According to The New York Times, John Boehner Will Resign From Congress. The weird thing is that when I first heard it, I though, “Oh, no!” And that just shows how crazy things have gotten with the Republicans. In the first sentence of the Times article, it mentions that Boehner is “under intense pressure from conservatives in his party.” From conservatives?! Because here’s the thing: Boehner is as conservative as it gets. He came to power during the whole Newt Gingrich takeover of the House. He was one of the architects of the ridiculous focus-grouped “Contract with America.” You don’t get more conservative than John Boehner.
But you do get more stupid. You do get more infantile. You do get more useless. And over half of the Republicans in the House certainly fall into those categories. I’ve mentioned it a lot, but it always bears repeating: the difference between the “extreme” and “moderate” Republican is almost exclusively rhetoric. I just wrote about this, The Postmodern Theory That Marco Rubio Will Appeal to Latinos: the ultimate symbol of Republican “moderation,” claims we have to wait at least a decade before we even talk about normalizing the more than ten million undocumented residents.
Right before the announcement, Jonathan Bernstein wrote, Stop the Shutdown Before It Starts. His argument was simple: the shutdown will fail and the Republicans will be harmed. All the hard-line, Ted Cruz types will claim that Obama was just about to blink, and blame Boehner (and McConnell) for finally okaying a deal. So since Boehner would be blamed regardless, he ought to take the blame now and stop the shutdown. Why? Because it is his job to protect his caucus. Now, according to The Washington Post, “House Republicans said there was agreement to pass a clean spending bill to keep the government open.”
According to Ezra Klein, Boehner was facing “House conservatives [who] want to use an unusual parliamentary maneuver to launch a coup against [him].” And that was far more likely, regardless of how this went down. Again: a lot of House Republicans are infantile — they think if they just hold their breath long enough, they will get all the toys they’ve demanded. And you have to believe that managing these people is a total drag. After all, what the loons want is the same thing that Boehner wants. But they won’t even let him take a course that will move them in that direction. In a recent interview, Boehner claimed that he didn’t mind the job in a way that clearly indicated that he did, “Garbage men get used to the smell of bad garbage. Prisoners learn how to become prisoners, all right?”
Then, after Macro Rubio announced to the Values Voter Summit that Boehner was retiring, there was a “HUGE ovation.” Do these people really think that it was John Boehner who was stopping them from getting all their grandest wishes fulfilled? Apparently so. At Crooks & Liars this morning, Karoli reported, Limbaugh’s Latest Conspiracy Theory: Obama Hijacked All The Conservatives! On his list is, of course, John Boehner. It also includes John Roberts. This has long been a thing among conservatives: there are certain opinions and everyone must share them. I noticed in the mid-1980s that a conservative’s definition of “liberal” was simply “not conservative.”
The question is, what do all those cheering “values voters” think they are going to get now? The problem with John Boehner was not that he wasn’t conservative enough; the problem was reality. We don’t live in a dictatorship. And if we did, it is unlikely that the dictator would be ideologically pure enough for these loons anyway. The next Speaker will run into the same reality that Boehner did, and the usual suspects will soon be claiming that he is a squish and a RINO.
The Republican loonies do believe we should be living in a dictatorship though, one that they control. And the base also believes, despite all evidence to the contrary, that Boehner is a liberal Democrat.
Not a good mix, especially for someone who has no idea how to manage his caucus like Pelosi does. She had a whole slew of Blue Dogs and yet delivered vote after vote for bills that she probably had to grit her teeth on because she knows how to run a caucus.
Ugh, this whole mess is so annoying and basically because Republicans are at heart petty tyrants.
Yeah, Pelosi was a great Speaker. When Boehner requested that big gavel, I knew we were in for trouble. I feel sorry for the guy. But maybe he would have handled things better if he didn’t drink so much. Now, if he had only started drinking four years ago, I would totally give him a pass! But that sure isn’t the case.
I would feel sorry for him but I am pretty partisan and I truly hate bad governing.
I’m totally in agreement with everything you typed above except “petty tyrants.” I don’t think they’re petty at all — they’re quite serious tyrants!
Except how they run a pragmatist like Boehner out because he wants to keep furthering party goals without strategically sabotaging the party. That’s not petty, exactly, merely jockeying for power. In the end, though, power is rather petty.
I always liked Boehner. Nothing he ever did or stood for. I find him deeply handsome. He’s got those gorgeous eyes in a sad face of pure corruption (Orwell once wrote, “by 50, everyone has the face he deserves.”) The supposedly-youthful Rubio/Walker/Santorum, the supposedly charming Romney/Bush, do zilch for me. Boehner seems like one of those “Mad Men” execs trying to hold on while their world collapses; you hate everything they’re about, but you’re sympathetic to their confusion.
He’s just dead sexy. I say this as a, I dunno, maybe 66-75% hetero. He’s so sad! I feel sorry for him!
Of course he’ll end up a lobbyist for GloboChem or some such and his sexiness will immediately drop to absolute zero.
I like that you put an error range your sexual orientation. I know what you mean about Boehner, but I look at him and I imagine the stench of a chain smoker, and it kills the illusion.
I don’t think those standing in the way of Boehner are looking for power. Boehner is the one who wants power. (Now he just wants a fat lobbying paycheck.) They are just these ids gone wild: they are mad as hell and they don’t know what to do about it anymore.
I mean petty as in their behavior is petty. Republicans in power tend to be petty about little things. Tip O’Neill described it pretty well in his autobiography: when the Republicans ran the Massachusetts state house, the Speaker refuse to let a single Democrat cross the doorway of the Speaker’s chambers. The same type of behavior happens here in my neck of the woods. When someone I know was in the state senate and won election to another office, the Senator leader fired her assistant a month before she left office since apparently she no longer needed any help now she was leaving for a different office and he decided he was the best person to manage her personnel.
So a great deal of this attitude towards Boehner is petty combined with their belief they are the only people who deserve power.
Can’t believe I missed that in your comment — it’s completely true. We had the GOP convention here in 2008 and local servers told horror stories. Convention goers were acting like rampant jerks and expecting total subservience. It’s a testament to the professionalism of bartenders/wait staff that no delegates got stabbed. I would have at least dumped a drink on someone. Who probably then would have sued me. And gone to the convention floor screaming for “tort reform.”
Wow. That’s amazing. Jonathan Chait has backed off this argument the last couple of years, but he did make a compelling argument that the Republicans had always been as bad as they are — not in an absolute sense, but that they are always pushing the envelope of acceptable behavior. Both those stories show a pure authoritarian approach.