Shameful: Boehner Exploited Military On Two Fronts, While Playing Games With The Numbers

April 9, 2011

Based upon multiple conversations with various sources throughout the week, if you want to know why several Republicans are furious with the Republican Speaker, you have to look beyond the shell game he may be playing with the numbers in last night's agreement.

Many Republicans wanted the military removed from the equation early on. That's also likely why Rep. Michele Bachmann is mentioning the issue and Kay Bailey Hutchinson is now sponsoring a bi-partisan bill in the Senate to remove military pay from future budget skirmishes. Many are furious with Boehner for exploiting servicemen and women and their families for a battle in DC, while so many are risking their lives overseas.

Tea Party-affiliated Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida is out with a statement in which he says he is "disgusted at the perception that Leaders in my own Party…are now using the men and women in uniform" to pass a short-term budget bill.

Social Security, Welfare and Food Stamp payments have options when a so called shut down takes place. It is disgusting that Washington has never created a permanent system to deal with the military, most particularly now, as we are at war. Unfortunately, to his great discredit, Boehner deliberately exploited the issue on two fronts during recent negotiations.

He and others in leadership, including Cantor, wanted the issue in play. Republican Reps. Gohmert (TX) and Kingston (GA) had already fashioned a House Bill to deal with the issue early on. Boehner refused to let it come to the floor. However, he didn't only want to use it against Obama, he also employed it to pressure incoming freshmen to support the latest continuing resolution, lest they be accused of not supporting paying a military engaged in multiple wars.

That and a suspected, but unconfirmed, gaming of the recent numbers is why the Republican establishment spin machine is working overtime, resulting in ridiculous articles hailing Boehner as some great leader by the usual Beltway suspects at NRO and Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post.

 As for concern over games being played with the numbers that would make this deal a bigger cave-in than it appears, Mark Levin (see Cavuto video below) raised some un-answered questions currently swirling around the deal, ones Republican leadership has, so far, refused to answer. If the $40 billion, or whatever dollar number now being circulated includes $10 billion already cut in previous CRs and an even larger portion of it comes from increases not being enacted, as opposed to actual cuts, Boehner may have caved for as little as $12 – $16 billion, or so, while exploiting the military to even get that.

To top it all off, none of this is really settled, as it will be gearing up again next week over now needed longer-term legislation. But Boehner can relax this weekend over a glass of Merlot, while Obama makes his tee time and Reid and the Democrats gloat about how easily they rolled an ineffective GOP Speaker to claim that they, not Republicans, passed the largest budget cut in American history. In fact, until all the details are known, it may be nothing more than the latest outrageous abuse of hard working, taxpaying Americans to come out of Washington, DC.

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  1. barfo says:

    The Constitution(Article I, Section 8, clause 12) forbids Congress from appropriating military funds more than two years in advance.

  2. Dan Riehl says:

    That has nothing to do with it, dumbass. All there needs to be is a system to kick in in the event of a shut down. That isn’t appropriating it early, it’s allowing for it to happen when needed. Duh!

  3. Jen Kuznicki says:

    Thanks for the info, Dan

  4. barfo says:

    Sounds like a plan to try to circumvent what the Founding Fathers intended, Dan.

  5. JLancaster says:

    I’m starting to believe Boehner is a mole for the other side. I wish he would step aside. He loves the tile, he isn’t a leader though. He part of the problem not the solution.

  6. Poor Boehner is still suffering from PTSD from when someone yelled at him in 1995.
    Like Gil on the Simpsons, he just can’t close the deal.

  7. Ragspierre says:

    “Republican Reps. Gohmert (TX) and Kingston (GA) had already fashioned a House Bill to deal with the issue early on. Boehner refused to let it come to the floor.”
    Dan, I need to know where that came from. I know the Gohmert bill was in committee as of April 5th.
    If it’s true that this was delayed purposely, Boehner is cooked.

  8. James says:

    $38B in spending is like someone with $10,000 in credit card debt deciding to avoid a $30 restaurant tab, and call that a ‘spending cut’.
    Until the spending cuts get to 10 times larger, or $380B, will the possibility of real cuts have even begun.

  9. Ragspierre says:

    Right, James.
    So, call when the Senate and Presidency are in conservative control.
    Until then, we deal in the world of the possible.

  10. Xiaoding says:

    A turkey can’t change it’s feathers.
    It’s the conservatives qwho are stupid, for not having their own party. No amount of “fixing” the Republicans will work.

  11. barfo says:

    What’s sad is the “conservatives” are afraid to start their own party even though they would probably get a considerable number of Democrats to join them.
    They might be a majority and not even know it.

  12. Ragspierre says:

    Ding, how would that change the numbers?

  13. Ragspierre says:

    “…they would probably get a considerable number of Democrats to join them.”
    Name them, barfo/liar/racist/coward.

  14. Richard Cranium says:

    “Until then, we deal in the world of the possible.”
    Well, we already knew the least amount of possible. Why push for more? Why stand for something?
    “Losing slowly” is still losing.

  15. Ragspierre says:

    “Why stand for something?”
    Standing for something is wonderful.
    It won’t pass a budget in a legislature where the spenders control the upper house.
    It won’t overcome a presidential veto.
    You can make a nice, pyrrhic show. That won’t save the nation, though.
    We (folks) have to do more to get the power needed to make the changes we want.

  16. PamK says:

    The deal was better than was originally offered by a long shot. Those who throw stones because it was not what they thought should be achieved were not in the rooms doing the bargaining. There is a lot more that needs to be put on the table, discussed, and won; but this is a good start, better than most of us thought we would have at this point in the year. I think Boehner is doing an excellent job. He is not out there pointing fingers like some Republicans and most Democrats. He is working quietly without letting ego and a propensity to grandstand interfere in getting the job done. As an Independent, his style appeals to me as being more inclusive, decisive, and moderate than some of the people commenting on these forums. I initially thought better of Bachmann than I do now. She seems to be more interested in making headlines and scoring points with a subset of Republicans than being a leader of a majority party. And I do not think that Boehner exploited the military in these negotiations. That is the Democratic Party’s talking point and I am amazed to see that people who consider themselves Conservatives or Republicans are falling for it. What was wrong with trying to remove the military budget from these negotiations at any point in the process? Those who are damning him for that are not crediting him for doing something that should have been done years ago. When did Democrats ever offer that? Take a breath and step back and look at it with unjaundiced eyes.

  17. libertylover says:

    Like PamK, I also am an Independent. Boehner negotiated and got something positive for his side. I want more cuts and reforms of these programs because governments at all levels have unsustainable fiscal commitments. It will take sustained persuading by both activists and politicians to convince the public that changes to government spending must be made.

  18. hitnrun says:

    The mechanism used by the entitlements should be adopted by the military for paying its members — if not out of respect, then for its national security importance. An unpaid military is probably literally the oldest national security threat in the history of civilization.
    With that said, defense cuts in general, up to and including military pay cuts, have to be on the table for the next budget discussion. We can kowtow all we like at the altar of our respect for the troops, but they’re government employees working for a government program. No argument for leaving defense untouched is materially different for why we can’t cut entitlements For the Children or The Elderly. Somehow I don’t think we’re going to compromise national security by cutting defense to 2008 levels or about 5 times that of China. We’re either serious enough to slaughter sacred cows, or we’re not.

  19. Ragspierre says:

    “We can kowtow all we like at the altar of our respect for the troops, but they’re government employees working for a government program.”
    Um… I agree on defense spending being subject to review, but…
    that part about the troops is nuts. Really.

  20. J. Pinches says:

    Not suprised at all by the outcome. The Republican side of the aisles are still being run by the senior establishment members. Come 2012, we must finish what we started in 2010 by voting out Obama, the RINOs, as many Dems from local to national level and any 2010 Freshman who already defected to the establishment and “K” street.

  21. Tennwriter says:

    A lot of Blacks and Latinos are, (I’m beginning to think understandably considering how the RINOs treated Rubio and the Tea Party and Socons) put off by the R Party.
    A full tilt all the way conservative party might draw them in. Conservatives care more for ideals than class or race. If you cling to the Bible and your guns, hate abortion and taxes, and love the Federalist Papers…
    Might take a few years tho’…
    In any case, the idea of a third party has to be kept viable as a means of threatening the Establishment.

  22. Ragspierre says:

    Not news to me, Tenn. From a few DECADES back, this has been on my radar.
    Thing is, is has VERY high transitional costs, regardless of delusional people to the contrary.
    The day may come when the price just has to be paid. Like I tell my divorce clients, “It is NEVER a good choice. I may be the BEST choice.” But you pay your dues, and work hard at rescuing the old relationship.
    We are not there yet, IMNHO.

  23. tracy says:

    well, i have a theory. just lil ole me… so here it goes:
    Boehner never intended to go through with a govt shut down if he felt the troops might not get paid. yes, he was using the issue for leverage in hopes of getting BABY KILLERS defunded. i think he always knew if he couldn’t win the p.r. contest against and game of chicken with the Dems, he knew he would compromise at the last second.
    anyway, that’s my HOPE …that the Republicans would never willingly forsake the troops
    my God, our military is stretched BEYOND their limit already. i realize we are in the cliff looking down, but further demoralizing those in uniform already at their breaking point might be the very end of us.
    my 2 cents

  24. frangipini says:

    Interesting, and baffling: a Republican finally does what we on the right have long demanded they do — start playing for keeps by taking a page from the Lib’s own playbook to USE AGAINST THEM — and he’s attacked for it. Wow.
    I’m as conservative as anyone and no fan of Republicans but damn, people, don’t you see what he just did? Obama used the troops as a chip first. Boehner took Obama’s chip away from him and used it to up the ante. To a degree, it worked. Plus it embarassed the O and his Donk posse (believe it).
    Finally, FINALLY, the R’s at least act like they’re willing to get dirty on our behalf. It’s what we’ve been clamoring for so credit where credit’s due.

  25. Ragspierre says:

    Dan, I’m still looking for your support for the accusation that Boehner DELIBERATELY held up help for the troops via legislation.
    That is one HELL of a thing to say, and I need to know what you based it on.
    If true, Boehner should be removed as Speaker.

  26. Johnny says:

    I agree with J. Pinches. We have to continue to replace rinos and dems with our vote. As was repeated in one of my favorite movies many times “Stay the course.”. The Tea Party and all of us like minded people must work for the redemption of our republic and it won’t be quick or easy…Third party? why not just take the republican party back from the fakes that are running it now? As for the moderates and Independents, I just hope that they can realize that in order to repair what the radical left have done to our country we will have to endure some radical changes in the other direction…..

  27. Ragspierre says:

    Jim, I made it very clear I HAD looked at your links.
    They voted down a Deemocrat move…on totally party lines with one exception…which leads me to believe it was full of crap.
    I readily admit I did not read the 218 page Deemocrat bill and its GOP counterpart and examine them microscopically.
    Neither did you.

  28. Ragspierre says:

    And I’m saying my opinion is you are wrong.
    Got support?