House Speaker John Boehner made it clear on Fox News Sunday today that he is prepared to shut down funding for the Department of Homeland Security in a GOP game of immigration chicken with President Obama. The news was not received well among Fox Republicans.
Although it might seem that host Chris Wallace’s surprisingly tough questions for Boehner represents a sudden bout of journalistic integrity, I think it more likely a symptom of the divisions among Republicans.
Wallace’s first question for Boehner signaled this was not going to be a typical Fox News GOP lovefest:
WALLACE: Haven’t you and House Republicans put the GOP in a box with funding for the Department of Homeland Security about to run out and you are demanding changes to the president’s executive action on immigration that Senate Republicans say they can’t pass?
Later, there was this even sharper exchange:
WALLACE: And what if the Department of Homeland Security funding runs out?
BOEHNER: Well, then, Senate Democrats should to be blame. Very simply.
WALLACE: And you’re prepared to let that happen?
BOEHNER: Certainly. The House has acted. We’ve done our job.
WALLACE: This speaks to a bigger issue. When Republicans took over Congress, you talked about you were going to show how to govern. And yet, we’re more than a month in and the only major piece of legislation that the Republican Congress has passed and sent to the president is the Keystone pipeline legislation, which he’s already said he’s going to veto.
Even the conservative editorial page of “The Wall Street Journal” says this is no way to run a congressional majority.
There was also this, about the GOP’s use of Israel to slap President Obama in the face:
WALLACE: You’ve created quite a controversy by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak to a joint session of Congress without telling the White House.
Now, everyone from Vice President Biden down to 12 congressional Democrats have said they are not going to attend.
Haven’t you taken one of the few bipartisan issues in this country, support for Israel, and turned it into a political football?
Rather than just the one pro forma tough question, Wallace continued pushing on this matter, just as he had on the DHS funding.
Lastly, there was this, on Benghazi:
WALLACE: Finally, you have set up a select committee to investigate what happened in Benghazi, even though there have been about a half dozen investigations; the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee basically said there was no there there—like this last year.
Some people have questioned: is all of this an effort to hurt Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign?
It wasn’t just Wallace, either. Later in the show, panelist Dana Perino, a Fox News host and former member of the George W. Bush administration said about funding DHS:
This is not going to end with the Republicans looking like heroes and they will get blamed by the White House, by the media, by Democrats. They will blame each other.
…The Democrats do have some blame here. But when the stories are written, that will be a technicality.
And this from conservative Fox News contributor George Will:
The question is, who would be blamed? Whether the Republicans be: (a), yes, they’re always blamed. But, (b), this case, they deserve to be blamed in this sense—the president understands the separation of powers. He just doesn’t like it and rejects it. The Republicans don’t seem to understand it. The House keeps sending to the Senate a bill it knows cannot be passed by the Senate.
And when Mr. Boehner said to you the House has to do its work, that’s not its work to send this futile gesture to make the Republican base feel good. We can’t explain to the Republican base how the system works. Well, they better learn how to explain that. That’s called leadership.
Apparently, Wallace’s tough questions were all the “balance” Fox News thought needed for Boehner. We can chalk up this show as yet another in our growing list of Fox News Sundays without a Democratic guest.
All quotes above are from the complete FoxNews.com transcript.
Watch the Boehner interview below, from today’s Fox News Sunday.
This is going to blow up in the GOTP’s face, and of course it will be the Dem’s and that “tyrant” in the White House’s fault.
Boner’s kissing Bibi’s butt might suck up a few Jewish votes, but at the cost of turning foreign policy into a partisan football.
The Repug Benghazi circus will grind on until either Hillary declines to run for President or the November 2016 elections, whichever comes first.
It was bad enough back during the ’12 general/congressional elections, when the teabaggers talked about how many incumbent repubs they were considering “primarying”.
Now, you’ve got even the GOP’s official press arm (Fox) asking the tough questions — welcome to life in the Congressional majority . . .