Friday, September 20, 2013

Boehner ain’t no “Fast Eddie,” who wouldn’t have apologized for actions

I’ve always thought of the opposition to the Barack Obama presidency as being a national equivalent of the “Council Wars” of old.

BOEHNER: Fast Eddie wouldn't apologize
The Republican opposition that wants to oppose everything on ideological grounds (they don’t want Obama having any accomplishments to claim, and would impeach him in an instant if they could come up with anything resembling grounds to do so) looks, and sounds, a lot like the Vrdolyak 29 of old.

THAT MAJORITY IN the City Council in the mid-1980s, after all, was willing to create some short-term harm in city government if it meant taking down Harold Washington as mayor.

A lot like the way the ideologue Republicans in Congress, particularly the House of Representatives majority, plans to vote on Friday for a measure that continues to fund the federal government ONLY IF it also includes measures that dump all over the Obama version of health care reform!

It comes across as cheap and petty and whiny and obnoxious and short-sighted and harmful an act as anything that the City Council did when it had a majority opposition leadership of Edward R. Vrdolyak.

Except, …

I COULDN’T HELP but be astounded at the news coverage this week when House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, let it be known he was going to let the ideologue-minded segment of his caucus dominate this issue.

There was speculation early on that Boehner might try to keep federal government working without turning the whole affair into a politically partisan battle.

Envision a similar Obama/Boehner moment
Instead, Boehner is letting his caucus tell him what to do, and he is trying to make it appear as though he has little to no choice in the matter (although it should be noted that some of the members of Congress in his caucus have hinted they would be more than willing to dump Boehner as House speaker if he DIDN’T go along with them on this issue).

“The key to any leadership job is to listen,” Boehner told the New York Times.


The “Fast Eddie” of old would never have tried to sound apologetic for an action that was openly hostile to the interests of Mayor Harold Washington. Even if he disagreed with the actions of his allied aldermen, he’d try to make it appear as though it was the aldermen who were following his lead.

Heck, they probably would be following his lead. For it was Vrdolyak who came to the realization that he could get away with open defiance of Washington because of the number of people who didn’t want to perceive it as any kind of historic moment that Chicago had elected its first African-American as mayor.

Just as there are some amongst us who resent the idea that it’s at all special that Obama was chosen as president in the 2008 election cycle, and that their most hostile mood didn’t sway the true majority of the electorate in 2012.

I’M NOT ABOUT to predict how this particular Congressional mess will play out. It won’t surprise me if they manage to create a procedural mess that impacts the federal government operations in some form.

Although I suspect the only people who will look upon this approvingly will be the individuals who live in those isolated congressional districts that actually elect these yahoos and put them in positions where they can impact all of us!

A part of me wonders if actions like this will wind up backfiring upon the GOP desires for increased control of the federal government because it will make many of us appalled enough to want to have leadership that can contain their harmful desires.

OBAMA: Does he compare to Harold?
In short, we’ll get tired of these political tactics – just as we eventually tired of “Council Wars” and future elections ate away at the “29,” turning it into an aldermanic minority.

I EVEN WONDER if these people in Washington could have an impact upon our state government election cycle in 2014.

I know Republicans are counting on the fact that the apathy surrounding Pat Quinn at the top of the Democratic ticket will be a drag on all Dems. But will enough of these ideological acts in Washington be enough to scare the Democrat-leaning Chicago-area voters into turning out in such large numbers for state elections that GOP candidates wind up losing anyway?

Not that I expect anyone in Congress to engage in last-minute reflection upon their actions before they take a Friday vote. Because, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., told the Washington Post, “Bipartisanship is a thing of the past. Now, all we do is ‘gotcha’ legislation.”

That’s why little gets done by our government. And history will wind up recording our current era as being especially touched upside the head by the stupid stick, just like we now remember much of the nonsense that occurred in the City Council some three decades ago.


No comments: