The Washington Post

Boehner: ‘This isn’t some damn game’


So let’s see. After a White House official told the Wall Street Journal that the administration was “winning,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Friday: This isn’t some damn game.”

Our colleague Aaron Blake, however, noticed a report that the speaker couldn’t help using sports metaphors to discuss the budget battle.

Boehner huddled with his team at a closed-door GOP conference meeting Tuesday morning at the Capitol.

He told them the Democrats were trying to “annihilate us,” the National Review’s Jonathan Strong reported. But Boehner urged them to rally.  “We can get through this if we stick together.”

He wanted something that “builds on the gains we’ve made over the past three years, puts points on the board and doesn’t raise taxes,” he told the team.

So there was no need for a hole in one, a long three-pointer or a  Hail Mary. Three yards and a cloud of dust — Ohio State Buckeyes’ ball — would get them to the end zone.

So you may think it’s a game, but it’s not. Just because House Republicans (and of course Democrats) voted unanimously to give furloughed  federal workers, oft-maligned  by the GOP,  their back pay when the shutdown ends — effectively giving them a paid vacation of sorts and costing taxpayers the same as if they had just stayed on the field  — it’s not a game.

And just because Senate Democrats, in a prevent defense with the clock ticking, have dropped back to likely pass that back-pay bill to Obama, running a post-pattern and ready to catch it, doesn’t mean there’s any game -playing going on.

No, this is serious work, for serious people. As the character Natalya Simonova said in the James Bond movie GoldenEye: “This is not one of your games, Boris. Real people will die, you pathetic little worm!”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.



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Al Kamen · October 8, 2013

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