The dark truth of John Boehner’s resignation…

Posted: 28 Sep 2015 in Politics
Tags: , , ,

Full article @ DK

This is something that should not slip by lightly. The video above is of a roomful of Republican voters interrupting the speech of a Republican Senator and presidential candidate with a standing ovation at the news that the Republican House Speaker has been forced to resign.  It is hard to watch this outburst of joyful anger (or angry joy?) without wondering: what in the world is going on with the Republican party?  Why would news of the humiliating resignation of John Boehner spark an immediate Republican celebration?

Mr. Boehner certainly was unpopular with his own Republican voters. The day of his resignation a WSJ/NBC poll found that “some 72% of Republican primary voters said they were dissatisfied with the ability of Mr. Boehner and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell to achieve Republican goals.”  But that phrase – failure “to achieve Republican goals” – is remarkable.  As a very good “Abbreviated Pundit Round-up” details today, John Boehner and the Republicans overall never had the votes to impose Republican policies.  As Phillip Bump notes, the only “compromises” Boehner made “have been between reality and fantasy.”  

Indeed, it is notable that when conservative writer Erick Erickson writes a column titled “Why John Boehner Had To Go,” he can’t actually name or describe anything Boehner did wrong – only arguing vaguely and nonsensically that Boehner (somehow) held his own Republican party “in contempt.”  

When forced to explain this supposed “contempt,” numerous Republicans (even presidential candidates) list not only Boehner’s (non-existent) failure to stop Obamacare, but also his supposed enabling of Obamacare.  As Mike Huckabee explained, “When people sent [Republicans] here, they didn’t send them to give the president more power on Obamacare[.]” Think about that: after total legislative obstruction, a government shut-down, more than 50 votes to repeal Obamacare, an ensuing presidential election, two Supreme Court lawsuits, and other pending litigation – – Republicans are livid with the belief that John Boehner has worked with the President to strengthen Obamacare.

No sane political observer could think that.  So, what gives?  As Jonathan Chait explains, we are witnessing a sort of collective Republican denial where they cannot accept that they are not the ruling party, not the “deciders” (to use a former president’s phrase):

To understand the pressures that brought about Boehner’s demise as an ideological split badly misconstrues the situation. The small band of right-wing noisemakers in the House who made Boehner’s existence a living hell could not identify any important substantive disagreements with the object of their wrath. . . . The source of the disagreement was tactical, not philosophical. Boehner’s tormentors refused to accept the limits of his political power. . . .
This discontent runs much deeper and wider than Boehner. . . Boehner had the misfortune of leading, or attempting to lead, his party in an era when it had run up to the limits of crazy, where the only unexplored frontiers of extremism lay beyond the reach of its Constitutional powers…

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