People have been predicting John Boehner’s resignation or ouster as Speaker of the House of Representatives for a while. He’s never had the whole-hearted support of the teabagger wing of his party, who perceive his attempts to actually govern (i.e., do the job Congress is supposed to do) as collaborating with the enemy. But I think it’s wrong to blame his failure on the crazies in his party (the “crazies” is rumored to be the term Boehner himself uses while speaking with other more traditional conservative colleagues). The teabaggers only have about 80 seats in the Congress, which is far from a majority out of 435 members total, and not even a a majority of the Republican caucus (247 members). Half the problem is how much he and the so-called non-crazy members of his party coddle the crazy bullies: Speaker Boehner’s Resignation Highlights Problems with Coddling Nativist Wing.
But that’s only half the problem. The other half is that the alleged sane branch of the party believe enough of the same crazy things as the teabaggers that what they see as compromise is still skewed way over in crazy land. This is merely a subset of another phenomenon that infects most Americans about the political spectrum in general. I’ve pointed out before that a majority of Americans are in favor of more liberal positions than the vast majority of Democratic politicians are. In other words, the Democratic Party isn’t liberal, it’s slightly on the conservative side of moderate, compared to the country as a whole.
Some of it is a perception problem. I can’t count the number of times I’ve tried to explain to some of my wingnut relatives, for instance, that Social Security is a socialist program, just as Medicare is. They love Social Security and Medicare, and they believe that Ronald Reagan was absolutely right to push through the law that allows people who have no insurance to get needed medical care at emergency rooms—but hate anything anything socialist, especially socialized medicine. And don’t get me started on everyone’s misunderstanding of how wealth is currently distributed. If you want to talk about crazy misperceptions, that’s a doozy!
Speaking of crazy, it’s been a while since I wrote about Pastor Manning (he of the hateful church sign). His ministry was long ago designated a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and he’s been clashing with his other neighbors in Harlem for some time. To the point that he occasionally draws protesters. Which happened earlier this week. And as anyone who has read or heard any of his homophobic rants before could have predicted, he doesn’t respond to it with the sort of love and kindness that Christ commanded: Harlem Hate Pastor Has Must-Watch Manic Meltdown at Protestors Outside His Church: VIDEO. By the way, I disagree with the headline, it’s not a must-watch. The quotes in the article give you a good idea of what went down.