House Speaker John Boehner is not known these days as a strong leader. What the current government shutdown has done for his career is the similar to what Monica Lewinski did for President Bill Clinton’s marriage. His lack of voice or refusal to budge has pitted him against more than just the Democrats; it seems even some constituents are distancing themselves. Throughout his career, Boehner has made many mistakes, but this time he quite possibly has made an epic fail.
The Republicans almost had a fighting chance just before the shutdown. No, they weren’t really going to gain control of the Senate, but at least they were on the road to a close photo finish. The complaining and finger-pointing had become a standard practice, so many in the Democratic Party were becoming accustomed to the behavior or just quietly ignoring. Whatever the reason, the tasteless remarks were not as much in the limelight or had simply gone unnoticed; then the government closed its doors.
If it could just be chalked up to boneheaded behavior or a lack of control of his Tea Party, shaming John Boehner would be easier to explain away. However, it is much more than that, and now that Boehner and the Good Old Party has closed shop, their destiny has been made evident. A Senate takeover in 2014 will not happen. Foolish words and spineless actions have set that ball rolling backwards.
John Boehner’s leadership failure is not his only problem. In the past, he has allowed his party to walk over him, ignore him, and finally distance themselves from him. Mr. Boehner at any point could have stopped the government shutdown. He could have offered a momentary spending proposal that would have kept the doors open and the furloughs at bay. Republicans were aware before refusing to cooperate that a shutdown would do significant damage to their party. Instead of doing what was best for his party and his country, he vehemently refused to bend, going so far as to lie about the effects The Affordable Care Act would have on jobs. If insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly expecting different results, what is it called if you expect the same results and do it anyway? This clearly seems to be a more serious outcome than simple insanity.
The reactions to Boehner’s infantile actions will be seen almost right away. Over half a million government employees have been thrown away by the Tea Party leader, and the only thing Boehner is doing to rectify it is point the finger at President Obama. Obamacare is not going anywhere and everyone, Republican or not, knew it well before September 30. Placing blame on a president who has made it abundantly clear for years that the new law was not, nor ever would be, up for compromise, is just another Boehner fail.
The obsession over healthcare reform has become a dangerous one. On top of that, wanting to deny Americans affordable healthcare is not only selfish but the very definition of what John Boehner and his team stand for. Hoping for a seismic fail on a law so advantageous to the American people proves the Right has become increasingly reckless. Blame cannot be placed entirely at John Boehner’s feet, but this failure is one that will not be long forgotten by any party, and it is his name on etched on the House floor.
Written by: Amy Magness Whatley