Cage Match to Decide Republican Budget Proposals?

Infighting in the GOP in the House made a ludicrous spectacle of the GOP as they rolled out an alternative budget this week that had no numbers. This is Republican incompetence at its finest, and it was thrilling to see there was back room infighting, too. So let’™s arrange a steel cage match, Cantor and Ryan v. Boehner and Pence.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Certainly the Republicans in the House stubbed their collective toes this week when they put forth a plan that had no dollar figures within it and no specific proposals. Politico had noted that the plan was being prepared to counter accusations that the GOP has become the ‘œParty of No.’ Politico describes the Republican train wreck:

Even before Barack Obama double-dared them to cough up their own budget, House Republican leaders were quietly drafting a set of conservative budget principles to convince voters ‘“ and their own rank-and-file ‘“ that they aren’™t just The Party of No.

Minority Leader John Boehner, Minority Whip Eric Cantor, GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence and Rep. Paul Ryan worked for weeks on a plan, staffers say, without any serious philosophical disagreements.

But over time, Cantor-Ryan and Boehner-Pence camps split over questions of tactics and timing.

Pence, with Boehner’™s blessing, wanted to unveil an abbreviated ‘œblueprint’ Thursday to counter Obama’™s criticism and arm members with new talking points heading into this weekend ‘“ even if it meant that their plan wouldn’™t have much in the way of details.

Cantor and Ryan wanted to wait until Ryan’™s staff produced a fully-fleshed-out alternative to Obama’™s $3.6 trillion spending plan, with specific numbers on spending and tax cuts ‘“ even if it meant waiting a few more days to get it out.

Cantor and Ryan ultimately caved in, and what they got was the worst of both worlds: a thin, glossy ‘œblueprint’ that was ridiculed by Democrats and cable news anchors, and a nasty internecine scrap that culminated with one GOP aide telling POLITICO that Pence had thrown Ryan ‘œunder the bus’ in an ‘œegocentric rush’ to grab the spotlight.

Privately, some Republicans are worried that the split over the budget blueprint portends the kind of internal squabbling that afflicted the party during the height of its power at the beginning of the Bush administration.

First Republican whine? ‘œBut Politico is biased!’ Hey, guys, the freaking right wing Washington Times also makes fun of your proposed budget. As a Republican you know you’™ve really screwed the pooch when the Times is making fun of you. It is going to be harder to weasel out of this one than to merely crawl back under the partition at the airport restroom. Boehner offers the ‘œbudget,’ but it has no substance, which to most Americans seems perfectly consistent with Republican performance over the last eight years or so.

This time there seems to be infighting among the Republicans. That’™s brilliant. Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan caved in to the old guard, as represented by John Boehner (rhymes with ‘œloner’) and Mike Pence. From my outsiders perspective, rising stars in the Republican Party are its only chance of suvival over the cruxial next few years. Sanford and Jindal and Palin are rising stars bumbling around on their own, without significant help from the incompetent Republican powers that be. Now the old guard is abusing young guns Cantor and Ryan. In short, the GOP is showing itself to be disfunctional on the level of Greek tragedy. No, wait, formal definitions of ‘œtragedy’ imply a fall from greatness, and not about to imply greatness for the GOP anytime in the last 50 years. Umm, it sounds like a WWE cage match. Yeah, that’™s the metaphor!

And what’™s a meta for, anyway? It’™s just a handy thing to use to make fun of Republicans who, as usual, can’™t get their shit together. I propose a tag team cage match between Eric Cantor/Paul Ryan vs. John Boehner/Mike Pence. The winning team gets to make decisions for the GOP in the House, and more importantly, I’™ll donate a whole slew of tanning products. Sound good?

Saturday, March 28th, 2009 by Richard Blair |

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