I believe in debate. Not ad hominem attacks, not outbursts of profanity, but an exchange of ideas, facts and beliefs. This column started as a form of expressing myself. Sometimes it is family oriented, often it swerves to the political. I am passionately upset at what I see happening in my country. I write about it. Many people who agree with me read my words and I’m quite sure many who don’t are among the readers as well. I encourage all of you to post comments.
Although truth is often stranger than fiction, I’m pretty sure that Speaker Boehner is neither volunteering for nor working for Ted Cruz. He should be. Few people over the past few years have done more than the Speaker has to increase Senator Cruz’ popularity. Now, the spectacle continues.
Speaking to a Colorado crowd and referring to Cruz, Boehner joked that a benefit of the presidential race was that it was keeping the Texas Senator away from Washington. I won’t tell you the exact words because I don’t use that type of language. In our house, should words like the Speaker used come from someone’s mouth, everyone else shouts “Eskimo” (we picked this idea up from the book Cheaper by the Dozen). If the culprit is within reach of my elbow they receive a sharp jab. If they aren’t, they get a withering look—trust me, you don’t want to get one of those.
Mr. Boehner isn’t the first “establishment Republican” figure to revert to toddlerhood when talking about Senator Cruz. John McCain has suffered from the same malady. In each case, the senior politician became less popular while cementing conservative loyalty to Senator Cruz.
When Barack Obama first ran for president, he was an almost unbeatable contender. In a ‘perfect storm’ of timing, little about him mattered other than that he was young, black and had a fawning press eager not to look deeply at his life or beliefs.
I think those of us who seriously believe in conservative principles (the ones that the Republican Party used to uphold) made a mistake back then. It would have been a perfect year for a serious third party challenge. Barack Obama still would have won, but the Republican Party would have been forced to recognize that it needed to change or die. By 2012, they would have been warned that they needed a candidate about whom the base could be enthusiastic. Had they still nominated Mitt Romney, he would have received a much smaller share of the vote against a now more experienced and organized third party. In 2016, Republicans would not once again risk running a similar type of candidate, or they would have already morphed into the third party.
Speaker Boehner’s comment reveals that he, and probably many others in leadership positions, don’t get it. They don’t understand that they are the reason that Donald Trump is front and center in the race. They don’t understand how deep the antipathy to Jeb Bush’s candidacy runs. If they don’t actually feel disdain for millions of their voters, you wouldn’t know it from their words and actions. They don’t understand how they have destroyed the Republican Party’s chances for success barring a cataclysmic and successful grassroots upheaval.
In the first debate, these Republican figureheads thought that Donald Trump’s refusal to commit to supporting whoever the Republican candidate would be, would turn off voters. It didn’t. His hesitancy to do so actually expressed the feelings of many of us. Some of us have skipped voting in the past, an overwhelming number of us reject the Republican Party even as we register with it. Trump, Cruz and Carson, whether or not we want them to be president, don’t disturb us a tenth as much as Boehner, McDonnell and McCain do.
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