Not to get all Shock Doctrine-ish on you or anything, but this interview in the Washington Post got my attention. It represents the very worst that could possibly happen to us all...Republicans winning back the House of Representatives and naming John Boehner as Speaker of the House.
Take a stroll with me through Speaker Boehner's world.
If the GOP were to gain the upper hand, and Boehner were elected as speaker, the question is what he and his party would do with that power. Boehner listed three priorities. First, he said, was a renewed commitment to fiscal discipline -- a test his party badly flunked the last time it was in the majority.
Now, fiscal discipline means different things to different people, but to John Boehner it means something like this with regard to financial regulatory reform:
"This is killing an ant with a nuclear weapon. There are faults in our regulatory system, some in terms of transparency, most as a result of ineffective enforcement by the bureaucracy who have no idea what these financial products look like today.
In Speaker Boehner's world, everything that just took place in our financial markets is the fault of the regulators, not the abusive practices of the industry itself.
This is because Speaker Boehner is the handmaiden and poster child for corporate ownership of politicians. There's a list here of his 2009 Gold donors -- those giving the maximum to his PAC in addition to his campaign committee. Among them: KochPAC, CapitalOne Financial Corp PAC, Bank of America Corp PAC, etc. etc. The list goes on and on.
But let's move on to Speaker Boehner's next agenda item:
Second, he said, was to engage in "an adult conversation with the American people" about the need to rein in entitlement spending.
So...that would be spending for things like Social Security and Medicare? Because, well...it's good to starve seniors and let them die? Who was it who invented death panels again? Oh right...Republicans.
And the final agenda item for Speaker Boehner is a kinder, gentler kind of bipartisanship. Seriously.
And third, he wants to increase bipartisan cooperation in the House.
This is so laughable I'm speechless. Watch the video at the top of this post for an example of the Boehner flavor of bipartisan cooperation. It's a little bitter, and a whole lot hot.
But he does elaborate:
Boehner said there will be plenty of disagreements with the White House if Republicans are in charge of the House. But he added: "A lot of scar tissue's been built up, by both parties, over the last 10 years. It needs to be solved for the long-term good of the country."
Too late for that. The cat is out of the bag and it meows repeatedly: Speaker Boehner wants to cut open the old wound, pour some salt in it, roll it around and then administer poison to the dying patient.
Lest you feel I'm too harsh, I'm glad to report that Speaker Boehner has some kind thoughts for everyone who supported that public option and thinks the health care reform bill stinks without it:
He was explicit about health care. "We believe that the health-care bill needs to be repealed and replaced," he said. Beyond saying Republicans would scrub the budget for wasteful spending, a pledge regularly made and ignored by politicians of both parties, he offered no examples of what programs Republicans would actually cut.
That one needs a translation, too. "Repeal and Replace" really means "Repeal and Die."
And finally, Speaker Boehner wants to remind us all that the nasty rancorous tone of the debate is all Barack Obama's fault.
Boehner also said Obama bears considerable responsibility for the poisoned politics in Washington. "I remember all the conversations with the president about post-partisan politics. He's done nothing to solve that. I remember all the conversations with the president about working in the middle. None of that. It wasn't about the specifics about this, that or whatever. It's about the overall direction he's gone. He has not lived up to his promises."
Hmmm. So let's see now. This would be the same John Boehner who threw an hour-long hissy fit on the House floor, called President Obama a "leftist" (when you stop laughing so hard, remember that David Gregory didn't bother to challenge him on that either), promised to do everything within his power to make it difficult to pass health care reform, advocated layoffs of police and firefighters rather than compromise on the stimulus bill, and called President Obama a socialist before lying about calling him a socialist.
But it's the President who has killed bipartisanship. Beam me up, Scotty.