Since John Boehner announced he was quitting Congress there has been a lot of kumbaya from all sides, including the left. So many times I am seeing “he’s such a nice guy” and “he was dealt a bad hand”. Bullshit! The demise of John Boehner was the fault of John Boehner – period!
Let’s have a quick flashback to Boehner’s first week with the Speaker’s gavel. The nation heard horrible news that a Representative from Arizona was shot in an assassination attempt. 13 people total were injured and six dead. It was a horrific ordeal and something we never wanted to see in the American political landscape.
But how did the newly anointed Speaker of the House, John Boehner handle it? He literally couldn’t pull himself away from the golf course to visit her right afterwards. When Giffords went to Houston for rehab, this “nice guy” John Boehner couldn’t be bothered to visit her, despite being in the same city for the NCAA finals.
This was all so bad that Mark Kelly, Gifford’s husband blasted Boehner in his book
“Considering that she was a member of Congress and he was the highest-ranking member, we thought he’d ask to visit Gabby or at least give a call to see how she was doing,” Kelly writes in Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope. “Our only contact with him had been a simple get-well card he’d sent a few days after Gabby was injured.”
Rewind 30 years prior when another shooting rocked our political arena. That was the assassination attempt of Ronald Reagan. When Reagan woke up in the hospital, who was sitting there next to him? The Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neil. Political nemesis from another branch of government, yet when tragedy set in, none of the mattered. The politics was put aside as well as the disagreements. Instead compassion and humanity took over. Where was John Boehner’s humanity? Where was his compassion?
Certain current practices have helped lead to the demise of John Boehner. His strong adhesion to the “Hastert Rule”, where they won’t bring something up for a vote unless a majority of the Republicans support it, is a slap in the face to democracy and helped foster gridlock along with extreme partisanship. His willingness to play politics 24/7, instead of putting that aside and actually doing his job as the leader of the People’s House also contributed. Just last week reports came out that Boehner was seeking the help of Democrats to save him from a possible coup by his own party. Help him? He’s spent the last 20 years trying to tell people that Democrats are the spawn of Satan and now he wants their help?
John Boehner may very well be a nice guy outside of politics, but that is erased when you start remembering that he has been one of the orchestrators of a highly polarized America. His only problem was that the beast he helped foster grew out of control, and that lead to his ultimate demise.