Ever since Republicans won the House in 2010 and voted John Boehner Speaker of the House, he has been a disappointment.
When he boo hooed on national TV and let his emotions carry him away, many of us cut him some slack. It was a big moment and those of us who are his age have all shed a tear or two of sentimentality at important events. But it wasn’t an auspicious beginning for a party that was going to have to fight Obama every inch on every thing.
Boehner started off as a laughingstock for late night shows, who after all are the Edward R. Murrows, Walter Cronkites and New York Times for the moron majority of Americans. He didn’t look like a tough guy who could clean Obama’s clock, did he? You don’t trust someone that everyone else is laughing at. Strike One.
He is so innocuous, in fact, that Obama didn’t even have his phone number to congratulate him as is the custom on election nights.
Boehner did manage to pass a repeal of Obamacare in the House. That didn’t accomplish anything. He did produce a budget that passed, but it languished in the Senate. Not a record to brag about. Strike Two.
As soon as Obama had won re-election in November, Boehner showed his spine of candle wax once again. He said he would be open to move revenue sources in a conciliatory gesture to the president that only buttressed Obama’s hard stand on taxes. Not a good starting point.
Then, all through the following negotiations, Boehner continued his weak position. Never let them see you sweat is an expression. Boehner not only let Obama see him sweat, he also hyperventilated, convulsed, cried and caved. Not that it wasn’t a difficult situation; it was. But Boehner never showed any imagination in dealing with it, nor expertise, not assurance, nor conviction.
Boehner should have taken the spending argument and used it to educate the public about the dangers that lay ahead. The Speaker should have emphasized that the tax raises will contribute so little to the running of the country that they would evaporate in eight days. Instead, he let Obama’s tax the rich argument become the centerpiece of the issue with spending and our future put aside.
When he started eliminating conservatives from positions of leadership in the House, Boehner got his strike three.
With him as our leader charging into battle we were doomed from the start.
In the vote held last night, only 85 Republicans voted with Boehner. Republicans voting no amounted to 151. Not a good sign for Boehner. Many prominent Republicans said nay, including second in command Eric Cantor, Darrel Issa, Kevin McCarthy, Marsha Blackburn and Louis Gohmert.
Tomorrow the House votes for Speaker. It is said Eric Cantor of Virginia would like to challenge Boehner. Will he? I’m not sure he would be much better, but at least he’d be a fresh start.