The Great Boehner Deflation

Politico reported yesterday that House Speaker John Boehner is laying the groundwork for that most elusive of all chimeras, the “grand bargain” with President Obama before he steps down. Barring that, he’ll push through a clean debt ceiling hike. Either way, this ends four years of constant hostage taking of the nation’s—and the world’s—economy for short term political gain.

It didn’t have to be like this. At his heart, I don’t believe Mr. Boehner is a bomb-throwing nihilist as are the members of the “Freedom Caucus”. He’s been in Congress since the 1990s, and has a concern for the institution. He could have easily followed in the time-honored tradition of seeking to build coalitions with those across the aisle and sideline the radicals in his own party. He wouldn’t have gotten everything he wanted, but he would have gotten some of it, and the country would have worked much more efficiently.

But the fever unleashed with Pres. Obama’s election was too far gone to combat. No drug could cure it. A rump of GOP radicals, abetted by fellow-travelers, demanded nothing less than all-out war against the White House. Compromise wasn’t the way things were supposed to be done; it was defeatism and near-treason. And Mr. Boehner, either from weakness or calculation (or a bit of both), couldn’t stand against the tide. Thus we had shutdowns, and credit downgrades, and slower than expected growth because Republicans in Congress were more concerned with neutering the president than upholding their constitutional duties.

Mr. Boehner made the calculation that his political life depended upon placating the radicals. But nothing he could do would be enough for them. Anything other than bringing down the temple as did Samson would be betrayal. And thus, they took his political life.

Now free from that pressure, he’s going to ram through what he should have always rammed through, built on a coalition with Democrats. Good for him, at this late date. But that gesture is a drop in the bucket. Behind him he’ll leave a roiling storm, with no one on the Republican side able, at this time, to tame it. His legacy will be one of failure and missed opportunities. He could have joined with Pres. Obama to advance part of his own agenda, knowing as he did that compromise is the glue of politics. But he stood at the end of a long road, one of obstruction and nihilism, and he couldn’t do anything to change course.

What we’re facing now is complete dysfunction in the House, with every viable candidate for Speaker being vetoed by the Jacobins. The solution, of course, is for the remnant of Republicans who actually put country before party to join with Democrats and keep the country afloat until the 2016 elections. But the monster which they created will lash out in violence, and imperil their own political futures. This is a “Profiles in Courage” moment for that “Peter King” type of Republican. I hope they rise up to it.

42 Responses to “The Great Boehner Deflation”

  1. 9 Don
    October 16, 2015 at 11:26 am

    “What we’re facing now is complete dysfunction in the House, with every viable candidate for Speaker being vetoed by the Jacobins.”

    Sir, that right there is some fancy writing. LL, you never disappoint.

  2. October 16, 2015 at 11:42 am

    Good morning, TODers.

    Our President is the best of the best.

  3. 16 forus50
    October 16, 2015 at 11:46 am

    Awesome post LL. You are a genius Leftist righteous wordsmith!

    I’m probably late to this but just wanted to share this for anyone who hadn’t seen it yet. I

  4. 17 MightyPamela
    October 16, 2015 at 11:54 am

    LL – again, your brilliant KaBoom! Thank you.

  5. 21 amk for obama
    October 16, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    One of the major branches of the world’s most powerful govt is paralyzed and corrupt msm is chasing benghazi, emails, gun nuts in oregon stories.

  6. October 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Hey, y’all!
    How’s it going?

    Hope you all have a great weekend.

    Great job, as always, LL. 😉😉😊

  7. 25 Linda
    October 16, 2015 at 12:05 pm

    Trey Gowdy is a NO SHOW at the Benghazi hearing today.

  8. 26 Dakota
    October 16, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    Morning Everyone!

    Great post LL!

  9. October 16, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    In Canadian elections today’s update has Liberals and Justin Trudeau projected to win with 74% chance. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/globe-election-forecast-2015/article25377958/

  10. 30 JER
    October 16, 2015 at 12:36 pm

  11. October 16, 2015 at 12:52 pm

    LL your writing is superb! But you have big eyes that can see something I don’t. Boehner not a flamethrower? I beg to differ.

    • October 16, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      Well, relatively speaking.

      What we need is a non-insane conservative party. That yin and yang is the stuff of democracy. The GOP is so screwed up that I honestly don’t know how we get there. As McCarthy said, the GOP may have to hit rock bottom before it rights itself.

  12. October 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    Sighs. From TPM:

    A vice chairman at the Democratic National Committee on Thursday accused the committee’s chair, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), of lying about another official at the DNC, escalating a public tiff between Wasserman Schultz and two DNC vice chairs over the number of Democratic presidential debates sanctioned by the party.

    • 36 Roberta in MN
      October 16, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      I read that, R.T. Rybak was the other V-Chair. He is a straight shooter, but we really didn’t need the DNC to turn into a clown car like the other side. Excellent article LL. I am going to FB if it is OK with you.

  13. 38 Nena20409
    October 16, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Hello, Hello, Hello TODville Community.
    Congrats Don on your Gold ⭐
    Congrats to all the other Gold ⭐ winners 3 posts back.
    Great Thread, LL. As always, your essays are thought-provoking, superbly intellectual and profoundly easily digestible. Thank you.
    I must confess, LL when I read one singular word embedded deep down the Thread; Neutered…….I lost my lunch. Thank you so much…..I think 😆 🙄 😆 🙄 😉
    Last, congrats LL on your road to free ‘Spirits’

  14. 39 Nena20409
    October 16, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Josh’s presser from yesterday.

  15. October 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    He was too set on only one thing–getting the president.

  16. October 16, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    you are absolutely on point, LL.

    good to see you.

  17. 42 jacquelineoboomer
    October 16, 2015 at 3:54 pm

    Great piece, LL. Thank you.

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