To Boehner or Not To Boehner, and Why It Really Doesn’t Matter At All

The 113th Congress was sworn in yesterday, and it was almost sickening to watch them all pat each other on the back and make grand speeches about their sacred duty and what an honor it was.

The 112th Congress was one of the least effective and least popular in history, and I hold out zero hope of this Congress being any different, and in fact I think it will probably be worse.  The phrase “double down” is used far too much in punditry, and I’m sorry to have to repeat it, but all this House GOP seems willing to do is double down on everything they did before the election.  Understandable, in a sense; after all, they were reelected to control of the House of Representatives.  However, they did lose the Presidential race in somewhat grand fashion, and have been in a sort of squabbling freefall ever since.  Nonetheless, the Tea Party (read, RWNJ) arm of their caucus seems determined to dig in their heels and change absolutely nothing.

The cherry on top? Reelecting hapless John Boehner to a 2nd term as Speaker of the House, after he managed to do nothing at all in negotiating a deal to avert the so called “fiscal cliff” with Democrats.  Not only did he seemingly have no involvement with the final deal (it was negotiated by Senator Mitch McConnell and VP Biden), he failed to even get his own leadership to support it, which would presumably appear to the Senate as a complete breakdown of his control, if he ever had it, of the House.

From the Insult-to-Injury Department: Mere weeks after Boehner stated that the Affordable Care Act, aka “Obamacare” was now “the law of the land”, and rightly so, the first bill filed in the new congress was, you guessed it, the 34th attempt to repeal Obamacare, filed by batshit crazy Michelle Bachmann, no less.

So, the new Congress right off the bat proves they are going to stick with the same useless, do-nothing shell of a leader they had last term, and they are not going to stop wasting taxpayer money filing bill after bill to repeal a law which has already passed SCOTUS review and proved popular enough to re-elect the President.  Not only that, but they’ve also proved they don’t care a whit for anything said by Boehner, who they ostensibly have elected to speak for them.  Why would anyone put any trust in such a gathering?

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who the Speaker is.  Boehner is little more than a figurehead.  The Tea Party wing of the GOP is a collection of rabid extremists, racists and conspiracy theorists beholden to no one, not even their own electorate.  In the end, they’re going to do whatever they can to tear down government, which is their overarching “philosophy”, if it can be called that.  We are in the sorry position of having our chief legislative branch run by those who oppose all governance.

Our only hope is to survive it, and turn out en masse to the 2014 elections.  We cannot have another 2010, where sensible folk stay at home and allow the foxes to run the hen house   That has already earned us our first credit downgrade, constant filibuster, and stalling recovery at every turn.  From now until the mid-term elections, the absolute first priority of everyone reading this should be a never ending and constant attention to the effort to get out the vote.

Too many more of these elections, and the Speaker of the House will not be the only thing that doesn’t matter anymore.


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