Kornacki: Boehner ‘entirely at the mercy’ of the tea party
Steve Kornacki, news editor at Salon, explained Wednesday night that President Barack Obama had given up on trying to negotiate with Republican lawmakers, even though he appeared to be willing to negotiate in his State of the Union address.
Although Obama tried to work with the Republicans, he learned during his first two years in office that it was nearly impossible.
“We’ve already seen the situation that John Boehner is in as House Speaker,” Kornacki said on Countdown. “He really is the most weak House Speaker that we have seen in decades, almost ever, because he is entirely at the mercy of the House Republican caucus that believes any form of cooperation, any form of compromise with Barack Obama is a sellout of conservative principles.”
Negotiating with Obama is extra tough for Boehner because risks “a mutiny” from tea party Republicans who don’t believe he is one of them.
“John Boehner is just not in a position to negotiate, even if he wants to,” Kornacki noted.
He said that Republicans might actually agree with Obama on some issues, but that publicly stating so would be disastrous to their political career.
“The lesson that every Republican in Congress takes out of the tea party era is if you stray from the Republican base, if you stray from the conservative message at all, you’re going to get a primary challenge and you’re probably going to lose that primary challenge to the tea party,” Kornacki said.
“Maybe there are some actual pragmatic people there, but they’re not free to be pragmatic at this point in history.”