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Dear John

I had a drink with John Boehner once. We were both at a small, private party and found ourselves together at the bar. I'm afraid my reaction to him was on the haughty side.

"He's an institutional man," I wrote with disdain to an old friend.

To which my friend, an old political hand, replied: "Yes, but let me remind you: Congress is an institution."

Far be it from me to interrupt the Trumpian chest-beating on the right at Boehner's announced resignation, but I still can't help having some sympathy for the guy. It's possible we on the right wanted something from him no mere speaker of the House could have delivered. We're all heroes at our keyboards and our microphones, after all. We all know what's what, what should be done and how. Anyone who can't live up to the courage we have in our imaginations or can't achieve the results we achieve in our fantasies must be either a wimp or a traitor. But how much wisdom and self-awareness does it take to remember: that's not the real world? Hell, it's not even Washington, D.C.

Which is not to let Boehner off the hook for his failings. He did not recognize that Barack Obama was not the usual politician, but rather a narcissistic ideologue, not to be trusted. He kept making deals with the guy only to find himself double-crossed. And when he went to publicize the president's lies, he found a news media so corrupted by racism and ideology that they had become little more than a gang of professional liars, dedicated to protecting the White House.