By now it’s no secret John Boehner was returned to the second most powerful federal government position with the help of Democrats – including former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
While it’s true that, on the surface, Pelosi was running against Boehner, it’s also true that she gave permission to some 20 Democrat House members to be absent from the first session of the 114th Congress – absences that ensured Boehner could survive the challenge from some Republicans.
But you wouldn’t ordinarily expect to hear Boehner openly praised by Democrats – especially someone who once headed up the California Democratic Party. That’s exactly what happened last week when super-progressive Bill Press wrote his weekly syndicated column appropriately headlined, “The new Congress: Let Boehner be Boehner.”
He admits he’s optimistic about the next two years in Congress, even though both houses are dominated by Republicans. Why? Because of Republican leadership: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who said last week his main goal for Republicans in the Senate is not to be “scary,” and House Speaker Boehner.
The most important player of all, says Press, is Boehner.
“Curiously enough, Boehner, like McConnell, also comes from the old-fashioned school of politics: ‘Let’s make a deal!'” writes Press. “Remember the ‘Grand Bargain’ he personally struck with President Obama, before he was stabbed in the back by then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor? It doesn’t mean that Boehner would totally capitulate or surrender his basic principles. Let Boehner be Boehner: He’d fight for what he thinks is in the best interest of the American people, but settle for the best he can get – then come back again another day and fight for the rest. So would McConnell. So would Obama. And so would Nancy Pelosi.”
Press goes on to say Boehner’s biggest problem to date has been his unwillingness to stand up to tea party members of his own caucus.
“But there are already encouraging signs he’s getting tired of that game,” writes Press. “In the new issue of Politico magazine, Boehner tells Glenn Thrush he thinks GOP capture of the Senate will make cooperation with Democrats the ‘rule rather than the exception.’ And he’s already demonstrated some backbone by dumping three tea party opponents from key committees, and more heads are expected to roll.”
Press concludes: “See what I mean? Why be depressed? This Congress might actually get back to work.”
How does that make you feel?
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who gave the Republicans a mandate in the 2014 midterm election, does it make you want to scream?
Well, you can complain all you want. You can drop out of politics. You can take your ball and go home. Or, you can continue the fight to take your country back right now.
The only way I know how that can be effective in the short term is by participating in the “Dump Boehner Now!” campaign. So far in just three weeks, it has resulted in 560,000 letters sent to House GOP members, some of whom have already mounted a challenge to Boehner. But it’s not over. That was just one vote. It was a long shot all the way. There wasn’t time to mount a serious palace coup.
But did you know it only takes a majority vote by the House to dump Boehner? That’s right. Any time Republican House members are ready to revolt, they can do so with a simple majority vote of the House. And that includes Democrats, none of whom are ever likely to cast an open vote for Boehner in public.
If anyone has any better ideas, I’m all ears.
And please don’t tell me the Republicans are all worthless pond scum and corrupt. Please don’t tell me we have to wait for 2016 and create a new third party. Please don’t tell me the game is hopelessly rigged.
Just tell me if you have a better idea. If not, get busy and join the revolution – “Dump Boehner Now!” remains the goal. Inundate House Republicans with letters – economically, efficiently and expeditiously. I’ve provided the tool. It’s up to you to use it.
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