Tuesday, September 29, 2015

No Sympathy for John Boehner

Here is how crazy the republican far right, the tea party crowd and others, are. For the last few years they've been vilifying GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner for being too cozy with the president of the United States. For those of you unfamiliar with current history, the Affordable Care Act, the law which drives right wing wankers absolutely berserk, was passed when Congress was controlled by the democrats. At the time John Boehner was not the Speaker.

After he assumed leadership of the House, Boehner was the guy who led republicans out of the trenches and on over 50 fanatical, but hopeless banzai charges meant to repeal what has come to be called, Obamacare.

Each one of those Quixotic attempts failed, not because of Boehner, but because democrats held a majority in the Senate. And--as everyone with half a brain knows--even if the bills would have gotten through the Senate the votes weren't there then and still aren't now to override a presidential veto.

That made no difference to people like Ted Cruz, who isn't even in the House, but thinks he should be in charge of everything. He and his toadies in the lower chamber went rampaging through town halls near and far, then finally, in an act of utter nihilism, shut down the government over the issue in 2013.

John Boehner, in a moment of complete cowardice, went along with them even though he knew it was a political disaster in the making.

Given the available evidence it's obvious that over the years, despite what conservative savants say, Mr. Boehner hasn't been struggling against this wild eyed tide of right wing insanity as much as he's been carried along by it. To the tea party, his fatal sin was that he always seemed far too ready to duck out of the kamikaze attack of the moment to suit the tastes of those serving the, We Can Do It, flavor of Kool-Aid.

At the beginning of the latest session of Congress, despite all the caterwauling, Boehner was easily re-elected Speaker. The scant opposition was in such disarray they couldn't even decide who to replace him with. To this day there has never been any real doubt, outside of right wing delusions, Boehner couldn't hold the position through at least the next election cycle and perhaps beyond.

Needless to say, when Mr. Boehner announced he was retiring at the end of next month, the hard right edge of the GOP went into a wild celebration. Never letting the truth get in the way of a good time, the extremist outfit, FreedomWorks, sent out a mass email and the first line of it read, "Fellow patriot, we did it!"

The Speaker, now unfettered by his paralyzing need to appease these goofs went on, Meet the Press, Sunday. Among other things he said, "The bible says beware of false prophets and there are people out there, you know, spreading noise about how much can get done. I mean this whole notion that we're going to shut down the government to get rid of Obamacare in 2013--this plan never had a chance."

He added, "And we've got groups here in town, members of both the House and Senate here in town, who whipped people into a frenzy believing they can accomplish things that they know--they know--are never going to happen."

Boehner's sudden fit of profoundly ungrammatical honesty, spurs the first question from this side of the computer screen. It is, " Mr. Speaker, given what you knew, why the fuck did you let that lunacy happen ?"

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is the second most powerful political position in the U.S. government. Why didn't you use that power? If you knew of the impending PR nightmare why didn't you take each one of those terrible tea party clods into your office, grab them by the tie, and tell them something along the lines of, "If you keep this shit up you'll find yourself stuck on a subcommittee studying the migration habits of Monarch Butterflies for the rest of your God damned career." That's what people like Sam Rayburn and Carl Albert would have done.

No., you won't find any sympathy for John Boehner in these quarters. He is arguably the worst Speaker in the history of the institution. He was made so, not by a democrat in the White House, but his willingness to slavishly cater to a bunch of screeching brutes who have no idea how this democracy works in the first place, then repeatedly attempting to backtrack into statesmanship when their craziness flamed out. It was a doomed strategy from day one. By the time he decided to quit, he was not only loathed by democrats, but by a right wing who doesn't understand they can't command a sitting president to do what they want when they don't have the votes.

So the question is, who is on deck? Most reports believe it is House Majority Leader, Kevin McCarthy of California. If so he is in for the same fight. The true believers have already began to make threats. An op-ed piece in today's, The Oklahoman, quoted right wing radio host, Mark Levin as calling, McCarthy, "...not a principled conservative." It also quotes the mass email from FreedomWorks as saying, "We cannot allow one of Boehner's cronies to take control. we need conservative leadership in Congress."

Notice something interesting there? Levin, and the author of the email, Adam Brandon aren't members of congress. They're simply two dudes spewing all these vile threats out to the public and the people who serve them. Neither of them has a vote when it comes to electing the new Speaker.

A long time ago Dick Nixon won re-election to the White House despite wide spread and highly vocal opposition to his conduct of the war in Vietnam. He was commonly considered a congenital liar and would later prove himself to be a two bit felon.

After the election one republican wag was asked how Nixon had done it. His reply was something along the lines of, "He didn't count the number of people on the streets. He counted the number of people not on the streets."


If Kevin McCarthy is the next Speaker of the House he might want to keep that bit of wisdom in mind. John Boehner certainly didn't and look how he ended up.


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