News & Politics

John Boehner Kicks His Own Party While It's Down

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

This week has been tough for the Grand Old Party. The Republican Party is championing election integrity efforts like Georgia’s recent bill, which addresses the serious concerns about the 2020 election (not to be confused with the “Kraken” fever dreams). President Joe Biden and his allies in the legacy media have been lying through their teeth about the legislation, and everyone from Delta to Coca Cola to Major League Baseball seems to have drunk the same Kool Aid.

Amid this horrendous maelstrom of misinformation, out comes John Boehner (R-Betrayal) with a full-throated condemnation of his own party. Boehner took to Politico, publishing an excerpt of his forthcoming book. In the article, “Panic Rooms, Birth Certificates and the Birth of GOP Paranoia,” the former House speaker blasts the emergence of the Republican Party’s “Crazytown,” while the Democratic Party’s Crazytown gaslights America.

The article focuses on the new Congress of 2011 after the Republican banner year of 2010. Boehner recalled trying to explain to the freshman representatives “how to actually get things done.”

“A lot of that went straight through the ears of most of them, especially the ones who didn’t have brains that got in the way. Incrementalism? Compromise? That wasn’t their thing. A lot of them wanted to blow up Washington. That’s why they thought they were elected,” the former GOP leader wrote.

“Some of them, well, you could tell they weren’t paying attention because they were just thinking of how to fundraise off of outrage or how they could get on Hannity that night. Ronald Reagan used to say something to the effect that if I get 80 or 90 percent of what I want, that’s a win. These guys wanted 100 percent every time. In fact, I don’t think that would satisfy them, because they didn’t really want legislative victories. They wanted wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades,” he wrote.

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Boehner lamented the growth of conservative media, describing it as “propaganda.” He did not explain how President Barack Obama’s constant gaslighting and the legacy media’s propagandistic praise for Obama led Americans to search for other sources of information.

“When I was first elected to Congress, we didn’t have any propaganda organization for conservatives, except maybe a magazine or two like National Review. The only people who used the internet were some geeks in Palo Alto. There was no Drudge Report. No Breitbart. No kooks on YouTube spreading dangerous nonsense like they did every day about Obama,” Boehner wrote, as if to say, “Ah, the good old days.”

The former speaker attacked the late Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who is no longer alive to rebut him. Boehner claimed that Ailes “got swept into the conspiracies and the paranoia and became an almost unrecognizable figure.” He said Ailes told him he had a “safe room” built to prevent the Obama administration from spying on him. Boehner’s article made it seem like this was absurd, but the Obama administration really did spy on conservative journalist James Rosen.

Boehner didn’t just attack Ailes, he blamed Fox News for “creating the wrong incentives,” and singled out Sean Hannity for special scorn. “Besides the homegrown ‘talent’ at Fox, with their choice of guests they were making people who used to be fringe characters into powerful media stars,” the former speaker wrote, turning to attack Michele Bachmann. He told a story about Bachmann’s threat to destroy him on Fox News if she didn’t get what she wanted.

He concluded with a parting shot at Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas):

Under the new rules of Crazytown, I may have been Speaker, but I didn’t hold all the power. By 2013 the chaos caucus in the House had built up their own power base thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash. And now they had a new head lunatic leading the way, who wasn’t even a House member. There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz. He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.

Sean Hannity responded by asking Boehner, “What’s up with all the crying John?”

“John Boehner will go down in history as one of the worst Republican speakers in history. He’s weak, timid and what’s up with all the crying John? There was not a single time I was around him when he didn’t just reek of cigarette smoke and wine breath,” Hannity tweeted. “I’m glad he’s finally found his true calling in life in the ‘weed industry’.”

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The Fox News host promised he would respond with “more Monday.”

Cruz reacted with astonishment.

“Amazing. In my whole life, I haven’t spoke 50 words to John Boehner. But his lead book blurb is his latest insult directed at me,” the senator tweeted. “I guess he thinks that will help him sell books? I’m certainly not sad that House Members threw him out for being the embodiment of the Swamp!”

Hannity and Cruz rightly mocked Boehner’s attempt to sell books, but the Politico article wasn’t just a plea for attention. This former House speaker turned his guns on his own party at a time when Republicans are fighting to preserve America from an increasingly radical leftist agenda.

Boehner ran this article and is launching this book at a time when Democrats are aiming to gut religious freedom protections, trying to spend trillions in an “infrastructure” bill jam-packed with Democrat hand-outs, enabling a massive crisis on the southern border and acting like it’s no big deal, actively campaigning to defund the police, spreading the noxious idea that America is secretly controlled by “white supremacy,” and forcing transgender orthodoxy in every corner of society — from women’s sports to women’s prisons to the military.

To top it all off, Democrats are lying through their teeth about election integrity, accusing Republicans of trying to get them murdered in the Capitol riot, and launching witch hunts based on the idea that Republicans represent a threat to democracy. Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the presidency.

Furthermore, while some conspiracies have gained traction on the Right — like doubts about Obama’s birth certificate, which Boehner mentioned — the Left is far from immune to conspiracy theories, and some of them gain a wide following inside and outside the Democratic Party. Where is Boehner’s outrage about the Trump-Russia collusion canard? Does the former speaker condemn the Left’s unscientific and cult-like obsession with climate alarmism, transgender identity, and abortion? Perhaps he does in the book, but his article suggests his main focus is squarely on attacking the GOP.

It seems Boehner’s book represents a disgusting attempt to cash in on attacking his own party, right as the Democrats are spreading lies and claiming that the “misinformation” only comes from the Right.

Boehner may not be able to decide when his book comes out, and he probably agreed with the publishers on a date many months back. Even so, it does seem particularly disgusting that the former speaker decided to savage his own party now that the Democrats are firmly ensconced in power.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.

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