With threats of a government shutdown and a possible plot to oust House Speaker John Boehner, a Boehner ally lobbed the ultimate insult at the hardliners in his party: he compared them to Saul Alinsky, a lefty community organizer who became known in the 1950s and 1960s for embracing radicalism.
“This is a continuation of the strange virus that’s running through the Republican Party, which I define as a weird form of right-wing Marxism where people are using Saul Alinsky-type tactics,” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) told the Washington Post.
Alinsky is constantly invoked by conservatives, but it’s usually to slam the likes of President Obama, Dem 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (R-NV). In this case, it is the maneuvering of those on the hard right in Congress that is causing Nunes and other Boehner confidantes frustration.
According to the Post story, as well as a report by Politico, the current push to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding could also set the stage for conservative members to attempt to overthrow Boehner.
Boehners’ backers told Politico that they believe a group of hardliners associated with the House Freedom Caucus will use the shutdown — or perhaps another high-stakes government deadline later this fall, like the raising of the debt ceiling — to launch a coup on the GOP leader. If Boehner appears to cut a deal with congressional Democrats to avoid a shutdown or another government crisis down the road, his supporters fear they will use that as an excuse for his removal, the Washington Post reported.