Under pressure from the right, House Speaker Boehner quits

who believe he was too willing to compromise with President Barack Obama and too frequently relied on Democratic votes to pass crucial legislation.

Source: Under pressure from the right, House Speaker Boehner quits | Reuters

I am very apprehensive about what is going to happen now that John Boehner is throwing in the towel in the House. I always viewed him as a good guy stuck in an impossible job.  Who replaces him will be critical to the nature of our country.

It is amazing to me how the three or four dozen GOP representative on the radical fringes of that party seem to be able to pull the rest of them in their direction! As Mark Shields said recently on a PBS Newshour broadcast these guys primary goal is to shut down government entirely. They see compromise as a dirty word. They see anyone who does not totally agree with them as the enemy. Everything is VERY black/white to them.  Why can’t the GOP control this group of government haters?

In some ways I would like to see Mr. Boehner replaced by one of them. That would give the potential voters in this country a good look at the politics of the Tea Party fringe. Then in twelve months or so when national elections are done they could be very quickly swept out of office and replaced by someone who knows the purpose of government. I say “potential voters” above because there are just so many in this country who fail to understand the power that they have.  I think we have the lowest election participation levels of any democracy in the world today.

There will be some trying times ahead. I hope we can survive them…

Goodbye John and thanks for trying and also getting the pope to America.

Being Against…


againstIf I was a President and wanted something I would claim I didn’t want it. For Congress has not given any President anything he wanted in the last 10 years. Be against anything and then he is sure to get it. – 5 May 1923  — Will Rogers

I can’t understand why each president seems to have to learn this lesson on their own. But, I think President Obama finally gets it.  If he wants something to happen the best thing he can do is to remain quiet about it. Mr. Boehner is constantly harping that the president is not involved enough in the legislative process but what I think he really means is that he wants to know what the president is for so he and all the other sheep in the GOP led house can line up against it.

I imagine it is hard sometimes to put together a list of what you are against. Especially for those House Republicans. They just get lazy on occasion and don’t want to do the work to make up their own “against” list. That is when they insist that President Obama do it for them. A perfect example of that is the immigration reform plan leaked by the White House. It was certain to be “DEAD ON ARRIVAL” before it even left the White House door.

I am waiting for Mr. Obama to evolve into the next phase of Will’s strategy. I expect that soon he will come out with a list of things he is against. If he is good at it the conservatives will want to get everything on that list into law as soon as possible. But the secret is to make sure that Mr. Boehner and company are convinced that he really is against them.  Mr. Obama is a pretty smart guy so I pray that he get good at this game so we the people might be able to get something good from the 113th congress.  But in reality I kind of doubt anything productive will come from that bunch….

But, I’m just a simple guy so what do I know……

The Persona of John Boehner….

Banner - Aside 2

Boehner 2Ok, I have been working day and night to try to find the right persona for John Boehner and I finally have it. After outing Mr. Cantor as the Lone Ranger I am here to do the same for Mr. Boehner. His persona is Rodney Dangerfield. I’m sure anyone over fifty knows that Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian who’s most famous line was  “I don’t get no respect”

Although I like to go by the name RJ my first name is Rodney so I was always painfully familiar with Mr. Dangerfield. My family and people I knew during my childhood days called me by my middle name which is Joe, so I didn’t have to face the jokes about not getting any respect.  While I was in college I decided to start going by Rod or Rodney; there were just too many Joe’s around and I wanted to be more unique.  I wanted to stand out at least as far as my name goes.  Anyway, I am getting off the storyline here so let’s get back to Rodney Dangerfield.

To give you the reason why I chose this persona, besides the obvious quote, here is some additional info on Mr. Dangerfield.

Source: Worth Repeating: Like Dangerfield, THC Doesn’t Get Any Respect | Marijuana and Cannabis News | Toke of the Town.

In addition to his anxiety and depression, Rodney’s other medical conditions included constant pain from the congenital fusion of his spine, an inoperable dislocated shoulder and rotator-cuff tear and arthritis…. Dangerfield

But when Rodney got high, he couldn’t believe it. For the first time in his life, he felt relaxed and peaceful, and had a sense of well-being. That night marijuana became a new friend that would be in Rodney’s life for the next 62 years.

Now on to Mr. Boehner.   He just can’t seem to get any respect from the people he leads. The Democrats think he is an idiot and the Republicans just don’t like him very much. In other words he just doesn’t get any respect for the very difficult job he has.  He also, like Rodney, is I’m sure in a lot of pain. Now Rodney’s pain was obviously physical where Mr. Boehner’s is like mental. How can a person work so hard at perhaps the most difficult job in politics right now and not have a lot of mental pain?

Maybe he needs to take a que from his persona and get a medical prescription for marijuana. I’m sure it would relieve much of his suffering, at least for a little while. Finally, after two more years of being the leader for that very dysfunctional group known as the House of Representatives I have no doubt that Mr. Boehner will end up looking like his persona.  They do even kind of look the same even now. 🙂

This persona business is kind of fun. I just might make a regular topic of it. Next time I am off to giving personas to those two leaders in the Senate…..

Good At Complaining But Not Good At Solutions….


devil“The devil is in the details” is a well-known quote that definitely applies in all this “fiscal cliff” talk going on recently. The congress in our version of government has the power of the purse. They determine where the money is spent and where it is cut. So, I find it strange that Mr. Boehner insists that the president and not him is responsible for identifying what would be cut from the budget in order to appease the GOP base. As mentioned in the article below Republicans do relatively well with the American people when they talk broadly about cutting spending, but they run into trouble when the conversation turns to the specifics of what they might actually cut. In other words they are good when it comes to complaining but not so good when it comes to solving. 🙂  Mr Boehner seems to be saying he wants someone else to do his job, or maybe it is really that he wants someone to take the blame. Here is an article and some words about that:

Source: Where are the GOP’s “fiscal cliff” spending cuts? – CBS News. The bigger problem is that Republicans refuse to make clear exactly what they want to cut in a  “fiscal cliff” deal. Telling reporters to look at an old House budget is not the same as making a concrete offer. CBS News asked a Boehner representative for a clear statement of what the House speaker wants to cut on Thursday. We did not receive a response.

Boehner’s supporters might argue that Mr. Obama has a responsibility to offer spending cuts, since Boehner has already made an offer on revenue. But that argument doesn’t hold up: While Boehner has said he is willing to accept $800 billion in additional revenue – a significant concession – he won’t say how he would get there. He says he would reform the tax code in part by closing loopholes and deductions, but he won’t say which ones.

A Real Leader Leads……

Source: Boehner’s GOP Problems Complicate Deficit Negotiations – ABC News.

House Speaker John Boehner is about to begin another attempt at a grand bargain deficit reduction deal with President Obama, a high wire act in which he will be buffeted by demands from the White House as well as from House Republicans

It looks like total gridlock may again happen coming out the gate of the new year. Mr. Boehner in some of his words seemed to say that he was open to compromise but soon took those words back after some in his party chastised him. The sign of a real leader is someone who leads, sometimes even in opposition to some in his party. He does not bend, especially to the least common denominator of his party.
The leadership quality seems to be missing from most of our supposed leaders today.  No one seems to want to take the risk of getting out front and possibly angering followers in any way.  Obviously Mr. Boehner is afraid he will get kicked out of his very powerful job.  Almost everything in Washington is about power. Without the Speaker’s role he would lose the power he so relishes.

In some areas President Obama in his first term also failed to lead. One of the cornerstones of his 2008 campaign was to get universal single-payer healthcare implemented in this country the same as it is in much of the rest of the world.  We are about the only country that has allowed healthcare to put a stranglehold on our economy. The rest of the world has pretty much got that under control and therefore has an economic advantage over us in this and several other areas.

Instead of showing leadership on this goal President Obama twisted and turned at every challenge and as a result what came out as Obamacare was a mere shadow of what should have been done. President Obama just failed to show leadership. I am praying that he will grow a stiffer backbone in his second term.

If the Republicans want to continue to stifle any progress on the “fiscal cliff” then the President, if he chooses to show leadership, has a clear-cut way  of leveling out the “cliff”.  Just let all the tax cuts expire and then on January 1, 2013 offer new tax cuts for the middle class only.

We need leaders in this country. Right now all we seem to have are followers; no leadership often results in mob mentality where nothing good gets accomplished. Mr. Romney so terribly wanted to be a leader but that did not happen. Maybe he can yet accomplish that goal by pushing his party toward compromise. If they reject that leadership then that only tarnishes his party and not him. History will show he tried to lead even as a private citizen.

If we ever hope to break this gridlock of partisan bickering we will need leaders to accomplish that task. Sometime people just need someone to prod them into doing what they know is right. We need some leaders to do that today.  I hope our current ones will step up to the challenge.

I’m just a simple guy so what do I know…..