The Last Word | December 04, 2012
>>> for this gratitude i offer you this simple phrase. god bless us everyone. and for my family to yours, merry christmas .
>> that was house speaker john boehner earlier tonight lighting the capitol christmas tree but the house holiday cheer stops right there. as john boehner fights over the fiscal cliff with democrats and the president, he is cracking down now on some house conservatives that he thinks are a bit too free spirited. john boehner kicked two republicans off the house budget committee . he got rid of another two on the financial services committee . all four voted against the 2011 debt ceiling deal. the two on the budget committee voted against paul ryan 's budget. the chairman of the budget committee . speaker boehner issued these punishments with the full support of the republican leadership including the majority leader eric cantor and majority whip kevin mccarthy . jonathan capehart, this is fascinating. i am interpreting this as a positive thing for president obama and the democrats in an attempt to at some point either before or after going off the cliff, reaching some kind of deal with boehner . what boehner 's message seems to be to these conservatives willing to vote for something because it is not conservative enough. i need better team players if i'm going to walk back from the white house with a deal. i need your vote on it.
>> right. by removing the two from the house budget committee , they basically, what he's doing is putting in people who will do what he says. people who will get him the votes out of the budget committee that would then make it possible for him to take it to the floor and get a big vote. wrthsds we will see it as much as last time, trying to pass this thing with just republican votes. he can get it out of committee and get it to the floor and get it passed with the magic 218 or north of that if he possibly can.
>> the conservatives, the crazy ones are just really angry about this. the club for growth released this statement. congressman are now free of the last remnants of the establishment leverage against them. we expect these three defenders of economic freedom will become even bolder and get even worse parking spaces in their efforts to defend the taxpayers against the big spenders in both parties. so here you have club for growth that was reliably getting all their ideas rubber stamped by the establishment in the house. now getting out there on the fringe, fighting with john boehner .
>> without those guys on those committees, club for growth doesn't have as much leverage as it did last night. and those particular people, you can't, their power derive from their being on those committees. now that they're off, they're just four votes out there. the power still resides with the speaker. and the great thing about this is that what it really does show is that speaker boehner , it is not just punishing these four guys. he is sending a clear message to the tea party caucus that has made his life a living hell since they came into washington and said, i'm tired of your games. i am tired of the problems that you're causing me, my leadership and also, i'm someone who wants to govern and i can only govern if i make you understand that i'm not going to put up with it anymore.
>> it seems like an outburst that has been two years in coming and is loaded with things like, we don't have control of the united states senate because of you, tea party people who have given us nuts as republican senate nominees. and boehner 's life would be so much better if he was working with a republican senate instead of the democratic senate he is working with.
>> yes. and also, though, i think this message is that the speaker, he wants to govern. the whole point of coming to washington is not just to slash, cut, close. it is about governing. and john boehner for whatever you think of him is someone that wants to get a deal. he wants to govern. by doing what he has done, he is saying, look. enough with the games. we don't have the senate as you were saying. the only way we can do this is if i pull on the reins a whole lot. not just a bit. that's what he's done.
>> the striking thing is how much outrage there is not. we had to comb around to find these comments. thank you very much for joining us. coming up, the bravest man in football this week is not one of those fearless giants on the field. it is bob costas . and he will be my next guest in an exclusive interview.