The New Speaker
I was asked how I feel about my Congressional representative John Boehner now being Speaker of the House. The answer is, well, I wouldn’t have voted for him (and didn’t, actually), but enough other people did that he got the job anyway, and, well. That’s democracy for you.
On the positive end of things, I think in a general sense Boehner’s stated desire for transparency on House dealings is a positive, although everyone always says they’re open to transparency, don’t they, and then things go opaque real fast. So if he can do it, great. I’m not holding my breath. That’s less about Boehner than the nature of Congress, however.
Other parts of his agenda, I’m less in love with. The nonsense about overturning the health legislation is just a waste of time, since it will get stuffed in the Senate (still controlled by the Democrats) and even if it didn’t it would get vetoed by the President. I’m aware of the symbolism of the vote, but I still think it’s silly. Once the pointless gestures are out of the way we’ll see what actually gets done, and that’s what I’m mostly interested in.
I don’t suspect it will come as a surprise to most that I’m not hugely impressed with the current iteration of the GOP, which I think is a more than a little light in the brains department, and more concerned with rhetorical scare tactics than an actual political philosophy, or the boring but useful aspects of governance. But regardless of what I think, the GOP convinced enough Americans that it should run the House (or at the very least, that the Democrats shouldn’t).
So it’s theirs for the next two years at least. While I’m skeptical, I’m also willing to be surprised — not necessarily with the rhetoric, which I don’t suspect will change much, but by whether they’re actually serious about governance. If they are, they might end up pissing off some of their fringe, but they might also actually do some good. I could live with that.
So, good luck, Mr. Boehner. Enjoy being Speaker. Serve with honor and conviction and a sense of fairness; that earns my respect even if I don’t share all of your political positions. Let’s see what you do next.