The Hill: No GOP Opposition to Speaker Boehner’s Turnabout on Tax Hikes

-By Warner Todd Huston

In a myopic report on the GOP’s half of the Fiscal Cliff debate, The Hill claimed there was no opposition to Republican House Speaker John Boehner’s sudden caving in to President Obama’s demand that tax hikes accompany any solutions to the budget mess.

The Hill reported on December 4 that the GOP was “moving reluctantly toward a debt deal that would increase revenues” and that Speaker Boehner had offered some $800 billion in new taxes in his most recent fiscal cliff proposal.

How could Boehner achieve this flip flopping away from the Party’s until-now stated principles? The Hill says it’s because there aren’t any Republicans opposing the tax hikes.

The lack of immediate backlash within the conference is a key early sign for Boehner, who has made intraparty unity a priority as he seeks the strongest possible hand in negotiations over the “fiscal cliff” with President Obama.

Of course, there could be a reason for this that The Hill doesn’t mention. Boehner is purging all conservatives from his power structure.

Over at Roll Call reporter Jonathan Strong discovered that the Speaker is eliminating as many conservatives from leadership positions as he can.

Speaker John A. Boehner initiated today a small purge of rebellious Republicans — mostly conservatives — from prominent committees; it’s the latest instance of the Ohio Republican’s clamping down on his fractious conference.

Well, perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that Boehner isn’t hearing any contrary voices in his own party since he’s shutting down any such opposition!

An odd aspect to the Hill’s claim that there weren’t any dissenting voices to Boehner’s back pedaling is that only a few paragraphs after saying there wasn’t any, several dissenting voices were reported.

Still, it shouldn’t be surprising that weak-willed Republicans are afraid to pronounce any conservative ideals when Party leadership is making moves to silence conservatism in the Party.

But, even as Boehner is starting to bend over backwards for the President and obviating what he claimed were his previously stated conservative principles, Obama is showing he understands exactly how to force Boehner to abandon all his positions. Saying Boehner’s offer is “still out of balance,” the President is showing that he won’t compromise at all and expects the GOP to come all the way over to his side on the budget talks.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
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Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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