Conservative advocacy groups are “using our members, and they’re using the American people for their own goals,” he said. “This is ridiculous.”
Deliciously refreshing, if I do say. His remarks also leave tea party congressional members a little wiggle room by implying that, though they acted in good faith, they were being manipulated by powerful forces.
At first glance, one wonders whether Republicans are spiking their coffee with testosterone. What’s clear is that the era of Boehner’s bottom-up approach to leadership has ended. Not again will he allow the obstructionist wing of the party to force showdowns and shutdowns that hurt the American people and the Republican Party. Even if he has to draft Democrats to help him, Boehner enjoys the further benefit of speaking the truth.
Meanwhile, concurrent with Boehner’s one-man firing squad, another significant sub-story was unfolding. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., leader of the Republican Study Committee, orchestrated the departure of his chief of staff, Paul Teller, who is beloved by these same conservative groups. Teller was thought to be leaking information on budget and other negotiations to these same organizations, according to inside sources. Boehner hinted at this when he responded to a question about conservative opposition: “You mean the groups that came out and opposed [the budget deal] before they ever saw it?”
What everyone will know soon enough is that Paul Ryan is The Guy — the missing leader the GOP has been searching for and who is clearly being groomed for 2016.
Kathleen Parker is a columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.