Yesterday, Cryin’ John Boehner, the Vichy (Moderate) Republican who assumed the mantle of Speaker of the House of Representatives, after the Conservative-powered Political Tsunami, known as the Mid-term Elections of 2010, announced his resignation yesterday, effective at the end of October.
Hallelujah. And don’t let the screen door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya, O Spine of Jello.
In 1981 Boehner served on the board of trustees of Union Township, Butler County, Ohio. In 1984, he served as president of the township board of trustees.
Boehner served as a Ohio state representative from 1985 to 1990. In 1990, when U.S. Rep. Donald “Buz” Lukens (R-Ohio) was caught in a sex scandal involving a minor, Boehner challenged Lukens in the Republican primary and defeated the incumbent, while also upsetting the district’s former representative, Tom Kindness, who Boehner declared had abandoned his district to become a lobbyist. Boehner went on to victory in the 1990 general election and began serving in the U.S. House of Representatives the 102nd Congress.
He was a member of the Gang of Seven, a group of seven freshmen Republicans who assailed the Democratic leadership with accusations of corruption and arrogance over the misuse of the House Bank. According to a 1992 San Francisco Chronicle article the Gang “set the match to the bank scandal that has now engulfed the House, blackened its leadership and sparked a ‘spontaneous political combustion’ that many analysts say will fuel a record turnover in Congress.” (San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30/02)
Boehner told the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “I came as a reformer. But when people in charge don’t want to reform – the only way…is revolution.” (Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/15/93)
The banking scandal involved 355 members, Democrats and Republicans, writing 8,331 overdrafts to the bank. The Gang pounced on the issue and forced the Democrats into a corner and eventually led to the tidal wave Republican Revolution of 1994.
Boehner came to Congress as one of the most pro-business, anti-government members in 1990. He advocated a flat tax and abolition of whole government agencies including the Department of Education and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Boehner quickly rose to the fourth highest position in the Republican leadership – Republican Conference Chairman – after chairing Newt Gingrich’s 1994 run for the Minority Leader post.
Boehner was on of the principal architects of the Contract With America. He also championed the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act.
When Newt Gingrich resigned his post as Speaker in the wake of the GOPs loss of seats in the 1998 election Boehner’s leadership post was challenged by J.C. Watts, the only black Republican congressman. Boehner lost to Watts 121-93.
In 2001 Boehner was named the Chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee where he would oversee numerous agencies that he planned on abolishing in the early 1990s. Boehner worked diligently to pass [[President Bush]]’s No Child Left Behind Act, reaching across the aisle as a conference committee chairman to work with Democrat George Miller (D).
Boehner has also been a strong supporter of school vouchers for private and religious schools and helped to push through the school voucher program for the District of Columbia.
Boehner has repeatedly tried to get a pension reform bill, favored by business leaders, passed by Congress. It has passed the House multiple times, but has consistently failed in the Senate.
Boehner was elected House Majority Leader on February 2, 2006, following Tom DeLay’s departure because of a criminal indictment.
There was brief controversy on the first ballot for Majority Leader. The first count showed more votes cast than Republicans present at the Conference meeting. However, this turned out to be due to a misunderstanding on whether or not Congressman Luis Fortune was allowed to vote on leadership.
Boehner campaigned as a reform candidate who could help the House Republicans cleanse and recover from the political damage caused by charges of ethics violations, corruption and money laundering leveled against prominent conservatives such as DeLay and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in spite of his own ties to Abramoff.
He bested fellow candidates Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Rep. John Shadegg of Arizona, even though he was considered an underdog candidate to House Majority Whip Blunt. It was the most contested election among House Republicans since 1998. Boehner received 122 votes compared to 109 by Blunt in a run-off vote. Rep. Shadegg dropped out of the race after a loss in the first round of voting and his supporters backed Boehner.
Blunt kept his previous position as Majority Whip, the No. 3 leadership position in the House. Boehner has a strong pro-business reputation but the social conservatives in the GOP are questioning his commitment to their values. According to the Washington Post “From illegal immigration to sanctions on China to an overhaul of the pension system, Boehner, as chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, took ardently pro-business positions that were contrary to those of many in his party. Religious conservatives — examining his voting record — see him as a policymaker driven by small-government economic concerns, not theirs….. [He opposes] a tough illegal immigration bill that passed in December  with overwhelming Republican support over Boehner’s opposition. One provision in the bill would mandate that every business verify the legality of every employee through the federal terrorism watch list and a database of Social Security numbers. For the bill’s authors, the measure is central to choking off illegal immigrants’ employment opportunities. To business groups and Boehner, it is unworkable.” Feb 12, 2006
Boehner has since backtracked on his reform platform, stalling on lobbying and ethics reform proposals put forward by Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA). Boehner stated on “Fox New Sunday” that Congress may be overreacting to the current lobbying scandal and voiced his opposition to a proposed congressional travel ban and a ban of earmark projects. The Washington Post writes that Boehner’s ascension to the Majority Leader post “make[s] it less likely that the more far-reaching proposals to restructure lobbying will become law.” Boehner called the travel ban proposal “childish” in another interview.
Boehner is one of the top recipients of private travel, ranking 7th out of 638 members and former members at American Radio Works Power Trips. His trip totals cost $157,603.85.
So, why is Boehner vacating his cushy, phone-baloney job?
Perhaps he hears footsteps behind him, leading to the embarrassment of being fired.
Foxnews.com reports that
Most Republicans feel betrayed by their party — and show their displeasure by supporting outsiders over establishment candidates in the GOP presidential race.
Real-estate mogul Donald Trump and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson are the favorites in the Republican race in the latest Fox News national poll on the 2016 election. Neither has held elected office before and yet the two of them — together with businesswoman Carly Fiorina — capture the support of more than half of GOP primary voters.
On the Democratic side, support for Vice President Joe Biden — who is still considering a run — has almost doubled since August. But make no mistake: Hillary Clinton remains the frontrunner.
Trump stays on top with 26 percent among GOP primary voters, followed by Carson at 18 percent. Fiorina and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio are next, tied at 9 percent. All four have gained ground. After the August Fox News debate, Trump had 25 percent, while Carson had 12 percent, Fiorina 5 percent and Rubio 4 percent.
Trump holds his leader status even though he was once again rated in the poll as having done the worst job in the debate. Fiorina, Rubio and Carson receive positive marks for their performances.
The appeal of outsiders comes from significant dissatisfaction with the party establishment: 62 percent of Republican primary voters feel “betrayed” by politicians in their party, and another 66 percent say the recent Republican majorities in Washington have failed to do all they could to block or reverse President Obama’s agenda. For comparison, 40 percent of Democratic primary voters feel betrayed by their party.
Frustration with party leaders has been a recurring theme for one sitting GOP senator in the race, Ted Cruz of Texas, who is next in the poll at eight percent. He was at 10 percent in August.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush garners seven percent, a new low for him in the Fox News poll. He had 15 percent support as recently as early August.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is up a couple of ticks to five percent and Ohio Gov. John Kasich gets four percent. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee receives three percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul two percent. All other candidates receive one percent or less.
The favorites among white evangelical Christians voting in the Republican primary are Trump (29 percent), Carson (21 percent) and Cruz (12 percent).
The top picks among self-described “very” conservatives voting in the GOP primary are Carson (23 percent), Trump (22 percent), Cruz (13 percent) and Rubio (11 percent).
Straight talk is part of Trump’s outsider appeal — but does he go too far? Not for GOP primary voters: 65 percent of them say Trump just tells it like it is, compared to 30 percent who think he is “too mean and blunt” to be president. Trump’s style may be a liability in the general election, though. Overall, 49 percent of voters find him too mean and blunt, while 44 percent say we need his directness.
Moderate Republicans have been a barrier to Republican victory for as long as I can remember. Like Quakers, Establishment Republicans seem to believe that passive resistance and reaching out to their sworn enemies, friends, is the way to defeat those who oppose you.
It has been especially bad since Boehner gained the Speakership in January of 2011, as the House and Senate Republican Leadership apparently cherish their friendship with the Democrats more than they do the wishes of the folks back home. Yes, they talk a good game, but so did Jon Lovitz in those “Liar Sketches” during the old days of Saturday Night Live, back when that show was actually funny.
Yeah, my wife Morgan Fairchild. Yeah, that’s it. That’s the ticket!
In 1975, Ronald Wilson Reagan gave a speech which sums up our present situation and how we need to handle the Republican Party leadership, quite well.
Americans are hungry to feel once again a sense of mission and greatness.
I don ‘t know about you, but I am impatient with those Republicans who after the last election rushed into print saying, “We must broaden the base of our party” — when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.
It was a feeling that there was not a sufficient difference now between the parties that kept a majority of the voters away from the polls. When have we ever advocated a closed-door policy? Who has ever been barred from participating?
Our people look for a cause to believe in. Is it a third party we need, or is it a new and revitalized second party, raising a banner of no pale pastels, but bold colors which make it unmistakably clear where we stand on all of the issues troubling the people?
Let us show that we stand for fiscal integrity and sound money and above all for an end to deficit spending, with ultimate retirement of the national debt.
Let us also include a permanent limit on the percentage of the people’s earnings government can take without their consent.
Let our banner proclaim a genuine tax reform that will begin by simplifying the income tax so that workers can compute their obligation without having to employ legal help.
And let it provide indexing — adjusting the brackets to the cost of living — so that an increase in salary merely to keep pace with inflation does not move the taxpayer into a surtax bracket. Failure to provide this means an increase in government’s share and would make the worker worse off than he was before he got the raise.
Let our banner proclaim our belief in a free market as the greatest provider for the people. Let us also call for an end to the nit-picking, the harassment and over-regulation of business and industry which restricts expansion and our ability to compete in world markets.
Let us explore ways to ward off socialism, not by increasing government’s coercive power, but by increasing participation by the people in the ownership of our industrial machine.
Our banner must recognize the responsibility of government to protect the law-abiding, holding those who commit misdeeds personally accountable.
And we must make it plain to international adventurers that our love of peace stops short of “peace at any price.”
We will maintain whatever level of strength is necessary to preserve our free way of life.
A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.
I do not believe I have proposed anything that is contrary to what has been considered Republican principle. It is at the same time the very basis of conservatism. It is time to reassert that principle and raise it to full view. And if there are those who cannot subscribe to these principles, then let them go their way.
I believe that the Republican Party is stuck in a cycle in which their desire to protect their own hindquarters and cushy “jobs” have lead to a self-imposed isolation from the very American Citizens who were responsible for their having those cushy “jobs” in the first place.
I believe that average Americans, like you and me, have the power to relieve them of the burden of such a stressful job, and send others to Washington, who will listen to their “bosses”.
Just as Ronaldus Magnus said those 39 years ago, it is time to “let them go their way”.
Cryin’ John Boehner’s “resignation” is a good start.
It’s time for Mitch “The Turtle” McConnell to pack his bags, as well.
Until He Comes,