There are two stories out today that suggest it is not just amateur hour at the White House where five days after Osama Bin Laden went to sleep with Davy Jones there are still more questions than answers.
No, it is also amateur hour in the House of Representatives. Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) is declaring the fight to repeal Obamacare over. That’s right. He’s giving up. They won’t pick a fight.
If that were not stupid enough, Camp said that “Instead … the GOP would turn its focus to overturning the most controversial portion of that legislation: the mandate requiring individuals to buy insurance.”
If the House GOP is successful in repealing the individual mandate, the case from Florida that threw out the entire legislation would die before getting to the Supreme Court. The GOP would yet again have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
That’s not all though. It looks more and more like Paul Ryan is retreating from the field leaving the freshman House Republicans to take all the bullets over his own plan. It begs the question if he is the dumbest smart man in America.
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) paid the heaviest price, stepping on his message even before White House talks had begun. But House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) also played a part by opining publicly that it’s now unlikely that any debt deal this summer will include the wholesale Medicare changes that had been envisioned in his ambitious budget plan adopted just last month.
All this was news to the rank-and-file Republicans who had voted for the Ryan plan last month and felt political heat at home over the spring recess. And it left Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) as the unlikely tough guy on the block, pulling a Cantor on Cantor, so to speak.
The House Freshman went to Washington expecting a fight. Many of them have been willing to lose re-election in a fight to the death to reform entitles and get rid of Obamacare. It is what they promised to do. But the Republican leadership seems intent on pulling the football away just as the GOP is about to kick.
If the GOP leadership won’t stand up and fight, we’re going to need somebody new.