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Talk to any Republican, conservative or moderate, and they will say privately that John Boehner‘s future as Speaker of the House ended Tuesday night when the House failed to even vote on a flawed GOP bill to reopen the government and avert a default on America’s debt.
“He’s dead. His effectiveness is gone,” says one Congressmen I knew during my days on Capitol Hill.
Saying Boehner’s effectiveness is gone may be wrong because it is based on an assumption that the hard-drinking, hard partying and seldom hard-working Ohio congressman was ever effective in his job as leader of the House of Representatives.
If Boehneer ever had a chance to be any good at his job, he lost that chance when he decided to kowtow and listen to the rabid right wing who owe their places in Congress to uninformed American voters who replace reason with racism and patriotism with partisanship.
Boehner’s latest failure is just another example of how far the Republican Party has fallen. The party of the elephant and Abraham Lincoln is a rotting shell of it former self, a refuge for those who hate America and put intolerance, personal pettiness and a blind allegiance to outdated stereotypes and beliefs above what is necessary to appropriate serve a diverse nation.
Sadly, Boehner is far from alone in the downfall of America as exhibited in Tuesday chaos that brought the nation one-day closer to financial collapse and ruin. His second-in-command, Eric Cantor, is the latest in a long-line of Virginians who have brought old-south racism, intolerance and bigotry to the halls of Congress. Other bigoted Virginians like Virgil Goode and George Allen may be gone from the House and Senate but they can depend on the likes of Cantor to carry on their tradition of hate and intolerance.
As a Virginian, I cringe at the antics of self-serving hypocrites like Cantor.
Unfortunately, Cantor will be the likely successor to Boehner if voters are stupid enough to keep the rabid-right Republicans who currently control the GOP in Congress next year. One can hope that voters will finally wake up and send the miscreants packing but depending on American voters to step up and bring necessary change seldom works.
Of course, depending on change at the ballot box also means giving voters a real choice. Replacing a member of the rabid right with someone from the extreme left isn’t the answer. We need a Congress of moderates and independents who are willing to work together and put the nation above partisanship and party agendas.
Which means we need real choices on election day. Picking one party hack over another is not a choice. We need new slates of candidates who think of themselves only as Americans and not as Democrats or Republicans, conservatives or liberals.
In other words, we need what we ain’t got and, given the current state of politics in America, what we don’t stand a chance of hell in getting.
So what are we gonna do? I wish I knew.
Even worse, I doubt anyone else has an answer either.
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