John Boehner has apparently come to grips with the election results, where his party got fewer votes and if it were not for gerrymandering, he would be now referred to as soon-to-be-ex-Speaker Boehner. This puts him in a very precarious position, both in the House and in his own party. With the fiscal cliff looming, and the Democrats having all of the cards, the Speaker of the House is finding himself between a rock and a hard place, with right-wing pundits are already calling for his removal.
Having already played their trump card with the debt debate last year, the Republicans now find themselves with no choice but to cave in. Their stubborn refusal to make any deal has now resulted in the unthinkable, they now must make a deal, a deal on the Democrats’ terms, or else they lose all negotiating power in the next Congress. Speaker Boehner has reportedly already informed his caucus that they have no room for negotiations, that they must take the Democratic proposal. And reports are coming in that despite protests seen with the earlier debt deal which nearly sank it, the base has fallen in-line.
What happened to the GOP House is that they have forgotten the lessons of history. Being a do-nothing congress never works, as Thomas Dewey can attest to. What happened in 1948, after the Republican congress then tried to sink Harry Truman through identical tactics as this congress has used against President Obama is happening again. They burned away all of their political capital, and the result was a Democratic House majority for 30 years. Now they are in damage control, kept in power only due to gerrymandering of districts in their home state, and that is a situation which can change in under two years. Now they have to move fast to prove themselves capable of working with the President or else they will find themselves removed from office and in a minority role for decades to come.
And the Democrats know this.
So any compromise now is that the GOP must accept the Democratic proposals, as/is or with minor alterations. There is no room for a GOP proposal, they burned up that capital already. Their scorched-earth tactic of governing has left them without any room for negotiations. When they won a victory in 2010, I’d predicted that if they carried out their plan, of total obstructionism, the result would be just this situation here, them powerless and despondent.
With many elements of the party now calling for a split or civil war, Speaker Boehner now has only one thing to say when the President says he wants a bill – “Yes Mr President.”