It was shocking yesterday that John Boehner announced that he will resign not only from his role as Speaker of the House of Representatives, but also is elected seat as well. While the sympathy shouldn’t go on for too long, he’ll surely land a very well-paying job as a lobbyist in Washington, you do have to feel for him to an extent. Here was a man that was truly stuck between a rock and a hard place, and decided to fall on the sword if it meant preserving the Republican Party as well as the institution.
Through his tenure as Speaker, Boehner negotiated constantly with not only the Democrats and the Obama administration, but also the growing fringe of his own party. Not only this, but often those same members would immediately go back on their word and went to extreme lengths (government shutdowns) in order to try to get their way, even when it was clearly not probably. Eric Cantor, with whom Boehner often clashed heavily with, put it best in a quote that appeared in an article on The Hill;
I have never heard of a football team that won by throwing only Hail Mary passes, yet that is what is being demanded of Republican leaders today. Victory on the field is more often a result of three yards and a cloud of dust,”
It seems as though Boehners resignation of part fatigue from the in-fighting, ahead of another fight with the GOP fringe over defunding Planned Parenthood at all costs, part recognition that having to endure another long and publicly brutal challenge to his leadership would be detrimental to the image of the party, if it could get any worse. In the end, I think it’s great that Boehner finally packed it in. Negotiating with terrorists is never a good thing, especially when they reside in your own camp.