Morning Joe Panelists Praise Boehner For Anti-Conservative Outburst

House Speaker John Boehner made himself a hero in the eyes of the liberal Morning Joe panel. All it took was lashing out publicly against conservative organizations which criticized the Ryan-Murray budget deal.

Appearing on Thursday’s show, panelist Donny Deutsch was the most effusive about Boehner. He proclaimed:



"I’ll tell you what was big about yesterday was not the budget, but what Boehner did. This is to me the left turn, not literally left, for the Republican Party where now it's okay. We can snap back at the Heritages. We do not have to be slaves to the extremists of this party."
 

Co-host Mika Brzezinski expressed her agreement, and Deutsch added:
 

"And this is the pivot point. You saw it as the first time with the speaker. And it is going to be, I think, actually a lesson, a pointer for how Republicans are going to behave in 2014."
 

I’m sure that Deutsch and many others at MSNBC want this to be a turning point for the GOP – a “left turn,” as Deutsch said – because it would signify the decline of conservative influence over the main vessel for conservatism in the United States – the Republican Party. But we’ll have to wait and see if more Republicans start to rebuke their conservative base, as Deutsch hopes they will do.

Another panelist, self-proclaimed socialist and MSNBC evening anchor Lawrence O’Donnell, also praised Boehner’s outburst. O’Donnell expressed relief that the speaker had apparently joined the ranks of Tea Party haters like him:

"It's the way a lot of us have wanted to see him react to a lot of things and there's just something odd about it coming so late in his speakership. I mean, there's been plenty of provocation for him to react like that... And he's worked this very carefully over the years of total subservience to those groups, so he can now finally say, you know, this is -- you've gone too far."

The only defense of the conservative viewpoint came from Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, himself a former Republican congressman. He made known he hated the budget blueprint and judged it “a terrible deal for conservatives.” 

Below is a transcript of the discussion:


MIKA BRZEZINSKI: There are also a number of outside conservative groups who are opposing the bipartisan spending plan. House Speaker John Boehner and Congressman Ryan directly addressed that opposition yesterday.

REPORTER: Most major conservative groups have put out statements blasting this deal. Are you...

JOHN BOEHNER: You mean the groups that came out and opposed it before they ever saw it?

REPORTER: Yes, those groups. Are you worried that...

BOEHNER: They’re using our members and they’re using the American people for their own goals. This is ridiculous. Listen, if you're for more deficit reduction you are for this agreement.

REPORTER 2: Did you ever think that a piece of legislation that you were responsible for would be called not conservative enough?

PAUL RYAN: Yeah. It's a strange new normal, isn't it? Groups are going to do what they want to do. What matters to me is am I doing what I think is right, am I sticking to my principles, and am I listening to my colleagues who actually have the voting card?

BRZEZINSKI: Has Speaker Boehner ever done that before? It seems like he's fed up, calling out Heritage and others.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: It does. He hasn't lashed out against some of these very powerful groups, Lawrence.



LAWRENCE O’DONNELL: It's the way a lot of us have wanted to see him react to a lot of things and there's just something odd about it coming so late in his speakership. I mean, there's been plenty of provocation for him to react like that, but finally...

SCARBOROUGH: Do you think he feels like he has cover from The Wall Street Journal editorial page, from like, say, the Koch Brothers last time who were really upset by the shutdown strategy and a lot of other business, the chamber?

O’DONNELL: Yeah. And he's worked this very carefully over the years of total subservience to those groups, so he can now finally say, you know, this is -- you've gone too far. And you know, look, what they’re trying to do here is governing as usual. A small conservative -- I don't mean policy conservative, Joe, but behaviorally -- a conservative step in the direction of adjusting sequester spending levels. That's what they are trying to do. And because there's been so much talk of grand bargain all the time, there's a lot of people saying this isn't big enough. Well, governing normally is not big. Governing is normally moving, you know, this much in this direction.

DONNY DEUTSCH: I’ll tell you what was big about yesterday was not the budget, but what Boehner did. This is to me –

BRZEZINSKI: I agree.

DEUTSCH: -- the left turn, not literally left, for the Republican Party where now it's okay. We can snap back at the Heritages. We do not have to be slaves to the extremists of this party. And this is the pivot point. You saw it as the first time with the speaker. And it is going to be, I think, actually a lesson, a pointer for how Republicans are going to behave in 2014.
 

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.