Wednesday, September 30, 2015
Thomas Sowell writes a fitting
obituary to John Bonner's tenure as Speaker of the House, in the
process calling out Republicans in general for failing to
differentiate themselves from Democrats:
Nothing epitomized Boehner's wrong-headedness like an occasion when he emerged from the White House, after a conference with President Obama and others, to face a vast battery of microphones and television cameras.Sowell reminds everyone that Ronald Reagan (whatever his faults) took the opposite approach and was able to accomplish much of his agenda despite never having a majority in both houses of Congress. In addition, Sowell cautions us that most Republicans today who do speak of "reaching out" to other constituencies also fail to do this, choosing to pander to them, instead.
Here was a golden opportunity for Speaker Boehner to make his case directly to the American people, unfiltered by the media. Instead, he just walked over to the microphones and cameras, briefly expressed his disgust with the conference he had just come from, and then walked on away.
Surely Boehner knew, going into this White House conference, that it could fail. And, surely, he knew that there would be an opportunity immediately afterwards to present his case to the public. But, like so many Republican leaders over the years, he seemed to have no sense of the importance of doing so -- or for the time and efforts needed to prepare for such an opportunity beforehand.
All I can add to this is that, if Republicans don't learn from this column, I hope voters who can influence them do, for reasons another recent column, by Megan McArdle, make quite apparent.