Let us now blame John Boehner

The media–that I have seen–has done a very poor job reporting the prospect of a government shutdown in one respect. They are unwilling to lay blame where blame is due. For make no mistake, one man, all by himself, the Speaker of the House, John Boehner, could avert the whole thing, get a budget passed, and avoid the government shutdown. To perform this seemingly miraculous thing, which the media makes sound all but impossible, all Mr. Boehner would have to do would be to allow a vote on the budget without the amendment to defund the Affordable Care Act attached.

As I watch the media coverage, it is made out as this huge partisan fight, with two equally powerful and unmovable sides. Not so. With all the Democrats plus the not completely insane Republicans–yes, there are some–a vote to pass the budget and keep the government operational would pass easily. So then what is the problem? Simply this: Mr. Boehner is afraid of losing power. Of course, he has already lost that power by letting himself become captive to the tea party extremists in his party.

This also points out–and maybe that is why the media does not emphasize it–the utterly undemocratic way our government functions. A single man in the House of Representatives, the Speaker of the House, the frightened John Boehner, he himself, and only him, has the power to decide what bills come to a vote on the floor of the House of Representative. How is that possible in a democracy, you ask? Good question. There is no good answer.

Mr. Boehner is afraid that if he allows a vote on the bill without the defunding Obamacare amendment, then the tea party extremists will mount a campaign to remove him as Speaker of the House. So it is as simple as this: we face a government shutdown, damaging hundreds of millions of Americans, because of one man’s ego. Mr. Boehner has no shame. We have to remember to put blame where it is due. Sure, there are a lot of crazy people in the House and senate that want to do away with the law of the land that is the Affordable Care Act. They are not the majority. They could not win a vote were it put to the test. The only win by squeezing John Boehner and keeping him from allowing a vote. They are vocal, and they have the Speaker by the balls. If Mr. Boehner simply allowed a vote on the bill that passed the senate, it would pass the house, and there would be no crisis. It is only because he has ceded power to the tea party that he refuses to allow that vote to happen, and will only allow a vote on the bill with the tea party amendment to defund Obamacare.

Mr. Boehner, out of fear of losing the power he has already ceded, is alone to blame for this fiasco. Let us not forget.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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