Don't Cry For Him, Washingtona

« September 2015 »


Shed no tears for the departing John Boehner. For one thing, that would be redundant. The dude cries when the House cafeteria is out of salsa. But also because there's a natural temptation to see him as an unfortunate victim, as a sensible, moderate Republican driven from power by the extremist wing of his party who waged war against him for years.

Which seems true because if you take the last couple of week's worth of events in isolation, that's the picture they paint. But Boehner isn't a moderate. He's a pragmatist. He's establishment. His ideology doesn't differ greatly from the people who hate his guts from the right, it's just that he values the retention of power and position over fighting battles that can't be won by believing hard enough.

His enemies, on the other hand, believe that if you have enough will, you will win every fight, and that losing a fight is merely an indication of a failure to try hard enough, to believe strongly enough. Strength and conviction will always result in success, and Boehner's lack of success is clearly a sign of weakness and capitulation, and political reality and pragmatism don't enter into it.

But in order to feel sympathy for Boehner, some preconditions would need to be met. First, he would have to never have personally benefitted from that kind of attitude. Or espoused it. Or been a member of a political party for whom the correlation between strength and success, between reward and merit, weren't a central tenet. And it would be important to make sure that several election cycles hadn't been spent inculcating and fomenting the exact kind of take-no-prisoners, die-hard ideologues in order to win enough seats to take over the House of Representatives and be named Speaker.

When a mad scientist gets murdered by his own creation, it's understandable to feel a little bad for him. But the whole point of stories like that is that you shouldn't be making fucking monsters in the first place. It's a bad idea and will eventually bite you in the ass.

Oh, and while we're at it, let's call bullshit on all of Boehner's down-home aw-shucks, Zippety Fucking Doo Dah act. And the whole idea that, having gotten the Pope to speak before Congress and achieving a lifelong high point, he just got up one morning and decided, hey, you know what? I'm outta here.

You know how I know it didn't go down that impulsively or that simply? Because nothing in politics does that. Donald Trump's fucking campaign isn't that impulsive, and that's being headed by an insane narcissist who's constantly being surprised by the fact that he's not only still in the race, but is still the frontrunner. Boehner couldn't have told a lot of people about his plans, because that shit didn't leak until the morning it happened, but you know he told some people. Otherwise, he wouldn't have been the pragmatist getting in trouble with the crazies.

And while I've got everyone's bowls of cornflakes all lined up in a row waiting to receive my piss, here's a little something for every wingnut out there cheering at your victory over the Great Orange Goblin: the only way you've won is if we've all lost.

The most likely scenario is that Boehner gets replaced by someone who's just like Boehner, except that you don't hate him yet. That's the Kevin McCarthy scenario. In less than a year, the replacement will disappoint you in some unforgivable way, he'll become the new receptacle for your lizard-brain jizz-spray of "RINO" insults, and everything will continue as before.

If, on the other hand, a die-hard vat-grown ideologue - a real Steve King style moron - gets the Speakership, then we have nearly a year for the House to unleash its full wingnut id for all the world to see, only to be met by the double firewall of 40 Senate Democrats and Obama's veto pen. It'll be the Akins running the asylum, and we know how well that kind of thing has gone over in the past with the general public, and so the 2016 election would be a bloodbath.

And if that doesn't happen, and America embraces the worldview the wingnuts are espousing and love the new wingnut-led House so much that the sweep the 2016 elections, then they'll only be in power a few years before America becomes an uninhabitable wasteland. A Pyrrhic victory for the forces of reason, but a victory nonetheless.

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