Today’s guest post is from my long time, dear friend, a TV writer-producer with an endless and impressive resumé, and regular TPC contributor, David Garber.
With the pending agreement on a last minute bill to prevent the fiscal cliff, you gotta ask yourself who won?
There are always winners and losers in these budget showdowns. The surprising answer may come very soon. And not the answer most people might be thinking. In the chess game that is constantly played for power in Washington, sometimes little things don’t get noticed or recognized until later on down the road. Sometimes it’s the subtle moves made before the big move. It’s the traps that are set and if you’re not careful, you’ll become ensnared and then it’s “check” and “mate.”
Certainly the people of the this country would appear to have gotten a semi-win. The financial markets got a win. The Republicans, for the most part lost. The Democrats for the most part won. The Speaker of the House lost and big time. The President of the US, elected by the people for his position, not just his party (like Boehner) looks like a winner. But none of those are the gand champion. Not by a long shot. The biggest winner is — ta-daaa! — Eric ‘The Mighty Mouse’ Cantor. He finally got what he wanted — the new power position of the Republican party. Yup, good ol’ preppy, Eric. He now leads the party of the dysfunctional. He betrayed his leader, sold him out and now is taking the reins.
Boehner has lost his control. He’s led his party to bowing under pressure and listening to the will of the people (oh,doesn’t that sound Democratic) and vote for a tax increase on the rich. And if you’re making $400K a year, you’re rich. Hell, if you’re making $250K a year, you’re rich. But along comes Cantor — the supposed best friend of Johnny Boehner — and like Brutus to Caesar, stabs him in the back and leads the right-wingnuts by voting against the bill. And why? It wasn’t because it didn’t include the Sandy Hurricane relief. He doesn’t care about that. It’s that he now can move to the front of all those Republicans who had ‘zero tolerance’ for any tax hikes of any kind. And with the Speaker caving, with party members nervous about being primaried by the far right conservatives in 2014, they’re going to need a leader. A man who represents them and their anger. And Cantor, in severing his support for his party’s House leader, separated himself and now is poster boy for a party that’s become overtly fractious and out of touch with the mainstream.
Being leader of the Republicans right now may not be the best job in the world, but it beats being the “gofer” for the Speaker. And that’s what Cantor had become. He did everything to get the Speaker to put the bill on the floor where everyone knew, despite their wishes, it had to pass. Cantor behind the scenes would tell Boehner this is a bad bill but you’ve got to do something — so put it to vote and we’ll have your back and save your face. Cantor then just left Boehner to swing in the wind. And while choking for air, Boehner drops the power baton right into Cantor’s devious hands.
Watch for Cantor to make a power play which will split the party. This will be fun to watch and nobody deserves it more than Boehner. As he and Cantor duke it out, maybe we’ll see some changes in the strident insanity of party leadership. There could even be some movement to becoming a bit more moderate as the single Republican party becomes two. But we’re sure going to get quite a show. Buckle your seat belts. Let the little ride attendant,Mr. Joe (Scarborough) punch your ticket as the lions are led in to face the Christians in the Colosseum. We’re just about to get onto Mr. Toad’s wild ride. Popcorn or cotton candy, anybody?
For the past 25 years, David Garber has been serving as the show runner and or writer on some of television’s biggest hits… Saved By The Bell, Power Rangers, 227, Bill Cosby Show and many other network series. His writing and producing have also netted David two very prestigious awards:the PRISM AWARD and the TV CRITICS AWARD – TV SPECIAL OF THE YEAR. Currently he’s authoring a short story series called “A Few Minutes With…”