John Boehner, the beleaguered Speaker of the House, has been toppled by the rabble he leads. He has admitted defeat in his attempts to reason with the Tea Party extremists who are hell-bent on shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood funding, and announced his resignation for the end of October.
Boehner was perpetually under heavy fire from all sides- from Democrats demanding some kind of compromise and from his own party, where the so-called Freedom Caucus hold the government and their party hostage again and again. POLITICO put it quite succinctly:
Liberals call Boehner the weakest speaker ever to hold the office, or, as author Michael Tomasky wrote, “easily the worst House speaker in modern history.” Some conservatives, especially those in talk radio, agree, blaming him for not standing up sufficiently to the liberal Democratic president they loathe. And the public, disgusted by the gridlock, has given Congress the lowest approval ratings ever recorded, bottom-dwelling around 10 percent. When all was said and done, the 113th Congress enacted just 296 laws, the second least of any Congress in the past half-century.
The nation will not be sorry to see Mr. Boehner leave, but unfortunately his resignation will not mean an end to the gridlock in Washington. It has yet to be seen what, if anything, will satisfy the legislative terrorists that pioneered the brinkmanship tactics and the fervently polarized atmosphere of politics in America. Take, for instance, what Tea Party darling Ted Cruz had to say:
“I have long said leadership decisions are decisions to be made by the House, but I have also long called on Republican leadership to do something unusual, which is lead. To actually stand up and honor the commitments that we made to the American people. There’s a frustration across this country. It is volcanic. And it’s not complicated to understand.”
Yes, Mr. Cruz, there is a volcanic frustration being felt across this country, and it is not complicated. It is because you haven’t honored your commitments to the American people. You were elected to govern, to bargain, to compromise and do what’s best for the whole nation. You were not elected to impose your religious extremism on our nation. You were not elected to pick nonsensical battles and drive our nation into the ground so that you could further your own political ambitions. You were not elected to shut down the government over the funding for a healthcare provider that uses federal money for cancer screenings and STD tests.
Good riddance to the lot of them.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.