The Difference Between “Caving” and “Governing”
OT’s liberals will surely roll their collective eyes at this post, but I feel like this needs to be said.
As most of you no doubt know by now, House Speaker John Boehner announced today he will not be holding the debt ceiling hostage, in part because he doesn’t have nearly enough votes to win whatever inane, unicorn-fart-powered battle the Tea Party might wish him to wage. The GOP might well wish to lower federal government expenditures, but Boehner seems to recognize that there’s no real point in pushing a position that lacks the support of the President, the Senate, and even a sufficient number of his own party members in the House.
So Boehner did what minority party leaders have done pretty much since the formation of the nation: saw that he lacked the votes to have his way, recognized that the other party’s position had been chosen by the people, gritted his teeth, and did his job.
In a pluralistic democracy, there’s a word for this kind of behavior: governing.
It’s a little sad, then, to see even moderate liberals describe Boehner’s actions as “caving.” Even the normally level headed heads over at Josh Marshall’s TPM are using the word.
And Marshall’s crew has been waiting, what, six years now for Boehner to behave like a professional adult and not a Fox/Talk radio fanboy?
I know, I know — it’s a little thing. But I think it’s yet another scrap of anecdotal evidence that U.S. liberals are slowly remaking themselves in the right’s Ratings-First-Governance-Last image. I have a ton of respect for the work Marshall has done, so I want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he and TPM weren’t rooting for the page hits that the GOP’s trashing of the country’s credit position and suspension of services for the needy would surely have provided. Still, would it have killed them (and other liberals) to at the very least keep their yaps shut on that rarest of occasions: Congress actually doing its fishing job?