Many here cry & whine about the POTUS and leadership... What is their assessment of Boehner? Or McConnell? Cantor? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2013/07/22/the-morning-plum-john-boehner-is-the-leader-of-house-republicans-remember/ The Morning Plum: John Boehner is the leader of House Republicans. Remember? By Greg Sargent, Published: July 22 at 9:19 amE-mail the writer John Boehner’s appearance on Face the Nation yesterday continues to get attention over the Speaker’s claim that House Republicans “should not be judged by how many new laws we create,” but rather by “how many laws we repeal.” And that is useful confirmation of the true nature of the “post policy” posture of today’s GOP. But the more interesting thing in the interview with Boehner was that host Bob Schieffer pressed Boehner directly on a fact that too many commentators continue to ignore: The House Speaker is in control of whether immigration reform happens or whether it dies. And in the exchange, Boehner actually seemed to suggest he is not in control over what gets a vote in the end. Asked repeatedly by Schieffer if he would allow a bill to come to a vote that provides a path to citizenship, Boehner hemmed and hawed a bit, but finally replied: “This is about bringing these bills out here in a commonsense way. And I’m not going to predict what’s going to be on the floor and what isn’t going to be on the floor. Now that’s what you’re asking me to do. I can’t do that, and I don’t want to do that. My job in this process is to facilitate a discussion, and to facilitate a process so the American people can see what we’re doing and so the members understand that we’re dealing with this in a deliberative way.” Yes, “facilitating discussion” is part of the Speaker’s job. But so is deciding what gets a vote and what doesn’t. So is leading. In one sense it would be premature for Boehner to commit right now to supporting citizenship — which he also declined to do in the interview — or to allowing a vote on a final package with citizenship in it. But this exchange is nonetheless key, because it gets to the crux of why it’s actually helpful to Boehner for reporters and commentators — some of them liberals — to continue predicting there is no way immigration reform can ever pass, given how crazy those rank and file House conservatives are. After the August recess, a bipartisan “gang of seven” proposal will likely be introduced in the House that includes a path to citizenship but with onerous provisions that put it significantly to the right of the Senate bill. What happens to this plan will be partly determined by Boehner and Paul Ryan, who is widely being seen as a pivotal player in the House on immigration. Does it get a vote? Does it get shoved into a committee process that shreds it? Do Boehner and Ryan get behind the plan — tacitly or overtly? Do they show leadership and take a bit of heat from the right in exchange for asking their rank and file to consider supporting a solution to a glaring national problem (remember, Boehner and other GOP leaders have explicitly said the system is broken and that we must act) that has plenty for both sides to dislike? What if House Republicans pass a few bills without citizenship, and conference negotiations produce something with citizenship that a majority of House Republicans can’t quite vote for — but that many Republicans can privately accept allowing to the floor? Does Boehner really nix a vote in that case? Boehner wants you to believe immigration reform is all in the hands of his conference, that it’s a really tough or even impossible lift for many Republicans to support it, and that reform is likely dead as a result. Don’t believe me on this. Jon Ward, who is very well connected with the GOP leadership, reported recently that this is exactly the view GOP leaders want to take hold, because “a slow and unsurprising failure is far better, politically, than an unexpected one,” and because “the perception that the bill is nearly dead could strengthen Boehner’s hand in negotiations with Democrats and the White House.” Is supporting reform all that hard for the GOP leadership or for rank and file House Republicans? Boehner wants you to think that. But Ward — who, again, knows the House GOP caucus — suggests it remains unclear whether even the path to citizenship is dead among a majority of House Republicans, given that conditions remain in flux. Predictions that immigration reform is dead help Boehner by removing the focus from the fact that in reality, he remains in control of whether it is dies or not. But as Schieffer put it bluntly during yesterday’s interview with the Speaker: “you’re the leader of the Republicans.” Good that somebody notices.