Jeffrey Toobin had a interesting piece in the New Yorker on the Pointless Cowardice of John Boehner. In a nutshell, Toobin argues that Boehner gave in to the Teaparty on issues that he didn’t have to give in on, including:
- the 2013 Immigration Reform legislation that was also supported by Marco Rubio and John McCain;
- the non-controversial 2015 Highway Bill, which Boehner did not bring to the floor because of opposition from the Teaparty.
As Toobin notes, Boehner “suffered the fate of all those who give in to bullies; he was bullied some more.”
When he resigned the Speakership Boehner “expressed pride that he had kept the government open (after a sixteen-day shutdown in 2013) and raised the debt limit.”
This, as Toobin notes, “reflects the soft bigotry of low expectations.” That’s how low the bar has been set with the modern Republican Congress.
Of course, Boehner’s willingness to compromise with the minority of 50 or so Teaparty members did not win him any loyalty from that gang whatsoever. Because he committed the grave sin of also being willing to compromise, once in a while, with the House Democrats.
Well, I guess he got what he deserved. It’s not going to get any better under Speaker McCarthy.