Wow, this is a big deal. Republican U.S. Representative from the 8th district of Ohio and Speaker of the House since 2011 John Boehner will resign from Congress in late October. The man was one of the most useless Speakers in history and will not be missed. He presided over a Republican majority that repeatedly caused the country to lurch from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis, inflicting unnecessary damage upon the country as a whole and its most vulnerable citizens in particular along the way.
The only thing Boehner ever did that resembled success was his almost total victory over President Obama in 2011 budget negotiations, only to have his own caucus snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Consequently, Obama realized that the Republican Party would never negotiate with him in good faith. If there is an accomplishment to be found anywhere in his tenure, it’s that Boehner was so weak and pathetic that Obama and the Democrats finally got it through their thick skulls that they no longer had to play Charlie Brown to the Republicans’ Lucy:
I’m inclined to think that Congress will become even more dysfunctional without the relatively moderate Boehner in charge of the House. Say what I will about the guy, at least his heart never seemed to be in the stunts he constantly felt he needed to pull in order to placate the Republican base and keep his role as Speaker. If I’m feeling extremely charitable, I’ll point out that Boehner violated the “Hastert Rule” several times in order to pass routine spending measures with the help of Democratic votes over the objections of his right wing. But if the best thing you can say about one of the most powerful people in the country is that he occasionally prevented disasters engineered by his own party, well, I think that speaks for itself.
Some will probably argue that Boehner did the best he could with the hand he was dealt. That a Tea Party-type will now take his place and if we thought we saw gridlock in Washington before, just wait until a true Unicornstitutionist is in charge. That we will regret not having Boehner to kick around anymore. I don’t know. Many people do not understand the true nature of the beast Boehner’s been trying to ride for the last five years, and if his departure opens more eyes to what his party has become, good.