Bashing Boehner: A No-Brainer?

I was reading a political blog the other day when my computer screen suddenly went dark.  On came the burning question: "Who Would Make a Better Speaker of the House: John Boehner or Trey Gowdy?"

Great.  Just the sort of speculation that Republicans need in order to take our eyes off the burning issues of the day, and maybe even start a fight in the GOP ranks on an ill-timed matter.  Well, it wouldn’t be the first time. 

 It could be that Republicans enjoy arguing with each other more than they do with Democrats, under the assumption that the minds of fellow Republicans are more open and malleable.  Or that Democrats don’t give a damn about anything we say, anyway. 

Whatever the reason, we are adept at shooting ourselves in the foot by nattering about what I call “non-issues.” Some of us are still foaming at the mouth over Obama’s birth certificate, convinced that he was born on foreign soil or that the document produced in Hawaii has in some way been altered.  The point of all this speculation is to bolster the premise that there’s an illegitimate guy in the Oval Office. 

That argument, however, has apparently failed to resonate with the majority of Americans, who re-elected Barack Obama in spite of it.  Other non-issues relate to the grades he got as a college student, the fact that so few people at Columbia knew him and that he didn’t seem to have any girlfriends while he was single, and that he may have used another name on a passport and even claimed to be a foreign student. 

Water under the bridge, guys.  Or as Hillary shouted, “What difference does it make” at this late date.  It may be that Obama is an ideologue intent on destroying our country, but resurrecting his childhood Muslim ties or his past with Bill Ayers, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, etc.  is going nowhere.  Even as we persist in preaching to the choir, the strident Obama administration hums along.

But back to the burning query regarding the merits of Trey Gowdy vs.  John Boehner as speaker of the House.  Gowdy is the bright new kid on the block who is getting plenty of well-deserved attention.  He is to the House what Ted Cruz is to the Senate.  Both articulate young men drew praise for their skills on specific occasions, one shrewdly questioning the head of the IRS, the other holding an all-night filibuster on the Senate floor.  Just as with the once newly minted Obama, the tendency is to want to elevate these young stand-out politicians to more exalted positions of leadership, to think of them as potential answers to their party’s prayers...and to do so at the expense of other, more experienced people .

John Boehner is often on the outs with a segment of the GOP for whom he impatiently represents the status quo.  And there’s certainly nothing wrong with some dissension in the ranks, unlike in the Democratic Party, which demands that its members march in lockstep and brooks no criticism from within.  But this is hardly the time to suggest that John Boehner is an incompetent leader.  After all, he is in the process of suing the president of the United States on behalf of House members and others fed up with Obama’s failure to uphold his constitutional duty of enforcing the law.  Specifically, the charge is that Obama had no right to delay the ACA provision on employer mandates.  This is a legal issue that will be closely followed.  If Republicans make noises suggesting that Boehner is on his way out, or should be, his credibility in pressing this allegation is compromised. 

The president has predictably laughed off the lawsuit.  As is his custom, he has “personalized” it as nothing more than a direct attack on him.  In his snide words, “their big idea is to sue me,” and the suit is “a political stunt that wastes America’s time and taxpayers’ money.”  The master of such stunts should know. 

At the moment, the speaker of the House is getting enough jabs from liberals without conservatives piling on.  John Boehner is a man of integrity and wide experience.  His role is a difficult one because, Obama conveniently blames Congress for all the woes in this administration.  Right now our feckless president is holding them up for billions of dollars to throw at the problem on the southern border, though he hasn’t even bothered to go there.  This is a ploy to disassociate himself from the mess and to blame the inhumanity of the House if it does not acquiesce to his outrageous monetary demands. 

As a young kid, John Boehner used to mop down the floors of his family’s Midwestern Irish pub.  He must have seen his share of ugly brawls.  He sees enough of them still.  Some of us need to sober up and not make his present job any harder than it already is.