The Long-Lasting Boehner
Call your doctor, America; this Boehner has lasted a lot more than four hours.
It was always hard for me to believe that House Republicans, who are if anything more extreme than in the bombastic Newt’s heyday, settled for a colorless ol’ cocktailhag like the Boehner in the first place. In a party bursting with manic energy, Boehner is as slothful as he is passionless. Even his tears and temper tantrums seem half-hearted; just the dues he pays to pretend to lead his merry band of tea party yahoos. Tellingly, the ever-popular Republican rejoinder, “Go fuck yourself” in Boehner’s booze-soaked warble is but a limp imitation of Dick Cheney’s growling sneer.
Yet in what can only be an utter lack of any credible leaders, Boehner will continue to be Speaker. As you’d expect, this development won’t be greeted with much enthusiasm in the Fox/Limbaugh axis, but on some level the Republicans must have recognized that an oily reptile like Eric Cantor could damage their brand even more than the most clownish teabagger, so they decided to, well, choose the intoxicated over the toxic.
And is it any wonder? As we saw in the presidential primaries, what few rising Republican “stars” aren’t certifiable nutcases are shameless grifters, and all of them seem to be blessed with people skills that make Leona Helmsley look like Mother Theresa. This isn’t a function of the spokesmodels; it’s a function of the brand. The only Republicans who aren’t utterly poisonous to audiences outside the bubble are vestigial holdovers like Boehner from a superficially saner era, kept around, apparently, for their antique value more than any semblance of political effectiveness.
Like all Boehners, though, this one will eventually go down, and what will spring up in its place?