Imagine owning a casino and then losing your shirt to a small group of outsiders — because that’s what just happened to Speaker John Boehner.
Top story: Imagine owning a casino and then losing your shirt to a small group of outsiders — because that’s what just happened to Speaker John Boehner.
- John Boehner is Terry Benedict in “Ocean’s 11”. He owns a casino, and he can’t lose — so long as he knows “the count.” And he didn’t on the farm bill. And now Boehner is in trouble: He may lose his casino. (Bloomberg)
- Redstate’s Erick Erickson: “Does John Boehner have any clout left after publicly saying he would take the rare act as Speaker of voting for the farm bill? Pasture time?” (Erick Erickson)
- So what happened? Well, what always happens in these affairs: A small group saw a big target and decided to take it down. In this case, the Clooney gang is a far right faction of the GOP and “fight night” is the Farm Bill, a $1 trillion piece of legislation that Boehner wanted to work so bad he did something House speakers rarely do — he announced he’d vote for the measure. (The Caucus)
- In this case, the “SWAT team” coming in at the last minute seems to have taken the form of an amendment to make the $21 billion cuts to food stamps — already detested by Democrats who largely voted against the bill — even worse. (Politico)
- Like in the movie, this small group had outside backing. And in this case the role of Elliott Gould was played both by Jim DeMint, CEO of Heritage, and Chris Chocola, CEO of Club for Growth, who are relishing the defeat of their former colleague. Much like Reuben Tishkoff did. (Jim DeMint) and (Chris Chocola)
- Heritage Action’s Communications Director: “GOP leaders trying to spin #farmbill loss on Pelosi; it’s not. conservatives killed it because it spent nearly $1 trillion.” (Dan Holler)
- Now, our Terry Benedict certainly knows people are always gunning for him. For instance, he knew Democrats hated the $21 billion in cuts to SNAP, formerly “food stamps,” and never would vote for the bill. (The Root)
- And he knew opposition conservative forces like Heritage Action — Heritage’s 501(c)4 political arm — were scoring every legislator on the bill. (Heritage Action for America)
- But this time, the cunning of the people he was up against appears to have taken him by surprise. (Jeff Zeleny) and (The Huffington Post)
- Mind you, a successful House bill was never going to make it past the Senate — or the president. But, then again, you never make it out of a casino without the IRS taking some of your winnings, either. (The Hill)
- Looking for Julia Roberts in all this confusion? That would be Paul Ryan. Yes, Paul Ryan. Just hours earlier Ryan and Boehner were so buddy/buddy Boehner announced Ryan would fact-check the CBO’s numbers on immigration. And then the heist comes and Ryan leaves Boehner for the Clooney gang. Poor, Terry Benedict. (NPR) and (Chad Pergram)
- Can’t wait for the sequel? Well, come next month we may have “Ocean’s 12” in the form of an immigration vote. (Brian Beutler)
- And don’t forget “Ocean’s 13” in the fall, where the casino may be the biggest yet: the next debt ceiling vote.
- Of course, like Terry Benedict, Boehner may be back for both sequels. As he told CNBC: “I fully expect to be Speaker. You know, as the Speaker I take a lot of hits, I get a lot of hatchets thrown at my back every day. Listen, it’s — it comes with the territory.” (CNBC)