Now we know the real reason John Boehner decided to step aside — he knew he couldn’t survive this omnibus deal.
A freshman congressman, exasperated and infuriated by the 2,000-plus page, special-interest-giveaway, called me this week.
“One word — sickening,” he said. “But by the way this reads, it’s clear a lot of this deal was negotiated many many weeks ago.”
MORE NEWS: Republicans Beating Media At Their Own Game
Boehner’s parting gift.
The House passed the spending portion of the legislation Friday morning by an overwhelming 316-113 vote, with 150 Republicans joining all but 18 Democrats in support. The Senate later voted 65-33 to approve it, along with a separate tax package, and the entire omnibus package was then signed by President Obama.
Now we know why they were so desperate to get House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in there. He would carry forward the Boehner-Pelosi deal to increase spending by $66 billion and demand GOP fealty. Remember all our friends at National Review who urged the party to come together to support Ryan as speaker? Did they believe he’d greenlight the full funding of Planned Parenthood, executive amnesty, sanctuary cities and refugee resettlement? Did other pro-Ryan conservatives expect this? How is this conservative?
Speaker Ryan now has to be regarded as a declared enemy of the Base. This is both a predictable, and yet still disappointing, moment.
If they have their eyes open, the “mainstream” media will see that this is the latest and most egregious example of the war between the Establishment and the Base. Guys like Robert Costa of the Washington Post and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times ought to conclude that the Establishment has a solid grip on both houses of Congress, and that they are now effectively governing in coalition with the Democrats. It should be made clear to everyone following politics that conservatives now believe this is not just a battle over tactics, but over substance. The Establishment is closer to President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton than it is to the Base on most of the big issues of the day, including taxes and spending.
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Meanwhile, Base voters need to understand that if your member voted for this travesty, he should be regarded as an enemy to be opposed in the next round of primaries. It should also be clear that any presidential candidate who is popular with GOP leadership — such as Marco Rubio — cannot be trusted.
Yet let’s be fair. Speaker Ryan is not without his accomplishments: 1.) He gave Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid an early Christmas gift. 2.) He didn’t interrupt President Obama’s vacation because of a shutdown. 3.) He finally proved he could grow a beard.
Oh, and one more thing — he fulfilled his promise not to work weekends.