John Boehner ripped into Ted Cruz at an event at Stanford University Wednesday night, by referring to him as “lucifer in the flesh,” and saying he “never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Well, okay, but some might argue that given America’s state of affairs under people like Boehner and President Obama, a miserable son of a bitch is what’s needed.
Speaker John Bohner informed the Republican caucus Friday morning that he is retiring from Congress at the end of October. Boehner has been under enormous pressure from conservatives who are unhappy with his leadership and were planning to possibly take him out through a coup d’etat.
Confronting Boehner next week is the possibility of a government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood. The Speaker’s decision not to resign immediately suggests that one of his last acts may be to shut down the effort.
Talk on Capitol Hill immediately began to focus on House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., as a likely replacement for Boehner. However, many conservatives fear he will carry much of the same moderate baggage as the current Speaker.
In an early afternoon press conference, Boehner didn’t exactly endorse a replacement – saying he wouldn’t be voting in the contest – but remarked that McCarthy would “make an excellent Speaker.”
No doubt, one of the reasons Boehner is hanging on for another month is to influence the succession.
Boehner had seemed particularly emotional during a visit by the Pope to Congress Thursday. It appears he had other things on his mind in addition to the enormity of the occasion.
While he had been thinking about it for some time, Boehner said during his press conference he had decided with finality only Friday morning that “today’s the day” he was going to resign.
“My senior staff was having a meeting at 8:45, and I kind of walked in before I opened the House and told ’em, ‘This is the day,'” he said.
During he press conference, Boehner described his exit as a selfless act designed to protect the House from the turmoil of the challenges by conservatives to his Speakership.
But it is Boehner’s care for the House – and the institutions of governance – that are exactly what has landed him in hot water on the right.
Some conservatives welcomed his announcement, according to the Associated Press.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said “it’s time for new leadership,” and Rep. Tom Massie of Kentucky said the speaker “subverted our Republic.”
“I think it was inevitable,” Massie said. “This is a condition of his own making right here.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi termed the resignation “seismic.”
The reaction among conservatives was electric at the Values Voter Summit in Washington when Sen. Marco Rubio, who was speaking to the conference, announced that Boehner was leaving.
The crowd responded with loud sustained applause – cheering which went on much longer than when Rubio later said the the country needs a new president.
“It’s a good thing,” said Donald Trump on the sidelines of the summit, according to Politico. “It’s time. I think it’s time for him, it’s probably time for the party, it’s time for everybody.”
Boehner, who was first elected to the House in 1990, became Speaker in January 2011.
With President Obama about to finish what will no doubt be a dangerous new deal with Iran, House Speaker John Boehner today announced that he has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington to speak next month to Congress directly, bypassing the White House.
Obama, who mostly stuck it to Congress with a State of the Union speech that was long on flowery rhetoric about unity and cooperation and short on proposals that might unite, now finds himself on the receiving end of an insult. Boehner didn’t even consult the White House about the invitation.
It’s highly unusual for Congress to assume diplomatic powers for itself. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today whined that it was a “breach of protocol” because foreign leaders are first supposed to reach out to the White House before making plans to come to America. But with Obama writing his own legislation in the form of executive orders, the White House can hardly complain about protocols.
Everyone knows that Obama has no stomach for war with Iran. And everyone knows that the deal he will strike with Iran is likely to set Iran up to become a nuclear power on a moment’s notice. What better way to outline the dangers an Iranian bomb represents to all then to have Netanyahu come by and talk about it to the nation?
Obama has ignored Democrats and Republicans alike and treated the latter with disdain, even outright contempt. Same goes, pretty much, for his treatment of Netanyahu. What’s more, he’s on his third deadline with the Iran deal. He should not be surprised that the Republicans and the Israelis are taking matters into their own hands.
Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, who backs immediate new sanctions on Iran, accused the administration of placating the Iranians by worrying about how they would react to sanctions. “The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Iran,” Menendez said during a hearing at which administration officials appeared. “And it feeds to the Iranian narrative of victimization, when they’re the ones with original sin.”
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