Speaker Boehner: Support My Plan Because "Obama Hates It"

July 27, 2011 2:35 pm ET — Kate Conway

Rep. John Boehner

Steve Benen flags a particularly cynical argument Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is using to try to persuade his skeptical conservative colleagues to support his debt ceiling plan. Speaking to Laura Ingraham this morning, Boehner urged his caucus to back him: "Barack Obama hates it, Harry Reid hates it, Nancy Pelosi hates it."

A large number of conservative Republicans are opposing Boehner's proposal, arguing it does not go far enough in reducing government spending. 

But Boehner said he couldn't understand why any Republicans would position themselves with Democrats opposing his plan.

"Barack Obama hates it, [Sen.] Harry Reid hates it, [Rep.] Nancy Pelosi hates it," he said, naming off the Democratic leadership.

Republican leaders are whipping their members to support Boehner's measure, but it is unclear whether they have the 217 votes they need. [...]

Boehner said he is committed to his current proposal, which he calls a "reasonable path."

The first test of the support Boehner has gathered for his plan will come Thursday, when Boehner plans to bring his proposal to a vote on the House floor after a one-day delay.

Boehner announced late on Tuesday that he would rework his two-step plan in order to cut more spending after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that the plan did not cut as much federal spending as Boehner had promised. 

In other words, in the midst of the clamor to reach a compromise to stave off the default crisis that will hit in less than a week, Boehner is trying to convince his caucus to back a plan that will impede compromise because the other side uniformly hates it. In the perverse world of the GOP's logic, a good proposal is one that your opponents are loathe to accept — not one that arranges for circumstances both parties can live with.

Briefly in the default crisis debacle it looked like Boehner might be a relatively rational foil to Majority Leader Eric Cantor's (R-VA) unabashedly partisan obstructionism. But the tenor of the debate — and Republicans' increasingly incoherent working definitions of "compromise" — have sent Boehner spiraling towards a place where, as Steve Benen writes, "he's publicly bragging about pushing a plan he knows isn't a bipartisan solution."