I wrote earlier Wednesday about how the general lack of Republican revolt over John Boehner's debt-ceiling retreat was a sign that the previously intractable elements of the House GOP -- and the broader conservative movement -- are beginning to develop some political antennae.
And those antennae are picking up a clear signal: President Barack Obama is out for their House majority.
That might not seem like a news flash. But many House GOPers who have been elected in the last two cycles have been focused on sustaining the spirit of the 2010 midterms and are only just waking up to the fact that 2014 could be a mirror image of that election. Obama's reelection, the fiscal cliff debate, and Obama's inaugural have made that clear.
House Speaker Boehner (R-Ohio), in a speech Tuesday that was closed to reporters, made it crystal clear that simply surviving the next 22 months is going to be the most challenging and important priority for him and his conference.
"We’re expecting over the next 22 months to be the focus of this administration as they attempt to annihilate the Republican Party," Boehner said in a speech to the Ripon Society, a conservative think tank, which published a partial transcript of the remarks on its website.
Boehner said Obama's inaugural address sent a clear signal to him about Obama's overarching objective during the first and second years of his second term in office.
"Given what we heard yesterday about the president’s vision for his second term, it’s pretty clear to me that he knows he can’t do any of that as long as the House is controlled by Republicans," Boehner said.
"And let me just tell you, I do believe that is their goal -– to just shove us into the dustbin of history," he said.