Speaker Boehner, on ABC's Sunday political show, made the strongest statement I've heard from him to date, a statement which could not be misunderstood. He clearly stated that he would not do anything on the debt ceiling, currently due to be reached on October 17th, without President Obama negotiating an outcome. Stephanopoulos tried on multiple occasions to cajole him into a different position, clearly taking Obama's position, but Boehner wouldn't budge. He went so far as to publicly lay out the real problem: America has had seventeen prior government shutdowns and in each case negotiations were entered into by both sides as part of finding an answer. And then, when he was again asked if this meant that America might be out of business because of no increase in the debt ceiling, he stated that it was entirely up to Obama and his response. No debt increase would be approved without negotiation and a clear effort to resolve a problem that America has been building for a long time: spending way beyond our means.
Meanwhile on Fox, Mr. Lew was "grilled" by Chris Wallace and just continued to spout his party line that the Republicans must act without any accommodation from the Administration. Wallace even went so far as to tell, no I think almost lecture, Lew on his lack of a grasp of history. He told Lew that negotiations were normal and had routinely been used before. And the two also dueled over last week's clear shortcomings in the Obamacare online enrollment effort. Asking Lew specifically and multiple times how many had enrolled successfully under the Affordable Care Act, Lew said he did not know, that it was not in his major area of responsibility. Really, you don't know, Mr. Lew? And Wallace voiced the same sentiment, then asking directly if it wasn't really that he knew the numbers weren't good.
Now in the case of the Speaker's comments, we all know that despite ABC's protestations otherwise, George Stephanopoulos is clearly biased in the direction of the Left, as witnessed by his strong positions for Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary due to his personal associations with them and the Clinton Administration,, but the fact that under pressure John Boehner refused to flinch, the direction of what is happening is clear. And even though the Speaker is not what I call a good communicator, I thought his comments were pretty easy for anyone to understand. America is out of money, Obamacare is a train wreck (a term originator by one of it's primary creators, Max Baucus) and we are headed for financial disaster if we don't get a grip on things.
The fact that Chris Wallace really "put the wood" to Lew, even showing exasperation while Lew bumbled along with his canned responses, was quite noteworthy. Wallace has always been pretty good at what he does, but I do believe that his personal views tend to be left of center judging from his normal performance. Sunday, however, I think it became clear that he senses that something is seriously wrong and he is trying to find out exactly what it is and how it will be handled.
So that brings us to today and the question is really has John Boehner changed his tune, gaining a spine and willing to really fight hard and if so why? Well, we don't really know the answer yet and time will tell, but I will say this: America has been paying attention to the thuggery of the Administration's response to the shutdown and her people don't seem to like what they see. From the outrageous closing of national parks and a particularly noticeable disdain for our World War II veterans, to closing of the seas (are you kidding me?) and a children's cancer program while funding NPR, something is really wrong with the thinking of our government. America is not a game to be played where her people become pawns. This morning I even learned that Amber Alerts are blacked out but Michelle's ridiculous "Just Move It" waste of money is still running. Talking about priorities.
Presidents are expected to act presidential and put the welfare of the people first, not in the closet while hardball is played with their lives. So this week should be interesting. Remember, the trucker Ride for the Constitution is scheduled for three days starting Friday and, in response to the WWII memorial question, there is even planning underway for a Thousand Veteran March on Washington.
Wake up and pay attention, America, for I don't know exactly where this is leading but I do know that we are watching history. I truly believe a strong and resilient nation is rising and sweeping the land with a new call for freedom and individual liberty. From our past history, this is not something to be taken likely and maybe, just maybe, the Speaker is on to something. Stay tuned.