12.21.2012 0

John Boehner’s Box

By Rick Manning — America is witnessing a real-time modern day Greek tragedy worthy of Sophocles or any of the great Greek dramatists.

The storyline:  a man seeks power his entire life and when he finally attains it, he becomes unwilling to use it and dwindles into historic impotency.

As pundits and others are predicting doom will hit the U.S. economy on Jan. 1, 2013, we are witnessing a bleary-eyed Speaker Boehner desperately attempting to avoid the calamity while the president and his cohort in the Senate, Harry Reid, do nothing but wait for complete capitulation.

The situation is so bad, that Sen. John McCain, who would have been president, and was a POW in Hanoi, has expressed sympathy for the Speaker and the situation he finds himself in.

As for me, I cannot muster much sympathy for someone who carefully constructed the very box that he finds himself in.

The fiscal cliff is comprised of two separate issues, a massive tax increase on one hand that automatically goes into effect at the end of 2012, and mandatory spending cuts that focus upon defense spending hitting at the same time.

Both of these events and the timelines associated with them are a direct result of deals agreed upon by Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Reid and President Obama.

Obama and Reid want taxes to go higher, and are even refusing to accept tax increases proposed by Boehner knowing that the complicit media will make it appear that it is the mean old Republicans who chose to tax the middle class to save the wealthy from paying a few additional pennies.

This, in spite of the fact that the very middle class tax cuts that Boehner will be blamed for killing, would never have existed if not for the Bush tax cuts that Democrats have tried to end for the past decade.

It was Boehner who agreed upon the current timelines that make a crisis appear imminent, because he was convinced that he would be dealing with a new, Republican president and Mitch McConnell as the Senate Majority Leader in 2013.

That basic miscalculation led to where the nation finds itself today, facing a so-called “fiscal cliff” with the Speaker unable to find a political trap door to escape.

Now, Obama and Washington, D.C. Democrats are taking almost sadistic pleasure watching the Speaker play the mime, feeling his way around the invisible box that he himself built.

Rather than providing a political out, they instead lay traps in the hopes that his fellow Republicans, who apparently are the only ones not aware of the game being played, will fall into them in a futile attempt at rescue.

The cruelty of the sport is almost sad, as proud men are lowered to groveling for scraps simply because they have refused to use the very power that they fought long and hard to obtain.

You see the tragedy is that the way out of the box is actually apparent to everyone but the man who holds the power to use it.

Rather than accept the premises of Obama and Reid, the Speaker’s redemption in the story would be for him to rise up Hulk Hogan-like, and tell them that unless taxes remain the same and intelligent cuts are made, there will be no appropriations passed beyond those for essential services, and the rest of the government will shut down in the spring.

Speaker Boehner could tell Obama and Reid that the debt limit will not be raised in February or March, and the government will have to make cuts to accommodate it.

Speaker Boehner could refuse to allow a single dime to be spent implementing Obamacare, driving a stake through the heart of Obama’s economy-sucking, health care-takeover law.

He has that power.

But since he has proven time and again that he is unwilling to use it, he is trapped in a glass box, pointed at by passersby and held up for the Obama controlled media’s amusement.

The tragedy is best summed up by the modern day philosophers, The Eagles, who sing the following words in their song, “Already Gone,” “So often times it happens that we live our lives in chains and we never even know we have the key.”

I’d almost feel bad for Speaker Boehner, except as the Eagles note, he has the key, and I am rooting that he will finally use it and turn the tables on those who currently make sport of him.

He could still choose to rise to the occasion like a mythical hero, rather than withering before the challenge.  Greatness itself emerges through trials like these.

At this moment in history, the pen is in Speaker Boehner’s hand, the ending remains to be written.  Will his story become known as a modern Greek tragedy or will he summon the uncommon courage to write a different ending?

Time will tell.

Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government.

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