The latest enemy of the people, according to the Obama administration, is John Boehner, the current House Minority leader and who most believe will become Speaker when the Republicans take over the House.
On the face of it, Boehner is an odd fellow to be turned into a devil who wants to starve children, take away Social Security, and make sick people die. He is a middle-aged, handsome, tanned (they always mention the tan) gentleman who is never seen not wearing a tasteful suit. He smokes (they mention that too) and takes the occasional drink. He speaks in a low key, baritone voice that bespeaks a calm, inside-the-beltway, get-along-and-let’s-make-a-deal mien. If Boehner were not a politicias and instead, say, worked for an ad agency, he would be Don Draper.
In other words, Boehner doesn’t seem to be all that scary, compared to other enemies of the people President Obama has denounced. After all, Rush Limbaugh is on the radio five days a week and can be quite colorful and amusing in his own denunciations of the regime. Sarah Palin, at least in the liberal imagination, is a fire-breathing Boudicca, descending upon the country in a chariot, leading her mama grizzlies to destroy and despoil. Glenn Beck is, well, Glenn Beck; enough said.
But John Boehner has been in Congress too long to be very scary. True, he used to be one of Newt Gingrich’s lieutenants, but 15 years later, than can only go so far. Boehner has been the Republican leader through nearly two Democratic-dominated Congresses, and so has been regularly whipped on the floor as vote after vote went against him and his minority for Nancy Pelosi.
But, the reasoning might go from the most reasonable president in history, John Boehner will just go wild once he gets the Speaker’s gavel. To be sure, he will go after the Obama agenda with a will, but always with an eye on compromise and accommodation. Boehner has already tipped his hand in expressing his wiliness to cave on extending the Bush tax cuts.
When it comes to using the Saul Alinsky tactic of isolating and demonizing a public figure, Boehner just doesn’t fit the description.
But below Boehner will be firebrands like Paul Ryan and Eric Cantor who will be hell bent on inflicting their own hope and change on the country. They might even force a government shut down next year. That would include the government health care bureaucracy and the IRS.
One just tingles in horror thinking about an America where that can happen.
Sources: Obama v. Boehner?, Rich Lowry, National Review, September 14th, 2010
Is John Boehner Caving on the Bush Tax Cuts?, Mark R. Whittington, Associated Content, September 12th, 2010