Well, many will see this as good news, I certainly do.
Whether it was “the right time,” or a desire to end “this prolonged leadership turmoil” in the House — or both — John Boehner’s bombshell announcement Friday to resign as speaker and leave Congress at the end of October had all the markings of a self-described “regular guy with a big job.”
“Yep,” Boehner told reporters, describing the sequence of events leading up to his decision — which included a morning walk to Starbucks and a stop at the neighborhood diner — “I think today’s the day.”
He first broke the news to his staff and then his House caucus Friday morning. Explaining the move to reporters, he simply said, “It’s the right time.”
The decision by the 13-term Ohio Republican shocked his colleagues, and will soon lead to a leadership battle as well as a special election in Ohio, in already tumultuous times. It comes amid mounting friction with the conservative wing of the party — and one day after Boehner hosted a historic speech by Pope Francis to Congress. ……
… The House will need to hold an election to select a new speaker. The last speaker to resign in the middle of a Congress was Jim Wright, D-Texas, amid an ethics scandal in 1989.
Boehner’s decision removes the possibility of a damaging vote to strip him of his speakership, a scenario that grew more likely amid the conservative clamor over a shutdown.
While the news Friday roiled Boehner allies, some conservatives welcomed his announcement.
Rep. Tim Huelskamp of Kansas said “it’s time for new leadership,” and Rep. Tom Massie of Kentucky said the speaker “subverted our Republic.”
But more mainstream Republicans said it would be a pyrrhic victory for Tea Party-aligned lawmakers.
“The honor of John Boehner this morning stands in stark contrast to the idiocy of those members who seek to continually divide us,” said Rep. David Jolly of Florida.
Boehner was first elected to the House in 1990 and soon established a strongly conservative record. He was part of former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s leadership team when Republicans took over the House in 1995 for the first time in four decades but was ousted from his leadership role in the wake of the GOP’s disappointing performance in the 1998 midterms.
He won a 2006 race to succeed Tom DeLay as the House’s No. 2 Republican when DeLay stepped aside as majority leader. He took over as the top Republican in the House in 2007 after Democrats retook the chamber.
As speaker, his tenure has been defined by his early struggles to reach budget agreements with President Obama and his wrestling with the expectations of Tea Party conservatives who demanded a more confrontational approach.
In 2013, conservatives drove him to reluctantly embrace a partial government shutdown in hopes of delaying implementation of the new health care law.
Speaker Boehner has been one of the biggest disappointments and cause for people losing faith in the Repub party. As arguably the second most powerful politician in the US, he’s done absolutely nothing to advance the conservative agenda. Indeed, he’s harmed in immeasurable ways. Before he became Speaker, he advocated and voted pretty conservative. Now, ….. he’s a figure head, who did nothing to thwart the idiocy of Zero. Every consideration the leftard Obama thought was important, he just did, and made it happen, under Boehner’s watch.
The article references the last Speaker to resign, Jim Wright. I recall the power Wright wielded. I also recall another power Speaker, Tip O’Neill. Yes, Reagan won most of his battles with O’Neill, but, because of the authority O’Neill had and wielded, Reagan had to address him. The contrast to the impotence of Boehner is striking, but, then, I don’t believe Boehner really ever tried to do anything, even though, he is the leader of the People’s House.
Hopefully, our next Speaker will be one with a pair.