Monday, September 28, 2015
Week of 09/28/2015
The GOP’s In-House Coup
While the media was tripping over themselves about the presidential wannabes in their own perverted, over-hyped, self-gratifying fantasy football game, or going ga-ga over Pope Francis, the GOP launched their own coup d’etat.
Don’t worry; President Obama is still the President, much to the rage and the fury of the trailer park talk radio crowd. Joe Biden is still the Vice-President. The justices of the Supreme Court are still in place and as extremely polarized as ever. And the United States Constitution is right where the conservatives left it... on the ladies’ room toilet paper dispenser in Rowan County, Kentucky.
But there was an uprising by the GOP, and it has cost one government leader their career.
It just happened to be one of theirs.
Just one day after Pope Francis made his historic speech to the joint session of Congress, House Speaker John Boehner shocked that same body when he announced that he was stepping down from both his role as Speaker and as the representative from Ohio. The reason for this sudden turn of events? Insurrection from within.
I know it seems strange, especially given that Boehner, the chain-smoking Jersey-tanned crybaby, has long been the symbol of hatred and opposition of all things Obama. If Obama said that two plus two equals four, then Boehner would dismiss it as “Common Core propaganda”. If Obama were to say that broccoli was good for you, Boehner would jump in front of the cameras and claim that broccoli was evil and Obama was carrying out some sort of master vegan plan. If Obama said that even a broken clock was right twice a year, Boehner would be changing the hands on that clock so they never would be right.
You get the picture?
So why, then, would Boehner, the point-man for all things Obama-hate, be the one forced out of office?
Because he’s actually the sane one of the bunch!
From the moment that the GOP took control of the House from the inept and incompetent Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2011, the extremist nutcases in the so-called “Grand Old Party” were salivating over what they thought they would be getting with Boehner in charge. They thought they would be getting Obama impeached. They thought they would be able to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. They thought they would be able to erase everything that ever happened in human history starting from November of 2008. And maybe they would even get the Nobel Committee to rescind Obama’s 2009 Award.
They didn’t get any of it.
Oh, they tried to dismantle and repeal and defund and otherwise shut down the Affordable Care Act. In fact they pretty much set a record for the number of times they tried to do just that. And they all failed. Every single one of them. Over and over and over and over again. Bills get passed, they go to the Senate, they die before going to a vote, lather, rinse, repeat.
“Have you tried repealing Obamacare? Now with more pizazz!” “Excuse me, but have you repealed Obamacare today?” “It’s 10PM, have you repealed Obamacare yet?” “Knock-knock. Who’s there? Have you repealed Obamacare yet?” “I’ll have a V-8 and repeal Obamacare.” “Get a Dodge with a Hemi engine and repeal Obamacare.” “Buy-one get to repealing Obamacare today!” “Tonight on ABC it’s prime time to repeal Obamacare.”
Failure after failure after failure.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. Well even hardcore criminally obsessive psycho-stalkers were looking at what the GOP was doing and saying “Dudes, get some help! You’re sick!”
And yet, John Boehner would continually put yet another vote to repeal, dismantle, defund, degrade, or otherwise defeat the Affordable Care Act without a care as to what the American people thought of it. Why? Because his own party demanded it!
Boehner let the Congress hold the country hostage over budget deadlines. Debt ceilings that used to be automatically raised without a single thought during the reign of the Bush Imperium were suddenly immediate points of contention that threatened the nation as a whole. Funding deadlines would continually pop up and we didn’t wonder “if” the government would be shut down, but rather “when” and “for how long”. Political brinksmanship for the sake of attention and to gratify the extremists in the GOP to make the nation pay for electing and re-electing Obama.
So why was Boehner ousted?
Because it still wasn’t enough for his party’s extremist nutcases!
Remember all of that talk about impeachment? Boehner squashed any thought of that once he accepted the Speaker gavel. Never mind that there hasn’t been a single crime that Obama supposedly “committed” that would lead to impeachment, unlike the GOP’s previous impeachment of Bill Clinton. But that doesn’t stop the GOP crazies, who want Obama impeached from office because... it’s Obama.
And speaking of the Clinton name, how about Hillary? The GOP thought they had her dead-to-rights over the terrorist attack on Benghazi, didn’t they? But, no, she slithered past it. And the whole thing with the personal server and her emails are ending up a dead issue as well. That’s supposedly Boehner’s fault as well, because he supposedly isn’t “pressing the issue hard enough”.
Of course Boehner hasn’t been completely useless, unlike his immediate predecessor. He tried something different to get Obama to behave...he filed lawsuits. I’m waiting for those cases to show up on “The People’s Court”, but I’m guessing even that forum will say they’re too stupid to consider, and that’s pretty much the bottom of the barrel without handing it off to Maury Pauvich or Jerry Springer.
And Boehner has tried to plead his case to the American people. It’s just that he’s on the pathetically losing side of the argument and he knows it, and he can’t defend the majority party without looking like the whiner that he is. “I can’t get anything past the Senate. I can’t get Obama to work with me. The country is going to hell in a handbasket and nobody wants to work with us. Nobody loves me, everybody hates me, I think I’ll go eat worms, and it’s all Obama’s fault.”
Then Boehner does something that everyone except the GOP want him to do... and that is to work with Obama and work with the Dems in Congress to try to keep things moving to avoid government shutdowns and sequestrations. And that, apparently, is the unforgiveable sin that did him in.
You see, the GOP extremist nutcases don’t want to “deal” with Obama or the Dems. They don’t want to “negotiate”. They feel they don’t have to. They want everything done their way, they want it done yesterday, and if they don’t get their way, then they want the whole country to burn to the ground. You see it in their rhetoric. You see it in the letters to the editor and the columnists in local newspapers. You hear it in talk radio listeners. And the people they end up sending to Washington are channeling that crazy and thinking that they are entitled to have things their way. This is political Burger King, GOP-style, and goddamn it, they’re going to have their Smokehouse-Double-Crap-K-Street-Whopper their way or they’ll shut the joint down.
And Boehner is not one of those Alabama-shack-two-dogs-on-the-porch loonies that consider Fox News to be too tame for their tastes. John Boehner is an old guard politician; one of those people who thinks that he’s entitled to leadership by simply biding his time and waiting his turn. He came in with Newt Gingrich and the original “Contract with America” crowd of the 1990’s, back in the day when you put the extremist talk away when you’re in Washington and you focus on getting the job done. And Boehner saw what happened when you shut the government down over your party’s temper tantrums. Do you really think someone like that wants to have it happen on his watch every three or four months, year after goddamed year?
Let’s get brutally honest here... for all that has been said about John Boehner as Speaker of the House, and I’ve said quite a bit over the years, his eminent departure from the halls of Congress is really not going to be a relief for anyone except for the extremists. He’s not being forced out by the voters, as should be the case. He’s being forced out by his own party, as part of an overall deal that will hopefully stave off yet another threatened government shutdown. But after he leaves, then what?
It’s the guy (or gal) that will take his place after his departure that should make everyone concerned. Boehner was forced out because he tried to strike a balance between the old guard and the nutcases. The next person will probably not make that mistake. That next person will probably pander to the nutcases, at least until the 2016 elections, and then see what the voters leave them with afterward.
The great fallacy is thinking that somehow the nutcase brigade has taken over the GOP. But as a former card-carrying member of that party, I see things a little differently. They’re not “taking over” the party. Right now that’s all that they have left. They are the GOP base. They are the ones that show up at the primaries and caucuses. They are the ones that the presidential wannabes are pandering to, bouncing crazy off crazy to produce even more crazy.
The most maddening part about this, the reason why you don’t have too many alarm bells sounding over this turn of events, is because the scripted response will come in the 2016 elections, when voters will most likely flip back to the Democrats. The party players and bosses know that the extremist turn will end up alienating enough voters for them to choose the scripted alternative. The Dems know this as well, which is why you don’t see too many of them panicking. They know that the worst the GOP gets, the better things will be for them down the road.
By the way, don’t worry about Mister Boehner. As a career member of Congress, he’s already set with a golden parachute that will guarantee he’ll never have to worry about money ever again. And we’re all paying for that golden parachute through our taxes. And if he feels the need to keep working, then he’s got his pick of K-Street political action committees and think tanks to join. The circle of political life says that the politicians that cater to the lobbyists will leave to become lobbyists themselves. Or he’ll get a cushy job at a law firm or at some university. Or he’ll write a book and go on speaking tours. Or maybe he’ll do all of the above. Ironic, if not insulting, that while the taxpayers continue to struggle, career politicians like Boehner will be allowed to retire into a life of luxury, paid for by us.
Then again, this is what we mindlessly vote for over and over again.