Maybe the visit of Pope Francis brought good luck to America. While he was in Philadelphia, House Speaker John Boehner announced his resignation from Congress at the end of October.
As the New York Times reported, a sense of dread and deep uncertainty had descended over the Capitol. The president, who had done such an excellent job at marginalizing John Boehner as well as Chief Justice John Roberts and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was reported to be stunned. Mr. Obama promised to “reach out immediately” to the next speaker to begin working on the nation’s problems.
The Times also wrote Democrats in Washington wondered whether Republicans wanted to show Americans they could govern, if only as a means to win back the White House and keep control of the Congress that they fought so hard to gain.
What really have Republicans gained since 2010 when the Tea Party gave control of the House to Republicans? Was it rolling back Obamacare, reforming Dodd Frank or limiting Iranian nuclear ambitions? Was it limiting executive orders, building the Keystone Pipeline or defunding Planned Parenthood?
What little they gained was in 2011 when Mr. Obama signed firm statutory limits on spending into law, which he has now said he can no longer abide. The president has already added $9 trillion to the national debt and needs to raise the spending caps.
Had Mr. Boehner not resigned, the president most certainly would have bested him again. The Democrats will miss the Speaker more than we realize. He was a very weak leader.
Frank Bruni, also writing for the Sunday Times said, “One of our two major political parties is hostage to an extreme subgroup that won’t brook compromise, values theatrical protests over actual governing and is adolescent in its ideological vanity.”
Mr. Bruni also quoted the president when speaking of Mr. Boehner’s leaving. “He’s somebody who understands that in government, in governance you don’t get 100 percent of what you want. You have to work with people who you disagree with, sometimes strongly, in order to do the peoples’ business.”
From the loyal opposition side of the ledger, it really doesn’t look like the Republican leadership won a thing.
Our blubbering Speaker never knew how to fight or put together a strategy. When Sen. Harry Reid didn’t have 60 votes, he invoked the “nuclear option” and won with 51 votes. Republicans were outmatched by a very clever and determined Democrat Party. Republicans still can’t get Bengazi information or a straight answer on Hillary Clintons e-mails.
Democrats have gutted the military, added gays and women to the infantry and reduced American influence across the globe. Russia has taken the baton from Obama and built a coalition from Syria, Iraq and Iran.
Well, on September 25, it all came to a head with Speaker Boehner’s realization that the Tea Party – much to the president’s surprise – didn’t have to work with him anymore and put up with his excuses.
Over 62 percent of Republican voters don’t want more of the same and are looking outside the beltway for answers. That is why Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina are doing so well.
As Janis in Ridgewood, New Jersey put it, “Donald Trump is a highly successful businessman; whether people like him or not, that is a fact. He is a shrewd negotiator, and he can read people well. He has ambition, takes risks, gets things done and gets the return on his investment. He may be overly confident, abrasive to some, but he did not get where he is being a ‘nice guy,’ sympathetic, vulnerable or stupid”.
Mr. Trump is everything Mr. Boehner was not.