NOW WE KNOW WHO RUNS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said he will vote "no" on efforts to recoup the AIG money. Several leading conservative lawmakers in both chambers have said the same thing. And just for real fun, Grover Norquist told the 172 representatives and 35 senators who signed an anti-tax pledge that if they support getting back the AIG bonuses, they'll be violating their written promise to the conservative movement.
And Eric Cantor is unwilling to say what he'll do.
Well, so much for "Split Emerging Between Conservative Media And GOP Leadership On AIG Mess."
That sound you hear is the GOP caucus saying to Limbaugh and his ideological soul mates, "How high?"
UPDATE: A pro-AIG-bonus vote would seem to undermine the prediction contained in this gleeful Fox News headline from yesterday...
As Blame Game Deepens, AIG Outrage Could Give GOP Electoral Opening
...though it occurs to me that Republicans might be hoping to play this the way they played censure in the aftermath of the failed Clinton impeachment: vote no, then self-righteously position themselves as the high-minded opponents of people who got away with something. I've always thought that a censure of Clinton would have helped Al Gore in 2000; I'm sure Republicans saw the situation that way, so they held the line. Maybe they're trying to do the same thing again.
MORE: Keep it classy, Republicans:
"Ross Perot, when he ran for president in 1992, talked about the giant sucking sound," Bainbridge Township [Ohio] GOP Rep. Steve LaTourette said today in an impassioned speech on the House of Representatives floor that attacked the use of taxpayer funds for bonuses paid to AIG executives.
"Well, today there's another sucking sound going on in Washington, D.C. And that's the tightening of sphincters on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue as people are having to explain who put into the stimulus bill this provision of law."
Video below (courtesy Eric Cantor's YouTube page).
And yes, it really does appear as if Republicans want the AIG-anger wound to fester so they (rather than Democrats) can play doctor:
Wednesday, LaTourette and House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan held a news conference to discuss a "resolution of inquiry" to order an investigation into the Obama administration's communications with AIG on its use of federal money.
Regular readers of this blog will remember Thaddeus McCotter from this post, which features his asinine "Speaking Democrat" video from the House floor ("'Democrats support proactive government.' Translation: 'Democrats support proactive socialism'") and includes some of his choice polemical prose (there's quite a lot to pick from, but I chose the bit about "our anile need for a moral hospice before we slither into the dust bin of history" -- what is it with these guys and the anal region, anyway?)
UPDATE: Cantor votes yes, Boehner no, GOP nearly exactly split, clawback bill passes House easily.