John Boehner incompetent

Becoming a Ritual

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio responds to reporters about the impasse over passing the Homeland Security budget because of Republican efforts to block President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. The House voted last month to end Homeland Security funding on Saturday unless Obama reverses his order to protect millions of immigrants from possible deportation. After Democratic filibusters blocked the bill in the Senate, the chaber's Republican leaders agreed this week to offer a "clean" funding measure, with no immigration strings attached. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Is familiarity a bad thing?

The pieces are now in place for a replay of the GOP’s 2013 shutdown. Cruz is marshaling his House forces; Boehner and his leadership team have no idea how to move forward; and far-right lawmakers have a simple-but-unobtainable goal. The question is whether this time, we should expect a different result.

The beleaguered Speaker told reporters this morning, “The goal here is not to shut down the government. The goal is to stop these horrific practices of organizations selling baby parts.”

As a substantive matter, this is obviously nonsense – “selling baby parts” is illegal, and that’s not at all what Planned Parenthood has done – but as a political matter, is also non-constructive nonsense. If Boehner is serious about averting another GOP-imposed crisis, he probably ought to start being a little more responsible.

Of course, the more responsibly he behaves, the more likely it is the extremists in his conference will try to oust him – so Boehner’s in an unenviable spot.

(Benen)

There was some chatter last month, while Congress was away, in which pundits and analysts wondered whether the GOP would attempt a shutdown. And now that we arrive at this chapter, it seems almost a foolish question: Of course they are.

So here’s the thing: With less than a fortnight’s scheduled legislative through the month of September, Congress has a papal visit slated, as well as routine legislation such as a highway bill and the Export-Import Bank reauthorization that the Republican leadership just can’t seem to accomplish, and the Iran deal, at least, which the House has just broken into three parts in order to do something ostensibly more useful than just making inevitability that much more complicated.

Remember this, as we endure the ascending electoral cycle: When Republicans complain that government just doesn’t work, it would behoove us to check again to make certain it isn’t their own damn fault.

And the results, you know, are starting to look a little too consistent.

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Benen, Steve. “As shutdown deadline draws closer, GOP leaders seem lost”. msnbc. 10 September 2015.

The Worst Speaker of the House of Representatives Ever

U.S. Capitol building at dusk on a winter's eve. (Photo credit: Peterson)

Ladies and gentlemen, the worst Speaker of the House of Representatives ever:

CNN’s Dana Bash asked Boehner whether he is concerned that, if he passes a Homeland Security bill without the immigration provisions, “it will be the end of your speakership.”

Unredited photo of Speaker of the House John Boehner.“I’m waiting for the Senate to act,” Boehner replied.

Bash persisted: But was he concerned about a rebellion in his own ranks?

“I’m waiting for the Senate to pass a bill.”

NBC’s Luke Russert asked him why he hadn’t spoken with his Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in two weeks.

Boehner reiterated his position that “we’re waiting for the Senate to act.”

Politico’s Jake Sherman asked what he thought about the merits of McConnell’s plan to split the immigration issue from the funding of DHS.

“I’m waiting for the Senate to pass a bill,” Boehner repeated.

Will Congress avoid a government shutdown?

“I’m waiting for the Senate to act.”

Boehner began to walk away. “Do you think the Senate should act?” Bash teased.

The speaker gave a brave smile.

Yet perhaps the funniest line in Dana Milbank’s column goes to the author himself: “So the House speaker is leading from behind.”

This is more a convention of politics than anything else, a stab at Republican rhetoric about President Obama leading from the front or back in various crises domestic and international.

After all, nobody can justly call Boehner’s approach “leadership”.

And perhaps it is worth noting that the headline, “John Boehner, waiting for the punch” appears to be a second choice. Observing the online version address, it would seem the original headline was, “John Boehner is a spectator at his own hanging”.

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Milbank, Dana. “John Boehner, waiting for the punch”. The Washington Post. 25 February 2015.