] Dick Morris: Republicans' pas de deux

In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 30, 2013/ 19 Shevat, 5773

Republicans' pas de deux

By Dick Morris

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | House Republicans and Speaker John Boehner have hit upon a de facto solution to the problems of governing while seeming to keep faith with their ideologically driven constituents. Here's the deal: Boehner (R-Ohio) first stakes out a good position on spending and budget issues by passing a bill he knows will not go anywhere in the Senate or win presidential approval. But the one-house bill gives his Republican members something to vote for and to cite to angry voters back home.

Once his members are safely on record supporting cuts in spending, the Speaker then caves in to Obama and the Senate, passing the financial bills the mainstream media say the country needs. But he does so with a majority that consists of almost unanimous Democratic support and 40 or 50 of his best supporters in the GOP caucus. The rest of the House Republican Conference — Tea Party and others — votes against the bill. It seems that they are defying their Speaker and, back home, their votes pass for courage. But, in reality, they are simply acting out their part of a carefully choreographed pas de deux.

Some of the "no" votes on Boehner's bills come from sincere and true believers who genuinely want to demand more spending cuts before they allow the debt limit to be raised or the government to continue to function. Members like Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Steve King (R-Iowa), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) and a few dozen like them are true believers. But the rest of the class of 2010 is riding along on their coattails, voting no and keeping their fingers crossed that they get outvoted so they don't have to face a firestorm in the media by beating the administration's bill. For his part, Boehner has become the de facto coalition Speaker, representing a combination of the entire Democratic Party and a sprinkling of loyal Republicans.

His historical analogue is former British Prime Minister Ramsey MacDonald, who became the first-ever Labour Party prime minister in 1924 and presided again from 1929-31. Like Boehner and the Tea Party, he first attained power at the head of the brand-new Labour Party in 1924. While Boehner's Speakership came about as a reaction to ObamaCare, MacDonald's majority stemmed from the pacifist reaction to World War I. After nine months, however, he lost to a resurgent Conservative Party. When he returned to power in 1929, he found it impossible to reconcile the demands of his Labour Party base with the conventional wisdom favoring austerity, so he formed a coalition government in 1931 with only a handful of Labour members but backed by a united Tory Party. That's roughly Boehner's situation today. Just as the Conservatives pulled the strings behind the former first-ever Labour prime minister, so Obama and Reid are calling the shots for the Speaker elected with Tea Party votes.

MacDonald's Labour Party fell in 1931 because it was split between those who went along with the Conservative Party's demand to keep the gold standard through spending cuts and his own Labour base, which demanded higher spending to counter the Depression. Boehner's Republican Party is similarly divided between those who are willing to continue to see spending grow and the GOP base, which demands deep cuts. And, like MacDonald, Boehner would rather cling to power and be manipulated by the demands of his opposition than to stand on principle with his own party.

What is the likely future of the House Republican majority? It depends on the outcome of the president's policies. If they lead to the economic disaster we conservatives have been predicting, the GOP will capture the Senate and gain in the House. Then the stage will be set for Boehner to stand on principle, as he tried to do in 2009-10, or to be pushed aside. But, if the stagnation in which we are now mired turns out to be permanent (as it is in Japan and Europe), then the Republicans are likely to lose their majority.

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© 2013, Dick Morris