Mitch McConnell, John Boehner (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

GOP's lamest war ever: Why they're pretending to hate each other

To understand why John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are supposedly at "war" with conservatives, follow the money


Jim Newell
December 17, 2013 11:03PM (UTC)

John Boehner and Mitch McConnell are at war, don't you know. Everyone's saying it. What are they at war against? Conservative pressure groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund and Heritage Action that enforce ideological rigidity on each and every tactical move undertaken by GOP members of Congress. That's technically it, but even that description doesn't get down to it. What are John Boehner and Mitch McConnell at war against? They are at war with boring offices that raise money. No: They are at war with hilarious fundraising letters.

Yep, it's some stiff competition that the speaker of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the Senate are up against. Look at the big, bad Senate Conservatives Fund, for example. They love that everyone's saying Boehner and McConnell have declared "war" on them. It helps them raise more money, which is their only reason for existing. And so they get about to drafting the hilarious fundraising letters that make them the titans they are.

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Boehner declared "war on conservatives," the SCF says in its most recent fundraising letter. This is one of their favorite and first go-to tactics, replacing the word "us" with "conservatives." Starts off with the easy stuff. But then -- then you get to see why these letter-drafters make the big bucks:

"What these leaders are doing to conservatives is no different from what the IRS got caught doing to them this summer," Senate Conservatives Fund executive director Matt Hoskins wrote in the email sent to supporters on Monday. "They're using their power to discriminate against people they see as a political threat."

Hoo boy. See the logic? No? Neither do we.  It's (Target) + (Any Right-Wing Outrage the Past Year) = Give Us $$$$$. You can do this at home.

"What McConnell is doing to conservatives is no different than what Obama did to Winston Churchill's bust: tossed it out."

"What Boehner is doing to conservatives is no different than what Obama didn't do to Raul Castro: ignore him."

"What the RINOs are doing to conservatives is no different than what blah blah Benghazi."

Buzzwords, noise. Because what GOP leaders are doing to conservatives is nothing like the IRS singling out sketchy-looking tax-exempt applications for heightened scrutiny. The explanation of the analogy -- "they're using their power to discriminate against people they see as a political threat" -- is an explanation of politics. Mitch McConnell is not using government powers bestowed on him to blacklist vendors that do business with SCF. He is wielding his clout as a political actor to do that. You know what other political actor uses its power to discriminate against people it sees as political threats? The SCF. It uses "money"  to get rid of people that don't do the things it wants them to. Are they the IRS too?

Some war.


Jim Newell

Jim Newell covers politics and media for Salon.

MORE FROM Jim Newell

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Conservatives Gop Heritage Action Irs John Boehner Mitch Mcconnell Republicans The Right

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