Boehner and Long both a problem in D.C.

October 4, 2015

BoehnerLongThe news that John Boehner (R-OH) had announced that he would be resigning as Speaker of the House and giving up his Congressional seat came as a surprise but not a disappointment.

From his first strike of the gavel, Mr. Boehner’s inability to speak with clarity and determination combined with his inability to control his emotions in front of a camera made him the “anything but” person needed to capitalize on the Tea Party momentum that voters sent to Washington D.C. in 2010.

While the Democrats and their legacy media allies did their best to paint the new conservative representatives as wild eyed radicals, the people that mattered – their voters – knew otherwise. They knew the Constitution was being trampled on, they knew the rule of law was being twisted in ways not seen since the Nixon administration and they knew that no matter Obama’s promises of “it’s getting better” the only real thing that was happening was trillions of dollars of new debt was being piled upon generations of Americans not yet born.

Against that backdrop, John Boehner was anything but the best choice for Speaker of the House. Yet for as unorderly as the Tea Partiers can be, the establishment wing of the Grand Old Party is as orderly and proper as a group of English schoolgirls queing up to see the Queen. John Boehner was next in line so by golly, Speaker Boehner it would be.

But instead of embracing the movement that had restored them to majority status, House leadership instead tried to rule them. And so began the embarrassments of lurching from one crisis to another and watching Boehner and his lieutenants blame the “unrealistic” Tea Partiers instead of Obama’s incalcitrance and Harry Reid’s scorched earth policy in the Senate.

In November 2014, the grassroots gave the Republicans one more chance to keep the country attached to its Constitutional moorings and handed the Republican party its largest house majority since 1928 and kicked Harry Reid out as majority leader in the Senate.

Yet what did Boehner do in thanks? He delivered unto the American people the now infamous “cromnibus” bill just in time for Christmas. A bill loaded with more special interest favors and carve outs than even Santa’s bag could hold.

What good is having majority power if you’re going to waste it before you even get a chance to wield it?

But it wasn’t all Boehner’s fault. More than one of those 2010 Tea Party alums has become far more attuned to the perks of Washington than the voices of their voters. Our own Billy Long a prime example.

While listening to Long last week discuss Boehner’s resignation on a local radio morning news show the once “Billy Long Tea Partier” had gone full bore “Loyal Boehner Lieutenant”. Rather than admit the failure of leadership to follow its own promise of regular order, Long went on a whine fest of “unrealistic expectations”, “we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate”, “we don’t have 67 to override a Presidential veto”…waa…waa…waa.

Long represents exactly what’s wrong with Washington these days. In less than 3 terms, he has become more attuned to the perks of D.C. than to the voices of his voters.

If the Founders had taken the Long/Boehner attitude we wouldn’t have a Declaration of Independence, we’d have a Capitulation of Surrender. Imagine the Founders in Independence Hall….”Well we don’t have the troops, we don’t have the supplies, we don’t even have a Navy…we dare not pick a fight”.Yet they had their principles, they stood on those principles and they didn’t stop fighting till they won the right to live by those principles.

Until the Longs and Boehners understand that one fundamental thought, they will never be at peace with the base.

Tea Partiers and grassroots Americans don’t expect to win every time, but they do expect the representatives the send to Washington to at least TRY.

PUBLISHER NOTE:  A version of this column first appeared in the October 4, 2015 print edition of the Joplin Globe.

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