By Mr. Curmudgeon:
In 1964, Dr. Laurence J. Peter moved from Canada to California to become an Associate Professor of Education and Director of the Evelyn Frieden Center for Prescriptive Teaching, as well as Coordinator of Programs for Emotionally Disturbed Children at the University of Southern California. His specialty was “hierarchical organization” – the study of power within a group.
Dr. Peter’s career choice seemed sure to doom him to obscurity. That is until his book The Peter Principle: Why Things Always go Wrong was published in 1968. “When I was a boy,” wrote Peter, “I was taught that the men upstairs knew what they were doing … I was upset to find that a number of teachers, school principals, supervisors and superintendents appeared to be unaware of their professional responsibilities and incompetent in executing their duties.”
In a 1969 interview with Life magazine, Peter said, “In every thriving organization, there is a considerable accumulation of dead wood at the executive level.” Peter’s thesis has boiled down to a single phrase: “People are promoted to their own level of incompetence.”
Two words … John Boehner.
Boehner’s Uneasy Alliance
The year 2010 appeared to mark a fundamental change in America. ObamaCare was passed into law by a Democratically controlled Congress as a massive Tea Party demonstration took place in the streets surrounding Washington’s Capitol Dome. After the vote, then Speaker Nancy Pelosi and several of her House lieutenants walked among the throng of Tea Party protestors to gloat, hoping to instigate an incident to discredit the activists, which they insisted were “extreme” and “racist.” In fact, Democrats hired two camera crews to video tape said incident.
Rep. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) told CBS News that Tea Party protestors chanted “the N-word, the N-word, 15 times” at Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). “It was like going into a time machine,” Carson told CBS. Carson and Lewis are members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Fortunately, conservative activist Andrew Breitbart was in attendance. “I am offering $10,000 of my own money to provide hard evidence that the N- word was hurled at him [John Lewis] not 15 times, as his colleague reported, but just once. Surely one of those two cameras wielded by members of his entourage will prove his point …” Needless to say, no evidence came to light.
It was that incident, I believe, that rippled through America’s body politic. That was when the public at large began to realize that the organized left, and its media minions, were determined to malign the only opposition to Obama’s political and economic transformation of America. And the GOP’s Minority Leader in the House, John Boehner, took notice.
At a breakfast meeting with Washington press corps scribblers in July of 2010, Boehner offered his observations concerning Tea Party rallies he attended throughout America.
“Let me tell you about these events,” said Boehner, “Yeah, there’s some disaffected Republicans there. There are always some Democrats there – always a couple of anarchist there who want to kill all of us in public office. But I’ll tell you this, seventy-five percent of these people who show up at these events are the most average, every-day Americans you ever met. None of them have ever been involved in the political process, and I would guess half of them probably have never voted. Now think about that – these people have been driven off their couch. They’ve been driven off their easy chair, driven away from their TV and into the streets of America to demonstrate against their own government. Now, you people can dismiss this, they can laugh at them, they can mock them – like some of my colleagues across the aisle have been doing, but I’ll tell you what; these folks are the tip of the iceberg. You know, 90% of an iceberg you never see. They represent the same values, concerns, frustrations, anger and fear that you see from tens of thousands of other Americans who aren’t in the streets … yet.”
That November, Boehner’s observations proved correct when, thanks to the Tea Party, Democrats in Congress took what President Obama dubbed a “shellacking” at the polls, losing their majority in the House, forcing Nancy Pelosi to hand the Speaker’s gavel to John Boehner.
However, a Reuters’ story in May 2011 provided a glimpse into Speaker Boehner’s “new” agenda. At a meeting attended by 25 Ohio Tea Party leaders, the Speaker was asked if he would urge his GOP caucus to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. “The most powerful Republican in Washington said ‘yes,’” Reuters reported, “And we’re going to have to raise it again in the future,” said Boehner.
An infuriated meeting attendee, Denise Robertson of the Preble County Liberty Group, told Reuters, “I am sick of the tears,” referring to Boehner’s propensity to blubber before the cameras, “I want results.”
As subsequent news reports recounted, Boehner worked tirelessly to whip his Republican caucus into line, calling member after member into his office to threaten them if they did not agree to a debt ceiling increase. Boehner won, the debt ceiling was raised and credit-rating agencies downgraded America’s financial standing in the world.
President Obama and his media boosters blamed the Tea Party’s debt ceiling debate for the downgrade. Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s don’t give a hoot in hell about the Tea Party or fiscal debates. Their only concern is whether debtor nations can make good on their loans. It was the $2 trillion that Obama and Boehner added to the nation’s mind-boggling debt that prompted the credit downgrade. Every trillion added to that mountain shortens the time horizon for America’s certain default.
A Scarecrow in the Emerald City
Boehner’s compromise with Obama’s spending and debt increases dilute the Republican Party’s so-called reputation on fiscal-restraint. According to a Pew Research Center poll, 53% of Americans will blame Republicans if the nation heads over the “fiscal cliff.” A mere 27% will blame Obama.
Blurring the tattered distinctions separating Republicans from Democrats has been the policy of GOP leaders since the Eisenhower era. Ronald Reagan was a minor deviation from this agenda. Today, the differences between the major parties are so minor that the media must create straw men for Democrats to battle. Boehner is one such scarecrow … lacking heart, spine and brains.
A Movement Worth Supporting
The disastrous 2012 presidential election proved the GOP’s inability to articulate a vision for the nation. Establishment Republicans were clearly discredited, yet have learned nothing from the experience. They believe compromising with Obama’s transformation of America into an impoverished banana republic is good for their party. Others, however, beg to differ.
Ned Ryun, president and CEO of American Majority Action, said in a news release, “If conservatives want to determine their own leadership in the Hill, it starts with firing John Boehner as Speaker … we only need 16 conservatives to abstain from the Speaker vote to depose Boehner and force the GOP caucus to pick new leadership.”
“Republicans and conservatives deserve a more articulate, more conservative leader,” Ryun continued, “In fact, we need one if we want to keep the House majority and take the Senate. Boehner has been Obama’s punching bag and has lost every public battle with the president. Now, he’s waging an internal war on conservatives.”
According to a Reuters report, Speaker Boehner is purging House committees of conservatives ahead of votes to raise the debt ceiling and hike taxes to avert the fiscal cliff. “House Republican lawmakers said … that in addition to four conservatives who were stripped of their committee assignments earlier this week, other unnamed lawmakers were warned that their votes need to be more in line with party leadership and committee chairmen.”
Boehner ally, Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-Oh.), told Reuters, “This is not golf. This is baseball. You’re part of a team.” Tiberi and Boehner fail to understand that the survival of the United States of America is not a game. Tiberi’s statement and Boehner’s actions prove the leaders of the Republican “team” have risen to their level of incompetence.
“The man who says he is willing to meet you halfway,” said Peter Principle author Laurence J. Peter, “is usually a poor judge of distance.” And no one knows this better than President Obama, who asks Boehner to meet him halfway … while walking backwards.
It’s time conservative GOP House members send coach Boehner to the showers. It’s time they dumped that chump.