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The Boehner of our existence

The Boehner of our existence

In the immortal words of Speaker John Boehner (via the New York Times):

“God only knows” how Washington is going to get control of its finances.

Unlikely as it seems, there may have been more feckless Speakers of the House than John Boehner.  But if there had ever been one who failed his country so abjectly in a time of national crisis, his name would live in infamy.

Alas, this is no surprise to those who observe Republican politics and politicians.  The GOP is like a public school that rewards students with social promotions.  Just as scads of high school grads can’t read and compute at grade level, senior Republican candidates and office holders can neither read the national tea leaves nor compute winning strategies.

A few years ago I had a close encounter with Boehner that made me think we’d already ridden over the cliff, fiscal and otherwise.  It was soon after Obama’s inauguration and House Minority Leader Boehner was in California, where on this particular day he deigned to come speak to a lunch attended by a hundred or so conservatives who work in and around Hollywood (and have to hide their politics the way Christians in pre-Constantine Rome met in secret).

In between sips of wine and running outside to grab a smoke, Boehner delivered a rousing speech.  Unfortunately, it was his Ohio congressman’s stump speech that urged us to go out there and work for our country, or some such blather.  This was not, to say the least, an antidote to Obama’s disheartening victory.

When Boehner finished, he received an obligatory standing ovation—tepid, perhaps, but still embarrassing to me.  I remained seated on my hands until the moment everyone sat, at which point I stood and blurted out that it was inappropriate for him to be electioneering in front of people who can’t vote for him anyway instead of rousing a dispirited minority by telling us what he and his Republican colleagues were planning on our behalf.

He bristled at the impertinence.  And defensively dismissed the comment in as few words as possible.

But he wasn’t off the hook.  Someone else then stood and challenged him on a matter of policy.  Then someone else on another issue.  On it went for a thrilling half hour, at the end of which Boehner was sweating so heavily that his spray-on orange tan looked like smeared makeup (though that could have been my imagination).

On the way out I commented to Someone Famous (who would appreciate not being outed here) that if Boehner is the best we have, we’re totally f—ed.

I’m sorry to say, those were prophetic words.

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Comments

Not famous, barely social, but I felt and feel the same way. Wrote my congresswoman that if we don’t get better than the sequester cuts out of any deal to leave the office of Speaker sit vacant rather than this stiff.

Not saying he isn’t sincere or hard working just willfully lost.

I do not feel sorry for Boehner. He brought ALL of this on himself and us when he “compromised” last year. The sequestration was supposed to be the consequence for not balancing the budget. We are approaching TWENTY TRILLION DOLLARS IN DEBT!! It is time to replace this pathetic excuse for a speaker and get someone who has the balls to do what needs to be done.

I am sick and tired of political postering and these feckless self important individuals in the Republican party. If the media is going to side with the democrats anyway, then let’s just shut the whole government down. The Senate is UTTERLY useless and the President is a demagogue, so let’s just force their hand and let them squeal like stuck pigs. Let’s actually stand for smaller government and stop this spending train wreck. Who cares if we lose seats in the next election, we all saw what 2010 gave us: NOTHING BUT A WHINING CRYING DEMOCRAT LITE SPEAKER AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. I am DONE.

Boner is your typical vapid, vacuous Beltway RINO, interested in nothing more than getting re-elected and maintaining his personal perks & lifestyle.

i am tired beyond measure at the institutionalized willful incompetence that is the GOP. i am heartily sick of hand selected “it’s their turn” Presidential candidates, the feckless failure of the so called “leadership” to articulate a coherent, viable, conservative doctrine, and, more importantly, defend it against all comers, instead of rolling over and playing dead in the name of “bipartisanship” at the first chance they get.

Let.
It.
Burn.

    Speaker Boehner is a poor leader, no doubt, but he is not at all the man you say. He’s a very good guy, down to earth, intelligent, a good listener and wants more than anything to work in support of small family businesses.

    You can argue he is non-ideological and you may be right. You can say he is no social match for the wealthy, glitzy Democrats dominating today’s politics, and you’d definitely be right. You can accuse him of trying to be too incrementalist in his approach to using power and get no push-back from me.

    But he is an honorable man, someone personally likable and good. He’s not at all interested in his “perks” and “lifestyle”. He’s trying to do the right thing in a town that just doesn’t care. He’s a little too “Mr. Smith”.

    Other than that quibble, I have no problem with your disgust over the incompetence of today’s GOP.

      serfer1962 in reply to MTF. | December 21, 2012 at 7:28 pm

      MTF…”…good man”. Your shi%@#$ng me!
      Remember how he squeeched the Tea Party at the national convention on the floor vote? I do
      How about in the final days of ’08 when he said to conservatives to just shut up & send money? I do
      How about removal of conservative leadership from committes? I do
      What about the Continuing Resolution tyhat increase govorment by 10% each year engineered by Boehner? I do
      Or the $1,4T birthday gift to The Won, the cieliong increase on debt, etc etc
      The squeesh & buddies need to go…

      9thDistrictNeighbor in reply to MTF. | December 21, 2012 at 8:17 pm

      Would the Speaker perchance be your Congressman?

      persecutor in reply to MTF. | December 22, 2012 at 9:38 am

      Back away from the eggnog, MTF. You’ve had too much already.

Almost exactly a year ago, I commented:

<Republican gains in 2010 were more due to Democrat ineptness (and to grass-roots efforts) than to any show of competence by the party establishment. Now that the GOP has regained a power base in the House, the groups in the Republican coalition seem more interested in grinding their individual axes than in defeating Obama.

When the constituencies in a coalition act like groups of spoiled children, what do you expect?

Republicans lost a Presidential election they should have won handily. For their next trick, are they going to lose the House in 2014?

Yes, he certainly lacks leadership skills in that he cannot muster support and cannot propose policy to muster such support.

He needs to go…

Seriously, can anyone remember Pelosi bringing things like this to the floor and then having to pull the bill because she couldn’t get enough support? Boehner has had it happen to him on several occasions now. He needs to go.

    heimdall in reply to heimdall. | December 21, 2012 at 4:21 pm

    It’s almost like they are running the house like they ran their presidential campaign. The speaker does not need to be a representative, let’s just get Gingrich back in there as speaker of the house and then maybe we could actually get crap done.

      snopercod in reply to heimdall. | December 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

      Good suggestion! Actually, Gingrich could be elected speaker since nowhere does it say that the job has to be filled by a sitting member of Congress.

When I write my representatives, I get form letters and crap back. They know those who are informed and engaged are the tiniest of minorities in this country. Ignore us and we’ll go away. Unfortunately, they are mostly right. We are screwed and we voted for it. Boehner is incompetent and needs to go. The GOP is in disarray and in need of some real leadership to emerge and set the course that the rank and file has made clear it supports. There are about 73 different directions this rant could head, so I’ll stop.

It’s the aura of incompetence that bothers me about Mr. Boehner.

I understand he’s a RINO. I also understand that being Speaker is like being the circus lion-tamer; it’s not easy.

But my goodness, as heimdall notes, how many times now has Boehner (with Cantor, by the way) had to pull a bill at the last moment because he couldn’t whip the votes? You just can’t bleed like that in front of the lions (i.e., the Dems and media); they start to get the idea that you are tasty.

Generate a plan that will work. Sell it to the caucus. Explain over and again why it’s the way to go. If the caucus won’t vote for your plan, listen to them when they tell you why and then go back to the old drawing board. And for goodness sakes, don’t put anything forward on the floor of the House until you have 218 votes from your caucus.

As to the specifics of the fiscal cliff, Champ and Reid have the upper hand: in part because they too won their elections, and in part because Boehner quickly started conceding right after the election. The sequestration deal of 2011 didn’t help, but a stronger Speaker could wipe that away and tell the Dems that we were starting anew. Boehner isn’t that Speaker.

I do not advocate ‘let it burn’, but there comes a time when you look at the other side and say, “it’s your turn to put a plan forward. I’ll be here waiting for it.” Then stand up politely and walk away. Let Champ and Reid put a new ‘compromise’ on the table. Then tell the public how it isn’t go enough, and make them do it again.

That’s what Champ did here, and you’ll notice what happened — it’s Boehner who’s sweating orange.

Turn this around. Republicans are going to get blamed no matter what, so turn it around and get Champ to commit.

williamsholland | December 21, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I thought John Boehner was a very poor choice for speaker because he always seems to be more interested in “getting something done” than the substance of the outcome. The fiscal cliff “negotiations” have only proved that. The GOP needs principled leadership. A principled leader would have engaged, but when it became clear that Obama and the D’s were not serious about the problem, Congress should have passed the reforms it wanted and simply handed to the Senate.

We should bring Newt back and have him run the house. Now that is someone who knows how to run Congress!

Good job, Mr. Engel. Would that our leaders had as much courage. I listened a few minutes ago to Col. West on Cavuto. Even he was sounding weak.

I posted a link to your article on a Hot Air thread.

Great story. But I’m beginning to believe Boehner is really perfect for our time. He IS the Establishment in all its pretension and stupidity and weakness. Maybe he’s necessary, and will lead to the collapse of the GOP Establishment once and for all. I mean, honestly, how long can this kind of awfulness go on?

NC Mountain Girl | December 22, 2012 at 9:41 am

Unfortunately I am not sure who could do better. The Speaker’s job has become much harder for a Republican than for a Democrat. A Democrat congresscritter who defies party leadership too often can pretty much count on having problems raising money and getting serious opposition in the next primary. That’s major reason Blue Dog Democrats are a dwindling breed. It takes a lot of time and energy to raise money all on your own. The same rules do not apply inside the Republican caucus. Nor does the media rush to cover every Democrat who wants to give party leadership a hard time.

Boehner has already fallen from Leadership.
We just have to get him out of the office.

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