Posted by: mutantpoodle | September 14, 2007

Note to John Boehner: Your staff isn’t helping

boehner_golfYou’d think that House Minority Leader John “Small Price” Boehner might get his staff ready for phone calls, given the massive insensitivity of his comments about the cost of the Iraq war this week:

BLITZER: How much longer will U.S. taxpayers have to shell out $2 billion a week or $3 billion a week as some now are suggesting the cost is going to endure? The loss in blood, the Americans who are killed every month, how much longer do you think this commitment, this military commitment is going to require?
BOEHNER: We’re making success. We need to firm up those successes. We need to continue our effort here because, Wolf, long term, the investment that we’re making today will be a small price if we’re able to stop al Qaeda here, if we’re able to stabilize the Middle East, it’s not only going to be a small price for the near future, but think about the future for our kids and their kids. [Emphasis mine]

Boehner’s feeling some heat – Dems from John Kerry to Howard Dean and DCCC Chair Chris Van Hollen have called him out, to very little effect. The mainstream media – not so much. (But God help him if he said something about being ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas…)

So Brendan over at Brendan Calling did what he does: called his office.

“Hello,” I said, “My name is Brendan Skwire. I’m calling because my cousin had his head shot off in Iraq and I was wondering if Representative Boehner [always, ALWAYS pronounce it “Boner”] thinks that was a small price to pay?”

“That’s not what he said sir,” said the woman on the other end of the line.”

“Yes it is,” I replied, “I have it righ–”

“THAT’S NOT WHAT HE SAID,” she repeated in all capital letters.

“With all due respect ma’am, my cousin had his head shot off, leaving behind a widow and two children, one of who is an infant, and you’re ARGUING with a grieving relative? I read what your boss said.”

“That’s not what he said. What he MEANT was that given all the money we’ve spent so far the deaths of our soldiers is a small price if we want to win…”

Go read the whole thing. It’s amazing.

UPDATE: John McCain isn’t very pleased with Boehner:

Asked about it on the heels of his demanding that Democratic candidates “repudiate” the MoveOn.org Petreaus/Betray Us ad, he grimaced: “He misspoke. With all due respect, every American wounded or sacrificed is the greatest possible price to pay,” and we should all be grateful, “particularly those of us who sit in relative safety while those young men and women are fighting.”

And it turns out that Ana Marie Cox, who was on the bus, added this tidbit later:

I missed this: “He ought to retract it.'”

It’s significant he’s not just excusing “misspeaking.” I apologize for not including it in my original write up.

Well, that’s one.

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