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article imageHouse Speaker Boehner takes political hurt in fiscal cliff battle

By Can Tran     Dec 22, 2012 in Politics
With regards to the fiscal cliff battle, it looks as if the future of GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is uncertain. He said that the US House of Representatives has done its part and now it's time for President Barack Obama to do his part.
While there have been much focus on the resurrected debate and inevitable battle of gun control legislation as a result of what happened at Newtown, Connecticut, there's still the fiscal cliff battle between the administration of United States President Barack Obama and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives led by GOP House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. So far, it seems that the political crosshairs are definitely aimed at Boehner. Boehner introduced his “Plan B” as a means to diffuse the fiscal cliff bomb; but, it didn't succeed. This is because Boehner's “Plan B” failed to get the necessary votes for it to pass through the House floor. Despite the political hurt, Boehner's not out of the fight.
He's calling out President Obama and the House Democrats to take action. Boehner said that the “House has done its part.” Under “Plan B,” taxes would be raised for those making more than $1 million a year. So far, many conservatives said they wouldn't go for it. Apparently, it shows that they are still holding to the anti-tax pledge of anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist who is the President of Americans for Tax Reform. Boehner talked about how he used to run a small business and further talked about how much taxes hurt jobs and families.
Currently, Obama and his family are taking their holiday vacation in Hawaii.
The shooting down of “Plan B” goes back to the anti-tax pledge. Still, there are Republicans that say they are open to breaking the pledge. However, none have officially yet. The Atlantic reports that Norquist is playing a cautious and delicate political game in this respect. If only a few members break rank, Norquist can go after them. If a larger number break rank, it makes things problematic for Norquist.
This points out to what an article in Roll Call has reported in regards to Norquist. Apparently, Norquist agrees with the notion of “Plan B.” According to Norquist, Boehner's “Plan B” does not violate the anti-tax pledge. Regardless, conservatives in the House still said “no” to Boehner. Is this a sheer or irony or is this a test from Norquist to see if the pledge is “ironclad?”
Still, the pressure is still placed on Boehner. This could affect his future and legacy in United States politics. The Washington Post reports that Boehner isn't worried about the future of his position as Speaker of the House. The article interviewed Lee Hamilton, a former Democratic Representative of Indiana. Currently, Hamilton is the director of Indiana University's Center on Congress. According to Hamilton, Boehner's leadership is at risk.
Recently, a poll from Rasmussen Reports says that Boehner has replaced Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California as the most disliked Congressional leader. At this moment, Boehner has an unfavorable rating of fifty-one percent at the moment. Currently, Boehner has a pretty low approval rating at the moment. Still, poll results can change in a couple of weeks to months.
Another Washington Post article points out a chaotic Republican Party at the moment. It points out what happened when Boehner introduced his “Plan B” on the House floor. It interviewed Sheldon D. Pollack who is a professor of law and political science at the University of Delaware. Pollack had written on the GOP's anti-tax stance.
You can buy Pollack's book called “Refinancing America: The Republican Antitax Agenda.” The hardcover version of the book is currently out of print; but, you can buy an electronic copy in PDF form. Also, Pollack wote “The Failure of U.S. Tax Policy: Revenue and Politics.”
According to Pollack, the staunch anti-tax conservatives of the Republican Party are under the belief that the blame will be directed at President Obama if no deal is reached. Pollack beliefs that those conservatives cannot recognize they control neither the White House nor the United States Senate.
GOP pollster David Winston, also interviewed by the Washington Post, said that they need to go out there and engage with their arguments.
The article points out that the notion of income taxes were introduce by Republicans and not Democrats. The first was President Abraham Lincoln. Under Lincoln's presidency, a national income tax got put into effect as a temporary source of funding for the United States Civil War. Nelson W. Aldrich, a Republican who chaired the Senate Finance Committee, introduced the 16th Amendment which called for a federal income tax.
MSNBC contributor Joe Scarborough has said that the extremists are leading the GOP to ruin. He talked about recent polls conducted about the GOP. When referring to the poll, Scarborough talked about how fifty-three percent saw that the Republican Party has become too extreme. Scarborough further explains that when he points it out, he gets accused of being a RINO (Republican In Name Only). In that respect to “RINO,” Scarborough compared that to saying tell a doctor that s/he isn't a real one because they gave you a not-so-great diagnosis.
In this respect, Scarborough is talking about a bunch of subjects. He questioned the leadership of the Republican Party.
The poll was also reported on the Huffington Post. This poll was conducted by CNN and ORC. According to the polls, most Americans feel that the Republicans in office need to compromise more to get things done. It also reports on a poll conducted by NBC and the Wall Street Journal saying that sixty-one percent of Republicans would be open to raising taxes on the wealthy.
An article of RedState talks about how the GOP will get blamed one way or another. Erick Erikson, who writes the article, says that the Democrats are going to use a deal that is unacceptable to the GOP. That means the GOP will not go with the deal; as a result, the Republicans end up getting blamed at the end.
Erickson also wrote that Obama wants the fiscal cliff the happen; then, Obama can be portrayed as the “hero.” In this regard, the article is equating the GOP's predicament on the fiscal cliff as the proverbial “damned if I do, damned if I don't” scenario. Either way, the choice leads to political damnation. With this respect, Erickson is calling on the GOP to not give into the idea of tax increases. In short, it's “best” to choose the latter rather than the former.
Fred Karger, the president of Rights Equal Rights, writes a piece for the Huffington Post in regards to the current state of the GOP. Karger writes that the Republican Party needs to distance itself from groups such as the Family Research Council, National Organization of Marriage, American Family Association, and so forth. He called those groups as being full of dangerous bigots that have taken over the Republican Party. Karger talks about working for the administration of then-US President Ronald Reagan as a senior member of his political team.
Karger talked about how Reagan reached out to other groups than just Republicans. He talked about such groups such as the National Organization of Marriage to get GOP candidates to sign a pledge against same-sex marriage. In short, this information can be combined with the recent poll saying that Republicans are too extreme. Asides from the fiscal cliff issue, there are plenty of social issues that can be used as political ammo. Keep in mind we still have the 2014 US Elections coming up.
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