John Boehner Flunks Politics 101

Rachel Maddow does a fantastic job of taking apart John Boehner for his disastrous interview with The Pittsburgh Tribune Review among a few other interviews where Boehner keeps, unfortunately for the Republicans, telling the truth about their policy views.

MADDOW: The top Republican in Congress has flunked politics 101 in public really badly and mostly on tape. The whole ball game for the elections this year is whether or not voters will see them as a referendum on the Obama administration or whether they will see them as a choice between Democrats, the Obama administration, and Republicans.

If it‘s a referendum just on President Obama, then anything the American voter isn‘t happy about right now, hold it against Obama and the Democrats. Elect Republicans by default.

I‘m hot. I have poison ivy. I hate the BP oil spill. Throw the bums out. You know, it could be anything. That, of course, is the dynamic that Republicans are hoping to ride to big majorities or at least big gains this November. That‘s the dynamic Republicans want, the referendum on the Democrats.

What Democrats want for these elections is that voters don‘t approach them just as a referendum on one guy or one party, but rather as a choice between the two parties. The way opposition parties try to make an election more like a referendum and less like a choice is to not talk about what they, the opposition, have to offer in terms of policy.

It sounds cynical, but it is tried and true when you‘re in the opposition—you don‘t throw your policy ideas out there to get picked apart, you don‘t have to. That‘s the one great thing about being in opposition. You just hope when the other guy gets booed, you get ushered in as his replacement, regardless of what crazy stuff you believe in. That‘s politics 101. It is cynical, and I realize it sounds that way, but that really is how politics works. Read on...


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