Fiscal policy

Boehner Wanted a Budget Deal So Much That He Did Not Want One at All

|

Bob Woodward can't be too pleased with the New York Times story about his new book, The Price of Politics, which details last year's failed negotiations aimed at a "grand bargain" on deficit reduction between Democrats and Republicans. "Last summer's bitter budget negotiations have been hashed over in several lengthy news accounts," sniffs Times congressional reporter Jonathan Weisman, "and Mr. Woodward's is the most exhaustive, although it is not clear how much new information, if any, he has uncovered." In case that does not make you eager to delve into Woodward's 448-page tome, Weisman poses an intriguing puzzle:

President Obama maintains that the speaker [John Boehner] never really wanted to cut a deal…

"I think John wanted to get a deal," Mr. Obama said in an interview with Mr. Woodward.

Whose contradiction is this? Obama's, Woodward's, or Weisman's? Is it worth $17.16 (marked down from $30 at Amazon!) to find out?

NEXT: No Appeal For Norwegian Shooter

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Is it worth $17.16 (marked down from $30 at Amazon!) to find out?

    You should go buy it, read it, then tell us. Otherwise you’re just a tease.

    1. Is it worth $17.16 (marked down from $30 at Amazon!) to find out?

      I am going to go out on a limb here and say no.

    2. No kidding. Tell Loader to see one less B movie and read the book.

    3. Does anyone actually READ Woodward books? Maybe a few jounalists who then summarize if for us proles. People buy them. I see them on peoples shelves – old political controversies and battles, long forgotten.

      No one, and I’m in DC area with lots of poli-baters, says “I read in “The Agenda” (Clinton Whitehouse gossip) about this anecdote or event.” They read the NYTimes or WashPost summary of the juicy parts and carry around the book to show they are up on the latest ephemieral political reading material.

      1. I read The Brethren. I think that’s it.

        1. I almost read the ‘The Brethren’. Picked it up at the library (I’m not paying for it). Got through a couple of chapters and decided I couldn’t give a fuck and threw it aside to read some sci-fi or a history.

  2. It is almost as if politicians lie to Bob Woodward or something.

  3. Is that a Boehner in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?

    Uh, even I’m not laughing at that one.

    The Bob Woodward swipe is available. He fossilised into into Grand Old Man Too Eminent To Investigate By Asking Rude Questions long ago

  4. Budgets are constraining. None of the bastards want one. The fact that no budgets have appeared at any time during president urkel’s tenure should be reason enough to fire his ass. That no budgets have appeared during that time is reason enough to clean out the house and senate.

    This is a blatent, in your face, double fuck you to the people from the political elite. After hearing the DNC attendees tell what a warm fuzzy feeling they get from being owned by the government I think it is well deserved.

    1. I’ve seen idiots on reddit claim that’s a lie because “they did pass a budget last year its called the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act”… despite the fact that was passed in April, over halfway through the fiscal year.

      1. I’ve seen idiots on reddit

        Stop right there, no further explanation is necessary

      2. A CR is Appropriations. It’s not really a Budget.

        The Budget Resolution establishes how much we’re going to spend, and generally how to divide it up among the main Appropriations committees. Appropriations decides the details.

        A CR is just saying, “uh, let’s do the same thing as last year.”

        1. A CR is just saying, “uh, let’s do the same thing as last year.”

          Which is a budget. It’s a really lazy budget, but it’s still a budget.

    2. You know what other country had trouble passing a budget?

      1. I had trouble passing that cheese pizza I ate last night. Does that count?

      2. The Democratic Republic of Zaire?

  5. If true, the report that no one in the White House had any idea how to contact Boehner after the Republicans “Unexpectedly!” took the House in 2010 is amusingly damning. Didn’t LBJ have every possible phone number for every Congressman of both parties in a rolodex? Fuckin’ incompetent amateurs.

    1. Maybe the obstructionist Republicants got unlisted phone numbers. You ever think of that?

    2. How fucking hard is it to send over some intern to the Rayburn building and find his office and say “What’s the digits, d00d”? Did that never occur to anyone?

      1. How do you go two years and never talk to the minority? He really thought “fuck you that is why” was good politics.

        1. He really thought “fuck you that is why” was good politics.

          It’s the default response in Washington

        2. “I won” was his philosophy.

          I can dig up some quotes about Olympia Snowe and others bitching about the President not doing any Republican outreach to the moderates the first two years.

          1. Olympia Snowe is the high school slut. She puts out to everyone and then wonders why she gets no respect.

          2. That is how stupid he was. Having their ass kissed and being called “practical” is like crack to people like Snow. He could have thrown her an a few other RINOs a few meaningless concessions and cut the legs out from under the Republican Party by making his bullshit “bi partisan”. Instead, he told them to fuck off and pissed away all of the hopey changey good will he had among moderates in the country.

            1. He’s a Chicago democrat – and therefore totally unfamiliar with having to worry about what the other side thinks.

    3. They really are. Did they honestly not thing they were going to get killed in the midterms? I remember when the Congress recessed for the election in 10 and reporters described it like a funeral because so many Democrats knew this was the last roundup for them. Did the White House really not know this?

      Amateurs is too weak of a word. Nuts is more like it.

    4. What that is, is the worst lie ever conceived. Whoever came up with that one deserves to be sent to the Arctic Circle for lemming research duties.

      Maybe the dog ate their congressional phonebook.

    5. 5 seconds on Google gives me Boehner’s DC office phone number.

      (202) 225-6205

      1. Only 5 seconds? By Obama’s standards, you must be some sort of researching GOD!

      2. They wanted to call on election night (or the next day) while he was still in Ohio. Boehner’s cell is what they didn’t have. LBJ used to have office, home, country club, mistress, hunting/fishing lodge, bar, whorehouse or whatever else it took for every Congressman in the bad old buck-a-minute long distance land line days.

    6. Not incompetent amateurs. Saying the couldnt get a national budget passed because they couldnt get someone on the phone shows how much contempt they have for the hoi polloi. It is a weak excuse along the lines of ‘the dog ate my homework’. Again, an in your face fuck you.

  6. “It’s not clear how much new information he uncovered,” but I’m not sure that the New York Times (unlike the Washington Post back in March) had really reported this information before. The book appears to uphold (with comments from both sides) the narrative that the Republicans were pushing– there was a tentative deal, and then Obama came in at the last moment trying to alter the terms of the deal, and it all fell apart.

    The Times does occasionally like to fail to report certain inconvenient news, and then later say that it’s old information.

    1. Here’s the Post with a MUCH better article on Woodward’s book.

      New York Times buries the lead in order to carry water for the Dems, as usual.

        1. Where the hell did the squirrels bring that reason part come from?

          1. I assume you didn’t put the “http://” before it, so it assumed that the page you were pointing to was relative to the current directory on the Reason server.

  7. Washington Post reports that Obama basically killed the debt deal out of pique that it was negotiated between the House and Senate leaders of both parties without him:

    Obama, surprised, told Boehner and the others that they could not exclude him from the process, Woodward reports. “I’ve got to sign this bill,” he is quoted as saying.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) then said the four leaders wanted to speak privately, asking Obama to leave a meeting he had called “in his own house,” in Woodward’s words. The president, fuming, agreed to let them talk.

    1. My God what a child. President Kadult.

    2. All I can say is: Wow.

      1. Just think that guy controls nuclear weapons. And if anything happens to him, Joe Biden will. That thought will make you sleep well at night.

        1. Gee thanks.

  8. the report that no one in the White House had any idea how to contact Boehner after the Republicans “Unexpectedly!” took the House in 2010

    The carrier pigeons all had the bird flu.

  9. The president, fuming, agreed to let them talk.

    Nixonian petulance.

    When will the “enemies list” be leaked? There should be plenty of pissed off, disillusioned people out there by now.

    1. That Nixon bumper sticker with the Obama “O” in it reflects reality more and more each day.

  10. Peggy Noonan lets the claws come out on Sandra Fluke today.

    What a fabulously confident and ingenuous-seeming political narcissist Ms. Fluke is. She really does think?and her party apparently thinks?that in a spending crisis with trillions in debt and many in need, in a nation in existential doubt as to its standing and purpose, in a time when parents struggle to buy the good sneakers for the kids so they’re not embarrassed at school . . . that in that nation the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills. That’s not a stand, it’s a non sequitur. She is not, as Rush Limbaugh oafishly, bullyingly said, a slut. She is a ninny, a narcissist and a fool.

    Meow!!!

    1. I was actually shocked that they put her on stage. Her message made most Americans roll their eyes, not think about solidarity with whatever her issue is.

      1. I think it made a lot of women roll their eyes. First, she is not that old. And a lot of older women don’t want to be lectured by a younger one. Second, any women but the radical feminists are offended by the idea that forcing people to pay for free birth control is the most pressing problem in America.

        1. Hell, if you’re actually concerned about access to birth control pills, the easier thing would be to push to make them OTC (which could easily happen, and at least would split the GOP coalition.)

          The copay is way less of a problem than scheduling and going to doctor’s appointments.

          1. Assuming a 2010-style loss for the Democrats, which I don’t think is at all unlikely, you have to think there will be a major change in the leadership. The current leadership thinks that people like Warren, Fluke, and Crist have utility in national elections. That sort of distortion is almost Homerically epic.

            1. Maybe that is partly why the GOP locked out the Tea Party and the Paulites. To further lull the Dems into the delusion their ideological base IS the political center.

          2. . . . make [birth control pills] OTC . . .

            But . . . but . . . but . . . that would be ANARCHY!

    2. I would say Noonan hit the nail on the head, there.

  11. ELIMINATIONIST RHETORIC alert:

    Boehner, Cantor and other Republicans were insisting that they would agree only to a short-term deal. An angry Obama told his aides, according to Woodward: “It’s hijacking the economy, putting a gun to the head of the economy.”

    In his interview with Woodward, the president confirmed that he was adamant in his opposition to a “two-step” deal. To give in, he said, would hand the Republicans a permanent weapon. “We can’t do business by threatening to default every three months.”

  12. the great issue of the day, and the appropriate focus of our concern, is making other people pay for her birth-control pills.

    How many generations of imbeciles do we really need? I applaud her willingness to voluntarily sacrifice her reproductive capabilities in the name of civic devotion and public spirit.

    1. We’ve had at least a few more since Ollie first asked the question, so obviously whatever we’re doing to cut down isn’t working.

    2. Sadly she’s only postponing her use of them, until the glorious day she procreates and you get to pay for whatever boondoggle that’s been enacted to support working families and teh childrenz

    3. I have no interest in paying for her birth control pills, but if she set up Kickstarter to fund self-sterilization, I might pitch in $3.

  13. Notice the secret sign Boehner is giving while he shakes Obamas hand. Dog whistle for the hard of hearing

  14. I got a kick out of the description of Pelosi putting Obama’s phone on “mute” while they were meeting in Congress about some budget deal, so that the congressmen in the room could continue trying to make a deal while Obama droned on and on in the background.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.