In America’s congressional system of government and in the House of Representatives particularly, the majority party elects a leader as Speaker of the House and in most cases it is their responsibility to speak for the majority party. The speaker’s job is not just as a spokesman for his party, and is more aptly described as an organizer who is tasked with eliciting support for bills within his own party and convincing members of the minority party to back legislation his party proposes. The Speaker also is the point man in negotiating with the White House and Senate to assure that any proposals avoid a presidential veto, and with the Senate’s passage, actually has a chance at reaching fruition. In the 112th Congress, with Republicans controlling only the House, it is as important as ever to have a Speaker who is flexible enough to reach agreements with the Democratically controlled Senate and the White House that also satisfies Republicans in the House. As all Americans are well aware, the Republican-controlled House is divided within itself and is struggling to pass any bills that the Senate or White House are willing to go along with and it has resulted in the most dysfunctional Congress in recent memory.
The current House Speaker, John Boehner (R-OH), presides over a caucus comprised of Republicans and teabaggers and is failing to produce a consensus to propose legislation and negotiate with Democratic lawmakers to govern the country. Although Boehner is a Republican, he is being controlled by the minority teabagger caucus that has transformed him into a whipped puppy on a short leash who is so frightened of losing their favor that he effectively is little more than a figurehead. Boehner has learned that when you sell your soul to the devil, the reckoning never turns out to be beneficial unless there is unwavering obedience and adherence to the edicts of the master. Boehner’s masters are the teabaggers and his tenuous hold on power is dependent on following the commandments they issue regardless if they are in the best interest of the country or not.
Republicans have never had the interests of the country or the American people at heart and they have proven time and again that their allegiance lies with the wealthiest Americans, corporations, the oil industry, and groups bent on killing jobs and regulations. During the lead-up to the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans made campaign promises to create jobs and help the economy to move the country forward. They have created zero jobs in over 200 days in power, voted to kill 1.9 million jobs, and are on pace to send the economy into chaos by refusing to follow a balanced approach in budget negotiations and are effectively holding the country’s economy hostage in negotiating an increase to the debt ceiling.
The debt ceiling debate has turned into an exercise in stupidity on the Republican side because unless the Speaker clears his party’s proposals with teabaggers and ultra-conservatives, he will lose their support and eventually, his job as speaker. Boehner coveted the speaker’s job and cried like a baby when he assumed the position and is most likely crying every night at the realization that he is no more in charge of Republicans in the House than a Democratic legislative aide.
When an official congressional analysis of Boehner’s deficit reduction plan showed that it produces less than $1 trillion in savings, Boehner immediately scrambled to rewrite the legislation to raise the amount to satisfy hard-right conservatives and teabaggers. The teabaggers insist that any spending cuts exceed the amount of debt ceiling increase to shrink the federal government. Teabaggers have made it quite clear that their primary objective is eliminating the federal government so a Christian family values organization presides over America, and their resistance to any reasonable deficit reduction plan is proof they want to starve the federal government from having sufficient operating funds. When the teabaggers began their takeover during the healthcare reform debate, their complaint was that they were being taxed too much. It does not seem to matter to them that President Obama cut taxes when he began his term, or that he continues presiding over the lowest tax rates in 60 years, they demand that taxes for corporations, the wealthy, and the oil industry are reduced even more in spite of the fact that many large corporations and the largest oil companies pay no taxes whatsoever.
The Republicans and teabaggers claim taxes are killing jobs, but job creation is not their primary focus in cutting the deficit. In fact, it appears they do not want to cut the deficit at all. President Obama proposed a balanced approach of spending cuts and increased revenue that will cut the deficit by $4 trillion but Republicans countered with a $2 trillion plan. Now they are proposing a plan that cuts programs Americans pay into for their retirement and health care that barely covers $1 trillion and barely raises the debt ceiling so they can return early next year and hold the economy hostage again before the 2012 general election. John Boehner is so afraid of what the teabaggers will do to him, that he may as well cede control of the House to Bachmann or some other teabagger and get it over with.
As the deadline to raise the debt limit draws near, groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have urged support of Boehner’s bill to raise the limit but the teabaggers are calling the shots and as usually happens when vindictive, insane people control the government, it is too little too late. Perhaps the Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street, and other large business groups should have used common sense before supporting teabaggers in their campaigns in 2010. In the same way voters are having buyer’s remorse for supporting Republican governors and state legislators in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Florida, the banking industry, Wall Street, and the Chamber will rue the day they threw their support and campaign cash at teabaggers in Congress. They, like Boehner, have discovered that selling their souls to the devil is having disastrous results for the business community as well as the economy in general and the American people particularly.
It is impossible to have any compassion for John Boehner, and most opponents probably hope he suffers for attaching himself to a bunch of inexperienced ideologues who have no intention of actually working for the American people. Boehner started the 112th Congress with an all-out concerted attack on women’s right to their own reproductive health and has led the charge to demolish Medicare. The Heritage Foundation may have written the budget plan that Paul Ryan presented and Republicans passed in the House, but Boehner championed it as if it were a blessing from his god. Now that he sees that even the Heritage proposal is insufficient to satisfy the teabaggers, he must realize that all is lost and that includes his job as Speaker. At a teabagger press conference in May, the group’s various leaders made threats to Boehner that if he did not follow their demands completely, they would throw him out his speaker’s job as well as the House of Representatives. Now that he is not following their commands to eliminate the very government that employs him, he is finished and the teabaggers have Eric Cantor ready to finish the job. Cantor stands to make quite a nifty profit on his investments if the debt ceiling isn’t increased and the government defaults on its obligations.
In the current Republican-controlled House, it is irrelevant who the figurehead known as Speaker is, because the teabaggers are now in control. The teabaggers and Republicans both have a new master in Grover Norquist and unless they shrink the government into oblivion they will not be satisfied. As the world’s markets are also taking a dive at last report, the Republicans can pride themselves on being responsible for destroying America’s and the world’s economic stability twice within five years. The teabaggers were not responsible for the 2007-2008 world’s markets crashing and at some level they are not responsible now. The fault lies solely with John Boehner’s Republicans and their stupid Republican voters who were so angry that an African-American man is in the White House that they all made a deal with the devil and allowed the teabaggers to control the agenda that will definitely lead to a major economic disaster the entire world is already feeling.
If Boehner and Republicans were the least bit concerned about more than the wealthy and corporations, they would never have allowed a bunch of vile, inexperienced nation-destroyers to have such power and influence over what was once the greatest nation on Earth. Now that our government is nearing default and economic chaos is a real possibility, everyone loses except the teabaggers who in less than two years took over the Republican Party, the House of Representatives, and goaded John Boehner into expediting the collapse of the American government. One can only hope that Boehner’s deal with the devil was worth his brief tenure as Speaker of the House because regardless how the debt ceiling negotiations finally work out, it looks like Boehner’s job will be eliminated like the teabaggers said it would and they will find a new puppet to finish off the government. Whoever that puppet is had just better be prepared to be obedient and willing to eliminate the government as well as living on a very short leash. The devil will look pleasant compared to vindictive teabaggers and he would not have demanded eliminating the American government.