When it comes to power in Washington, John Boehner isn’t exactly a hapless schlub, at least not on paper. He’s the Speaker of the House, second in the presidential line of succession, and ostensibly the most powerful member of the legislative branch of government. He has a powerful megaphone, a sizable House majority, and the capacity to have an enormous impact on policymaking.
And yet, John Boehner believes leadership is something others should show. In his new Washington Post op-ed on the larger budget fight, the House Speaker is giving new meaning to the phrase “leading from behind.”
The problem, in large part, is that Democrats refuse to make the tough choices necessary to solve our long-term debt crisis…. [P]residential leadership is really what’s needed.
Needed for what? Well, according to Boehner, he’d like to see President Obama cut spending the way Republicans want, cut entitlements the way Republicans want, balance the budget the way Republicans want, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline the way Republicans want.
And if Obama disagrees, he’s not making “tough choices” and failing to show “leadership.”
Left unsaid: John Boehner, despite his power and authority, isn’t leading, doesn’t want to lead, has no intention of leading, and doesn’t even know how to lead – which is precisely why he keeps waiting for the White House and Senate to do the real work while Boehner waits patiently (or as evidenced by this op-ed, perhaps not so patiently) on the sidelines.
Let’s make this easy for the Speaker: (1) Name one budget issue on which you and your party are prepared to compromise; (2) Name one concession you and your party are willing to accept in exchange for a related Democratic concession.
If the answer to either of these is questions is a blank stare, then the Speaker of the House has no business calling himself a leader of anyone or anything.