned a lesson from that gaffe. However, back in 1984...

Bush had gotten in some trouble because he had refused categorically to rule out a tax increase in terms as adamantine as Reagan's. Bush tried to wiggle out of press conferences where this came up: "No more nit-picking. Zippity doo-dah. Now it's off to the races," was his parting shot as he sought to exit one press conference where he was being grilled.

And today...
Boehner: 'It's A Zippity-Do-Da Day!'

That's what Speaker Boehner told one of our reporters as he was walking into a meeting of his caucus a short time ago.

Now, to invite comparison with George Bush I (esp. where taxes are concerned) once might be cast as unwise. To do so twice smacks of irresponsibility. The question is: Will he go for the hat trick?

And if so, how? Will he pick a fight with a short, Greek man as Bush One did? Will he be defeated by Bill Clinton, as Bush One was? Nah. If I had to place a bet, I'd look for something in the area of describing Medicare as "socialized medicine," as Bush did all the way back in 1964.

C'mon, John. I know you can do it.

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