Good News and Bad News

I don’t have much time today to write about the resignation of House Speaker John Boehner.

The good news, I suppose, is that John Boehner is resigning, and we progressives can all indulge the Schadenfreude with watching that obstructionist do-nothing get his just rewards for being the architect of the Republican takeover of the House that relied so heavily on getting elected precisely the Tea Party Nuts that are hoisting him out now.

The bad news is that he is most likely going to be succeeded by someone worse than he is, perhaps even one of those Tea Party Nuts.

The really bad news is that because of gerrymandering, Democrats cannot realistically hope to take the House back until 2020, and that is if congressional districts can be gerrymandered back into something more equitable.  Big “if.”

So the really, really bad news is that we’re unlikely to see any real governance in the House for the remainder of Obama’s term.  If you thought Boehner was an obstructionist, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Boehner at least does not feel the urge to shut down Congress over every single right-wing pet cause.  These clowns will not compromise under any circumstances.  Democrats won’t cave on Planned Parenthood?  Shut it down.  Democrats won’t cave on cutting desperately needed social programs?  Shut it down.  Democrats won’t give in to expanding tax breaks for the already fabulously wealthy?  Shut it down.

But the really, really, really bad news is what will happen in the House if a Republican gets elected president in 2016.  Then they will start to govern a little.  Reproductive rights will be history.  The rewarding of the rich and the punitive persecution of the poor will continue, with the gulf between the two ever widening, a recipe for economic disaster (again!).  Islam will be declared illegal (as Constitutional scholar and civil libertarian Mike Huckabee thinks it should be).  And they’ll have the Supreme Court to appoint in order to make that unconstitutional wish-list item stick.  And whether it’s Trump or anyone else, they’re going to build that wall, take away health care from millions, and unconstitutionally try to deport millions of people who are, despite being U.S. citizens, pejoratively referred to as “anchor babies.”  The havoc this will wreak on constitutional jurisprudence will be a nightmare.  And there will be nothing to stop them— the best we could hope for is a sane Senate.  And that’s also a big “if.”

I don’t think the Speaker’s resignation is the beginning of the end of the Tea Party Nuts.

I’m afraid it’s the end of the beginning.

-Robert Gross

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