John Boehner is Kidding Himself

by Warner Todd Huston | February 5, 2010 1:06 pm

Yesterday our Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives proved that he still isn’t seeing the problem with the GOP. He’s living in denial, at least he is if we can take his words at face value.

On the Mike Gallagher[1] radio show yesterday, leader Boehner insisted that there is no substantive ideological differences between the Tea Party folks and the Republican Party.

(As reported by The Hill[2])

“There really is no difference between what Republicans believe in and what the tea party activists believe in,” Boehner said during an appearance on the conservative Mike Gallagher’s radio show.

Boehner went on to say that the GOP has a job ahead of it to, “prove it to the tea party activists that we really are who we say we are.”

I can only shake my head at Mr. Boehner’s blather. Granted it might be mere bombast and hopeful talk from a man hoping to convince voters to buy his product. He may know he’s blowing smoke in part. But let’s assume he’s dead serious.

So in that case, Mr. Leader, if there was no palpable difference between your party establishment and the tea party folks, there would have been no tea party folks in the first place.

There are plenty of differences between your party bigwigs and the principles of the tea party activists. Let’s look at some of these differences:

Corporate Welfare
The GOP is always looking for ways to coddle the big corporations over the little guy. Of course, conservatives don’t want business (whether big or small) penalized or scorned, but corporate welfare is unnecessary. In fact, it’s destructive to our economy. Most of these Republicans claim to be the friend of small business. Few prove it.

One of the things that gals Tea Party folks most is how most of Boehner’s Republicans talk out of both sides of their mouths. They run for office claiming that the left is to be fought against, yet once they get to D.C. these same jaw-jawing Republicans bend over backwards to acquiesce to Democrats. Suddenly they are standing next to people like Teddy Kennedy and signing onto their bills in some lame effort to seem “reasonable.” On the other hand, Democrats never return that favor and Tea Party folks know this.

But the biggest difference is…

Big Government
Malcolm Wallop, a Senator from Wyoming, once said as he was retiring in the early 1990s that the difference between the Democrats and Republicans is that if the Democrats proposed a bill to burn Washington to the ground today, the GOP would say no and offer a counter bill that would phase the program in over three years. John Boehner wants to pretend that his party stands squarely against raising taxes and is a small government party. The problem is this is a smoke screen that hides big government spending just like the Democrats. Only they just want to “phase it in” at a slower rate.

The GOP was for the wild, useless spending on “No Child Left Behind,” it was for the first stimulus, and bailouts. The GOP has offered its own, smaller versions of Obamacare, it is for all sorts of welfare spending like the drugs for senior program and a whole slew of other big government bills. They just want their big government to be a little smaller than the Democrat’s gargantuan government. But make no mistake, in the end most Congressional Republicans want big government.

Many elected Republicans make noises as if they are against earmark spending, too. Few have the courage of their convictions to eschew them. Big government beckons and most Republicans follow the siren call.

Few elected Republicans in Congress are against the spending on foreign aid, the Dept. of Education (as un-constitutional a department as can be imagined), or propping up Big Agriculture. Few of these Washington Republicans are for doing anything to make government smaller. All of these issues reveal a schism between the Republican establishment and the Tea Party folks. There are other issues, of course but these are some of the major ones. Tea Party folks know all of this. It seems Mr. Boehner does not.

Oh, Boehner and his cohorts all claim to be for all these things, but almost none of them do anything about it.

Still, Boehner is right to say that the GOP is the only party of power that the Tea Party people can even come close to supporting. But Boehner is wrong to think that the GOP can co-opt the tea party groups. It is the ‘tother way ’round, leader Boehner. If they do it right, it is the Tea Party groups that will co-opt you and your party, sir, not you that shall take them over. If that happens it won’t just be Mr. Boehner’s party that is the lucky one. It will be the whole nation.

  1. Mike Gallagher:
  2. The Hill:

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