Saturday, September 26, 2015

The LuLac Edition #3032, September 26th, 2015


Boehner on the cover of Time in 2010. He got the leadership with the big win but at a terrible cost. He was given a radical minority that caused him more harm than good. Talk about a deal with the devil. (Photo: Time Magazine).
Speaker of the House John Boehner beat the members of his own party to the punch by resigning in an unconventional move, Boehner resigned yesterday morning. Boehner strode to the podium singing a Disney song
and you could tell the weight of the world was off him. The last two sessions of Congress were deemed the most unproductive in American history and many people
will try to blame Boehner.
My belief is that when Boehner became speaker he had visions of a type of leadership relationship that Carl Albert had with Richard Nixon, Tip O’Neill had with Ronald Reagan, and Newt Gingrich had with Bill Clinton. But what got in the way was the rigid element of his own party. It is interesting that in his tenure since the Tea Party became a minority force, the last two sessions of Congress have been the least productive of any in history. There is a reason for that and it is not the fact that Boehner didn’t want a deal. He tried a few times with the President but then reneged because of the pressure from the zealots.
If the leaders of the Tea Party think they are going to get their way with a new Speaker, I predict it won’t happen. Even with a new President, the Tea Party is still a minority within a sensible majority. Kevin McCarthy might not be the answer to them after a few days.
What was really sad yesterday was the cheering of members of the GOP when it was announced at a forum that Boehner had resigned. Ted Cruz credited the audience with the fact that the Speaker resigned. Cruz who interfered with Boehner’s leadership and may have been responsible in part should have shut up and take his victory lap. Instead he gloated like a school boy.
Finally if Boehner is at all moved by a place in history, perhaps he should do this. Unencumbered of worrying about losing his job, he should build a coalition with the Senate as well as Democrats in the House and pass an Immigration bill as well as a few things the President wants (but is not anathema to his beliefs) and go for it.
When the history of this political era is written, the people who were the least strident and circumspect will be remembered. The loud rabble will be dispatched to the anonymity that they so truly deserve.


Much has been made of the tears John Boehner made during his tenure at big events. Here’s my take. He was one of a dozen children. There were four to a room and the parents had to sleep on a pull out bed in the living room. At 5AM he swept out a bar every morning. He had humble beginnings and less advantages than I dare say most of the members of Congress. When you come from that background, you are awed at your luck. You think about how bad you family had it, how hard it was to get there. Emotions tell us that this man was real. In another time and era, he may have been a more compassionate leader if he had more sensible and less mean contemporaries.


Congressman Barletta with the Speaker. (Photo: Citizen's Voice).
Congressman Lou Barletta, issued the following statement regarding the retirement of Speaker of the House John Boehner, effective at the end of October:
“I have often said that Speaker Boehner had one of the toughest jobs in politics: trying to maintain order in a chamber with so many strong opinions that head in so many different directions. I know what the old cliché says, but honestly, herding cats would be a lot easier.
“I have not always agreed with the Speaker on every issue, but I always found that he treated people fairly and with respect. He was willing to listen to dissenting points of view and was capable of responding to the concerns of different segments of his caucus. I appreciate that he gave me a prominent voice in House deliberations on immigration policy, and I credit him for joining me in touring the damage in the Susquehanna River Valley in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in 2011. In many ways, Speaker Boehner had an impossible job, in that he was being asked to overcome a Senate that remains an obstacle to House legislation because of its arcane rules, and a White House that dismisses disagreement out of hand. Under the circumstances, I feel he has done a commendable job.
“The Speaker recently became a grandfather for the first time, and I know from personal experience how difficult it is to be away from family for such extended periods of time. There can be no question that he is going out on a high note, as he is responsible for bringing Pope Francis for his historic address Congress this week. As a fellow Catholic, I know how important his faith is to the Speaker, and I am happy he will have the memory of the Holy Father’s visit. I sincerely wish Speaker Boehner well in his life after Congress.
“The Speaker’s retirement naturally means that we must select new leadership in the House. As that process moves forward, I will be carefully considering all of the candidates for all of the positions.”


So this cat that is the President of China is meeting with leaders in our country and they start talking about the issues of cyber hacking. The President, Xi Jinping  says China will be willing to help. Really? 50% of the hacking comes from China. Talk about the fox watching the proverbial hen house.


At 6:34 PM, Anonymous Joe said...

Do you realize that it is the ringing endorsement of liberals like you that were part of Boehner's downfall.
If liberals are singing his praises, he isn't worth much to the republicans.

At 8:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right Joe! Boehner was a weeny. Pelosi had more testosterone. He substituted tears for passion and fire, even peaked and burned out on his "Cap and Trade" speech.
Gimme someone who can spar with, and then follow the leadership of someone like Trump.

At 9:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boehner's biggest problem was Boehner. And it is a recurring Republican problem.

Nothing epitomized Boehner's wrong-headedness like an occasion when he emerged from the White House, after a conference with President Obama and others, to face a vast battery of microphones and television cameras.
Here was a golden opportunity for Speaker Boehner to make his case directly to the American people, unfiltered by the media. Instead, he just walked over to the microphones and cameras, briefly expressed his disgust with the conference he had just come from, and then walked on away. Like so many Republican leaders over the years, he seemed to have no sense of the importance of doing so -- or for the time and efforts needed to prepare for such an opportunity beforehand.

If the political situation in Washington is such that many of the expectations of Republican voters cannot be met, then at least take the time and trouble to spell that out in plain language to the public.
Maybe the smug consultants in Washington don't think the public can understand. But Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections by doing what subsequent Republican leaders disdained to do.

One of the secrets of Reagan's political success was a segment of the population that was called "Reagan Democrats." These were voters who traditionally voted for Democrats but who had been won over to Reagan's agenda.

Contrary to the thinking -- or lack of thinking -- among today's Republican leaders, Reagan did not go to these Democratic voters and pander to them by offering them a watered-down version of what the Democrats were offering. He took his case to them and talked -- yes, TALKED -- to let them know what his own agenda offered to them and to the country.

You won't swing a whole constituency of Democrats your way, and neither did Ronald Reagan. But he swung enough of them to win elections and to force Congressional Democrats to respect the "Reagan Democrats" he had won over.

There are issues on which Republicans can appeal to blacks -- school choice being just one obvious and important issue. And it is unlikely that all Hispanic voters want open borders, through which criminals can come in and settle in their communities.
But unspoken words will never tap these sources of votes, nor perhaps even convince Congressional Republicans. And if the quarterback is unsure what to do, being first and goal on the ten-yard line may not mean much.

Good Riddance.


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