David Frum

01.04.13

The Far Right is Anything but Conservative

John Podhoretz delivers a sharp retort to the elements of the far right claiming Speak Boehner and Senator McConnell "caved" by agreeing to exempt those over $400,000 from income tax cuts. As Podhoretz notes, Boehner and McConnell made the best of a very bad situation for Republicans. Certainly nothing worth cheering, but definitely not grounds for an attempted revolt by far right Congressmen.

You’d think, from the conduct and rhetoric of many conservatives in the House and outside the House and Senate, that Boehner and McConnell had “caved” willingly. No, they caved because they had no choice.

What they did was what leaders do — or rather, what leaders of those who are in a losing position do. The best they could. The problem is that conservatives seem to think there were other choices, other ways, other possibilities — when all those choices, ways and possibilities had been exhausted.

And so many of them are literally embracing chaos. Though they oppose raising taxes, by voting against the tax bill on Tuesday night they effectively voted to raise taxes on 98 percent of Americans.