John Boehner issued a statement yesterday insisting that he was dead-set on repealing the health care reform law "in its entirety," refuting a Politico report that he'd hatched a plan to keep the most popular parts of the law should the Supreme Court overturn ObamaCare. What prompted the statement? A wash of right-wing infighting. The leaked plan set off a firestorm among The Repeal Coalition, a Google email group loaded with top congressional staffers and think-tank figures, Politico reports, having obtained a transcript.
"Should we change the name of this to 'partialrepealcoalition' or 'someofobamacareisprettygood'?" asked one aide to Jim DeMint. The "House GOP is going to cave after winning an election on full repeal," complained one Heritage Action staffer. "Unreal." The email chain is a vivid look at House leadership's challenges with the party's far-right wing. Listservs like the Repeal Coalition can generate group-think leadership can't control. Before long, Boehner's staff sent an email to a separate group of leadership aides, promising he'd "knock … down" the report.