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In Bid for Control of GOP, Tea Party Brings U.S. to Brink of Economic Calamity
But, really, Boehner had no choice but to walk out -- if he wants to continue on as speaker, that is. The Obama deal, you see, included the elimination of certain tax breaks for the rich, and the closing of corporate tax loopholes, the president told reporters. And Boehner is on notice from the Tea Partiers within the ranks of the GOP that no means of increasing revenue is acceptable, not even for the easing of America's economic woes. Hot on Boehner's heels is the ambition of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
There's a temptation, when assessing the showdown over the debt ceiling that is bringing the United States to the brink of defaulting on its debt, to view the confrontation in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats, liberals vs. conservatives, Obama vs. Boehner.
What we're really witnessing, though, is a ruthless power-grab by the architects of the Tea Party movement for control of the Republican Party. And if they have to destroy House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to do it, they will. Heck, if they have to destroy the United States in order to grab the levers of GOP machinery, they will, content in the knowledge that, as elites, they will have first pick of the spoils.
Nowhere is this more evident than in the newfound love between Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the Tea Party organization founded by David Koch, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., the Tea Party-allied second-in-command of the House of Representatives. Cantor has made a specialty of undercutting his own speaker's negotiating power as Boehner tries to cut a deal with the president.
When, two weeks ago, Vice-President Joe Biden and GOP leaders were close to making a deal that would have given in to Republican demands for budget cuts, Cantor refused to go along because the deal included some tax increases. By walking out of the talks, Cantor won the hearts of Tea Party leaders, and, many said, a shot at the speaker's job. For if Cantor can prevent Boehner from brokering a deal with the president, the logic goes, the speaker could be so weakened as to lose his footing as the House Republicans' top man. That would leave Cantor positioned to step in......
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