(This email was sent to previous supporters of former Congressman Alan Grayson today)
I know why House Speaker John Boehner walked out of debt ceiling talks with President Obama on Friday.
It's because Boehner can't deliver.
It doesn't matter what terms the President offers. It's that simple. Boehner can't deliver the votes.
The President might as well be negotiating with Tiger Woods; Tiger can't deliver the votes, either. But at least Tiger has a better swing.
On Friday, the President said, "I think that one of the questions that the Republican Party is going to have to ask itself is, can they say yes to anything? Can they say yes to anything?"
The answer to your question, Mr. President, is no. The national Republican Party can't even says yes to yes. And Boehner can't do anything about that.
In May 1935, Pierre Laval, then the Foreign Minister of France, and also the once and future Prime Minister of France, met with Josef Stalin, the Soviet dictator. Laval, a Catholic, urged Stalin to stop persecuting Catholics in the Soviet Union. Stalin asked Laval why it mattered. Laval replied that continued persecution could provoke a quarrel between Stalin and the Pope.
Stalin replied, "The Pope? How many divisions does he have?"
I don't think that anyone could confuse John Boehner with the Pope, but nevertheless, at this point, President Obama might ask the same question about Boehner. How many divisions does John Boehner have?
Fifty-nine House Republicans abandoned Boehner on the "compromise" appropriations bill. Even though Boehner depicted it to them as a Republican victory on par with, say, the Battle of Stalingrad.
And now, Fox News has reported that between 80 and 120 Republican members of the House will vote against any bill to increase the debt ceiling, no matter what else is in it. You can be sure that Fox News knows what Republicans in Washington are thinking -- because Fox News tells them what to think.
So somewhere between a third and a half of all of the Republicans in the House of Representatives are going to vote against increasing the debt ceiling, no matter what Boehner puts in front of them. Boehner is a general with no troops. The coach has no players. The teacher has no students. The chief has no Indians. The bride has no bridesmaids.
That's why Boehner is always crying.