Yes, there's more than a few dimensions of irony here. We've finally gotten a Republican to speak to why they refuse to answer the President's "unserious" proposal with a serious one of their own.
Tom Cole who had contradicted Boehner a week ago by suggesting the GOP should pass the Senate Dem bill that maintains the Bush tax cuts for 98% of Americans without being able to extend it for the top 2% now has an answer for why the GOP hasn't offered it's own plan:
"Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said Sunday Republicans do not need to put forward a counter offer to President Obama's debt deal proposal. Cole was responding to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who made the rounds on the Sunday shows calling on Republicans to put forward their own plan debt-reduction plan."
"I don't think we need to put a formal proposal out on the table," Cole said on ABC's "This Week." "Speaker [John Boehner] has already said revenue is on the table. He has got an idea about how to get there in terms of not raises rates, but finding it in other ways through tax code reform. I think that makes a lot of sense, and that's a doable thing, but beyond that, you know, we'll wait and see how the negotiations go."
"Cole also bashed the plan Geithner brought to congressional leaders this week. "I want to thank the president and Tim Geithner for re-uniting and re-energizing the Republican caucus," he said.
"Because that offer -- they must think John Boehner is Santa Claus, because that is a Christmas wish list, not a real proposal."
We do have one Republican who thinks maybe the GOP needs their own plan:
"Dan Senor, a top Romney adviser during the campaign, disagreed with Cole. "I do think the Republican leadership at some point here needs to put forward publicly its plan," he said on the show.
"I mean, that is something that -- it's sort of an awkward negotiation. I do think the president has gone way too far out on the left."
So there's delicious irony for you. Senor who was the top adviser for Romney thinks they need to offer a plan: yet he ran the Romney campaign. Wasn't that campaign's trademark to never give us even the slightest hint what it's own tax plan really was?
At this point the GOP is essentially pushing the Romney Plan: pledging to cut unspecified loopholes and cut unspecified entitlements.
So while we have the GOP publicly disowning Romney, we have Romney's top adviser urging the GOP not to follow the Romney campaign blueprint and actually give us a specific plan-like the President has just done.
What exactly has the GOP learned again?
About the only thing apparently is that to quote Norquist "Romney is a poopyhead."
Meanwhile Boehner says that every time the debt ceiling needs to be raised he plans to play debt ceiling chicken:
"Congress is never going to give up this power," the House Speaker told Fox News Sunday. "I've made it clear to the president, that every time we get to the debt limit, we need to cut some reforms that are greater than the increase in the debt limit. It's the only way to leverage the political process to produce more change than what it would if left alone."
For the record the debt ceiling is a relatively new phenomenon. Congress started it and can put a stop to it. He may say Congress will never give up it's power but it'd be interesting to see it come up for a vote. Nancy Pelosi has suggested that the Senate bill that was passed where all the tax cuts on the 98% are kept be brought up to the floor for a vote in the House.
The reason Boehner doesn't want this isn't because he thinks it would fail.