There are two remarkable facets of a Wall Street Journal interview with U. S. House Speaker John Boehner, published Monday, Jan. 7.
The Speaker, a man that is important enough to be permitted to engage in his trademark chain smoking during any interview to which he consents, notes that in conversations with President Obama, he consistently asserted to Boehner that the nation does not have a spending problem: come again? We have a debt of $16.4 trillion and growing, we are incurring trillion dollar plus annual deficits, and we borrow forty cents of every dollar we expend, but we do not have a spending problem, Mr. President? The president pays lip service to being willing to cut federal outlays, but why do so if in his bizarre view, we do not have a spending problem?
Boehner admits in this interview that he told Majority Leader Harry Reid during the recent impasse over the much-heralded “fiscal cliff,” “Go ---- yourself.” I would also note that in December 2010, “distinguished” Speaker Boehner characterized Democratic legislation to extend tax breaks to the middle class as “chicken crap”: lovely, and what a wonderful role model he presents to young students of government. No matter any provocation Boehner may have felt to explode at Senator Reid, is this the type of discourse we seek from our leaders, or is it more characteristic of someone that is immature, undignified, and petulant? Perhaps Boehner is taking a cue from “Vice” Dick Cheney, who used the same vile phrase in addressing another Senator, Vermont’s Patrick Leahy. It is no wonder that the animosity and contempt is so thick in the hallf of Congress that nothing can get done and the "can" is consistently "kicked down the road".
It is fair to note that the Republicans have not cornered the market on the ugly language of profanity. I recall Vice-President Biden telling the president at a microphone he did not recognize was open that his omnibus health care legislation was “a big f---ing deal,” but Biden’s statement, inappropriate and offensive though it was, was not a direct and base insult directed at another.
The enlightening Boehner interview story provides plenty of reason for the American people to be disgusted with, if not contemptuous of their elected officials, Democratic and Republican.