John Boehner is really starting to take “not very good at my job” to a whole other level. First he has a conference call with his members to praise the deal the Senate reached on the payroll tax holiday extension, and then he declares that he his opposed to the deal. I guess he is basically “Speaker-in-name-only.”

Mr. Boehner’s remarks on “Meet the Press” came less than 24 hours after a conference call in which he tried to sell the package to his rank and file, pointing to a provision that would speed Republican-supported construction of an oil pipeline, known as Keystone XL, from Canada to the Gulf Coast.

But many Republican lawmakers were not buying what their leader was urging them to do, chiefly because they objected to the tax cut extension’s cost.

Among them was the House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, who said in a statement Sunday that on Monday, the House would either amend the Senate bill so that it met the “needs of hard-working taxpayers and middle-class families,” or pass a motion to move the bill to a conference committee to accomplish the same.

Mr. Cantor said the House opposed the Senate bill “because — to put it simply — we owe the middle class, employers and doctors better than a two-month extension.”

Mr. Boehner’s decision to back away from a deal on the payroll tax cut is similar to his actions during debt-reduction talks with President Obama in July.

I feel pretty confident that the Dems will take back the House from the Republicans next November but, either way, I find it hard to believe that Cantor won’t supplant Boehner as the GOP leader.

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