An editorial from the Parkersburg News and Sentinel
PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Hard-right members of Congress got their wish last week when Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he will step down – leaving not only his position as one of the most powerful people in Washington, D.C., but resigning from Congress altogether. Now, Republicans must make a very careful choice to replace him, or they may wind up longing for the days when Boehner wielded the gavel.
Boehner came to understand something many newcomers and party hardliners sometimes do not. Talking points, flashy appeals to special-interest groups and nasty political theater are one thing; being willing to govern is quite another. He found himself trying too often to bridge the gap between not only two increasingly different political parties, but also between factions in his own party. That left little time for the business of running the country.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has already said he has no desire to try to step in to the nearly impossible job Boehner is leaving. But Ryan is correct when he characterizes Boehner’s decision as one of sacrifice.
“This was an act of pure selflessness,” Ryan said. “John’s decades of service have helped move our country forward.”
Folks like Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham are thrilled Boehner is leaving, because they believe he has been standing in their way. That is a telling assessment from those who have gone to war so much with their own party, they have forgotten the 234 members of Congress who are actually trying to stand in their way.
“The next speaker is going to have a very tough job,” said U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., “The fundamental dynamics don’t change.”
No, they do not. And someone new will find that out, soon enough. In the meantime, Ohio and the country should extend their thanks to Boehner for his service in a very tough job, indeed.
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