My man-crush on Matt Taibbi continues, unabated. This week – John Boehner.
“…Boehner just represents a certain type of hollowly driven, two-faced personality unique to the Beltway. It’s not so much that he’s likely at any moment to start pounding his fist in favor of something that only yesterday he was denouncing as a threat to the American way of life (when benchmarks in Iraq were a Democratic idea, Boehner said they would ensure failure; when George Bush came out for them, he said they were “very important”). Nor is it so much that he’s prone to descending into hysterical hyperbole when the well-being of his campaign donors is threatened in even the vaguest way (he called the watered-down Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon,” with the ant in question being a financial crisis that wiped out over 40 percent of the world’s wealth). It’s more that . . . well, you have to spend a lot of time in Washington to know the type, but he’s the kind of guy who would step over his mother to score a political point.
“This is true almost in a literal sense. One congressional aide tells a story that goes back many years. Boehner’s mother, Mary Ann, had just died. The aide, who at the time worked for a prominent Democratic congressman, suggested that his boss offer Boehner condolences. The Democrat, who had just heard that he was going to face an unexpected challenge from a state senator in his own re-election campaign, went along with the aide’s advice, despite the fact that he didn’t have a good relationship with Boehner.
“The story goes like this: The Democrat approached Boehner, and said, “Hey, John, I’m sorry to hear about your mother.”
“Boehner, not missing a beat, shot back: “And I’m sorry to hear you have an opponent.”
“That’s John Boehner in a nutshell,” the aide says now. “I mean, this is right after his mother died, and that’s where his head was at.”
“The GOP establishment want the energy of the Tea Party, but they don’t want to have to work for it. They’re hoping — and they have plenty of reasons to have this hope — that the vast majority of Tea Partiers will be dazzled by their new status in Congress, or be willing to be bought off with corporate money, or be just plain dumb enough to fall for whatever pulled-out-of-the-ass phony reform rhetoric that guys like Boehner come up with, instead of making real changes to the way Congress does business. In a hilarious example of the former, Boehner with a straight face recently announced that he would push to cut committee budgets and member allowances by five percent, for an anticipated savings of — cue the clueless Dr. Evil laugh — $30 million. “It likely would be one of the first votes we cast,” Boehner declared proudly, failing to recognize that paying for trillion-dollar bailouts and $900 billion tax breaks by cutting $30 million at a time is a little like planning a hostile takeover of IBM with a stack of Rite Aid coupons. That’s not government; it’s stand-up comedy.”