A Disappointing Dialogue With John Boehner's Press Secretary

Moneybox
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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:

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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.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.