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Posted at 3:02 PM ET, 01/ 5/2011

A very smart speech by Speaker Boehner

By Ezra Klein

speakerofhouse.jpg

If you spent the afternoon watching C-SPAN, as I did, you heard applause. A lot of it. Over and over again. And when John Boehner took the podium to be sworn in as Speaker of the House of Representatives, it swelled back up, and stayed there. No one Republican member of Congress wants to be the first to stop applauding the new speaker.

Luckily, Boehner did it for them. “It’s still just me," he said with a smile.

Traditionally, politicians overpromise in these moments. If you look back to Nancy Pelosi's speech upon becoming speaker in 2007, or Newt Gingrich's speech upon becoming speaker in 1995, you'll see broad, ambitious, ideologically-charged agendas. Gingrich wanted "to find a way to truly replace the current welfare state with an opportunity society." Pelosi sought "a new America that declares our energy independence, promotes domestic sources of renewable energy, and combats climate change."

Boehner promised almost nothing at all. He certainly didn't set himself up as a foil to President Obama, or anoint himself leader of a new conservative moment in American politics. Rather, his speech had two themes: Humility, and comity. He called his chamber "the people's house," and said "we are carrying out their instructions." He spent a lot of time on the "scar tissue" that has built up under "some of the rituals that have come to characterize this institution under majorities Republican and Democratic alike." He promised a new era of openness and minority cooperation in the House. He emphasized his recognition that he held the gavel not because American liked him or his party, but because they were angry at the government and the Democrats who ran it.

It was, I think, as smart a speech as I've seen a politician give -- in part because it was savvy about what it didn't say, which is a rare virtue in Washington. Of course, the speech is the easy part. The rules Boehner is pushing through the House make it vastly easier to increase the deficit through tax cuts, an outcome that won't sit well with Boehner's repeated pledge to hold down the debt. Moreover, Republicans are already having to break their rules to pursue the repeal of health-care reform without paying for it -- a procedural offense in favor of a symbolic vote that, in addition to increasing the deficit, won't exactly usher in a new era of respect and esteem between the two parties.

That's to be expected, perhaps. Many speakers before Boehner have entered the House promising more openness and cooperation and given up on those promises when they began to conflict with more action. And Boehner himself has not always been able to "disagree without being disagreeable." It's when the going gets tough that speakers turn hard.

So we'll see. But thus far, Boehner's political instincts have been quite impressive. The White House may have a more able opponent in him than they thought.

Photo credit: Alex Brandon / AP.

By Ezra Klein  | January 5, 2011; 3:02 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Midterms, Congress  
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Next: The welfare state for the middle class

Comments

OMG, Boner is EXTRA SPECIAL orange today.

Posted by: paul65 | January 5, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

1. He weeps.
2. He tans.
3. His name is Boner.

Yeah, the Republican leader is quite a man.

Posted by: paul65 | January 5, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

If doing nothing is the goal of congress, Boehner is your man. Some of us still hold onto the premise that the congress is there to create the rules that govern our society. Some are even so idealistic to thing that leveling the playing field between the rich and powerful and the powerless and poor is a worthy goal. Boehner is definitely on the side of the rich and powerful. If only trickle down economics really worked. Unfortunately, we know that it does not.

Posted by: cdierd1944 | January 5, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

A republican skilled in the art of saying one thing while doing another. How unique.

Posted by: fuse | January 5, 2011 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

You're awesome, man, but WHAT IN THE WORLD are you doing publishing a piece exulting Boehner for this speech and only giving passing mention to the fact that Republicans are proposing rules and legislation that would:

1. Blow up the deficit, and
2. Contradict everything they've been promising about the deficit for 2 years?

I mean, if you combine those 2 points with Boehner's speech, isn't the real story here that Republicans are the biggest bunch of lying demagogues since ever?

(Demagogue: Somone who gains support by appealing to people's baser instincts.)

I'm not even mentioning all of Boehner's hypocritical caviling about transparency and House minority rights, both of which died on the House floor today.

Boehner may be someone that Obama needs to take seriously politically, but he still basically is someone who (as recently as today) lies to his base to gain power to deliver favors to wealthy individuals and corporations.

And he's orange and he cries and his name is Boner.

I mean, seriously, man....

Posted by: paul65 | January 5, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

So we'll see. But thus far, Boehner's political instincts have been quite impressive. The White House may have a more able opponent in him than they thought.

=======================================

With Boehner's political instincts and Obama throwing the far left under the bus the next two years might actually be beneficial for the country.

Posted by: bbface21 | January 5, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

It really doesn't matter what you say it is what you do. With Republicans doing things like trying to repeal health care reform without any amendments allowed on the floor and doing investigations, that shows that Boehner's words are NOT living up to his actions.

Posted by: maritza1 | January 5, 2011 3:42 PM | Report abuse

John Boehner's speech was great. It was concise, direct, and perceptive.
I think we probably have the best-suited person in this job at this point in time.
Couldn't ask for more.

Posted by: ohioan | January 5, 2011 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, yeah ... I can't wait to see that "new era of openness and minority cooperation in the House" under Boehner's rule.

Ezra, this tempts me to ask if you'd like to see a certain proverbial bridge I happen to have for sale.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | January 5, 2011 3:55 PM | Report abuse

No Pelosi????? THANK GOD!!!

Posted by: rustysp00ns | January 5, 2011 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If Boehner succeeds in preventing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from being passed for at least two years he will have performed better than I ever could have expected in my wildest dreams. If Congress didn't pass another law for ten thousand years we wouldn't miss it one bit. My hope is that he can get a few hundred thousand pages of laws REPEALED, starting with Oboob-care.

Posted by: flintston | January 5, 2011 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Yeesh, guys. Ezra said he gave a good speech, not that he's the coolest, most awesome dude ever. Not every post needs to include every thought about the person you're talking about. He gave a speech. It was evidently good, and shrewd politically. Good for him. Let's talk about his shortcomings in the next post down the line that talks about something Bohner does now that he's Speaker.

Posted by: MosBen | January 5, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Now if we take out Omammy and Bidine, we can make Boener president. This is a key day in the patroit movements plan to take back our country.

Posted by: ToddPollard | January 5, 2011 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Now if we take out Omammy and Bidine, we can make Boener president. This is a key day in the patroit movements plan to take back our country.

Posted by: ToddPollard | January 5, 2011 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe they have less of an opponent. If he is level-headed, will listen to reason, and is willing to be humble, then we may see far more of Obama's agenda passed than anyone thought possible.

Posted by: willows1 | January 5, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

He didn't say anything because he has nothing to say. All he knows how to say is, "No".

End of story.

Posted by: jayclapp | January 5, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

A Rethuglican promising a "people's house"?! Well, if that don't beat all. As long as one isn't gay, isn't liberal, doesn't buy into the rot spewed by Palin, Bachman, etc., one is welcomed into the "people's house".

Posted by: ChicagoJim | January 5, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I stood and applauded Speaker Boehner from my own living room! Finally a person of truth and character we can trust again. Somebody should have given pelosi the hook and got her off stage! No wonder 20 dems voted against her.

Posted by: jgoodson000 | January 5, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I like John. He is going to be a great Speaker. Emotions are fine as long as they are sincere.

Posted by: morena77 | January 5, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Most of what these people care about is power. The Republicans haven't had a coherent story for years with the reduce taxes / reduce deficit dichotomy (now with the added bonus of cut health care costs / don't touch Medicare insanity). The Democrats are so obsessed with trying to fix the results of capitalism, they have just created a situation where they are elected by those that baldly want other people's money. They demonize the rich instead of thanking them for the millions in taxes that finance a huge portion of the gifts the give their constituents, while promising those constituents their taxes won't rise. Neither party has a policy that gets us out these ludicrous wars any time soon, realistically engages with the Muslim world, enacts a simple carbon tax, or recognizes our growing subservience to countries with low debt.

Callous, fearful fools are leading us towards the abyss, simply because we are unsophisticated children unwilling to be told that the many things we want for our country must be paid for.

Posted by: staticvars | January 5, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

Talk is cheap Mr. Speaker. Actions so far is a vote to repeal health care without amendment nor debate. Cutgo does not apply to medicare, social security, defense, and tax cuts meaning a further reduction in taxes can enlarge our deficit.

Posted by: jameschirico | January 5, 2011 5:01 PM | Report abuse

*Emotions are fine as long as they are sincere.*

Boehner clearly has emotional problems. It's not his crying that's a problem -- though it is unusual for an otherwise functional adult -- it's his emotional meltdowns on the floor, particularly as Health Care Reform was being debated over. Though I have noticed the same sort of emotional problems in many right wing Republicans, so his behavioral problems might just be an overall symptom of underlying issues that go along with those of his mindset.

Posted by: constans | January 5, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Boehner made a great speech; very concise,
direct and perceptive. Very impressive.

Posted by: ohioan | January 5, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

hahaha! the loser liberals are out in force posting on their favorite 'spew site'..WAPO must have offered the liberal whiners more cheese....now liberal parents will demand their pedophile baby sitters also take a 5% pay cut.

Posted by: JWx2 | January 5, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

hey constans,

how do you feel about your Democratic governors Cuomo and Brown basically touting the same policies OR more austere than Governor Christie? Since I can't convince Ezra to post on it maybe you'll comment???

Posted by: visionbrkr | January 5, 2011 5:13 PM | Report abuse

correction: strike "doesn't buy into the rot" and subsitute "buys into the rot"
Chicago Jim

Posted by: ChicagoJim | January 5, 2011 5:15 PM | Report abuse

How refreshing to read an article in the Post that is balanced and (mostly) ideology free.

We have problems in America. Big ones. If we are ever to solve them we must stop screaming at one another and work together.

The references Boehner made about the "peoples house" are true. America's house is burning. Are we going to point fingers and lay blame or are we going to douse the flames and save ourselves?

Posted by: snowy2 | January 5, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse


Speaker Boehner certainly got the ears of the lefties. Maybe they will listen to him far more than to the harpy from San Fran,

No matter what happens, at least Pelosi is out of prominence...the entire election was worth that.

We can survive an occasional nutty speaker ...the real scare is what about the voters that elected her??? they're
still voting.

Posted by: jstratt2 | January 5, 2011 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Bohner's speech was indeed one of the best we've heard in a while - certainly more sincere than Obama or Pelosky :-

But Ezra the young can't help inserting/proselytizing his "taxes are good" urban-centric nonsense.

Taxes would be almost unnecessary if liberal-progressives gave to charity as much as conservative Christians.

Are ya listening Biden the greedy?

Posted by: ruralamericans | January 5, 2011 5:34 PM | Report abuse

ruralamericans - Yeah, but if we didn't pay any taxes, how would we fund the War on Christmas?

Posted by: willows1 | January 5, 2011 5:45 PM | Report abuse

MosBen: No, it's just kind of weird to see Ezra continuing so earnestly to try to find that "reasonable" Republican. It is particularly odd to say it was a "good speech," without looking back at past actions to see how they conform with that speech. Especially as we've been treated to a rather exhaustive analysis of what, say, Bill Daley might do based on retrospective statements and actions.

I guess Republicans always get the benefit of the doubt, while Democrats get the full textual exegesis. No sin too small for a Democrat; no sin too big for a Republican. I'm not saying that is where his allegiance lies. It's just the standard mainstream media approach to political figures.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | January 5, 2011 5:46 PM | Report abuse

who cares what you think klein? not me or any body else who understands plain english.

Posted by: 12thgenamerican | January 5, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, get your own blog. I grew up around NJ Republicans. I know how they think, how they act, and their outlooks on life, and it's not pretty. Christie, who clearly likes living the good life, I realize represents a lot of wish fulfillment for you, seeing as how he reflects the sort of resentment and desire to lash out you've felt all your life towards those who are more accomplished than you are and commit the sin of making a good living without being an insurance shill.

Posted by: constans | January 5, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Obozoo has been at the helm for two years with gaff, after gaff, after gaff not to mention going back on every single campaign promise to every constituency the dems have and still the stupid liberals support him. Boehner has been on the job for 8 hours and these mindless trolls can do nothing but find contempt. Sounds about right considering they know the government's tatas is about to be removed from their mouths.

Get ready to get off your collective azszszsz and find jobs welfare scum.

Posted by: Bcamp55 | January 5, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It's "the people's house" as long as you don't live in DC.

The new rules also strip floor voting rights from Elanor Holmes Norton, further disenfranchising DC tax-payers from representation in the government.

Posted by: shadow27 | January 5, 2011 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Out of the frying pan... into the fire....

Posted by: Rubiconski | January 5, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

But Ezra, if Boehner can run the House with more comity than Obama has run the government, then his actions will put him up as a foil to Obama. The old Republican partisanship people are tired of, even the Tea Partiers, maybe. They will have to see what the Republicans do when given a chance to give the Republicans more of one in 2012.

Posted by: 4jkb4ia | January 5, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Ah finally.. Time to vandalize those "stop Pelosi" stickers..

Posted by: RandomAnon | January 5, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Whatever will the democrats do with the rabid left aided by the MSM now that they're hoping for bipartisanship? Judging from the posts here, it looks like they won't be able to turn off the faucet they so gleefully turned on.

Posted by: thebink | January 5, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

." Pelosi sought "a new America that declares our energy independence, promotes domestic sources of renewable energy, and combats climate change."

Good job Nancy. No discernible progress on any of those priorities (thankfully on the cap & trade scam). Instead what we got was a 2700 page monstrosity of a health care law whose unintended consequences will be costing us dearly for years to come.

This is my first time reading Ezra. Does his blog always attract this many lib uber whack jobs? Oooooo, feel the hate.

Posted by: alexandria6351 | January 5, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Ezra's blog always attracts this many lib uber whack jobs but it seems that Ezra himself is wise enough to realize that the tide has turned and I'm sure he'd like to continue with his career.

Posted by: thebink | January 5, 2011 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Get ready to get off your collective azszszsz and find jobs welfare scum.

Posted by: Bcamp55
===
Have your masters instructed you that the corporate strike is over and it's time to start hiring again?

Posted by: RandomAnon | January 5, 2011 6:30 PM | Report abuse

What was he going to say - "I will do everything in my power to destroy the middle class in my relentless efforts to make sure that corporate America gets everything it wants"?

Anybody who doesn't already know that's his agenda must be too stupid to breathe.

And Obama knows exactly what Boner's agenda is - it's the exact same one as Obama's.

Posted by: solsticebelle | January 5, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Okay Speaker Boehner and House GOP talk is
cheap and actions speak louder then words,
so produce or back out you go in 2012!!!!..
Good Riddance that nutty Nancy Pelosi is out as Speaker but the Expulsion of Pelosi
from Congress would be even better. Start
the Impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama and
Repeal Obamacare,and force firing of useless clueless Sec of Homeland Security
World Junketeer Janet Napolitano and Mr Law Suit Eric Holder here and now!

Posted by: sandy5274 | January 5, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

There are medications that can cause uncontrolled emotional expressions such as crying. At this point, he has done it too often for it to be politically advantages but I still have a hard time believing these upwellings are normal and natural. I have to wonder what his medical condition is, besides priapism. ;)

Posted by: Whys | January 5, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

The liberal writer of this piece said this:
" Republicans are already having to break their rules to pursue the repeal of health-care reform without paying for it"

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

What in the world are you talking about repealing OBAMACARE without paying for it??? The democrats passed the largest spending bill in our nations history "OBAMACARE" without paying for it. Repealing it will save us money.... not cost us. Keeping OBAMACARE will drive America to insolvancy faster than Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are.

OBAMACARE is a net loss for America. Repealing it will prevent that unrecoverable loss.

Posted by: markandbeth92 | January 5, 2011 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Boehner has the gavel. The Republicans have control. Now shut up and put up and when you fail, as fail you must since it 'twas you who dug this pit called the Second Depression in the first place, make sure you have the bullocks to accept responsibility this time instead of blaming someone else. The party of family values and accountability spent us into deficit oblivion, lied out their collective arses about war, and shamelessly allowed their corporate Wall Street pals ransack America. You can pose, but everyone can see you're wearing no clothes.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | January 5, 2011 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Yeah right, pay no attention to Frank and Dodd behind the curtain. Remember?, those guys that got the housing collapse up and running.

Posted by: thebink | January 5, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

I think he's moved to tears by ... grocery shopping.

And he's third in command??? Dear Gods help us.

Posted by: glenn_of_philly | January 5, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Two years from now we will look back on this day as the high water mark for the Republican Party, and the Tea Party in particular. They are charging with sabers gleaming, the flower of the Confederacy, right into the the Union cannon,

How do I know? This piece from ABC News says it all about overreaching:

"ABC News has learned that Bachmann, R-Minn., also is seriously weighing whether to seek the Republican nomination for president in 2012.

A source close to the three-term congresswoman said Bachmann will travel to Iowa this month for multiple meetings to seek advice from political forces there and party elders close to the caucus process before coming to a final decision regarding a potential presidential run. Bachmann, a native of Waterloo, Iowa, also is set to deliver a keynote speech at an Iowans for Tax Relief PAC fundraiser Jan. 21 in Des
Moines"

You don't believe me now because I'm just a homeless guy using a public computer at the library, but remember who told you three months ago to short Treasuries, and go long commodities, financials and the dollar!

Posted by: 54465446 | January 5, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

i sure hope these guys do what they say give all troops and veterans whats do to them if not election time 2012-2014 will decide weather you stay or go take this to heart veteran jimmy the sniper

Posted by: jimmymishoe92 | January 5, 2011 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The reason why this is not a key day and rather, a meaningless day, is not only because the ignorant hit the send button twice but because to get the kind of change that the Boner is talking about would require him to change himself, but he doesn't even know who he is because he never met himself, he is such a hypocrite, phony, paid for, paid by, other directed, Republican, it makes one want to throw up on the floor of the Congress. Oh! They did that already. Now we will read the Constitution, students, since some of us have never read it. Smart? The man is excusing himself before he even does nothing.

Posted by: rryder1 | January 5, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Botox Pelosi had to give one final lie before haveing her fingers pried off that gavel...telling the lame stream media that the democrats have been the party of jobs and deficit reduction....hahahaha! FACT CHECK..pelosi took over unemployment was under 5%...now its steady at 9.8%...the Deficit has 5.2 trillion increase under pelosi's watch....I'm glad the liberal's shopping spree is over...now they can crawl back under their cheese block and let natural selection take care of them.

Posted by: JWx2 | January 5, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

how come you wont post has obamma or other people said something

Posted by: jimmymishoe92 | January 5, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Another sign that today is actually the beginning of the end for the GOP:

"State lawmakers from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Georgia and other states said they were taking aim at birthright citizenship and seeking to return the interpretation of the 14th Amendment to what they described as the original intent of its creators.

Several state legislatures are expected to introduce bills within weeks that would set the groundwork for such a reinterpretation. Proponents, almost all of whom are Republican, said their strategy is explicitly designed to draw legal challenges and to have the Supreme Court ultimately decide on whether the 14th Amendment should apply only to children with at least one parent who is a permanent resident or a citizen."

Republicans can never be happy on top, they just long for minority status!

Posted by: 54465446 | January 5, 2011 7:06 PM | Report abuse

As an 84 year old, I was shocked to find, in very snall print, Medicare will not cover hospital care if the condition is considered as observation, even if hospital admits patient to stay for 2-3 days. Patient is not advised of this NEW MEDICARE provision, and most Seniors are not aware of this. We not only co pay, Medicare is taken out of our SS checks, and we are not getting our fair share of Cost of Living increase for the second year I guess it would be more convenient for the govt. if we should just UP AND DIE.

Posted by: LOONYBIN2000 | January 5, 2011 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Bourbon makes me cry also......

Posted by: waxtraxs | January 5, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

JWx2: Too bad they don't give IQ tests before you can buy a computer. Take your pill and go back to high school.

Posted by: wjssparky | January 5, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

When the Wall Streeters and the commodity traders rejoice, and the likes of Hannity, Limbaugh, and the like are giddy with joy it's time to bend over again and wait for the inevitable. $5.00 a gallon gas and $10.00 a gallon water while the republicans decide how to take the rest of what little you have left from the W debacle!

Posted by: anOPINIONATEDsob | January 5, 2011 7:36 PM | Report abuse

It's not normal for someone to cry so much as he does. What's wrong with him? Is he perpetually drunk?

Posted by: Manwolf | January 5, 2011 7:44 PM | Report abuse

The gavel is out of Pelosi's hands, and in anyone's hands is an improvement.

America has a chance to shine once again.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | January 5, 2011 7:53 PM | Report abuse

When Boehner refers to the "People's House" many people think he's referring to the folks back in southern Ohio.

Cincinnati has a 10.5% unemployment rate and Boehner opposed unemployment benefit extension until he could get tax break for billionaires that added $900 billion to the federal debt.

Again and again the overwhelming evidence is that Thomas J. Donohue, President of the US Chamber of Commerce is one of the people Boehner is representing

Posted by: boscobobb | January 5, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to thank the Washington Post for yet another crappy and pointless article paid for by the RNC. The Republicans sat around with their thumbs up their keysters for two years and did absolutley NOTHING to help this country. Guess we'll be getting more of the same except for more tax cuts for the wealthy and a revised Corporate Welfare program that's sure to please all the GOP's well-healed, pond scummy contributors. The Republiputzes have had control of the House for over eight hours now and I thought for sure the "master race" would have made all the countrys' problems disappear by now! LOL.

Posted by: Bushwhacked1 | January 5, 2011 8:26 PM | Report abuse

I just feel sorry for people who read this speech, like, 100 years from now. Because his language will be, like, all old-timey and hard to read and stuff.

Posted by: schizuki | January 5, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

i'm trying to find mentions in the comments of klein being a liberal propaganda tool. why am i having so much trouble?

this is very uncharacteristic.

Posted by: j762 | January 5, 2011 9:00 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Speaker, in the fall campagin you promised a jobs program. Today, you did not even mention the word, "JOBS". The Beltway media sincophants may overlook this, but the American people will not. The speech was not "smart"..it was, in Boehner's own words, "chicken crap."

Posted by: BBear1 | January 5, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

paul65, I've read your comments before on the WP sites, and you're a CANADIAN! Why are you pretending to be an American? You need to stop telling these lies. I'm sorry, paul65, but this is none of your Canadian business.

Posted by: georges2 | January 5, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

Dear Sir,
Is John Boehner for transparency in choosing the chairman of his party?
Isn't the fate, of Michael Steele, being decided behind closed doors?
Clifford Spencer

Posted by: yankeefan1925 | January 5, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Repeal Obamacare without paying for it? Has this become the Dems new talking point (raised yesterday by Milbank) that Obamacare reduces the deficit. Lets see, we are going to increase the number of insured by 20 million, eliminate lifetime caps, cover children until middle age and along the way eliminate pre-existing conditions exclusions. We are going to pay for this by cutting Medicare costs by 500 billion dollars. Even the CBO now admits that the assumptiong underlying their original cost scoring were deeply flawed. Obamacare will drastically increased medical costs-it already has- and repealing will save money and the American Health Care System.

Posted by: jkk1943 | January 5, 2011 9:54 PM | Report abuse

visionbrkr, get your own blog. I grew up around NJ Republicans. I know how they think, how they act, and their outlooks on life, and it's not pretty. Christie, who clearly likes living the good life, I realize represents a lot of wish fulfillment for you, seeing as how he reflects the sort of resentment and desire to lash out you've felt all your life towards those who are more accomplished than you are and commit the sin of making a good living without being an insurance shill.

Posted by: constans | January 5, 2011 5:48 PM | Report abuse

so you basically agree with me huh? That's why you didn't bother to go near my question? You know I'm right. Good to hear. I have no resentment (even towards those like you that lash out at me). Sounds like you're at the end of your publicly funded rope and grasping for a nice pension that won't be appearing. Maybe we all should have been honest to people like yourself about the fact that no one can afford a 9+% increase in pension costs not to mention the hundreds of billions of unfunded liabilities that they all carry. Sure we could tax the rich more, go ahead but that won't be a drop in the bucket to what you all need/want. All i've wanted is to be honest with you about the costs. All you've wanted to do is berate me with the talk of "shill". If that makes you feel better have at it. I'll continue to take the high road with you.

"Clearly likes living the high life?" Is that some goofy fat joke? You know there are Dems and Liberals that are overweight right? What's your take on them? Oh I forgot, only Republicans are held to your "high standards". Kind of hypocritcal of you, no? Don't worry, I've never received a true response from you so I know I won't get one now.

Posted by: visionbrkr | January 5, 2011 11:38 PM | Report abuse

I recall Boehner's comments during the health care session. Pretty much no one was less constructive. It was pure political BS. Well, we now know he can give a speech or toss out a tag line. But it still doesn't get past the basic point that he's an empty suit.

For all the low class criticism of Pelosi and Obama up here, they aren't clueless about solving real problems. Boehner is.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | January 6, 2011 2:53 AM | Report abuse

Uh Ezra you do realize that a lot of what John said, Obama has said before, right? The "people's house"? yeah, I've heard Obama say that a dozen times already. "disagree without being disagreeable"? - Hmmmm.....guess who? Obama!!!!

Posted by: alliny02 | January 6, 2011 4:31 AM | Report abuse

In his opening speech yesterday, Speaker Boehner said, "Hard work and tough decisions will be required of the 112th Congress. No longer can we fall short. No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions."

In other words: more generous tax breaks for the wealthy and increased wasteful spending for the military!

Posted by: pcarlson1 | January 6, 2011 4:56 AM | Report abuse

Show me the jobs. Chop, chop. How many are going to be created by stunts like reading the constitution out loud? Like do people who don't have a problem with torture and think Joe McCarthy was mistreated in the history books really care about what is in the Constitution? Especially people who are going to come right out and say that the word person does not mean women get any protection under this constitution they are waving around.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 6, 2011 6:43 AM | Report abuse

In a nutshell, it's simply an opinionated article about a timely topic of interest to perhaps millions. Let's be real, politicians will say anything to stay in power. As the right says about Obama, a good speech doesn't mean he knows how to govern. So give Boehner his time to shine, because today the parade is over and he and his House, need to put up or shut up. As a liberal, I hope they can come up with a bi-partisan solution to solve all of our country's problems, why would I want anything less than success for America? But I don't see anything changing with this congress, they'll be too busy investigating and going on talk shows to lay out concrete yet still invisible plans on how to reduce the deficit. Same play, different cast.

I am also tired of some comments claiming libs who post must be out of work, collecting welfare, and the like. Claiming it for no other reason than just to see their words typed. Just goes to show that it will be the same empty rhetoric for many years to come from the same drones spouting and regurgitating talking points from their favorite television shows. It's sad.

Posted by: tressoleilgoddess | January 6, 2011 7:02 AM | Report abuse

"his speech had two themes: Humility, and comity. He called his chamber "the people's house," and said "we are carrying out their instructions." - Ezra Klein

.....Yep .....that's pretty much what We The People expect.......our reps to represent us back home........or else

Democrats did you learn anything on November 2nd ?

Posted by: allenridge | January 6, 2011 7:33 AM | Report abuse

It's always interesting to read the opinions of, primarily Communists. It's wise to keep your enemies under surveillance.

Posted by: hammeresq | January 6, 2011 7:43 AM | Report abuse

Gee, Ezra. It's good that you observed the speech of the NEW (Thank You God) Speaker of the House before it got too old for you to understand [like that old, outdated, prehistoric Constitution].

Posted by: segeny | January 6, 2011 8:11 AM | Report abuse

Now if we take out Omammy and Bidine, we can make Boener president. This is a key day in the patroit movements plan to take back our country.

Posted by: ToddPollard |
----
Todd, do you really think that Boener would make a better president than Obama or Joe Biden? Because only a complete moron would feel that way. Are you a moron? I realize that in America everyone has a right to their say, but it would be truly patriotic if ignorant little twits like yourself would keep you totally bogus opinions to yourselves.\

I have had enough of morons like you writing garbage like you do.
So shut the f up.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | January 6, 2011 8:32 AM | Report abuse

To me Pelosi was like a kid who promised her parents that she would get an A+ but ended up with a B+. That's a lot better than Boehner who promised very little (in this speech at least) and may end up with 2 years of petty squabbles beginning with the Quixotic attempt to repeal the healthcare bill. To call Boehner's speech smart is to praise all underachievers as clever ("they never promised that much anyway!").

I'd rather aim high and fail than not aim at all for fear of failing. Here's one Ohioan who will miss the Californian, Ms. Pelosi in the driver seat. My fellow-Ohioan, Boehner, will try hard to enslave the American public to his paymasters, big corporations. Thank God we still have a Democratic President.

Posted by: DrSubtle | January 6, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Now if we take out Omammy and Bidine, we can make Boener president. This is a key day in the patroit movements plan to take back our country.

Posted by: ToddPollard |
----
Todd, do you really think that Boener would make a better president than Obama or Joe Biden? Because only a complete moron would feel that way. Are you a moron? I realize that in America everyone has a right to their say, but it would be truly patriotic if ignorant little twits like yourself would keep you totally bogus opinions to yourselves.\

I have had enough of morons like you writing garbage like you do.
So shut the f up.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | January 6, 2011 8:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd cry too if I had to take over the mess Pelosi and her liberal gang left...$5T in debt since she took over which increased the overall debt to $14T...I wonder what the liberals tell their kids and grandkids...we voted for this out of control spending? Gee thanks...it got us no where...

Posted by: mjandrews8 | January 6, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Boehner is a hard drinker and it will begin to show.

Posted by: Maddogg | January 6, 2011 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Want to know who this clown is:
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105

Posted by: daved1 | January 6, 2011 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Man, your nose must be pretty brown...Mr. Klein

Posted by: rjacobs1 | January 6, 2011 9:06 AM | Report abuse

The dramatic difference in the speeches, Pelosi's in 1997 full of grandiose predictions and again in 2008 that set an agenda that would bring her party to its knees in 2010 and her going-out-the-door, you-can't-fire-me-I-just-quit speech yesterday, couldn't be more dramatic than Mr. Boehner's low key, non-in-your-face approach to governing. It explains exactly why Pelosi and her socialist disciples were dismissed by voters in November. Hope you like your less spacious office and smaller perks, Nancy.

Posted by: 1republican | January 6, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Blow up the debt with tax cuts and healthcare rollbacks? I guess you buy into the voodoo accounting that shows obama care saves money. That report is business as usual and you are too partisan to admit what you know what is true.

You feel it was OK for the previous speaker to massively increase the deficits and national debt using bills that were NEVER READ, but a relativey miniscule (by comparison) extension of a tax cut in a deep recession is unnaceptable?

How can anyone take you seriously when your arguments are so tainted with partisan loyalty and so devoid of integrtiy?

Posted by: SayWhat4 | January 6, 2011 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I was reading comments here and just had a simple thought. Some of you may remember a couple of famous quotes from Will Rogers that went something like: 1. "The congress did another stupid thing today (long pause). They passed another bill.
2. "I don't belong to any organized political party (long pause). I'm a democrat.

Now, the President and former democratic controlled House are extolling how active and how much they achieved in this last session. We've had congress for well over 200 years, and it is still constantly passing new legislation. Why hasn't congress gotten more right with their legislation during all this time such that there is not still boasting about how much a congress got done. Just a thought that I've actually never really had before.

Posted by: jack711 | January 6, 2011 9:52 AM | Report abuse

paul65 wrote:

["1. He weeps.
2. He tans.
3. His name is Boner.

Yeah, the Republican leader is quite a man."]

-----------------

I don't care much for Ezra Klein. I do think a lot of the new Speaker.

But both have one thing in common: they are more interesting, more intelligent, more accomplished, and more mature than you.

There was a reason that every year you were always the biggest kid in 7th grade dude...

Posted by: pararanger22 | January 6, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

bonehead, bonehead, bonehead. Why would anyone listen to anything this cretin has to say, he'll do the opposite.

Posted by: mtravali | January 6, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Eric,

Please don't comment on things you lack knowledge (that would limit you to about everything inside your office): let's take two of your less than factual assertions:

1) tax cuts cause increase in deficits - the truth is that historically tax cuts have increased government revenue because PEOPLE have more money to spend, output increases, jobs increase (JFK understood this and his tax cuts accomplished improvements in the econmy). The key to not causing deficits when you cut taxes is to not spend even more money. When Ronald Reagan got Congress to cut taxes, he was unable to stop COngress from spending nearly twice as much revenue as was raised.

2) repeal of health-care reform without paying for it - once again you don't know Jack as the health-care reform has already caused increases in health-care costs (mine went up too) and that stopping the program will stop the increase and halt forecast exorbitant governemnt expenditures. Fixing the health-care reform fix will stop it from ruining our economy.

Why does it seem that Democrats love the poor so much, that they create policies designed to create more poor people? It's all absurb as is your lack of reasoning and logic.

Posted by: LawrenceCooper | January 6, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who has studied the deteriorating socioeconomic conditon of America and understands that it is the corpocracy of both the twin parties in their marriage to big corporations over the years knows that Boehner is just another member of the marriage, not much worse nor much better than the rest of the lot.

America needs an ambulance but the corpocracy sends her a hearse.

Gary Brumback
www.democracypowernow.com

Posted by: garybrumback1 | January 6, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Pretty words with no substance. Boehner will work for his corporate puppetmasters just like he always does. Working for "the people" is all smoke and mirrors.

He learned well from Bug Man Tom Delay. The people will get stabbed in the back just like they wanted.

Posted by: alb2 | January 6, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Wow, a Republican who says what people want to hear, and then who acts in a completely contradictory fashion so as to enact every law he can that will benefit the wealthiest Americans???? Never seen THAT before. If Boehner is a patriot, let him do what is good for America, not what is good for the hedge fund managers who got him his position. When that happens, I will believe he is a sincere man. Until then, he is just another hypocritical Republican tool of big business.

Posted by: HymanRoth | January 6, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

if speaker Speaker Boehner were over 100 years old would you be able to understand him? If he was over 100 years old you would say his words are confusing or his words are not relevant for today. correct?

Posted by: jpdtiga | January 6, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

As far as the House is concerned, please remember what Obama arrogantly said during his first year and many times thereafter.
"We Won".

Posted by: nychap44 | January 6, 2011 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Klein,

Why do you continue to hold that the health care reform bill reduces the deficit when you've admitted in correspondence with Rep. Paul Ryan that the score is unrealistic.

Related expenses (doc fix, use of trust fund accounting techniques) were removed while unrelated revenues (biofuel tax revision, 2.3% investments tax) were included.

The CBO even issued a follow up to the original score to note that, with the related expenses considered, the bill would add to the deficit.

The House knew this. They passed the bill with a doc fix before learning it passed the magic $1 trillion figure that might trigger an even greater PR debacle for the bill. They removed the related expenses and put them into another bill. And then added more unrelated revenues. In fact, they gamed the score so much that in the end they had enough left over education loan reform too.

Mr. Klein, you're a bright individual. You don't need to resort to lies. The health care reform bill does not pay for itself, it adds to the deficit. And thus it's repeal does not add to the deficit it cuts it.

Posted by: cprferry | January 6, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Ok so when Obama made it to President on the power of his speeches the GOP said that he had no ability other then speaking. Now that Boehner gives what you say is a good speech, good public speaking makes him a force. The GOP posters on this site seem to think that if a GOP person speaks welll he or she is a god. If Obama does the same he is a hollow man!

Posted by: Ralph_Indianapolis | January 6, 2011 12:55 PM | Report abuse

"Some of us still hold onto the premise that the congress is there to create the rules that govern our society.
Posted by: cdierd1944"

The rest of us believe that it is society that governs society. It is society that provides the opportunity to Congress and the other 2 branches to participate in as limited a way to protect, and not dictate, the goals of our society. You should join us one day, perhaps even for a tea party.

Posted by: cprferry | January 6, 2011 1:01 PM | Report abuse

"Is John Boehner for transparency in choosing the chairman of his party?
Isn't the fate, of Michael Steele, being decided behind closed doors?"

I saw the contestants for the position at a big long table with microphones giving their televised pitches. So I guess somebody opened the door enough for freakin' network cameras to sneak in, huh?

Posted by: schizuki | January 6, 2011 1:16 PM | Report abuse

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