The Speaker can’t listen if he can’t hear

Posted by on March 8, 2011 10:50 pm
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Categories: Patriot Dispatches

Promised “Listener” of the House can’t hear

The size of the puny proposals of the GOP House coupled with his reading material at least proves he has NYT and WashPo paper stuffed in his ears!

John Boehner is Speaker of the House because of the historic election just passed in which his Republican Party gained more seats than in any election since based upon public debt and jobs crises.

When first challenged by the media to read the election results as a call to compromise with the Obama agenda just rejected by the voters, he declared that he would listen to the American people for his orders. When next challenged on how draconian the cuts would be, he said that if government workers must lose their jobs, so be it.

It seemed as if he had heard the clear message of We the People

Then he proposes only 40% of the relatively modest $100B cuts promised int he campaign and says that if only the American people really understood how dire is the debt problem, he would propose more:

“People in Washington assume that Americans understand how big the problem is, but most Americans don’t have a clue,” Boehner said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal published Friday morning. “I think it’s incumbent on us, if we are serious about dealing with the big challenges, that we go out and help Americans understand how big the problem is that faces us.”

We don’t have a clue?

This caused me to recall an interview with then Minority Leader Boehner of a few years ago, who when asked how he got his news, said that he got it almost exclusively from the Washington Post and the New York Times. It seemed the most natural thing in the world to him to only hear what they see fit to print.

Hugh Hewitt and others have echoed my complaints in several columns over the past few weeks, concerning the CRs that didn’t take out all funds for ObamaCare; the failure to even cut the $100B promised; the promise not to let the govt shutdown; the failure to de-fund the LSC, and other govt agencies, etc.

Given the massive mandate on Election Day and the truly dire circumstances we face, I don’t think we can afford to be so timid.

Boehner can’t propose $61B in cuts out of a $3.7T budget and lecture Americans as not having a clue. I think We the People really need to stay on these employees backs.

Boehner specifically invited the “ear” metaphor with his promise to listen to the American people. Now he says we are clueless. How many times have we seen big election mandates squandered by the establishment? Bush41 taxes; Newt’s implosion; and now only $61B. I came in optimistic about Boehner, and certainly his recent promise to cut entitlements in the next budget is promising and he has certainly not been all bad and I think he is man of character. Moreover, he has also already shown that he can change course in response to complains from the right.

This column expressed hope only a few weeks ago that Boehner would be the best Speaker of my lifetime. But, unless and until someone (like a Republican Governor, for instance) gets the Beltway wax out of his ears, the Listener of the House can’t even hear what he needs to be listening to, much less do what he was elected to do.

Hopefully his recent promise of entitlement cuts indicates that someone got his attention. I have long argued that conservatives with courage is what is missing in D.C. And it is, but Boehner’s kind of Beltway tone-deaf ignorance is something that even courage can’t cure.

Mike DeVine

Legal Editor - The Minority Report

Atlanta Law & Politics columnist for

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

More DeVine Gamecock rooster crowings at Modern Conservative, Hillbilly Politics, Unified Patriots,  Political Dailyand Conservative Outlooks. All Charlotte Observer and Atlanta Journal-Constitution op-eds archived at

10 responses to The Speaker can’t listen if he can’t hear

  1. LadyImpactOhio March 9th, 2011 at 12:39 am

    Yes, I had higher hopes for Boehner as well. He seems to cave at the slightest bit of confrontation. Maybe when he’s back in Troy I should take a drive down there and have a chat with him.

  2. texasgalt March 9th, 2011 at 1:39 am

    You know Mike, even with the wind at their backs, the Republicans and Boehner can’t find their voice.

    Just imagine what the Donks would be doing right now about the gas prices or how bout Sebellius essentially admitting they lied to sell Obamacare.

    There’s just so much and yet they act so… what’s the word? gutless? Playing scared and playing not to lose. Sad.

  3. Kenny Solomon March 9th, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Simple question: Can’t hear, or won’t hear ?

    Big difference.

    • Mike gamecock DeVine March 9th, 2011 at 9:05 am

      Kenny, I don’t like to judge motives absent more proof, and ultimately I judge these glorified yea/nay voters on easy bills by what they do, and not why. Whether Boehner is ignorant, timid or venal, he doesn’t deserve to keep his job if he keeps up his current ways.

      • Kenny Solomon March 9th, 2011 at 9:35 am

        Mike, I’m not judging, I’m asking the question because the line between ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’ is becoming much more blurred by the day.

        Many others besides me are starting to not give a Muroidea’s derriere as to which, because after everything that’s gone on since before the current place we find ourselves as a nation,the on-high muckety-mucks from our side are STILL playing a game.

        This isn’t a game and it’s far beyond ‘simple’ politics. When people like Boehner wake up and begin smell the badly burning coffee, maybe things will start to happen on a really positive note.

        • Mike gamecock DeVine March 9th, 2011 at 10:15 am

          Huge rooster dittos that Kenny.

  4. Kentucky Scott March 9th, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I watch how the “leadership” like Boehner barely contains their disgust when leaders like Michelle Bachman, Sarah Palin or Rand Paul actually speak the truth about the disaster our country is facing. I realize that it is simply beyond their capability to face being disliked or considered “unrealistic” by the intelligentsia of Washington.

    Boehner or McConnell instinctively will always only give us a half a loaf … it will be up to the conservatives to reform them or reject them. I suspect they are a lost cause.

    • Mike gamecock DeVine March 9th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

      Scott of Blue Grass, I think you nailed them.

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