Although I don’t expect it to happen — that is to say, I assign to it a probability of significantly less than 0.5 — if Republicans win control of the House in November, and John Boehner becomes Speaker, I believe he will be the first T-and-A speaker in the history of the House of Representatives.
Nancy Pelosi may be the first woman speaker, but she wasn’t elected to the position just for being a pretty face.
Whereas it’s always been clear — and yet, somehow, becomes more so as the midterm elections approach — that Boehner has absolutely nothing to recommend him for the post other than that tan and his pretty face. (In all fairness, though, we can’t speak to his legs. Maybe he has lovely legs too?)
He has never been accused of exhibiting any leadership qualities. And he doesn’t seem to have enough brains in his head to even provide a viable DNA sample.
Two and a half weeks ago, I flagged a story by Dan Balz in The Washington Post, which I described as people starting to laugh out loud at how, with midterm elections rapidly approaching, the Republican Party is still floundering for a real agenda.
Balz’s piece focused on Boehner, and his complete inability to even come close to articulating what Republicans are actually for, what agenda they will pursue if they regain the majority in the House and/or Senate in November.
And it’s not even about intellect, or at least, not about actually possessing any. Boehner isn’t even able to put on a passably convincing imitation of having any grasp on policy matters that he knows perfectly well he’s going to be asked about by reporters. When your prepared responses to reporters’ questions sound like this, what’s the meaningful difference between you and Sarah Palin?
Asked whether partial privatization of Social Security, which Republicans pushed unsuccessfully in 2005, would be part of a GOP agenda, he twice replied, “I have no idea.”
This business of people starting to laugh out loud at Boehner’s complete asininity has now officially moved from the metaphorical realm to the literal. On Saturday, President Obama actually did laugh at Boehner’s stupidity on policy matters. In public, and on the record. In his weekly radio address, actually:
It was largely overlooked during a busy media week, but House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), who’s been reluctant to talk about his party’s policy agenda in detail, was willing to outline three measures he’d pursue as Speaker to create American jobs. The list made it painfully clear — to anyone who takes substance even a little seriously — that Boehner has no idea what he’s talking about.
In fact, the remarks were so patently ridiculous, President Obama devoted much of his weekly address to shining a bright light on Boehner’s understanding of job creation.
“This week, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives offered his plan to create jobs,” the president explained. “It’s a plan that’s surprisingly short, and sadly familiar. First, he would repeal health insurance reform, which would take away tax credits from millions of small business owners, and take us back to the days when insurance companies had free rein to drop coverage and jack up premiums. Second, he would say no to new investments in clean energy, after his party already voted against the clean energy tax credits and loans that are creating thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses. And third, even though his party voted against tax cuts for middle-class families, he would permanently keep in place the tax cuts for the very wealthiest Americans – the same tax cuts that have added hundreds of billions to our debt.
“These are not new ideas. They are the same policies that led us into this recession. They will not create jobs; they will kill them. They will not reduce our deficit; they will add $1 trillion to our deficit. They will take us backward at a time when we need to keep America moving forward.”
If you listen really carefully at the 3:44 mark, you’ll notice that the president actually chuckles, just a little, when describing just how ridiculous Boehner’s approach to job creation really is.
Back to an earlier post by Steve Benen for the closing summation:
With Boehner, it seems he’s just clueless, uninterested and ignorant about the basics of contemporary policy disputes. Can anyone think of a time they’ve heard John Boehner speak intelligently about any subject? Ever? Can anyone identify an issue where Boehner has demonstrated even the slightest bit of expertise? Or even knowledge?