Tea Party Shakedown vs. Shutdown: The Shame Of Being Boehner

The Speaker of the House of Representatives is one of the most powerful positions in American politics. The person in that post is second in the line of succession to the presidency, and has the power to appoint every committee chair and to determine what legislation will be considered. However, the current occupant of that post, John Boehner, hardly exerts the influence that comes with it.

To the contrary, Boehner has presided over an embarrassing reign of failure and capitulation. The tiny Tea Party cell of extremists in the House has utterly dominated Boehner and reduced him to a dysfunctional figurehead who cannot complete even the simplest tasks of governing.

John Boehner
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Boehner has a historic opportunity to shepherd several initiatives through the House that would advance the welfare of the nation economically, socially, and diplomatically. Congress has an immigration reform bill before it with broad bipartisan support. There is also legislation that would prevent felons and mentally ill people from having access to guns. Both of these proposals could pass now with a coalition of votes from both Republicans and Democrats.

The Continuing Resolution currently being debated would fund the government at levels that the Tea Party had previously supported. But now they are acting to obstruct it because of their obsession to defund ObamaCare. The insertion of language to cripple or delay the Affordable Care Act is a deliberate attempt to shakedown Democrats in order to get rid of it under the threat of shutting down the government and creating economic distress for the whole country. That’s how desperate zealots who don’t care about anything but their own narrow self-interests operate.

Of course, Boehner has a choice to succumb to this extortion by fanatics or to represent the American people. What Boehner seems to fail to understand is that he is the Speaker of the whole House, not just the Republican caucus – and certainly not the Tea Party. Yet he feels compelled to obey an unwritten rule that only legislation that receives a majority of Republican votes will be brought to the floor. That is a perversion of democracy. The House is the people’s branch of government and ought to reflect their will.

What Boehner is afraid of is the possibility that he will offend the two dozen or so Tea-hadists and put his speakership in peril. So he chooses to acquiesce to their demands while ignoring the other 200-odd members of his caucus. If he were a real statesman, he would craft a legislative agenda that appeals to both Republicans and Democrats and actually pass bills that become law. That is, after all, his job. Instead, he presides over the most unproductive congress in history.

Boehner needs to ask himself what he sees as his role and what he hopes for as his legacy. The way he’s going he will be remembered as a weak hand who surrendered to a noisy faction of outliers while pursuing his own selfish interests. He will have empowered an otherwise small and unpopular group of ignorant malcontents by granting them more attention than they deserve. And he will lose his post whether or not the Republican Party retains a majority after the 2014 elections.

It is really rather pathetic that The Tea Party, which is languishing at near all-time lows of favorability, has such a stranglehold on this congress simply because the guy running it is such a quivering wimp.


13 thoughts on “Tea Party Shakedown vs. Shutdown: The Shame Of Being Boehner

  1. You know Mark, these fanatics were voted into office by the people – so maybe your criticism is for the American people who have placed these people in charge. Democrats are the minority in the House – so maybe the people are becoming radicalized against government by placing these people in charge. This is representative democracy in action – maybe you need to convince the people of why they are wrong to votes these guys in. I personally am happy for the disfunction as it keeps them from enacting new laws that result in my hard earned money going to DC. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelet.

  2. Steve in York,
    Do you really think anyone likes paying taxes? No, but a lot of us realize that paying taxes is the price we pay for a civilized society. Personally, I rather like having clean air and water, safe food and drugs, firemen, policemen, and teachers doing their jobs, and paved roads and highways to drive on. I’m sure you enjoy these also; but it sounds as if you don’t want to pay for it.

    The teabaggers (to call them by the name they first gave themselves) seem to be on a crusade to destroy anything of which they disapprove.

  3. John Boehner: Worst Speaker of the House in history.

  4. As someone that lives both in the US and in Europe and has traveled extensively around the globe I just do not understand the insanity of the tea party and their lack of willingness to pay taxes or support government in any constructive way. As Tina said earlier, I am sure that the tea party individuals welcome firemen, policemen, roads, bridges, clean air (mostly) etc etc. To go their crazy road means that the US will fall even further behind in education, amenities, infrastructure. To those of you that don’t travel abroad, or even your on State, the world is passing you by at an incredible rate…in quality, education, infrastructure. If you want to be a country in the third world category, just let the tea party have their way!

    • Robert, It’s not about no government, it’s about LIMITED GOVERNMENT – despite my response above. What limited is to you and me may differ, but get the size of the federal government down to the current tax revenue of $2.2 trillion +/- and we’re in business. Keep it where it is now, and much bigger financial trouble is clearly coming – and that isn’t a threat, it’s a reality.

  5. The American people are NOT responsible for putting these people in charge. How many Americans actually voted? Did they really have any other choices? What would happen if American elected a truly American party? (I.e non-Zionist) It wouldn’t happen. Period. It would simply be stolen and the media would back up the lies to the hilt. America’s govenment is under almost complete occupation by Zionist Jewish extremists and the traitors that support them. That is the problem. Nothing else really matters..

    • And you’re a racist piece of scum whose opinion demonstrates that there are still people whose intelligence hasn’t evolved beyond the single cell stage.

      • Oh? And do you think talking complete nonsense is going to convince anybody???

        Let’s test your intelligence, twit face. Explain what in my comment leads you to drivel – “you’re a racist piece of scum”? You brought my intelligence into this, so you’re obviously obligated to explain your ad hominum, confused attack.

        And frankly, it’s quite amusing, as it always is, that a Zionist can accuse anyone of racism at all.

        * I don’t expect this malignant traitor to respond. They almost never do…and if they do it won’t be to explain his views -I can promise you that!

        • You’re right. I won’t waste my time responding to your Nazi BS. Your comment speaks for itself.

          • As does yours. Even funnier for a Zionist to call anyone a ‘Nazi’. They simply copied the Zionist playbook to the letter–only with Aryans instead of Jews.

            To the letter..

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