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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Meet Your New House Speaker
Posted by Jill | 7:34 AM
I think Matt Taibbi finally gained admission into my Personal Pantheon of Awesomeness with the shit-eatin' grin he wore nonstop while being interviewed by Sam Seder when the latter was subbing for Keith Olbermann during Christmas week. Taibbi always has a sort of bemused smile, but his cat that swallowed the canary, Can You Believe We're Actually Doing This glee that two guys who used to talk frequently for the listening pleasure of a few hundred people listening to The Majority Report on Air America were in a Big Corporate Studio won me over for good.

And if that didn't, his righteous ranting about the REAL Great Orange Satan would have. Here are some tasty samples, but you really have to read the whole thing:

John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.


The Democrats have plenty of creatures like Boehner. But in the new Speaker of the House, the Republicans own the perfect archetype — the quintessential example of the kind of glad-handing, double-talking, K Street toady who has dominated the politics of both parties for decades. In sports, we talk about athletes who are the "total package," and that term comes close to describing Boehner's talent for perpetuating our corrupt and debt-addled status quo: He's a five-tool insider who can lie, cheat, steal, play golf, change his mind on command and do anything else his lobbyist buddies and campaign contributors require of him to get the job done.


...In this age of greed-enabling bailouts and rampaging Tea Parties and coast-to-coast voter rage toward the entire political process, Congress in particular now ranks as one of the single most unpopular political entities on earth. Recent polls show that only 13 percent of Americans approve of the job performance of their national legislature — which makes our elected representatives even less popular here at home than, say, Al Qaeda is in Pakistan. (Bin Laden and Co. scored an 18 percent approval rating not long ago.)


It's hard to imagine that in all of American political history there has been a more unlikely marriage than John Boehner and the pitchfork-wielding, incumbent-eating Tea Party, whose blood ostensibly boils at the thought of business as usual. Because John Boehner is business as usual, a man devoted almost exclusively to ensuring his own political survival by tending faithfully to the corrupt and clanking Beltway machinery. How? Let us count the ways.

From the very start, Boehner's career has been a heartwarming tribute to the gentle spirituality and tender human connections that surround the experience of congressional service. Here's how he got into the House in the first place: His predecessor, a white Republican named Donald "Buz" Lukens, got caught on camera talking with a black woman at a McDonald's in Columbus, Ohio, about how he had slept with her teenage daughter. It came out later that Lukens, his negotiating skills honed by years of public service, had paid 40 bucks to the girl to have sex with him in his Columbus apartment.

Convicted of "contributing to the unruliness of a minor," old Buz refused to resign his seat, and so John Boehner, a young plastics salesman (plastics!), took him on in the primary and won on a platform of restoring morals and ethics to the Congress. Boehner then joined up with a group of other freshmen congressmen, including God-humping Pennsylvanian Rick Santorum, and formed the so-called Gang of Seven. The group made names for themselves by giving sanctimonious speeches blasting Democratic congressional leaders for things like getting free haircuts at the House barbershop and free meals at the Senate restaurant. Shortly thereafter, Boehner ascended to a leadership role himself after helping co-author the "Contract With America," and it wasn't long before the man who swept into office in the shiny red underpants of an ethical crusader was creating his own peculiar ethics record.

And that's just on pages 1 and 2. Go. Read.

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Blogger Southern Beale said...
Another thing which annoys me about the whole John Boehner coverage this week is that the media is acting as if this is Boehner's first trip to the Speakership. Cripes, he took over for Denny Hastert, didn't he? And then in 2006 when the Dems took control of the House he handed the gavel to Nancy Pelosi in the first place.

If we had a functioning media someone would have pointed out that Boehner has already been rejected by the voters once before.

Blogger Bustednuckles said...
I can tell the guy is a weasel just by looking at him.

Blogger Lisa said...
I saw that segment with Taibbi and Seder. It was something to behold after listening to them way back when.