Don’t Cry for Me Mr. Boehner
“I like John Boehner, but…”
That’s how some people who are about to seriously criticize the new Speaker of the House would start. However, I can’t use that line since I really do not like the man.
“Some of my best friends are Republicans.” Now, that one works, since it is true that most of our really good friends are indeed staunch Republicans. We just have to be careful lately not to delve deeply into political subjects or issues.
Now that we have cleared that up, let me talk about John Boehner, a Republican and a man whom I really don’t like, a man whose best friends are influence peddlers and lobbyists for big banks and insurance companies—I am told.
Like most Americans, I felt somewhat awkward when the next Speaker of the House started weeping during his victory speech last Tuesday night—you know, the night when Democrats really got shellacked.
Even though I don’t like the man, after listening to his halting words about how as a young man he started out mopping floors in his father’s tavern, how he worked so hard in night shifts to pay for his college education, etc., I felt some sympathy for him.
Later, I read that Mr. Boehner has always been a weeper. Time writes:
He cried on the House floor while defending the Wall Street bailout and once choked up during a partisan speech accusing Democrats of abandoning the troops in Iraq. But he also used to bawl every year during the fundraisers he co-chaired with his friend Ted Kennedy for cash-strapped Catholic schools. “John’s got the biggest heart in the House,” says Republican conference boss Mike Pence, who lost a leadership election to Boehner in 2006. “My preacher used to say, ‘When the eyes leak, the head won’t swell.’
Still, I will not mock Mr. Boehner for shedding tears when recalling his own tough times and the rough roads traveled while he was chasing the American Dream.
However, I have to wonder why the new Speaker doesn’t feel a similar compassion—doesn’t shed legislative tears—for those millions of Americans who are trying just as hard today to realize the American Dream but who are so heartbreakingly failing.
I have to wonder why he calls our health-care system “the best health care system in the world.”
A health-care system where almost 51 million Americans lack health insurance.
A health-care system that is No. 1 only in health-related bankruptcies, but one that makes our country 49th in life expectancy, ahead of Libya in this category, “but not Japan, France, Spain, Britain or, of course, Italy.”
A health-care system where the United States has an infant mortality rate of 6.14, meaning that 6.14 out of every 1,000 live births don’t make it to their first birthday.
On infant mortality, Richard Cohen writes in the Washington Post:
The CIA tells us that the nations that do the worst in this category are, not surprisingly, mostly in Africa. Then comes much of Asia and parts of South America, but when you start getting up there a bit, Cuba does better than the United States and so do Italy, Hungary, Greece, Canada, Portugal, Britain, Australia and Israel, among others. This should be an embarrassment to us all – but, clearly, it is not. To Boehner, these figures – infants dying before they can get a cupcake with a single candle – don’t exist.
Yes, I have heard that “crack mothers and crack babies” are the reason….
(Read more about “the best health-care system in the world” here)
I also have to wonder why this compassionate and deeply caring man consistently obstructs legislation to extend unemployment benefits; to reauthorize, expand or extend Children’s Health Insurance and Medicaid programs; why he opposes mine safety legislation and programs to provide for more nutritious school lunches, etc.
I do have to give Mr. Boehner credit for his votes on No Child Left Behind, Head Start and even his mixed, strings-attached votes on increasing the minimum wage.
I sincerely hope that Mr. Boehner will use his reservoir of compassion to truly improve the lot of poor and middle income Americans; to truly improve health care; to prove liberal pundits such as Richard Cohen wrong, when he says:
For Democrats, there’s hope in Boehner’s chirpy pronouncement [“the best health system in the world”]. It shows a GOP out of touch with reality, a party of Marie Antoinettes, babbling total nonsense about health care. The same swing voters who used the election to hurt the Democrats might learn that America’s health-care system is No. 1 only in health-related bankruptcies. It is best in the world only for the rich and the amply insured. Everyone else can crawl away, unseen by the next speaker of the House of Representatives – a jolly, detached fellow who thinks he lives in another country entirely.
I hope the new Speaker will shed some tears, not for me, for I am OK. I am OK because I, along with Mr. Boehner, his colleagues in the House, 100 U.S. Senators and so many other government officials truly have the best health-care system or health-care insurance in the world—the best the U.S. Government can provide.
I am talking about the millions of Americans who have sacrificed just as much and worked just as hard as Mr. Boehner and myself but who have never realized Mr. Boehner’s American Dream. I am talking about those additional millions of Americans who more recently—after having fulfilled the Dream—through no fault of their own, lost their jobs, lost their homes, lost their dreams and are coming mighty close to losing their self-respect.
Please cry for them Mr. Boehner, and now that you have soundly defeated—shellacked—us, Democrats, please use your new mandate to show America how it should be done. I sincerely wish you Godspeed in this task.
And I tell you what, I don’t mind if you take a couple of years to give us back the America we knew, say 10 years ago.
Several of above statistics come from that flaming liberal organization, the CIA.