Talk about season of the witch…

Let me first state the obvious truth:  You must govern now.  It’s one thing to be the engine of virulent, persistent agitation.  Now, you must make laws.  I hope you can actually achieve this, considering you’ve had a grand time standing on the sidelines for two years saying no to everything.  I applaud the strategy.  It delivered you the House of Representatives.

Now, on to other matters.  This victory has secured the legacy of the tea party insurgency–for better or for worse.  There were countless tea party candidates taking established republican and democratic candidates to the woodshed during primary season, and on election day. Speaker-elect John Boehner now must integrate a wild-eyed bunch of tea party newbies into a coalition of dedicated legislators.

Herein lies the dilemma: these insurgent congressmen don’t seem up for compromise… at all.  How will the new speaker manage his crew, work with a democratic president, and get the people’s work done– knowing that behind him is a frothing, ambitious congresswoman from the sixth district of Minnesota garnering power– and threatening to hijack any attempt at centrist governance.  Boehner will soon find out the speaker’s chair is a different political animal than his comfy place as minority leader.

Boehner has already stated there will be no compromise with President Obama, but is he speaking for himself or for the tea party insurgents?  He’s not speaking for the American public, and because of this his reign as speaker may be a short one.

So John Boehner has his wish–his tears last night burnished that notion.  But he should be warned:  The wave he rode into the speakership clearly was not because of his stellar work in congress–it was because of voter angst–personified by tea party power.  Clearly the personification of tea party power lay with Michele Bachmann, and her newly elected minions.  It may just be a matter of time before Boehner’s will is shaped to fit the cudgel she and her supporters wield.

Welcome to the new, more rancorous form of partisanship:  The 112 Congress.

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright, originally from Connecticut, is a blogger and budding freelance writer. He is heavily interested in politics and public policy. His aim is to encourage real debate between real people. Real change begins on the grassroots level, not in the media. He attended the University of Hartford in West Hartford,Connecticut, and now makes his home in Atlanta, Georgia. He also makes a mean lasagna.

  1. I have mad love for “a frothing, ambitious congresswoman from the sixth district of Minnesota garnering power– and threatening to hijack any attempt at centrist governance.” It’s so good, in fact, I might steal it.
    As to the meat of your article, I don’t see governance in the future for Boehner and company unless they are willing to finally admit that it was their own party — Bush and Cheney et al. — who left us this mess. If they want to move the country out of that morass, they have to, in effect, undo what their predecessors did.
    The next 24 months will be nothing if not interesting!

    1. Matthew Wright

      Thanks a lot Gita. There has never been a more appropriate time to use the word frothing, than when it’s used to describe Bachmann. And you’re right: How can they take us forward with the same policies responsible for our decline? Interesting dilemma isn’t it? It’s one I don’t think they can solve. We’ll soon find out.

  2. My homepage is Google News with an emphasis on political news from the entire nation — a sign of grave mental instability if there ever was one! “In that way lies madness…” someone said once.

    There was one article today describing the joy of the Rand supporters, and their excitement looking forward to their man’s “effect on Washington.” ‘And they’re also proud that he promises not to compromise with anyone. So exactly how far does one vote take you when compared to 99 others? And what will one man’s effect be?

    Don’t we owe it to our own beloved Newt that compromise is now only a four-letter word? Along with compassion and civility.

  3. Frank Povah

    Rand Paul also said (on Lexington’s channel 18) that we must return to “rewarding success”. Interesting. Does this mean that the pressure immediately comes off the financial industry and on to those who would regulate it?

    It’ll also be interesting to see what term limits he espouses now that he’s actually in there.

    One of Rand’s campaign ads told us that he has Christ in his heart so I suppose we shouldn’t worry. Or should we – what goes on in his head?

  4. Our agents of government need to get over the notion that their job is to dole out punishments and rewards. Agents are obligated and delegated to SERVE. While it is true that “they also serve who only stand and wait,” this does not seem an appropriate time for much of that.
    I agree that it is not good to compromise with evil. What the proponents of this truism seem to have missed is that subjugating other humans is the very essence of evil and that their lust for power is simply evidence.
    When we compromise with abusive people, we enable evil. To the extent President Obama has indulged in that, he’s got to stop. Perhaps, having been shielded from an abusive father by his mother, he doesn’t recognize abuse when he sees it. If so, somebody needs to open his eyes.

  5. Jim Fitzgerald

    Matthew, another most excellent article! I love reading your columns.

  6. Will Cantrell

    Matt, I love your article.

    As an aside, I think that I like the picture of John Boehner even better. I’ve played a little golf in my time —admittedly, much of it played badly—-and I know a ‘whiff’ when I see one. Unless, I am seeing things, the golf ball is still is still on the tee in this picture of the future Mr. Speaker. Hmmnnnn. I wonder if this is a metaphor for Boehner’s work in the House of Representatives. One can only hope. Of course, Boehner has a reputation opposite that of the late James Brown—i.e. he is NOT the hardest working man in ‘show business’ and tends to enjoy ‘happy hour’ from the very top of the hour.

    As another brief aside, you will also note that many conservatives have criticized the President for playing approximately 30 rounds of golf over the past twelve months or so. I don’t hear the same criticism of Boehner and other avid players on Capitol Hill however. As for me, I’d just as soon see Boehner be on the course at Congressional as much as he wants and stay out of the Halls of Congress…and out of our hair. Good piece Matt. Will

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