WSJ’s Strassel: In Defense of Boehner

Friday, 29 Jul 2011 11:08 AM

By Dan Weil

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House Speaker John Boehner is taking a lot of flak from both Democrats and Republicans in the debt/deficit imbroglio. Democrats are upset with his unwillingness to countenance tax increases, and conservative Republicans are upset that his debt/deficit blueprint doesn’t include more spending cuts.

Indeed, conservative opposition forced Boehner to cancel a planned vote on his proposal Thursday. But he deserves a lot more praise than criticism, writes Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel.

“It isn't easy to turn Washington around on a dime. If nothing else, give Boehner marks for trying,” she urged.

A number of conservatives didn’t give the speaker much of a chance, Strassel points out. “Some remained wedded to their vow to never vote for a debt-ceiling hike,” she wrote. “Some, like presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, continued to insist, ludicrously, that a failed deal wouldn't be a problem.”

Boehner did accomplish something, Strassel argues. That was to “position his party to take credit for a bill that averts a crisis, cuts more spending than any Democrat ever thought possible, and exposes the White House's insincerity on the deficit and economic prosperity,” she said.

“The Republicans who yesterday undermined bill now bear sole responsibility for whatever political fallout comes next.”



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