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The Education of John Boehner
5 years ago

It’s not the Dynamo and the Virgin, it’s the ho-ho-ho and the head spin:

What stunned House Speaker John Boehner more than anything else during his prolonged closed-door budget negotiations with Barack Obama was this revelation: “At one point several weeks ago,” Mr. Boehner says, “the president said to me, ‘We don’t have a spending problem.’”

Hey, maybe he gets his news from Meet the Press.

It’s actually worse than that. Speaker Boehner explains:

The president’s insistence that Washington doesn’t have a spending problem, Mr. Boehner says, is predicated on the belief that massive federal deficits stem from what Mr. Obama called “a health-care problem.” Mr. Boehner says that after he recovered from his astonishment—”They blame all of the fiscal woes on our health-care system”—he replied: “Clearly we have a health-care problem, which is about to get worse with ObamaCare. But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem.” He repeated this message so often, he says, that toward the end of the negotiations, the president became irritated and said: “I’m getting tired of hearing you say that.”

Stephen Moore’s Wall Street Journal column is must reading.

STEVE adds: Check out Ross Douthat’s New York Times column on Boehner from Saturday Boehner, American Hero while we’re on this subject:

It’s increasingly taken for granted that he’s an ineffective speaker who holds his position mostly because nobody else wants the job — an anti-Sam Rayburn, a survivor who’s liked but not feared. The only compliments he ever seems to earn are backhanded, rueful, there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I.

Yet at the same time, Boehner has done his country a more important service over the last two years than almost any other politician in Washington.

That service hasn’t been the achievement of a grand bargain with the White House, which he has at times assiduously sought. Nor has it been the sweeping triumph over liberalism that certain right-wing activists expect him to somehow gain. Rather, it’s been a kind of disaster management — a sequence of bomb-defusal operations that have prevented our dysfunctional government from tipping into outright crisis.

This post was modified from its original form on 09 Jan, 2:45
5 years ago

My     to John Boehner.    No one really knows how difficult his "damage control" efforts have been over the past four years with the narcissist, Obama, in office.

5 years ago

Not sure who is more ignorant here, Obama for his fixation on "health care costs" (which his "program" will drive up the costs and limit services) or Boehner for believing that Dear Leader Obama was dealing with a full deck and also not dealing from the bottom of his incomplete deck at the same time.

5 years ago

Diane, thank you so much for this article as it is absolutely the truth.  Of course, John, I know you won't agree which means I don't think you are looking at the whole picture.  Once more, read on a weekly basis and you will see things a lot clearer.  I was not a huge Boehner advocate until I decided it had to be based on more than media presentation.  Once I started looking at the bigger picture it is clear that he has done more than any other politician on the Hill for us than anyone understands.  Diane, this is a much needed article and yes, hats off to Boehner.  Thank goodness he is there as none of the other, including good 'ole Mitch are doing anything but grandstanding and they are the ones caving and giving in to the liberal Democrats.

5 years ago

Linda, I look at results and not what someone says and the results under both the Senate and House GOP "leadership" has been lousy. We ended up with sequestration because both decided that it was more "sensible" to push both sides into a "deal" that cut each side's pet programs "equally' when in fact it hurt defense more than entitlements and the Demagogues pushed additional spending via other bills in the meantime like the "fiscal cliff" deal and the initial Sandy relief bill not to mention many continuing resolutions that the GOP went along with. The premise of this article that Boehner was "surprised' at Dear Leader's mindset, if true, should really cause you a lot of concern since he has been "dealing" with the Demagogue in 'Chief for more than two years now and if it is evident to an outsider like myself that you're not dealing with some one who is serious in solving the problems rather than pushing an agenda then the Speaker either isn't that perceptive or is playing the DC insider game, When he doesn't play by the House rules on generating bills via committee discussions but makes deals behind closed doos, loses on all his "deals, unilaterally gives in ahead of time, lets the POTUS rule via decree in areas like 'immigration reform" that disregards existing law, punishes or trashes members of his own party that question the administration like with the Mucslim Brotherhood infiltration letter, and fails to push investigations into administration misconduct forcefully to both expose their misdeeds and keep them off balance, then Boehner is part of the problem in DC. Now he has two more years to reverse course and let us see if he becomes part of the solution, I don't look at words in a House organ but what has actually taken place when it comes to real actions so far and that isn't to his credit one whit! Unlike the Minority Leader that can't really affect what goes on in DC that much, the Speaker has some real power to affect things if he has the fortitude and capacity to do so.

5 years ago

John,the point is that you are missing a lot of what is happening as you are only concentrating on the issues that we hear reported; you are not looking at the many, many other things that are happening nor at the fires that are being put out that need to be.  You are missing so much and that was my reference.  But that is fine, concentrate on the big ones that are reported as that is fine, too.  But before you condemn someone, you must look at the WHOLE picture and not the areas that are only of the most concern to you.  

5 years ago

Linda: If we are losing the big ones like taxes, spending, deficit reduction, constitutional limits of each branch's powers and responsibilities, and the signal is we are also "open" to losing on border and national security/immigration "reform"/individual citizen's rights/administration misconduct, I'm not sure what behind the scene's issues are so important that we have to cave on the big issues. BTW, I'm not the only one that has a huge problem with the alleged "leadership" and that includes some House members and a host of political commentators as well. You don't lose as many members of your own party on the "cliff deal" if you've done a good job. You also don't make a comment like the one Boehner made if you were paying attention to your opposition. I still don't understand how it is excusable to offer Dear Leader his $800B+ in new "revenues" and then get a response that effective says, "I got that already, and now I want double that plus free reign on debt increases" and that then becomes the new starting point for a deal! Clueless comes to mind.

5 years ago

Right now, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out on Speaker Boehner.  So, I will take Linda's advice and do my research!  And, Boehner isn't the only one out there that I'm on the fence about. 


Right now I'm in an anti-political mood.  I have cleaned my computer of all things political, except for PD and a couple of newsletters I receive each day.  I have quit listening to Limbaugh and Hannity for the present time and am enjoying music in my auto instead of political rhetoric and the arguing between the liberals and conservatives.  I do continue to read Drudge and I am an avid Fox watcher each evening.  And, my finger is growing numb from hitting the "mute button" whenever the royal jackass appears.


This is a rest period for me because I know that in a few months we will be starting the campaigning again.  So I am saving myself for that adventure.  So, as I said, I'm not going to pass judgement on any of the elected people in Washington (except the present administration) until I do a bunch of research.  But, this administration and all of their antics are fair game for all of us.  And, with all of their stumbling and bungling that should keep me laughing and upset for the next four years.


Have I given up?  Not on your life! 

5 years ago

Tara Jane, thank you and I fully understand where you are coming from on all of this.  One thing I also know is that the Republican Party has to chance if people don't get behind it and if it needs fixing, help fix it, but to complain about it and make negative comments all the time means that you are no better than the liberals and might as well join then.  Loyalty means something.  Further, I wish people would not be part of the problem and negativity and complaining is very much a part of the problem.  If you are dissatisfied, find another party that meets your needs and goals, otherwise, get on board and stop tearing the Republicans and their party down.

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