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Is John Boehner a Traitor, a Criminal?

John Boehner may be a traitor.

On Wednesday, the Speaker of the House confirmed that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come speak to Congress, “on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.”

The announcement just so happens to come as Republicans in Congress are pushing for new sanctions against Iran, which threaten current diplomatic negotiations with that country.

As of now, Netanyahu is expected to speak to a joint session of Congress in March, while he’s in the US for the annual AIPAC conference.

So, why is Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu such a big deal?

First off, it’s a huge violation of protocol and massively disrespectful to President Obama and the authority of the executive branch.

It is completely unprecedented for the Speaker of the House, or any member of Congress, to invite a foreign leader to come to the US and speak to Congress without getting authorization and/or cooperation from the White House.

As Guy Ziv, a professor at American University who has studied US-Israeli relations told TPM, “It’s unprecedented. It’s hitting below the belt. It’s taking partisanship to a whole new level.”

By inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without the authority of the executive branch, Speaker Boehner is badly blurring the lines of national sovereignty, and again massively disrespecting typical protocol.

But, more importantly, he may be in violation of a number of laws, which may make him a traitor.

So, let’s take a look at a few legal possibilities where the Speaker’s actions may be considered criminal.

First, you could make a case that by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress without authority from the executive branch, Speaker Boehner is committing an act of sedition.

Sedition is defined as conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch.

However, it would be hard to prove that by inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress, Boehner is trying to incite Americans to rebel against our nation; he’s just using a foreign leader to lobby for his own legislation.

This is why a better case for Boehner’s criminal conduct can be made under the Logan Act.

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John Boehner: House had a ‘right’ to invite Benjamin Netanyahu

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio takes question during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. House Republicans began the new Congress with old divisions on display Wednesday, bitter fallout from a failed rebellion against Speaker John Boehner (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

AP Photo

House Speaker John Boehner dismissed widespread criticism about his invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come to Washington, saying Congress has a “right” to hear from foreign leaders.

“The House of Representatives is a equal branch of the government, and we have a right to do it, and we did it,” the Ohio Republican said Tuesday morning after a closed meeting of House Republicans. “And I’m frankly proud of the fact the prime minister has accepted our invitation, and will be here on March 3 to talk to the members of Congress about the serious threat that Iran poses, and the serious threat of radical Islam.”

Story Continued Below

Boehner’s invitation has faced withering criticism from everyone from the Obama administration to pro-Israel groups. Netanyahu faces reelection in mid-March, and Boehner’s critics say the U.S. appears to be meddling in a foreign election.

Netanyahu, who had originally been set to speak to Congress in mid-February, will also appear in March at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in Washington.

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Boehner, Netanyahu outsmarted themselves

When I was growing up, I remember a saying that was used to describe the behavior of people who were so cocky that they did really dumb things — “He’s so smart, he’s stupid.”

I thought of this expression when I heard House Speaker John Boehner announce that he had invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress to challenge President Barack Obama’s handling of “the grave threats of radical Islam and Iran.”

I’m sure that, as he was making his announcement, Boehner thought he was being the smartest guy in Washington. He had just stolen the president’s thunder on the day after the State of the Union speech. I’m equally sure that Netanyahu sat back in Jerusalem crowing to himself just how smart he was to be in a position, once again, to deliver a frontal assault against an American president who had the temerity to oppose him.

Boehner’s invitation was not so much intended as a challenge to the president’s foreign policy; he had some obvious political motives as well. According to Israeli news reports, the idea for the speech was first suggested by Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer.

Dermer, a former Republican operative and a confidant of both Netanyahu and billionaire GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, had apparently proposed the idea of the speech to Republican leaders as early as Jan. 8. An agreement was reached for Boehner to extend the invitation days before the State of the Union — without any notice given to the White House or the State Department.

Netanyahu is running for re-election in Israel, facing opponents who are raising concerns that he has damaged the U.S.-Israel relationship. He, therefore, craves the opportunity of standing before an adoring U.S. Congress giving him multiple standing ovations, enabling him to demonstrate that he, not Obama, rules in American politics. It was Netanyahu, after all, who was caught on tape a decade ago telling supporters, “I know what America is. … America is a thing you can move very easily.” And he believes that he has a record to justify his cockiness.

Netanyahu has long been married to the neoconservative wing of the Republican Party, working with it for years to sabotage U.S. peacemaking efforts.

So the ever-self-assured Netanyahu relishes the opportunity that his agents cooked up for him to once again demonstrate that he, together with his Republican allies, can dominate Washington. The fact that his appearance comes just weeks before the Israeli election is icing on the cake.

Make the choice clear to Iran: No deal means economic collapse

Make the choice clear to Iran: No deal means economic collapse Editorial Board President Barack Obama and his foreign policy team worry that the long and so-far-fruitless talks on Iran’s nuclear capabilities will collapse if Congress passes new, tougher economic sanctions on Tehran. President Barack Obama and his foreign policy team worry that the long and so-far-fruitless talks on Iran’s nuclear capabilities will collapse if Congress passes new, tougher economic sanctions on Tehran. ( Editorial Board ) –>

Crass political calculations are also key to Boehner’s intent. Not only does he get to embarrass the president, the invitation presents an opportunity for Republicans to try to make Israel a wedge issue, showing that they, not Democrats, are Israel’s best friends in Washington. And it doesn’t hurt that the decision to bring the prime minister to Congress will make casino magnate Adelson happy. Adelson, after all, spent more than $100 million in a failed effort to defeat Obama in 2012, and he has committed to spend at least as much to bring a Republican to the White House in 2016.

While the calculations made by both sides may seem smart, there’s more to this story.

Washington’s reaction to this breach in protocol was immediate. The White House and State Department made it clear that they would not meet with the Israeli leader. One American official was quoted in the Israeli media saying that not having the courtesy to call the White House to inform the administration that he was scheduling a speech before Congress “is not the way people act. … It is unprecedented. It is barbaric behavior. It is so impolite that it is disgraceful. It is simply inconceivable.” The same official noted that “the Israelis know how to pick up the phone … screaming for help” when it comes to opposing Palestinian efforts at the United Nations or the International Criminal Court, or for more help with the Iron Dome air defense system. Another American official reminded the Israelis that Obama will be president for two more years and doesn’t have to worry about another election campaign.

Media commentators were equally put off by the Boehner/Netanyahu attempted coup, calling it an effort to undermine American leadership and an unprecedented breach of protocol.

Several leading Israeli commentators were likewise concerned that “Netanyahu’s congressional gambit … could endanger Israel’s long-term interests in the United States” and, in any case, would most likely not sway Israeli voters who, at this point, either love or hate the longtime prime minister.

If Netanyahu won’t benefit politically from his effort in Israel, will Boehner and the GOP fare any better with the American electorate? Those pundits who suggest that Boehner’s action threatens to make support for Israel into a partisan issue miss an important point — it already is a partisan issue and is becoming more so with every passing year.

The division of the American electorate is not merely by party but by demographics. Republican base voters are largely older and white and male, including a strong cohort who identify themselves as “born-again Christians.” Democratic voters, on the other hand, are young people, professional educated women, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans.

Obama’s victories demonstrated that the GOP base is shrinking while the Democrats’ base is growing. Furthermore, our polls show that Democrats (that is, younger, educated and “minority” voters) may continue to support Israel, in the abstract, but are increasingly opposed to Israeli behaviors. And while Netanyahu has strong favorable ratings among Republicans, his ratings are decidedly lower among Democrats. And, by the way, polls also show that the vast majority of American Jews continue to vote for Democrats, supported Obama in 2008 and 2012 (as did Arab-Americans), and support his efforts to rein in Iran and achieve a just Israeli-Palestinian peace.

The Boehner-Netanyahu insult to the president may get cheers from some weak-kneed members of Congress in both parties, but it won’t sway voters either in Israel or the U.S. And if Congress attempts to buck the president by passing new sanctions legislation, he will, as promised, veto the bill. And so it appears that the instigators of this entire affair will get little more than a black eye for their efforts.

This was one of the most ham-fisted, irresponsible and potentially dangerous political stunts ever engineered by American and Israeli political leaders. All I can say is, “They were so smart, they were stupid.”

Huffington Post

James Zogby is president of the Arab American Institute.

Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

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A Revived Obama Dominates While Delivering A Wake Up Call To Republicans …

President Obama 2015 State Of The Union

President Obama touted his achievements, took credit for the growing economy, and made it clear to Republicans that he will not allow them to undo the country’s progress during his State Of The Union address.

President Obama started off by taking credit for some of his achievements, and told America that the nightmarish Bush years are behind us:

Tonight, after a breakthrough year for America, our economy is growing and creating jobs at the fastest pace since 1999. Our unemployment rate is now lower than it was before the financial crisis. More of our kids are graduating than ever before; more of our people are insured than ever before; we are as free from the grip of foreign oil as we’ve been in almost 30 years.

Tonight, for the first time since 9/11, our combat mission in Afghanistan is over. Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe. We are humbled and grateful for your service.

America, for all that we’ve endured; for all the grit and hard work required to come back; for all the tasks that lie ahead, know this:

The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong.

President Obama specifically addressed income inequality, “This year, we have an opportunity to change that. Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America. Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.”

The president stressed that his policies have worked and made the case for growing the economy from the middle class out. The president also vowed to veto any Republican bill that tries to take away health care from the American people, “So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way. We can’t slow down businesses or put our economy at risk with government shutdowns or fiscal showdowns. We can’t put the security of families at risk by taking away their health insurance, or unraveling the new rules on Wall Street, or refighting past battles on immigration when we’ve got a system to fix. And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, it will earn my veto.”

Obama dropped a fact bomb on climate change deniers, and vowed not to let Congress undo his efforts, “2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does – 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century. I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it. That’s why, over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it. That’s why we’ve set aside more public lands and waters than any administration in history. And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”

Later in his speech, the president called for the closure of GITMO, “As Americans, we have a profound commitment to justice – so it makes no sense to spend three million dollars per prisoner to keep open a prison that the world condemns and terrorists use to recruit. Since I’ve been President, we’ve worked responsibly to cut the population of GTMO in half. Now it’s time to finish the job. ”

President Obama closed with optimism about the nation’s bright future, “My fellow Americans, we too are a strong, tight-knit family. We, too, have made it through some hard times. Fifteen years into this new century, we have picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and begun again the work of remaking America. We’ve laid a new foundation. A brighter future is ours to write. Let’s begin this new chapter – together – and let’s start the work right now.”

This speech was different from the president’s previous State Of The Union addresses in some significant ways. This president and the country is finally out from under the dark cloud of the Great Recession. The storm hasn’t ended for everyone, but the fact that the nation is again on the upswing made the tone of the SOTU different. Without a Democratic congressional majority to protect, the president was on offense from the very beginning of his speech.

It was good to see this president embrace some of his accomplishments on the biggest political stage of the year. The president took credit for the reduced dependence on foreign oil and noted end of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The president balanced optimism for the future with a clear message for Republicans that he will not step aside and let them dismantle everything that the country has achieved.

This was a dominate performance by the president. He reminded Republicans that they were wrong about the economy, wrong about the minimum wage, wrong about climate change, and wrong in the love and admiration for Putin during his State Of The Union.

President Obama didn’t walk into a lion’s den tonight. He showed Republicans that he is their beastmaster. Barack Obama put congressional Republicans on notice that he is a force to reckoned with.

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GOP leaders use ’60 Minutes’ spotlight to ding Obamacare, but alternative …

Leaders of the new Republican-majority Congress struggled to outline a GOP replacement to Obamacare late Sunday, even as they vowed to hold repeal votes and bemoaned President Obama’s veto power through 2016.

House Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky used the national spotlight on CBS’ “60 Minutes” to blast the Affordable Care Act as intrusive and limited in its efficacy. For one thing, it will still leave millions of Americans uninsured.

“If we had the ability to do it, we ought to pull it out root and branch and start over,” Mr. McConnell said, vowing to hold repeal votes in his chamber. “The chances of that happening with Barack Obama of ‘Obamacare’ in the White House are slim, but we’re going to make the effort.”

But it’s unclear how the party will handle the second part of its “repeal and replace” strategy. Members have floated blueprints for years, but the party has not coalesced behind an alternative and put it on the floor.

The GOP might use budget reconciliation, a powerful but tricky tool that can overcome a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, to take a swipe at Obamacare, but some members want to use it for tax reform instead, and the president still wields a veto.

Other lawmakers want to be ready in case the Supreme Court, in a high-stakes ruling due by June, invalidates Obamacare’s subsidies in two-thirds of the states.

“We have a lot of divergent views about how to best go back to the doctor-patient relationship that’s revered,” Mr. Boehner told “60 Minutes.”

The speaker said states should have more control over coverage requirements, and that customers should be able to shop beyond their own states.

Mr. McConnell also rebutted claims that Obamacare has been a success in his home state, arguing many enrollees took up government-funded Medicaid coverage.

“It’s not surprising that if the government is offering you a free health insurance policy, you’re likely to take it,” Mr. McConnell said.

He said people who signed up for private coverage on the exchanges are paying more for less.

“When you look at Obamacare, it’s a perfect example of what Washington does,” Mr. Boehner said. “It’s a one-size-fits-all approach for the whole country all driven by Washington bureaucrats.”

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Watch: Dem says Boehner’s invitation to Netanyahu was a ‘terrible mistake’

A House Democrat said Sunday that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) made a “terrible mistake” by inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress, in part because Netanyahu will likely push Congress to pass a bill that President Barack Obama opposes.

Netanyahu is expected to talk about the need to hit Iran with tougher sanctions, something Obama opposes as his administration tries to negotiate a nuclear non-proliferation deal with Iran.

“I think this was a terrible mistake by the speaker,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said Sunday. Schiff said Netanyahu was invited “effectively to lobby in favor of a bill that the president opposes.”

Schiff also adopted the White House’s line that the U.S. shouldn’t meet with heads of state so close to their elections. Netanyahu will address a joint session of Congress on March 3, just two weeks before Israel’s election.

“It used to be at least the goal that politics ended at the water’s edge, now it only begins there,” Schiff said. “I think for us to extend an invitation two weeks before the Israeli election gives Israelis the impression we’re trying to meddle in their politics.”

Schiff said for both of these reasons, Netanyahu’s visit is “harmful to the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

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John Boehner Knocks Minimum Wage Hikes, But They Don’t Seem To Have Hurt …

WASHINGTON — In an interview with CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) turned to autobiography to explain his opposition to raising the federal minimum wage.

“I’ve had every kinda rotten job you can imagine growin’ up and gettin’ myself through school,” the speaker declared. “I wouldn’t have had a chance at half those jobs if the federal government had kept imposing higher minimum wage.”

It’s not uncommon for Boehner to reference his journey from working at the family bar to holding the House’s highest office when explaining his governing philosophy. But it turns out those blue-collar roots don’t necessarily make the cleanest case when it comes to justifying the speaker’s opposition to a federal minimum wage hike.

That’s because when Boehner was first taking on those “rotten jobs,” the minimum wage was actually at its historic high. And when the wage later dipped relative to inflation, Congress passed a series of hikes that raised it some more.

According to Department of Labor statistics, the minimum wage stood at $1.60 an hour in 1968 –- the highest it has ever been when adjusted for inflation. In the spring of that year, Boehner graduated from high school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He was honorably discharged eight weeks later because of a bad back and went into the workforce.

At first, Boehner went into sales — selling plastics, specifically — after his brief stint with the Navy ended. In 1971, he enrolled in Xavier University. According to a recent Politico profile, Boehner took a number of odd jobs while attending school there, among them “a series of humbling janitorial and construction jobs.” He would graduate in 1977.

During Boehner’s time in college — when he was at those humbling jobs — the minimum wage went up three times. In May 1974, it was raised to $2.00 an hour. In January 1975, it went to $2.10 an hour. And in January 1976, the wage went up again, to $2.30 an hour. (This threefold increase in the federal minimum wage did not affect farm workers, but Boehner wasn’t working on a farm.)

minimum wage

So what to make of Boehner’s claim on “60 Minutes”? For those currently pushing for a federal minimum wage hike, the speaker’s comments are the ideal bit of fodder: proof that the doomsayers exaggerate the policy’s impact, and may have even benefitted from minimum wage hikes themselves.

“Last night, Republican leaders told workers and families across the country that the Party of No will unfortunately be back in full force this Congress when it comes to policies that would grow the middle class, like increasing the minimum wage to give millions of workers a raise,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), referring to the “60 Minutes” interview.

“I truly hope they will reconsider and work with Democrats so that we can break through the gridlock and dysfunction and deliver results for our constituents,” added Murray, who is the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “Families want higher wages and greater opportunity — and they deserve more than “no” from their elected officials in Washington, D.C.”

Reached for comment, Boehner’s office referred The Huffington Post to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which has projected that an estimated 500,000 fewer people would be in the workforce if the current wage of $7.25 per hour rose to $10.10.

As for the speaker’s own history…

“Obviously, a higher minimum wage doesn’t completely eliminate every job for every janitor or bulldozer driver in America –- but it does mean there are fewer jobs and fewer opportunities,” said Boehner spokesman Michael Steel. “Boehner, as a former small businessman, knows from experience what the Congressional Budget Office confirmed last year: the president’s minimum wage proposal would destroy hundreds of thousands of American jobs.”

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Joe Biden and John Boehner Share State of the Union Survival Tips

PHOTO: President Obama addresses the House Chamber for the State of the Union, Jan. 20, 2015.

In a rare instance of bipartisanship, Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner both agree that sitting through the State of the Union can be a bit of a bore.

Biden got little sympathy from his wife when he complained about having to sit attentively behind the president at last week’s address.

“I sit back there and I listen and I helped write the ideas in the speech and I know it all and I’ve got to pay attention,” Biden griped in an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

His wife, Dr. Jill Biden, didn’t want to hear it.

“She said, ‘Welcome to the Good Wives Club,” Biden explained.

“She said, ‘How many time have I sat and listened to you make a speech and pretend to be interested,’” he added. “So I’m a member of the Good Wives Club.”

Feigning interest in the speech is a task that Biden shares with Boehner as the two sit on-camera behind the president throughout the entire address.

“I stare at the back of the president’s head and my goal is to make no news,” Boehner told CBS’ “60 Minutes.”

“This is the president’s night. … Although inside I’ve got a lot of things rolling through my mind,” he said.

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Israel’s Prime Minister invited to speak to Congress without White House approval

President Obama Delivers State Of The Union Address

Pool/Getty Images

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) listens to U.S. President Barack Obama deliver the State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC.

While not illegal, the recent invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by Speaker of the House John Boehner to address a joint session of Congress without White House approval just days after the President’s State of the Union speech has sparked controversy. Whereas typically state leaders try to avoid embroiling themselves in the domestic politics of the countries they visit by coordinating with other leaders, Boehner reached out to Israel’s ambassador to pass along the invitation. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest has called it a “departure from [the] protocol,” although the administration has said that the President will not meet with Netanyahu during his visit.

The invitation is particularly poignant after the President’s call in the State of the Union for Congress to delay consideration of additional sanctions against Iran while nuclear talks continue. The talks have already been extended twice, and the administration believes that any ramping up of sanctions could have a destabilizing effect on negotiations. Republicans accuse President Obama of having started this tit-for-tat politics as news broke Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom had called several U.S. Senators to ask them on holding off on a sanctions vote.

So far, the administration seems wary of drawing Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu into a domestic fight even as they push for a nuclear deal with Iran. But Netanyahu’s address to Congress is expected to be one that pushes against any potential deal with Iran, which could make domestic support to sign off on any deal, if one does emerge from the talks,  quite tenuous.

Regardless of the short-term politics of “who started it,” Washington may be moving back towards partisan gridlock just days after Obama declared, “The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of our Union is strong.”

Did Speaker Boehner disrespect the President by inviting a foreign leader without consulting the White House? Will Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress have an impact on a potential nuclear deal with Iran?


Laura Rozen, Middle East foreign policy reporter covering for in D.C., has been covering Iran nuclear talks

Michael Crowley, senior foreign affairs correspondent for POLITICO

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A Broken Mitch McConnell Whines That President Obama Is Ignoring The …

A Broken Mitch McConnell Whines That President Obama Is Ignoring The Midterm Election

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mcconnell whines about obama 60 minutes

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been reduced to whining and complaining after being outwitted by President Obama.

Transcript via 60 Minutes:

Scott Pelley: What was your impression of the president’s State of the Union speech?

Mitch McConnell: My first thought it was it sounded like he was running for a third term. He seemed to have– completely forgotten or chose to ignore– the election last November. He was looking out at an audience that had 80 more Republicans in it than his first State of the Union.

Majority Leader McConnell is still living in the world of his own delusion that a Republican midterm win would force the president to bend to his will. McConnell campaigned on breaking the president’s will and forcing him to do the bidding of the Republican Party. Immediately following the November election, McConnell expressed shock that President Obama did not immediately give Republicans everything that they want. In December 2014, Sen. McConnell said that he was perplexed by the president’s behavior. The Kentucky Republicans was confused by the fact that Barack Obama continued to act like the President Of The United States.

McConnell had big plans. He was going to use the Senate to threaten the president with repeated government shutdowns in order to get his agenda passed, “The emerging strategy: Attach riders to spending bills that would limit Obama policies on everything from the environment to health care, consider using an arcane budget tactic to circumvent Democratic filibusters and force the president to “move to the center” if he wants to get any new legislation through Congress.”

The Republican strategy was quickly blown to bits by President Obama’s decision to seize the agenda through aggressive executive action. Republicans have spent weeks bickering among themselves while coming to the realization that without 60 votes in the Senate, there isn’t much they can do. McConnell immediately took government shutdowns off of the table through September 2015 by cooperating on passage of a government funding bill. In reality, if Republicans are going to use their budget and shutdown strategy, they will have one shot at it before the 2016 presidential campaign heads into full swing.

Sen. McConnell has been reduced to whining and complaining. President Obama has out strategized McConnell. Sen. McConnell had visions of Republicans mounting an offensive legislative charge against the president. The reality has been that the president has masterfully put Republicans on the defensive while McConnell has been boxed in by Democratic senators and the president.

Like a child who didn’t get his way, all the Senate Majority Leader has left are empty complaints.

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