Inception, I decided to invade one of John Boehner's dreams, and force him to sit down for an interview about his recent speech on the economy and his strategy for capturing the House this fall. Here is a transcript:
Q: You accuse the administration of spending the last 18 months borrowing and spending the economy into the ground. Couldn't that same accusation have been made against the last Republican administration?
A: It's different when Republicans borrow and spend the economy into the ground. Because we did it by cutting taxes for rich people, and fighting unnecessary wars. The Democrats do it by building roads and bridges and schools and other things that people don't need.
Q: I see. You also said that all the stimulus spending has gotten us nowhere. But you favor tax cuts, and the largest part of the stimulus in fact was tax cuts. And economists say that the stimulus bill in fact preserved millions of jobs.
A: Don't trouble me with the facts. It's my job to scare people into thinking that Obama has raised taxes, even though he cut taxes. It's also my job to scare people about the deficit, even though Republicans don't give a crap about the deficit. If we cared about the deficit, we probably wouldn't have quadrupled the national debt under the Bush administration, would we? Everybody knew that the stimulus bill should have been even bigger for it to really get the economy going. But Republicans couldn't very well go along with that. And since we all voted against it, we can't very well admit that it was helpful. The truth is that the longer the economy stays in the toilet, the easier it is to blame the Democrats for people's problems. And that will help elect Republicans. So why would we want to go along with anything the Democrats are proposing to solve the country's economic problems?
Q: Thank you for your candor. You also must understand that most of the economic facts you cited in your speech were wrong or misleading. How do you justify doing that?
A: Do you seriously think it matters whether my facts are factual? Plenty of people will believe whatever information I want to give about about taxes and deficits. Look, half the Republican base believes the sun revolves around the Earth. I am not going to let truth get in the way of a good argument.
Q: So what's the Republican plan for getting the economy going?
A: We don't have to have a plan. We just have to criticize everything the administration is doing, and try to prevent them from doing anything that people will actually like. Of course we do think it is vitally important to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy that are due to expire at the end of the year.
Q: But wouldn't that only make the deficit even larger? And aren't the Bush policies what led us into the recession in the first place?
A: I guess you weren't listening when I explained to you that Republicans really don't give a crap about the deficit, were you? Come to think of it, we're not that concerned with whether the economy recovers, either. What is most important is that I scare enough people into voting Democratic Congressmen out of office, so that I can become the next Speaker of the House.
Q: Why are you calling for the resignation of Tim Geithner? Wasn't he part of the team under Bush's Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson that bailed out the banks and AIG way back in the fall of 2008? And didn't those actions save the financial system from collapse?
A: First of all, it is important for people not to understand that the bailout program was conceived during the Bush administration. Because the people don't like the bailouts, even though we all know that they worked, so we don't exactly want to remind them that the bailouts were Paulson's idea. We want them to blame Obama for the bailouts. Second of all, if we call for the resignation of Obama's economic team, that also helps make people think that the bad economy is all the Democrats' fault, even though we know that the economy fell off a cliff under Bush, and has been growing under Obama, and we also know that the Republicans are doing everything we possibly can to slow the recovery down further.
Q: Since I am inside your dream, I wonder if it would be possible to implant some new ideas in your brain, just like in the movie.
A: Sorry, my brain is not receptive to any new ideas.
Q: Thank you for your time, Mr. Boehner, that was very enlightening.
A: Well, it's only a dream. In real life I would have to tell you I actually believe the nonsense I am spouting.