#4, Eric Cantor
#5, Michele Bachmann
#6, Paul Ryan
#7, Louie Gohmert
#8, Allen West
#9, Joe Pitts
#10, Jack Kingston
#11, Patrick McHenry
#12, Spencer Bachus
#13, Jim Gerlach
#14, Cliff Stearns
#15, Jean Schmidt
#16, Phil Gingrey
#17, David Schweikert
#18, Virginia Foxx
#19, Pete Sessions
#20, Charlie Dent
#21, Cathy McMorris Rodgers
#22, Chris Smith
#23, Todd Akin
#24, Buck McKeon
#25, Kristi Noem
#26, Hal Rogers
#27, Lou Barletta (Two bonus selections: Boren and Ross)
#28, Paul Broun
#29, Mary Bono Mack
#30, David Dreier
#31, Marsha Blackburn (including backgrounder)
…and that indeed brings us to #3 on the list of U.S. House Republicans opposed to health care reform, and that would be John Boehner of Ohio, the House Speaker.
To be honest, I’m starting to run out of words to describe these characters, so I’ll just turn it over to Matt Taibbi again, as I did with Moon Unit Bachmann (here)...
John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich. The biographer who somewhere down the line tackles the question of Boehner's legacy will do well to simply throw out any references to party affiliation, because the thing that has made Boehner who he is — the thing that has finally lifted him to the apex of legislative power in America — has almost nothing to do with his being a Republican.I said earlier that I thought Eric Cantor represented everything wrong with the Republican Party (on the national level, at least), and I still feel that way. However, at least Cantor makes the admittedly flimsy attempt to pretend that he’s acting according to something that he perceives to be the public interest. However, Boehner cannot be bothered with even that degree of pretense. Whenever the opportunity arises for him to shamelessly demagogue, pander on behalf of a preferred constituency or cravenly pursue legislation to further ensconce his deep-pocketed campaign donors, he is as remorseless as a shark (and, as is the case with just about all of the people on this list, I cannot possibly imagine how he manages to garner even a single vote, but of course he does, and too many more).
The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype — the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the "total package," and that term comes close to describing Boehner's talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He's a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done.
And by the way, the reason why Boehner is on this list is because he once referred to health care reform as “Armageddon,” as noted in the video below (here)…
You want more proof? Here it is…
Here, he called an extension of the middle class payroll tax cut “chicken shit” (looks like we’ve finally determined another area of Boehner expertise, besides fundraising that is).
And speaking of shaking people down, Boehner did that the night of the memorial service for the Tucson shooting victims, including fellow congressperson Gabby Giffords of course (here - all class).
Boehner replied “Are you kidding me?” here when asked if this country was better off under President Obama than under his ruinous predecessor (actually, the answer is yes, and here is just one measure).
Boehner said that if federal budget cuts mean job losses, “so be it” here (Rachel Maddow has more on this a bit later).
Here, he blamed the Democrats for lack of progress on a payroll tax cut – and he then left town (figures).
He blamed the weak Sept. 2011 jobs report on “the threat of high taxes,” or something, here.
This tells us how Boehner “walked away” from debt negotiations last September, which was actually a good thing given that Number 44 was ready to give away the proverbial store, again (and this tells us how he and Eric Cantor planned to renege on the debt deal anyway).
Here, he promised Obama the Repugs wouldn’t attack him over the debt ceiling negotiation, or something (the post contains a lot of evidence as to why Obama shouldn’t believe a word of what Boehner says…oh, and by the way, the post features Boehner saying that “most Americans don’t have a clue” when it comes to entitlement reform...someone is clueless all right, but it's not who Boehner thinks it is).
And in a low moment even for him, Boehner refused to allow Frank Buckles, the last surviving veteran of World War I, the honor of lying in state in the Capitol upon Buckles’ death in March of last year here (no line that Boehner and his pals won’t cross).
Boehner refused to support a capital gains tax for small business under Obama, but had no problem with supporting two such tax breaks under Dubya (here).
Boehner also incorrectly claimed that “nobody” wants to pay for infrastructure projects, supposedly, here.
Oh, and former New York Times columnists Bob Herbert reminds us here of how Boehner once handed out checks from tobacco lobbyists on the floor of the U.S. House (tells you where Boehner’s loyalties truly lie).
Boehner also told the American Bankers Association (who lobbied Boehner to keep intact our ridiculous student loan financing process in which banks were paid exorbitant fees to do virtually nothing, though the Democrats cleaned that up as soon as they took over the House in 2006) “know that I have you in my trusted hands” here.
He also said that troop deaths in Iraq are “a small price” to pay here (he obviously has no family member who serves or knows of anyone who does, or else he surely would have known to shut his trap on that...this from a man who apparently looks for reasons to cry about everything else).
As noted here, MIT professor John Reilly told Boehner to stop “misrepresenting” a study on green energy to propagate the incorrect talking point that related legislation before Congress would “cost every American family up to $3,100 per year in higher energy prices.”
Here, Boehner blamed President Obama for failing to pass the DREAM Act (uh, you pass legislation and, if he approves, he signs it – guess you missed that lesson in civics class, Orange Man).
And here, Boehner actually blames President Obama for the weather – no, seriously, Boehner really does that.
Also, here, Boehner tried to “scale back” the Violence Against Women Act (the same mentality as the one behind this as far as I’m concerned…and featuring Puppy-Dog-Eyes Paul Ryan, the Repug veep nominee? Color me shocked!).
And at this point, I’m not sure what else there is to say about Boehner, except to note what Rachel Maddow tells us here…
...however, I believe this video captures Boehner in his essence, sort of...
...and, with a nod not towards politics in any way, allow me to extend a happy 60th birthday to John Hiatt (nice assist here by Sonny Landreth).