Rolling Stone has a funny and rather depressing (because he’s so clueless) profile of the new speaker of the House: The crying shame of John Boehner
It’s a long essay, but here are a few parts that jumped out at me:
…”Lazy” is how one former congressional aide describes Boehner’s work ethic. “Not the hardest worker,” said Joe Scarborough, former congressman and current MSNBC host. Congressional sources say that Boehner likes to knock off early, and that seems to square with his record, which reveals a real passion — for the links. He once went on 180 junkets in six years, most of them golf trips, and reportedly copped to playing 100 rounds a year at a time when he was collecting a six-figure salary, paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, to serve in Congress. His political action committee spent almost $83,000 on golf events in 2009, and over the past 18 months he has run up a $67,000 tab at the Ritz-Carlton golf resort in Naples, Florida. He flew on a corporate jet 45 times between 2000 and 2007, and took at least 41 other corporate-sponsored trips in the past decade.
“I’ve spent my whole life…[chokes up]…chasing…[chokes up]…the American dream,” [Boehner] sniffed. Becoming verklempt, Boehner waved his hands in a “No, I can’t go on” gesture, then went on anyway, as the crowd nonsensically chanted “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
Boehner, in short, has for most of his career been a Bush Republican, i.e., a corporate schmoozer and a remorseless spender of taxpayer money for whom the notion of small government is just something to say when the cameras are on, or when the public money in question might go to poor people or immigrants or other such unlikely golfers.
Boehner with a straight face recently announced that he would push to cut committee budgets and member allowances by five percent, for an anticipated savings of — cue the clueless Dr. Evil laugh — $30 million. “It likely would be one of the first votes we cast,” Boehner declared proudly, failing to recognize that paying for trillion-dollar bailouts and $900 billion tax breaks by cutting $30 million at a time is a little like planning a hostile takeover of IBM with a stack of Rite Aid coupons. That’s not government; it’s stand-up comedy.
There were also jokes about his name, which is pronounced “Baner.” I think that’s appropriate because I have the feeling he will quickly become the bane of my existence.