John Boehner: The Godfather


Originally posted by Jeffrey Lord for Conservative Review

The star? John Boehner as Michael Corleone.

It is the Capitol Hill version of the baptism scene straight from the movie version of The Godfather. This scene, in which Michael Corleone attends the baptism of his sister’s baby, with the priest asking him if he “renounces Satan.” “I do,” solemnly intones the new Godfather. As the baptism unfolds, we see Michael’s Mafia thugs calmly executing the family rivals, shooting them to death in an elevator, in bed, in a revolving door, on the steps of a building. The latter execution performed by a Mafioso dressed as a cop.

The Capitol Hill version employs political thugs disguised as members of Congress. With newly re-elected Speaker John Boehner starring as the new Godfather, Michael Corleone. As the Speaker stands at the rostrum in the House chamber, newly elected and sworn in, he gives a charming speech. The political equivalent of the baptism. “This is the day the Lord has made,” he intones, waxing biblical and renouncing Satan. “Let us rejoice and be glad.” He goes on, looking out fondly at his audience of House members – colleagues one and all.

Sitting in the audience are the Boehner rivals and their supporters or sympathizers, 24 congressmen representing their districts who have now been defeated in a democratic vote on the floor of the House. Elected representatives from districts from very American places like Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Kansas and New Jersey. They watch as the Speaker smoothly continues.

We rejoice that our new Members and families are here. And we are glad – and humbled – to begin anew as servants in the people’s House. Here, it is our duty – and our privilege – to lend a willing ear to the people, make laws in tune with their priorities and within the limits of their Constitution.

As the Speaker loftily addresses his audience, quietly his lieutenants make their mental notes of what is about to happen. Opponent Daniel Webster of Florida? Webster sits on the powerful House Rules Committee – as does one of his supporters, fellow Floridian Richard Nugent.

Boehner keeps going, softly, extending a verbal bouquet using humor.

We’ll begin this endeavor on common ground – both in letter and spirit. As Speaker, all I ask – and, frankly, expect – is that we disagree without being disagreeable. In return, I pledge to help each of you carry out your duties. My door, of course, is always open. (Just don’t get carried away.)

Somewhere on the floor listening to these soothing words of reconciliation is Scott Garrett of New Jersey, the chairman of a Financial Services subcommittee. So too is Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp, in line for the chairmanship of a Veterans Affairs subcommittee.

The Speaker begins to conclude, talking now of the need for “patience, some sacrifice, and God’s grace.” He concludes: “And may the fruits of our labors be ladders our children can use to climb to the stars. Thank you all, and God bless the United States of America.”

The ceremony of state ends. The members stand, applauding the new Speaker. His words echo. The rejoicing in the presence of families, the specific reference to being humbled, the pledge to “disagree without being disagreeable” and the vow “to help each of you carry out your duties.” The vision of working together building “ladders our children can use to climb to the stars.” The touching biblical citation, taken from Psalm 118, verse 24: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad.” The Satan of raw political power used for selfish ends has been renounced.

Now, the ceremony over, the Speaker’s men suddenly spread out to do their jobs, taking his rivals by surprise. Out come the political long knives. Webster is abruptly dumped from the Rules Committee. So too is fellow Floridian Nugent.

Read more here.


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