There can be little argument on either side of the political fence that John Boehner was an inept Speaker of The House and an abject failure. He had neither the emotional stability nor the strength of conscience to lead The House effectively so both Democrats and Republicans feel similarly satisfied that he is resigning.
Boehner did try to conduct himself in that position like successful Speakers before him, even reaching a Grand Bargain on taxes, entitlements and deficit reduction with President Obama…before once again having his choke chain yanked by the Tea Party minority in The House and having to once again choose between standing up to them and working with Democrats to accomplish something meaningful (though the Grand Bargain may not have been a grand bargain for most Americans) or keeping the crown of Speaker but only as a puppet of the lunatic fringe in The House. Of course, he chose the latter.
Boehner’s desperation to keep the Speakership at any cost destroyed respect for him from both Democrats and his own Tea Party Republicans. Boehner went along with around 60 ridiculous votes to repeal the ACA but he also worked out agreements with The Senate and President Obama to keep government running (aside from one exception) and paying its debts, knowing the destruction that would come to the GOP (and threaten his Speakership) if Republicans proceeded with destroying the government and the economy.
Powered by the extremist and agitated base that has been whipped up by Donald Trump in particular and the GOP Presidential Primary candidates in general, the anti-moderate, anti-incumbent radicals in the GOP emboldened the Tea Party representatives in The House to push Boehner out. Boehner, like Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, had a bulls eye put on him once he stated that he doesn’t support the RW demands to shut down the government over de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Boehner’s probable replacement, Rep. Kevin McCarthy does have a much closer relationship with the Tea Party faction (dubiously named The House Freedom Caucus…freedom from sanity?) but his record hasn’t been as extremist as most of them.
However, the firing of Boehner makes one thing crystal clear, the Tea Party Republicans in Congress demand that their leadership use shutting down government, refusing to increase the debt ceiling and any other radical and nation-harming extortion tactics to get everything they want with no compromise.
Their presidential candidates, politicians and RW media have created this fantasy that Tea Partiers now worship, that the only reason Republicans didn’t kill the ACA, stop the Iran nuclear disarmament deal or turn the rest of their radical campaign promises into law is because of weak leaders in Congress who are RINOs and folded to Obama. Their delusion is that once the Tea Party has leadership in their hands, they’ll accomplish all their overblown campaign promises because they will be ruthless and willing to extort the entire nation to get what they want.
The big lie here, that any 8th grader could explain, is that we have checks and balances in our government to prevent the very type of dictatorial power Tea Partiers are demanding. As long as there is a Democratic President who vetoes the slimy bills that ooze out of The House, they can’t become law.
Especially with the 2016 Presidential election approaching, it would be self-destructive for Democrats in Congress or President Obama to display such weakness and lack of principles as to let the Tea Party minority in Congress hijack our government through extortion.
On the other hand, it seems now to be a necessary litmus test for all Republicans to support a government shutdown over de-funding Planned Parenthood.
Boehner has stated that he will work with The Senate to pass a Continuing Resolution that will keep government open and funded in the short term but this will all come back to be dealt with by the end of the year, as will the vote to raise the debt ceiling.
At this point in time, it seems nearly unavoidable that McCarthy will lead the GOP into a kamikaze act of shutting down government over Planned Parenthood. Not only is that a bridge too far for Democrats but the majority of Americans are with Democrats on supporting Planned Parenthood, not with the rabid Republicans.
So the outcome of this extortion is predetermined, despite the delusions of the Tea Party Republicans. Republicans have been loudly touting a government shut down over Planned Parenthood yet when the public gets angry over it, they will no doubt try to claim they’re not the ones shutting it down but that won’t fly.
And as Obama and the Dems hold firm (Obama has learned from experience that giving into Repubs only results in their demanding more) and insist that Republicans drop their extortion and send over a clean funding bill, the growing anger from a public hammered by the government shutdown will eventually lead to the GOP having to give up and give in.
And when the debt ceiling vote comes up? Here too, Tea Party Republicans seem too ignorant to understand the damage their actions could cause and they may indeed be willing to refuse to approve an increase. There is little doubt the US and world economies will be rocked by that.
The Tea Party Republicans may indeed be on the brink of wreaking havoc (as Scott Walker promised) on America and the Americans people (and people around the world) because doing so seems more and more a badge of honor and loyalty to the lunatics that control their party now.
The xenophobia, misogyny and racism that has been so prominently on display from Republicans this season may pale in comparison as reasons most Americans will be alienated from voting GOP in 2016. If Republicans do indeed shut down government, refuse to raise the debt ceiling and commit other acts of vandalism to the nation and its economy, their losses in 2016 could dwarf even the most ambitious estimates by Democrats.
It could in fact complete the trajectory of the GOP into becoming a permanent minority party (at least nationally) once they prove not only that giving them power is disastrous for the nation but that destruction isn’t a design flaw in their plans, it’s a feature.
Hey Ad, a right on summation. Cruz isn’t going anywhere in the GOP, let alone the presidency. He’s too radical for the radicals. A pompous windbag that even his colleagues can’t stomach. He really does think he’s the smartest guy in the room, and that is the exact opposite of genuine intelligence.
It chaffs my ass that they even let him speak, but that is the nature of congress.
I think it’s great that a lot of these bozos just don’t really know how powerful the internet is. Many of them speak and behave like it’s still 1960. They seem to think that, we the people, don’t know what’s
going on. They are sadly mistaken.
KT, the sad but true thing is, the most effective way to deny Repubs the WH and take back the Senate and House from them is to let them have and abuse power. They need to have this dimwit McCarthy representing them and shutting down government over something the majority of Americans won’t support. Over 60% of Americans want Planned Parenthood to continue to be funded, the TPGOP only have 30% of the country (IOW, the Republican Party) agreeing with them,
And when the shutdown lasts a long time and hurts even that 30%? The GOP will be on its knees in a Presidnetial election year. It’s not going to be great to go through this year but when it’s over and we have another Dem Pres, a Dem Senate and more Dems in The House…and a GOP torn apart and devastated, it will be worth it.
sometimes you eat the Bear,sometimes the Bear eats you.They are the authors of their own demise.They got in bed with the T’s in 2010,and they are trying to take over the bed! LOL
Beatlex, it is indeed a case of the creation turning on and destroying its master. As in Blade Runner (or the GOP version, “Blame Ruiners”):
Thanks for a terrific assessment of the current situation, AdLib. The GOP — in it’s present state of madness — seems to be longing for a pyrrhic victory. Under the misapprehension that — hey — it’s still a victory!
I watched video today of Jim Jordan trying to bully Cecile Richards during the Planned Parenthood hearings (or maybe they should be called “I-can’t-hearings” since Jordan refused to allow Richards to speak one full sentence without an interruption). It was clear that he was grandstanding for the Baggers and going for aggressive sound bites to use in his next campaign ads. But I wonder if he really knew how he was coming across to most of America.
Most of America really likes Planned Parenthood! But he and his Freedom Caucus cohorts live in such an echo chamber that they actually seem to be unaware of that fact. So he ended up just looking like an ill-mannered rube.
They also seem to think that once they succeed in blowing up the government completely, Americans will actually thank them for it! I think (and hope) that you’re right when you say that they’re on their way to becoming a permanent minority party.
I just hope we can all survive what they inflict on the country between now and then!
Great assessment Homie. Do these people ever really listen to the words that come out of their mouths? I guess it’s as you said, “echo chamber.”
No, I don’t think any of these misogynists and bigots in the GOP have any idea how they’re seen by the majority of Americans. They’re in their echo chambers, with their fellow nutjobs Repub Congresspeople, their rabid constituencies and their pandering campaign contributors. They are probably very pleased with how they looked, clueless that the majority of Americans just saw them act as assholes and bullies who don’t care about truth or dignity or working for Americans,
When this year is done, Congressional Repubs and those running for President will have imprinted the image of Repubs as hateful bigots who beat up on women, blacks, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, immigrants, refugees, victims of police violence, Muslims and non-Christians. They will have cemented their party as an enemy of our nation’s government and President, a destructive force to our economy, war mongers drooling at starting new wars, and a dysfunctional, mentally limited group that won’t and doesn’t want to represent or serve the best interests of the entire nation.
After losing in 2016, might we see for real what we had hoped we saw in 2008, a genuine and long term fracturing of the GOP, leaving it as a minority party for years to come?
Great article, Ad. Here is one area where Australia and the USA differ. Wikipedia “Abortion in Australia is a subject of state law rather than national law. The grounds on which abortion is permitted in Australia vary from state to state. In every state, abortion is legal to protect the life and health of the woman, though each state has a different definition.
There is no law anywhere in Australia that requires the notification or consent of a woman’s sexual partner. There is also no enforced waiting period for an abortion. Except in Western Australia, a minor does not require parental consent or notification.
Early-term surgical abortions are generally available around Australia for those women who seek them. The procedure is partially funded under Medicare, the government-funded public health scheme, or by private healthcare insurers. ”
Also, the would-be deniers of these treatments are getting the bum’s rush from our Government. F’rinstance:
Of course, the GOP will always rail against Planned Parenthood, even though abortion is only a small part of their business. Abortions are utterly abhorrent to a GOP/TP fundamentalist, until they need one.
Thanks so much, PPO, for giving us the picture of what goes on in Oz. As usual — it’s a much, much saner picture than what prevails here.
Your last sentence really nails it, though. I have personally known Republicans for whom that was the exact scenario. They ended up making that “choice” (that they were so eager to deny other women) when it came right down to it!
PPO, it doesn’t sound so dissimilar in Austrailia as it is in the U.S.. Federal law makes abortion legal in all states but each state can impose all kinds of limitations and restrictions on women, doctors and clinics. The cowardly Repubs have used very dishonest laws in red states to pile on invasions of privacy on women and insulting requirements while claiming their nearly impossible to follow laws on clinics having to jump through outrageous hoops to operate is all about protecting women’s health. Disgusting.
A pushback will come once enough women get pissed about abortion being virtually prevented through heavy handed regulations and humiliations and difficulties forced on women trying to get them.
The likely government shutdown in December over Repub’s’ insistence to cut Planned Parenthood or else, will add more fuel to the fire for women and other opponents of the religious extremists trying to control women, this will be the biggest miscalculation and backfire…until the next foolish decision they make.
RW Repubs only care about serving their lunatic fringe in their districts, they have no concept of big picture strategy. Good! Looking forward to Dems keeping the WH, taking back the Senate and making good gains in The House (could a hugely imploding GOP open the door just a crack to Dems taking back the House? It’s a long shot but not impossible!).
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place….but couldn’t have happened to a more deserving party. Ample opportunities were missed and dismissed to put the baggers in check, to not allow them to hijack an entire party and I don’t recall one goper speaking up before it was way to late. Now, many non fanaticals of the party are skeered. That’s no way to live a life and I’m both ashamed and sorry for them (not to much though). Who would want to be a member of the republican party today and a member of Congress with these kinds of obscene battles amongst their own? 2016 elections are gonna be very, very interesting! Anyone seen this video? Interesting!
I remember seeing that several years ago. This is one of the reasons I do not trust Hillary Clinton when it comes to the Presidency of this country. Too eager to play ball, sell out, and make decisions that will help the corporations. It appears the Clintons are about nothing more than money, same as the corporate republicans. Many decisions the Clintons have made during Bill’s Presidency and during Hillary’s time in the Senate have hurt this country tremendously. I don’t buy that excuse that Bill Clinton made a lot of his decisions because of the threat of the impeachment and his need to try to get along with republicans. I believe every decision he made was his not coerced. I believe this is the way both Bill and Hillary operate, they play ball with the highest bidder. Whatever gets them to where they want to go appears to be their main interest. Whatever decision pays them the most when it comes to wealth and power and the people of this nation be damned. Thanks for posting this, I remembered what Warren had said about Clinton but I couldn’t remember where I had heard this. The Bill Moyers show, what a wonderful fountain of information that show was, I watch it sometimes online now. After watching this, I believe I will go back to watching it a bit more often. I had forgotten how many excellent interviews Moyers has conducted.
Yep, this is actually history repeating itself for the GOP. In the 1980’s they pandered to and manipulated the Religious Right in the South to support their greed agenda by lying about their support for extremist religious positions and the Moral Majority ended up taking over their party and destroying it and themselves.
Once again, the GOP pandered to this new version of the Moral Majority named The Tea Party and once again, the Frankenstein monster they built to battle against Obama and the Dems has turned on them and taken over their party.
I think we’re in the last act of this play, as they again take over the party and leadership and destroy the GOP’s viability and themselves. The lesson is, sometimes the nutjobs have to be given power so that when they abuse it, they are shunned by the majority for many years to come.
As for the Moyers/Warren video, great find! I think I saw that episode too! Two of my favorite people and Warren’s story about Hillary is so validating of who she really is. It’s not that Hillary is a bad person, she has principles as the first part of the story showed but she is also so self-centered that she will compromise whatever it takes to serve herself and her ambitions.
That’s who she still is today and though I would vote for her if she is the Dem nominee to keep out a Republican President, I sure hope we end up with someone else.
Wow…! That is an eye-opening video, VB! Thanks for posting.
Excellent article AdLib!
I agree Boehner failed to lead. He was lead by the ring in his nose by the TeaPotty down the wrong road! Just like Crystal sings “here I go down the wrong road again”
Heh! Nice soundtrack pick, Nirek! I do think Boehner will not only be singing Country but also be singing the blues for a long time to come!
Excellent article as usual AdLib. I agree with your assessment of our present situation after Boehner has decided to quit. He has not only decided to leave the Speakership, but also congress itself. I’m sure he will become a lobbyist, advisor first and then full fledged.
I agree that maybe Kevin McCarthy may become the next Speaker. I have been researching some of his actions since he was elected to congress and it appears he had a lot to do with recruiting many of the Tea Party candidates that were elected in 2010. I only hope that some of the republicans who claim not to be Tea Party followers will try to counteract the disaster that appears to be going to happen no matter which one gets elected.
I will comment further later. Thanks for the article, makes a lot of sense. I found this video online, and thought I would add it. I found it very interesting, and probably close to the truth as to what is next for the House after Boehner leaves:
Just had to add this Ad:
When is the electorate going to wake up and realize what the republican party is doing to this country. They are so blatantly dishonest it isn’t funny, and we still have idiots voting for them. Unbelievable.
I do think that the Repubs in The House will have no choice but to shut down government in December, just in time to destroy Christmas vacations and holiday income for federal workers and contractors.
There’s nothing we can do to stop that so we have to be zen-like in our acceptance of it. The destruction to the GOP (and their Presidential candidates) from a shutdown will be substantial so in order for the ongoing destruction of the GOP to accelerate and the prospects of a Dem sweep in 2016 to be realized…as we progress towards shrinking the GOP into a permanent minority party (nationally), I suppose this has to happen.
And maybe the horrible fallout from that will scare them off from refusing to raise the debt ceiling as well.