Monday, September 28, 2015

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 9/25/2015

"Shields and Brooks on Boehner’s leadership turmoil, Pope Francis’ uplifting visit" PBS NewsHour 9/25/2015


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including Speaker of the House John Boehner’s resignation and who will take his place, as well as the pope’s visit to Congress.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Capitol Hill was a historic place to be this week, with a papal visit and the surprise resignation of House Speaker Boehner.

Of course, those are the main topics for our turn to Shields and brooks.  That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

Welcome, gentlemen.

So, Mark, surprised about Boehner?

MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated columnist:  Yes.


MARK SHIELDS:  But, as Lisa reported to you from the Hill, the speaker faced what is a vote of no confidence.  He would have prevailed.  He would have survived, but it would have showed him weakened within his own caucus.  This was among the Republican members.  So, I think he made the decision to go out on his own terms.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  David, a complete shock for you?

DAVID BROOKS, New York Times:  No, saw it coming months and months and months ago.


DAVID BROOKS:  No, obviously, since the day he walked in the door, he’s had this challenge, and it’s grown more, but I don’t think anybody saw it coming in this way.

Obviously, I think the papal visit had — on the timing, had an effect.  There is a beautiful piece by Robert Costa of The Washington Post talking about how, the night before, Costa, a reporter, was with him on the balcony, and Boehner was saying the pope stood right here, right here, and he asked me to pray for him.  And he was so moved.

And so there’s an element of uplift, and might as well do the right thing.  And this specific act was the right thing.  Paul Ryan called it a selfless act.  And I think it really is a selfless act.  It spares us from a potential government shutdown.  It helps the institution.  It helps his party from the fallout from a government shutdown.

And so I think it’s a beautiful act.  Now, over the long term, the downside of Boehner was that he wasn’t that imaginative and the Republicans weren’t that aggressive in putting together a lot of policies, an alternative to Obamacare, a health care, a tax plan, whatever.

But he did know reality.  He could see reality around him.  He knew the craft of politics and how you craft a deal, especially these budget deals.  Some of his critics don’t seem to see that reality, that they don’t control the White House or the supermajority in the Senate.  And they don’t seem to respect the craft of politics.  And if they ever get in actual power, they are going to be introduced it to rudely.
DAVID BROOKS:  I think both parties are ideologically polarized.  The Republican — some of the Republican Party doesn’t believe in politics.  I think most of the Democratic Party does believe in politics.  They’re the party of government.  They believe in government.

And, so, in some sense, the Republican Party can get a little more extreme over tactics, but I think it will be hard for speakers in the future to control people, just because, if you have got a super PAC, if you got some independent expenditures, it’s hard to impose discipline anymore on the body.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Mark, does more get done, does less get done?  How do you see it?

MARK SHIELDS:  Less gets done, Judy, I believe.

And could I be rude and just say that there are probably four dozen members of the House Republican Caucus who do not believe in government?  And they are not — they have never accepted the responsibility of the governing party.

I mean, John Boehner accepted the fact that the Republicans are the majority party in the House and the Senate.  Therefore, we have a responsibility to keep government operating, not to close it down, to fund it, to compromise, to get the votes necessary to pass the legislation required.  And there are four dozen who say, hell no, if it does close down, great, that’s good, that’s what we’re here about.

IMHO:  Boehner is paying for the Republican Party allowing the Tea Party to join with them.  The Tea Party should be an separate party.  The Republican Party WAS a party of governance, now the Tea Party members have warped the Republican Part into the party of NON-governance.

What worst, we as a nation are also paying for allowing the no-governance politicians power.

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