A Disappointing Dialogue With John Boehner's Press Secretary

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 4 2013 3:41 PM

A Disappointing Dialogue With John Boehner's Press Secretary  

Political operatives spend a lot of time doing "hits" on their opponents, often tagging people with hypocrisy or gaffes or other things that make the other guy look bad. I always try in these situations to drill down into what it is that the hitter actually thinks about the issue at hand, since at the end of the day demonstrating that there's some hypocrisy in politics is a little banal. To that end, I had this exchange with John Boehner's press secretary:


Buck graciously responded:

So then I again tried to clarify:

And eventually got this response:

I think this continues to be a somewhat confusing view. Back when George W. Bush was President, Barack Obama was asked once to vote on a debt ceiling bill that was not paired with any deficit reduction. Obama voted "no" which Obama now says was the wrong call. John Boehner, by contrast, faced five such votes and (rightly) voted "yes" all five times. So the question on the table is who was right. I say that Boehner was right and Obama was wrong. I think Boehner's press secretary is trying to say that Boehner was wrong and Obama was right. Or at least he seems to be trying to imply that he thinks that. But he won't quite come out and say it.



Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.


Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
Sept. 29 2014 10:00 PM “Everything Must Change in Italy” An interview with Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
Dear Prudence
Sept. 29 2014 3:10 PM The Lonely Teetotaler Prudie counsels a letter writer who doesn’t drink alcohol—and is constantly harassed by others for it.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 29 2014 1:52 PM Do Not Fear California’s New Affirmative Consent Law
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 29 2014 12:01 PM This Is Your MOM’s Mars
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.