Jennifer Rubin, who according to the Washington Post offers “reported opinion from a conservative perspective,” has proclaimed that [mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ]’s notice of resignation is an act of selflessness. Be warned, this is a take that is so hot, it actually causes you physical pain. Please wear protective eyewear and gloves before reading just these two paragraphs.
In an era of egomaniacs and fire-breathing rabble-rousers, this was an act of uncommon grace and selflessness. Sparing the country a shutdown and his party a calamity, he chose to remove himself from the scene. In that regard, he epitomized the essence of public service.
Truth be told, no other responsible leader could have or will please the crazed tea party segment for whom governing is an annoyance and posturing is the objective. There is no reasoning with a couple dozen members of the House who refuse to recognize that a party out of the White House cannot control the government or unilaterally set the agenda.
[mc_name name=’Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’B000589′ ], a man who has been increasingly sealing himself off from virtually every wing of the party, as Erick described earlier today, seemed practically guaranteed a defeat if the motion to vacate his chair actually went through. He avoided such a dismal failure of power by resigning effective October. In this way, he can walk away with his head held mostly still high.
Therefore, in the face of an overwhelming defection not seen since the resignation of Newt Gingrich, Boehner steps down to save face. There is no selflessness here. Of course, now that I think about it, Gingrich at least stayed in the House through the end of the year when he stepped down as Speaker. Boehner is just done.
The claim that Boehner is acting selflessly would be a more reasonable one had he decided to stay on through the end of the year and help a replacement transition in. But he’s just gone, much in the same way Eric Cantor just up and left following his embarrassing defeat in Virginia.
I think it’s hilarious that anyone would try to spin this as an act of selflessness that is purely the result of the “Tea Party Wing” of the GOP being too loud and too noisy – the House has seen some pretty big defections to the moderate side several times, and it’s not conservatives who have shut political enemies within their own party out of committee seats and meetings.