Written January 3, 2013     

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Should Boehner stay or go?
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© 2016 Bob Lonsberry


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Bye bye Boehner.

It’s lead, follow or get out of the way. And you, having failed at the first two, are past due for the third.

Take the spray on tan and the I-swear-I’m-not-drunk slurred and weepy speech and get out of the spotlight. These are the major leagues and you are playing Double-A ball.

This afternoon, in the House of Representatives, the speaker of the next Congress will be elected. The several members will vote and, by simple majority, a speaker will be selected.

The Democrats will vote for Nancy Pelosi and hopefully the Republicans will vote for somebody other than you.

Because, right now, the speaker of the house is the only check on a rampant and angry Democrat tide intent on sweeping away all things conservative. America is in for an industrial-strength screwing and the only hope the country has is for a speaker who can stand toe to toe with Barack Obama.

And, John Boehner, that ain’t you.

You, sir, are Obama’s bee-otch.

He has spanked you so many times you flinch when he mentions your name. You can f-bomb Harry Reid, but you know Obama is your daddy.

You have proven in instance after instance that you can’t out fight, out talk, out politic or out charm him.

Further, you have proven in instance after instance that you can neither lead nor represent your caucus.

Which leads naturally to the question: What exactly do you accomplish for your country as speaker of the House?

First, the president.

You have publicly set it up that he is the top Democrat and you are the top Republican – as you should be, given the significance of your office. If that’s going to be the dynamic, you must establish some sort of relationship. You either need to make friends with the man, or figure out how to negotiate with him, or find his Achilles heel and knock him down to size. Somehow, you’ve got to make it so that meetings between you and him accomplish something. Whether you kiss his fanny or call his bluff or kick his arse, somehow you’ve got to find a way to work with the man.

And you haven’t.

For two years, culminating in recent months, weeks and days, you’ve failed to do so.

Yes, he’s an obstinate, arrogant, hateful son of a pup. But he’s the president, and he got re-elected. He’s the card you drew, and he’s the only card you’ve got to play.

And you’ve not achieved any sort of working relationship with the man.

Now, to your caucus.

As the leader of House Republicans, you and your caucus must speak most of the time with one voice. History shows that a speaker can do that in one of two ways – by representing the caucus, or by commanding the caucus.

A speaker represents the caucus when he takes the thoughts and priorities of his fellow congressional Republicans and makes them his own. They elect him, they set legislative priorities, and he implements them.

That’s one way to do it.

Another way is to command the caucus. To go into a room and close the doors and, through persuasion or discipline or threat, get everyone in that room to march to your tune.

That’s how it’s most commonly been done.

But either will work.

Either will allow a speaker to negotiate with the president or the Senate majority leader and get some business done. Either will allow the speaker’s word to mean something. Either will make the speaker a significant player in the work of the government.

Sadly, you have been unable to do either.

On repeated occasions, you have said one thing and done another. You have promised something that you have not been able to deliver. You have over and over been made to look foolish by your caucus. And at the end of the day, that’s not their fault, it’s yours.

Because you neither represent their thinking nor can you sway them to your thinking.

Which means you are not a leader.

Which means you should not be speaker.

It’s a simple as that.

The country needs a strong and capable speaker right now. One who can make some lemonade out of a big pile of lemons. One who can rise to the situation fate and history have prepared.

And that ain’t you.

There’s an important vote in Washington today. It’s for speaker of the House.

Here’s hoping the Republicans trade up.

The country deserves better.

Bye bye Boehner.

- by Bob Lonsberry © 2013

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