John Boehner and Blood on the Moon for the GOP

by William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed –

boehner mccarthy 2

John Boehner & Kevin McCarthy

… and the moon became as blood.” – Revelation 6:12

On Sunday night, my family and I gathered to watch the harvest moon be devoured. I brought our small telescope out onto the back porch, but the brilliance of that celestial disk rendered the thing about useless. My daughter pelted from window to window yelling, “Daddy, the moo! Mumma, the moo!” until my wife and I nearly wet ourselves in an ecstasy of giggling. After we put the girl down for the night, my wife and I just sat outside and watched. Ain’t no lights out here. When the moon turned to blood – to crib a line from St. John’s Revelation – Mars roared red in reply on the low horizon, and the Milky Way itself spilled out on the black velvet sky like diamond shards. Some things truly beggar comparison. This was one such.

Another event that beggars comparison is the sudden self-propelled ejection by GOP Rep. John Boehner from his sinecure as speaker of the House. Jim Wright did it in 1989 when Newt Gingrich chased him out over an ethics violation. Before that was Henry Clay, who resigned the position in 1814, 1820 and finally in 1825, some four decades before the last year of the Civil War. That’s it. That’s the list, in totality. Only three guys in almost three centuries have up and walked from the third most powerful job in the US government before serving out their term.

The infrequency of a blooded harvest moon is nothing compared to the rarity of an event like this … and to continue borrowing from St. John, the Republicans are going to be seeing blood on the moon because of this for quite a long time to come.

By now, everyone in the US knows that Boehner will be hanging up his cleats on Halloween and taking his pumpkin hue to some unknown future. The question is why. There have been 53 speakers of the House. Exactly three of them, including Boehner, have booked out of the office before serving their term out. Consider the presidency: Leaving aside mortal departure due to violence or disease, only one – Nixon – flapped his wings and flew away before his term was over. Lyndon Johnson doesn’t count, because though he chose not to run for re-election, he stayed at his post until the last dish was rinsed.

Word has it that Boehner is putting on his boogie shoes because his fractious caucus is out to get him, because the stress of the position with those people involved was too much to bear. I’m not buying it for a nanosecond. This kind of thing doesn’t just happen because “People are mean” or “I want to spend more time with my family,” or even because “I got a seven-figure lobbying gig, so long suckers.”

I have absolutely, positively nothing concrete to base this on, but I’m telling you straight up: Something is out of joint. We may find out in a week, in a year or in 10 years, but one of these days the true tale of this sudden evacuation will out. It’s just too weird. If Aaron Sorkin tried to cobble this into a script, he’d get laughed out of the building. John Boehner is the speaker of the House of Representatives of the United States. Soon, he’ll be the third guy to quit prematurely since they saw the whites of British eyes on Bunker Hill. To quote Ted Logan from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, “Strange things are afoot at the Circle K.”

In this veil of mystery and political intrigue, we are left for the time being with the impending bloodbath, and oh, brothers and sisters, this one is going to be a true doozy. GOP Rep. Kevin McCarthy represents a district in the center of Southern California, and is widely considered to be the front-runner to replace Boehner. McCarthy is the kind of guy that will make people miss Boehner: He is a creature of the right-wing nightmare organization Americans For Prosperity, doesn’t believe in climate change or a woman’s right to choose and has voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act more times than you’ve gone to the bathroom this month … though those efforts – yours and his – all got flushed.



Reprinted with permission from Truthout