In the House: John Boehner’s complaint for pre-Trump Republicans | Books


isIn October 2015, John Boehner abruptly left the speaker’s seat. Faced with a hyper-caffeinated freedom caucus, the Ohio congressman announced his retirement by chanting Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah. He was walking before they made him run.

By all indications, Boehner is happier on the outside – advising high-priced clients, pushing for marijuana liberalization. The distance between Boehner’s unfiltered Camel cigarettes and Kona Gold is shorter than the chasm between Republicans and Coca-Cola.

Amid the Trump-provoked insurgency of Jan. 6, On the House issues a merlot-hued indictment of Republican excess and praises those who play the game with aplomb – no matter what the party.

Nancy Pelosi receives props to “gut” the late John Dingell, a senior Midwestern Democrat, such as a “halibut she found floating around San Francisco Bay.” Boehner postulates that Pelosi is perhaps the most powerful speaker of all time.

Likewise, Mitch McConnell receives a shout, even after disguising the author, saying, “I will never claim to know more about the House than you do.” And believe me, you will never know as much about the Senate as I do. Boehner offers no repression.

Boehner expresses his contempt for Senator Ted Cruz and Mark Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who became Donald Trump’s last chief of staff. As for Flyin ‘Ted, Boehner is bluntly: “There’s nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he’s smarter than everyone else.

Unsurprisingly, Boehner finds the closure of the government led by Cruz in 2013 to be insane. On the other hand, the GOP took over the Senate a year later. Either way, an audio clip of Boehner reading On the House concludes: “ PS, Ted Cruz: Fuck you. »

As for Meadows, Boehner campaigned for him, only for Meadows to oppose Boehner’s election to the presidency, then offer a surprising, wet-eyed apology.

“I wondered what his elite, hard-line group of Freedom Caucus warriors would have done with their star organizer on the verge of tears,” Boehner writes. “But that was not my problem.”

On the House also serves vaguely remembered bits of history, like Boehner’s attempt to make late Judge Antonin Scalia Bob Dole Bill Clinton’s Republican Vice President in 1996. Boehner met Scalia. Scalia was open to the idea, but Dole chose Jack Kemp, a former quarterback, congressman and cabinet officer. The Kansas senator has done Scalia a favor. Dole lost badly.

More puzzling is Boehner’s continued embrace of Dick Cheney, vice president of George W. Bush and former member of Congress from Wyoming. In Boehner’s words, Cheney was a “phenomenal partner” to young Bush and the two made a “great team”. He makes no mention of Cheney’s role in preparing for the Iraq war, although he details his own deliberations on the vote to authorize the Gulf War under Bush Sr.

By the time George W.’s time in the White House was over, his relationship with Cheney had grown distant and strained. The marriage of convenience is coming to an end. Maybe Boehner knows something that Cheney’s former boss doesn’t.

On the House offers a clearer assessment of Newt Gingrich’s skills and weaknesses. Like Boehner, Gingrich was the speaker. He was also responsible for ending decades of democratic control of the House. But Boehner crystallizes Gingrich’s inability to help run a co-equal branch of government. Politics is not always linked to the throwing of bombs. Governing is everyday life. Gingrich couldn’t be bothered.

The book recognizes the visceral hostility of the Republican base towards Barack Obama. After Boehner announced that he believed Obama was born in the United States, he caught a storm of grief. The GOP’s adoption of marginal theories remains.

Boehner describes his attempts to reach compromises with Obama on “tax matters” and immigration. On the first, he recognizes Obama’s efforts. On the latter, he claims that Obama would “phone” and “poison the well” in the name of partisan advantage.

Based on the 2016 election, Obama bet badly. Open borders are a losing proposition. On the other hand, opposes the Affordable Care Act in the midst of an ongoing pandemic and in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Specifically, Boehner claims credit for dismantling Obamacare “bit by bit”, emphasizing the reduction in the tax on medical devices. Incredibly, he claims that “there really isn’t much left of Obamacare.”

Is that so? Boehner is definitely wrong.

Biden applauds as Boehner does not, as Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in 2016.
Biden applauds as Boehner does not, as Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in 2016. Photograph: Mandel only / AP

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that the number of uninsured uninsured Americans fell from over 46.5 million in 2010 to less than 29 million in 2019. In addition, about 9 million are purchasing subsidized health insurance with the help. federal premiums.

If the theaters of the Trump administration and the Republican challenge pending before the Supreme Court tell us anything, it is that Obamacare is alive and well. When it comes to government spending, the Republican donor and the voting bases don’t necessarily sing the same anthem.

Like most people, Boehner’s relationship with Trump ended worse than it started. From the start, Trump reached out. Less over time. Boehner attributed this to Trump to make him feel comfortable in his job, but he also assumes, “He’s just had enough of me advising him to shut up.”

Days after the insurgency but before Biden’s inauguration, Boehner said Trump should consider stepping down. The 45th president had “abused the loyalty of the people who voted for him” and caused a riot.

Boehner admits he was unprepared for the consequences of Trump’s defeat. The insurrection “should have been a wake-up call for a return to Republican reason”. This was not the case. QAnon congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene has amassed a $ 3.2 million re-election war chest. The “legislative terrorism” that Boehner had witnessed contributed to the birth of “real terrorism”.

Boehner trusts Americans, “the most versatile people God has put on earth.” As for the survival of the American conservative movement, he is less optimistic.


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