Rep. John Fleming, one of the many far-right congressmen that House Speaker John Boehner has little control of in the House Republican Caucus, is quite upset that Boehner didn’t try to shut down the government in order to pressure Obama to rescind his immigration orders. He says the Republican have Stockholm Syndrome.
“Republican leadership, and really many Republicans in general, they — I don’t agree with them — are in sort of a Stockholm syndrome that whenever there is any discussion about a government shutdown, which is what’s going to happen when we cut funding and the president disagrees because the president feels like it gives him strength and the Democrats are on board, they stick together like glue, and so Republicans now have been conditioned,” Fleming told Perkins. “And the media is the first to jump out there, even the Republican pundits, to say, ‘Well look, you can do whatever you want to fight back against the president but you can’t shut government down.’”
“Once that narrative gets out there, it’s really all over,” Fleming said. “There just isn’t a pathway of success.”
He lamented that “many Americans say we should defund things but don’t shut down government, they don’t really understand that it’s one in the same.”
No, it isn’t. What is missing from this analysis, of course, is reality. The reality is that no matter what the House did, they didn’t have the votes in the Senate to pass a DHS funding bill that would have eliminated funding for anything involving Obama’s immigration orders. Had they continued to insist on such a bill, the Department of Homeland Security would have had to shut down and Republicans would have been blamed for it. Politically, that would have been devastating to them.
This is the difference between rational people and hardcore ideologues. Boehner, for all of his flaws, at least attempts to be a rational person and think logically. Fleming and the other Tea Party types in the GOP are simply incapable of doing so. They demand absolute ideological purity and view any compromise to be treason and betrayal. That’s why they can’t govern. Governing in a democracy requires compromise and they refuse to do that. And the irony is that they are the ones who claim Obama is being a dictator.