Man on a Hot Seat
John Boehner Can’t Deliver His Caucus and Chaos May Follow
Like Beckett, who rose from the King’s butler to the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Boehner, a small town boy from Ohio who became Speaker of the House of Representatives, must reject the call of his benefactors and rise to the demands of his high office. In the case of Beckett that meant serving God and placing the interests of the Church above the King. In Speaker Boehner’s case it means putting the interests of the American people and the welfare of our nation above the partisan concerns of the Grand Obstructionist Party. Unless he is every inch the soulless dullard that he appears to be, John Boehner must now be torn between his loyalty to the radical budget agenda of his party and saving our nation from economic collapse.
Republicans are beginning to look more and more like the Communist Party of Russia, whose official ideologist at the time of the Soviet Union’s collapse said they had chosen ideology over reality. One need only listen to the rhetoric of Republican Congressman to recognize that they are clearly choosing fealty to their anti-tax trickle down economic dogma over the clear and present danger of destroying the “full faith and credit” of the US government. Having signed the pledge authored by the anti-tax fanatic Grover Norquist as the price of their office, they now seem determined to remain true to this pledge no matter what. This is especially so for the eighty-five freshman in Congress who owe their existence to the ultra-reactionary “Tea Party” faction.
In their blind ambition to regain control of the House, the Republican establishment made a Faustian Bargain with these self styled right-wing anti-government fanatics. Pugnacious paranoid and economically illiterate, they seem convinced that the dire predictions of economic apocalypse, should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling, is nothing more than a self serving fiction conjured up by a lying President and his puppet who runs the treasury department. John Boehner knows better.
Considering his tears at the time of his elevation we know that Boehner also understands the gravitas of his office, and he is aware that history will judge his performance against every House speaker who preceded him and those who will follow. His immediate Predecessor, Nancy Pelosi, may be the best ever…and who knows what the future will bring. For this reason Boehner wants to make a deal on the budget but may not be able to deliver the votes due to the Tea Party faction, some of whom seem to believe that a US default will be a dream come true because it will finally put an end to government spending and force a radical restructuring of the social safety net.
In justifying their reckless decision to force the nation into default, these iconoclasts claim the legacy of Ronald Reagan as their guide, exposing the fact that they are as ignorant of history as economics. Ronald Reagan raised the budget ceiling 18 times and severely castigated the recalcitrant Republicans in Congress. He warned of the economic chaos that would result from a US government default and wrote in his diary that he had threatened to veto every piece of legislation that congress put on his desk if they didn’t give him a “clean” bill to raise the debt ceiling! Hence their evocation of the legacy of Reagan to justify their self-destructive behavior is as bogus as their economic philosophy.
Political Scientist have long argued that a people will eventually get the government they deserve, this is especially true in a participatory democracy like the US. The Democrats must stand firm and reject the House vote, handing the speaker a humiliating defeat. This will foil the reactionary agenda of the GOP, and if default is the result it will teach Americans that putting people who hate government in charge of governing is dangerous folly! Should this come to pass it will be tragic for the nation, suicide for the Republicans and crying time for the Weeper of the House.
A highly skilled politician, Reagan would be appalled at the Tea Party fanatics
Harlem, New York
July 20, 2011