Yesterday, there was a very public civil war in the Republican Party over House Speaker John Boehner’s decision to block a vote on aid for Hurricane Sandy victims. But today, when Boehner’s Speakership is up for a vote – and just 17 GOP dissenters could derail it - Fox News pulled out their all-purpose Republican Rehab strategy: blame President Obama. But it didn't work as well with Michelle Malkin as they'd surely hoped.
In one of several Fox & Friends segments with the same theme, Steve Doocy sneered that President Obama, now "back on vacation in Hawaii," had promised “at a photo op with Chris Christie” that he was going to “eliminate the red tape” and “make sure FEMA follows through” with aid to Sandy victims. Doocy continued, “And now, 60 days later, nothing.” As he spoke, a banner on the screen read, “JUST A PHOTO OP: GOP gets hammered, but not the president.”
Doocy played a mashup video of Obama talking about getting the relief job done, “Just for people who have missed that."
Afterward, Doocy whined, “Then people on Capitol Hill are trying to blame Boehner when he was looking at that Senate bill that was loaded up with a bunch of pork.”
Although she jumped at the opportunity for jeering with a “golf clap” and an “Aloha and mahalo” over President Obama’s “Oscar-winning performance,” to her credit, Malkin did not let Boehner or Republicans off the hook. “I think it’s ridiculous to FULLY (her emphasis) blame Boehner for the gridlock that’s happening over this bill,” she said. She added:
And the context for the spat I think doesn’t bode well for the Republican leadership because although there are die-hard, committed fiscal conservatives who are sincerely opposing this bill because of the pork, the context for this battle was, apparently, a snit fit between Boehner and Canter over how the fiscal cliff vote went down… There were tweets and messages coming out of Capitol Hill late on Sunday that the bill was pulled because of the resentment between those two boiling over.
And so there’s a lot of intrigue going on there. In the meantime, the usual pork-stuffed, emergency relief bill is finally being torn apart – not so much by Republicans on Capitol Hill as conservative watchdogs and activists who’ve been blowing the whistle on all of the piggy porky stuff that’s put into this bill that’s supposed to be for Sandy victims but ends up benefitting Guantanamo Bay, fisheries in Alaska, Head Start.
In other words, Fox can try to smooth things over for Boehner and Republicans by pointing a finger at President Obama but the rifts in the party are real and deep and unlikely to go away any time soon.