Boehner's Got Cronies: He Wouldn't Have Gotten to the Top Without Them

Posted: Nov 04, 2010 10:38 AM
The new most powerful Republican in America is getting nailed for his massive K Street operation and lobbyist friends. Well, John Boehner wouldn't have become the most powerful Republican in America without them. You don't become House majority leader unless you spend years carefully tending your garden of big-name donors and well-connected Washingtonians.

The question is whether Boehner is going to pay attention to the demands of fiscally conservative Americans who want him to cut spending, cut programs, and cut taxes, or listen to the hoard of lobbyists who allowed him to be the one who actually makes those decisions. My money is on the latter. Boehner has been in office for two decades, and you simply don't turn your backs on the people who have allowed you to earn a living. What's more is that he's been light on the kinds of specifics that would allow conservative Republicans to take him seriously.
From Roll Call:
Boehner continued to call for an immediate return to 2008 spending levels, saving $100 billion a year — but he declined to detail which programs would get the ax. Obama said he was prepared to work on spending cuts that would take effect over several years, but he defended investments in education, energy, transportation and research and development as critical to competing in the global economy.
There's a glimmer of hope, however. Boehner's tone after the election was muted -- almost grim. After 2006, and 2008, the mood at the returns celebration for the winning party was jubilant. Why? Perhaps he realizes the gravity of this situation. Managing an outspoken conservative voter base and the Washington establishment isn't for the feint of heart. Let's just hope he makes the right choices.