I apologize for my blog hiatus for quite a bit. I had personal reasons to be absent, along with health (I wasn't in ill health, but medically advised and concentrated on changing certain habits that raise certain risk factors) and some crunches with time, but I expect to be back here full time from now on. I have read in comments that some of you may have tried to email me - would you mind resending those emails? I checked my inbox but I hadn't seen anything related. Now, onto the topic at hand.
I am a little tired of hearing from the media blabbermouths how sorry they feel for House Speaker John Boehner, who is experiencing whiplash from his own House Republican caucus when it comes to funding the Department of Homeland Security. After a short one-week extension, funding is expected to run out and the Department is expected to shut down before the week is up. Homeland Security is responsible for critical law enforcement as well as counter-terrorism activity within the United States, and it could be fully funded today if John Boehner were willing to let Democratic votes provide the margin he would lose by burning the conservatives in his party.
The media's storyline thus far has been this: poor Boehner, he's so reasonable and wants to fund the DHS but his ultra right wing brotheren in the House GOP caucus keep messing up his plans. It's they, we are told by the media, the unruly conservatives, that want President Obama's executive action on immigration repealed before funding the DHS. It's not John Boehner's fault. After all, how can he be expected to overrule the Hastert Rule (which Dennis Hastert says doesn't exist)? He's trying, you see.
What utter horseshit.
First, think of what would have been said if someone tried to make these exact same excuses about unruly Democrats who refused to back President Obama on an initiative. It would have been seen as a disgraceful failure of leadership. It would have been bandied about how extreme the president is that he can't even get Democrats in line. It would have been highlighted what a weak, failed presidency it is.
This is not something we have to conjecture about, after all. We have seen this happen time and again. The soft-bellied cowardice of Democrats on issues from health care to national security (the shameful Congressional Democratic surrender on Guantanamo) to financial reform to technological advancement has been heralded by the media as indicative of singularly President Obama's unfitness for the office he occupies.
But then, Barack Obama remains black while Boehner is an honest man just trying his best.
Utterly ineffective leadership and unwillingness to enlist the help of Democrats in quelling the conservative rebellion among his ranks aren't John Boehner's only sins here, however. To say that John Boehner is simply a victim of the right wing grip in Congress is not simply telling part of the story. It is an out and out lie.
John Boehner is not a victim of the rise of the effective right wing control in the House of Representatives. He is the architect of it. He has been every bit as motivated by the hatred of President Obama as those who are now seen as tightening the proverbial noose around his speakership's neck. From the moment Republicans took over the House in 2011, Boehner has been remarkably focused on undermining President Obama and steadfastly dedicated to a extreme-Right agenda.
From 50-some votes to repeal Obamacare to suing the President over its implementation, from obstructing any action at all on immigration to championing Paul Ryan's Path to Poverty budgets, from opposing equal rights for federal employees to fighting for the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act, from refusing President Obama's compromises on the social safety net (which got many on the liberal ideologue side up in arms) to actually shutting down the entire government for sixteen days, John Boehner has been at the forefront of the conservative movement fighting tooth and nail against progress.
John Boehner is not a victim of the ultraconservative regressives in his caucus. He is one of them. John Boehner is not prisoner of his conservative colleagues but rather of his conservatism. The reason John Boehner is not enlisting Nancy Pelosi's help isn't because it's some sort of a breach of some unwritten House dictum. Enlisting the help of a minority party in a legislative body in a Congressional system is nothing new, and more often than not, it is in fact done not to pad the majority but to build it on a particular piece of legislation. No, John Boehner refuses to consider such measures because he sees something wrong with a bill that cannot be passed with near-unanimous right wing support.
John Boehner doesn't deserve the benefit of the doubt, because there is no doubt when it comes to his role in advancing the cause of the ultra right wing in this country. It's time we stopped taking pity on John Boehner and called him out for the ultra right wing tool that he is. It's time the media stopped telling us how John Boehner is in a "bind" when a clear path exists to pass funding today with Democratic support.
It's time to start calling him out. Call him out for the right wing hack he is. Call him out for the disastrous policies he has advocated from the highest legislative office in the land. Call him out for endangering the safety and security of our country at the behest of his conservative crusade against this president. Call him out for his leadership of an un-American group of House members that time and again has held America's progress hostage.
John Boehner deserves nothing less.