Boehner: Pay No Attention to the Sideshow

By Chris Good

It's not all about Rush, House Minority Leader John Boehner argued this morning in an op-ed published in The Washington Post. After a tide of media coverage focused on Rush Limbaugh and Democrats' allegations that he is the GOP's de facto leader, Boehner had had enough:

...in a carefully calculated campaign, operatives and allies of the Obama administration are seeking to divert attention toward radio host Rush Limbaugh, and away from a debate about our alternative solutions on the economy and the irresponsible spending binge they are presiding over. This diversionary tactic will not create a single job or help a single family struggling in today's economic crisis. And that is where our focus should be.

And:

Something is wrong when the discourse in Washington is more focused on a political sideshow than, say, the fact that Congress is attempting to terminate a school choice program that serves thousands of needy children in the District of Columbia, or the impact of a presidential budget that raises taxes on millions of Americans during a recession. When it comes to jobs, the budget, children's health care and other issues, House Republicans have offered what we believe are better solutions to the problems facing middle-class families and small businesses. We will continue to do so in the coming months and hope that White House political operatives abandon their cynical "change the subject" strategy by joining us.

The media narrative, particularly after Jonathan Martin's piece yesterday at Politico, seems to have turned its attention to Democrats' messaging strategy (and away from Rush himself). Boehner, arguably, has more of a vested interest in making the Limbaugh fuss go away than anyone else (save Michael Steele), as the storyline most threatens House Republicans (see Rep. Phil Gingrey's apology to Rush).

Boehner today sought to squash the story once and for all while taking some shots at Democrats as the media winds look more favorable to the GOP.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2009/03/boehner-pay-no-attention-to-the-sideshow/1257/