I met John Boehner once and had the chance to socialize with him in a very loose and casual environment for a few hours. Once you got past the weird purple-orange fake tan, he was a funny and sociable guy that you didn’t mind drinking a bottle of scotch with. I’d never accused him of being particularly conservative but neither had I thought him to be utterly amoral and in love with nothing but the perks and prerogatives of office. Until now.
…When specifically asked his opinions on Ted Cruz, Boehner made a face, drawing laughter from the crowd.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” the former speaker said. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Boehner described other Republican candidates as friends. In particular, the former speaker said he has played golf with Donald Trump for years and that they were “texting buddies.”
His friendship with Ohio Governor John Kasich, however, was a little more ambiguous.
“[Kasich] requires more effort on my behalf than all my other friends … but he’s still my friend, and I love him,” Boehner said.
Boehner for the most part accepted Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee, though he did express his surprise at the candidate’s success. While he did not praise Trump’s policies, the Speaker did say he would vote for Trump in the general election if he becomes the Republican nominee. The former Speaker said he would not, however, vote for Cruz.
Boiled down to its essence, Boehner actually points directly at the cause of our national crisis. It is not disagreement and deadlock. It is ass-smooching, genital fondling, go-along-get-along logrolling in which your position on an issue is driven by your friendships rather than principle. What Boehner lets us know is that Congress is really nothing more or less than your typical middle school mean-girls clique.
This isn’t new. Back in the early 1990s, Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson was as strong a conservative as you could find in a Losers-R-Us US Senate caucus led by Bob Dole. Who was his best friend? Ted Kennedy. John McCain and Bill Clinton are big buddies. Tip O’Neill and Gerald Ford. While I understand the natural impulse of humans, an imminently social animal, to want to be liked by colleagues this kind of behavior creates exactly the same argument for me as does the issue of adultery. If a politician will cheat on his spouse, the mother of his children, the woman he has sworn before God that he will not betray then what chance do you, the anonymous taxpayer have? None, right? If a politician makes his closest friends among people with whom he disagrees with on policy, when he is forced to choose between friend and policy what chance to you, the anonymous conservative voter, have? Zero. Absolutely none. So are you surprised at Failure Theater and the thousands of failed votes to defund ObamaCare? Didn’t think so.
I don’t have any proof of this but I suspect that the number of times that Boehner ever had to deal with a freshman senator approached nil. What we do know is that Ted Cruz made a point of working with House conservatives: Cruz to House Conservatives: Oppose Boehner; Ted Cruz Is Making Life Miserable For House Republicans; Ted Cruz, House Republicans, and their many secret meetings; Ted Cruz huddled with House conservatives; Ted Cruz looks to steer House conservatives on immigration; etc. And it would not take a huge leap of imagination to conceive of Cruz being sympathetic to the conservative coup against Boehner or why Boehner might look up Cruz as the instigator.
Motives aside, knowing that Boehner was a golfing buddy of Donald Trump and will vote for Hillary Clinton over a guy who actually believes in conservatism tells you just about all you need to know about Boehner.