Monday, September 28, 2015

Boehner Out in DC, But Why?


The surprise resignation of House Speaker John Boehner caught even the closest DC insiders in the media completely flat-footed. Nobody expected the speaker to walk, even those who were actively trying to get rid of him. One day after he released plans to combat a possible government shutdown and in the same week fulfilled a career-making dream of hosting the Pope in a session of Congress, Boehner, a 24-year congressional veteran announced he’s leaving his post and seat in October.

While some far-right polls are cheering, they have yet to stop and think about what this move says about them and the state of politics in Washington. First, they are down a vote in Congress. Second, they have found a “solution” to what Boehner himself called “turmoil in Congress” only to set up a situation that may create long-term turmoil and do more harm than good. Speaker Boehner said his private meeting with the Pope was at least partly responsible for the surprise decision. He told the media, "The Pope puts his arm around me and kinda pulls me to him, and says, 'please pray for me'. Well, who am I to pray for the pope, but I did."

Boehner may be stepping away at precisely the right time. Some analysts are saying there’s no way the GOP will win the White House in 2016. Some are going so far as to say the Republican Party is destroying itself from within. GOP supporters believe this is all stuff and nonsense, but there’s no doubt things are different – and contentious – in today’s GOP. When Boehner announced his retirement, certain colleagues, and at least one POTUS candidate openly declared victory. Unfortunately for those sympathetic to these folks, the American people disagree with most of what they stand for. Sure, they are bolstered by a rabid base, but that same base is a distinct minority.

If politics is the art of compromise, and the leading trend in the GOP is a stern refusal to bend, things may get worse for the Republicans in DC before they get better.

Jonah Engler is a financial expert from NYC.

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