Home / General / Boehner




Resigning not only the Speaker position but his seat in Congress.


Whoever takes over as Speaker is likely to be even more nuts. Presumably this will be someone who actually has the power to steer his (because of course it will be a male) caucus. But maybe no one can.

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  • Murc

    … holy hell, I didn’t see this coming. What the hell, first Trump, then Walker, and now this. I’m… not used to being surprised by politics in this way.

    My first reaction is that this is actually wildly irresponsible of him. Announcing that you’re resigning in six weeks, in the midst of a shutdown crisis precipitated by members of your own party?

    This is Boehner taking his ball and going home in a way that minimally impacts himself and his future as a respectable person in conservative circles.

    • postmodulator

      I don’t know about that. If he’s opposed to the shutdown but can’t stop it, resignation is the correct choice, morally speaking.

      Which is why I doubt that’s the reason. Boehner couldn’t do the right thing if the Pope himself asked him. Demonstrably.

      Could be health reasons. Boehner lives like Keith Richards. I wouldn’t say I wish this on him, but maybe he had a shadow on a chest x-ray.

      • MacK

        There is at least a plausible argument that, given the structure of the Republican caucus, their general craziness and unmanageability, Boehner was as good a speaker as you could get or be under the circumstances.

        And that is a really scary thought.

        • catclub

          The GOP looks at Obama and Clinton and no says that Clinton was really good, but this guy is terrible.

          We will look at Boehner and whoever comes next and say:
          “You know, at least Boehner knew how to get bills passed to keep the government running. When all other options had been tried and failed.”

          • Rob in CT

            People are already saying that, yeah.

            • sparks

              People were saying that in real time, at least through the previous budget battle.

      • BlueLoom

        maybe he had a shadow on a chest x-ray.

        Very possible. We once saw him smoking up a storm, surrounded by his Secret Service detail (some of whom were also smoking) outside a restaurant in Arlington, VA. (Yeah, we get these weird sightings around here. Also once saw Papa Paul & Baby Paul having dinner in an Italian restaurant in Arlington.)

      • Michael Cain

        If he’s opposed to the shutdown but can’t stop it, resignation is the correct choice, morally speaking.

        More likely, I think, is that if the Senate passes a clean continuing resolution on Monday, as reported, Boehner will bring it promptly to the floor and pass it with Democratic votes and a small number of Republicans. That step would likely cost him the Speakership anyway.

        • ColBatGuano

          This strikes me as the most likely explanation. He knows a shutdown is going to end in the House passing a clean continuing resolution because the Democrats have no need to compromise. So he either does it in a month or so and gets voted out by the crazies or resigns and gets it passed now. Of course this may be giving him far too much credit. Who comes after him is going to be frightening.

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        I’m pretty sure it wasn’t (physical) health reasons. A no-confidence vote had been filed, and it’s pretty certain he didn’t have the votes to survive it.

  • Srsly Dad Y

    Matt Lewis (a youngish quasi-reformocon) said on Bloggingheads on Wednesday that there was a “15% probability” that this would happen right after the Pope’s speech. Not too bad for a crazy prediction.

  • DrDick

    Now that is how you take your ball and go home! The perfect end to a career built on petulance and temper tantrums.

    • MacK

      To be fair to the guy, he did not personally do petulance and temper tantrums much – the Republican caucus did, and he had to manage them.

      • Crusty

        Having just seen his press conference, it was a little more of a temper tantrum than I initially thought. Governing is hard, Boehner out.

  • joe from Lowell

    The day after the Pope’s speech blasts virtually every tenet of his politics, Roman Catholic Republican John Boehner announces his retirement from Congress.

    • He looked pretty clearly drunk (to me at least, and I have some experience) during that speech. That looked like self pity weeping, and I guess it was.

      Otherwise this is excellent news for John McCain.

      • ChrisTS

        I wonder if he had already arrived at this decision (prior to the Pope’s address). I honestly could not figure out why he was so weepy at the time. If he had already concluded that his career was over, then the weepiness makes sense.

        (No doubt hearing the leader of his church remind him of all his moral failings made him even weepier than he might have been.)

        • joe from Lowell

          According to the statement put out by his office, he was going to resign a while ago, but stayed on longer after Cantor lost his election.

          • ChrisTS

            So, do we think he found someone he thought would be an ok replacement?

            • Maybe, but why would he (or we) believe that said replacement can win the election to speaker against the crazies?

              • ChrisTS

                Good question.

            • joe from Lowell

              I don’t think he gets to pick his replacement. He’s been just barely keeping the caucus from overthrowing him.

    • IM

      I think he was feed up with his caucus quite long and only waited until the pope visit to make it official.

      I propose Cruz as sucessor.

      • joe from Lowell

        Yeah, that’s what it looks like.

        Apparently, hosting the Pope for a speech to Congress was one of Boehner’s fondest dreams.

      • NonyNony

        Statement linked at TPM says that he was going to hand it over to Eric Cantor until Cantor screwed up the handoff by getting himself un-elected. He wanted to be out of the job a year ago.

        • Davis X. Machina

          That’s Eric “First Jewish Speaker of the House” Cantor, right?

      • ChrisTS

        But, Cruz is a Senator.

        • IM

          Yes. But since the carzies take their lead from him anyway… And some people argue that the speaker and other officers of the house don’t nedd to be house members.

          • Srsly Dad Y

            Under the Constitution, anyone at all can be Speaker. It doesn’t say the House must elect a House member.

            EDIT: FFS, was this moderated because it said “member”? How Victorian.

            • ChrisTS

              Ah, right. (Also, laughing at the ‘member’ moderation.)

              • Everybody now: Loomis for Speaker!

                • Denverite

                  He’d put some heads on pikes.

                • Time to use my power to go after Big Ketchup.

                • Origami Isopod

                  Will there be a Bureau of Dead Horses?

                • sparks

                  See Loomis, that’s why you’d lose. You with your fatty, high cholesterol mayonnaise ways. Just intolerable.

                • If there’s one thing that’s a loser with the American public, it’s high-fat food.

                • Pseudonym

                  With the Secretary of State in the pocket of Big Ketchup that’s likely to be an uphill battle.

            • Murc

              Stuff has been randomly slipping into moderation for no good reason the past two, three days. Farley is aware of it.

              • sparks

                Personally, I enjoy it. I thought my comment with “hentai” triggered something, but randomness is fine!

              • Pseudonym

                If the proprietors here need any free technical assistance they know how to reach me. (The bat-signal, obviously.)

            • Ahuitzotl

              Its time for the Girl with the Faraway Eyes to re-emerge!

            • UserGoogol

              It seems like a violation of the spirit of what a “Speaker” is supposed to be for them to not be a member, but if the Vice President is the presiding officer of the Senate then I guess we can’t expect too much from the Speaker. (Plus it’s not like the Speaker of the House has had much to do with the UK version of the institution since Henry Clay.)

    • ThrottleJockey

      That’s some kind of irony.

  • Ahuitzotl

    I wouldn’t have described Boehner as nuts – many other things, but not that. His successor definitely will be Big Crazy, though.

    EtA: “He is proud of what this majority has accomplished”. It achieved anything?

    • ChrisS

      Keeping a far left wing wacko from instituting a socialist islamo republic is an accomplishment.

      • ChrisTS

        Ah, yes. Why do I keep forgetting this terrifying threat to our way of life?

        • AndersH

          Because the LIBERAL MEDIA and the PC CONSPIRACY has made it impossible to inform people about his radical agenda.

          • pianomover

            Still got our guns.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Right now they’re mentioning Kevin McCarthy as the likely successor. Don’t know much about him.

      • wjts

        Pros: Solid, talented character actor with an enviable resume.

        Cons: Dead.

        • postmodulator


          • WabacMachinist

            “Sooner or later you’ll have to go to sleep.”

        • Ahuitzotl

          Being Dead is a con with the Republicans, all of a sudden?

      • Jackov

        Hey, I don’t know him, but I don’t like him

    • EtA: “He is proud of what this majority has accomplished”. It achieved anything?

      They didn’t destroy the world. With that bunch, it’s a huge accomplishment.

      • Ahuitzotl

        They didn’t destroy the world.

        Arguable. Just because you can’t see it’s in it’s death throes …

  • anapestic

    My only wish is that whoever replaces him will have a name that pleases my inner fifth grader as much as the current Speaker’s.

    Doubtless, I shall be disappointed, but not so disappointed as I would have been had I hoped for something like rationality and bipartisanship.

    • Joseph Slater

      Hoping for a return of Dick Armey?

      • anapestic

        Well, a boy can dream, but I’m not sure I want to bring my social life into this.

  • brewmn

    Thank goodness. We’ll finally be rid of the Cuckservative-In-Chief.

    • ChrisTS

      Is this a Poe?

      • Origami Isopod

        Yes, it is.

  • Joshua

    Was Boehner actually nuts? He always struck me as a guy who wanted to cut out early to make his tee time.

    • osceola

      More like leaving work early for Happy Hour.

      • Karen24

        Those two things — drinking and golf — are not at all mutually exclusive.

        • sparks

          And peeing in the rough.

          • Warren Terra

            Peeing in the rough shows some discretion and is considerate of other golfers following behind who don’t want puddles of wee and dead grass. He’s a Republican, so I’m sure he’s perfectly happy peeing on the green.

      • Pseudonym

        Long Island Iced was elided.

  • Halloween Jack

    Louie Gohmert just got the weirdest boner.

    • ThrottleJockey

      I’d love that guy to be Speaker! OMG, it’d be like Christmas every day!

    • Crusty

      Was it weepy and orange?

      • catclub

        Syphilis symptoms? Boehnerrhea?

    • 33lp

      All Louie Gohmert boeners are categorically weird. Or so I assume.

    • Pseudonym

      Don’t be casting aspersions on his asparagus.

  • MacK

    I don’t know if this is the right set of clichés and quotes but:

    “You won’t have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.”

    This is a decision that Boehner should have taken a coupe of years ago – and frankly, he should have said the the assembled Republican caucus “screw this for a game of soldiers.”

    Being the Speaker to this bunch of whack jobs, finks and wing nuts has been a hopeless task – and it looks like Boehner finally worked that out.

    Now what he needs to do is take the gavel and whack a few Republicans on the head with it. Its amazing that such a conservative speaker turned out to be unable to keep his caucus happy. The mystery is why anyone with a working brain would want to succeed him….. so it looks like it will be a full on screaming nut.

    Much as I detest his politics and think he deserved his problems, on some level I feel sorry for the guy.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Apparently he wanted to quit sooner but Cantor’s unexpected upset in the primaries delayed action.

    • Ahuitzotl

      anyone with a working brain

      Are there any of these on their side of the House?

  • junker

    I hope Obama and company are prepping strategies on what to do about the debt ceiling…

    • Murc

      This makes me wonder how the upcoming logjams get broken short of open war in the Republican caucus. Which, don’t get me wrong, would love to see, but good lord would that be bad on multiple levels.

      • I actually wonder if Boehner will roll those logjams himself on his way out the door. Now that he no longer faces any personal political fallout from getting an actual budget, debt ceiling increase, etc passed, he can credibly get the business wing of the House GOP to vote with the Democrats on relatively clean bills and tell the Tea Party to take a flying fuck at a rolling donut.

        The real question is: will the rest of the House GOP senior leadership all move up one rung, or will there be a shakeup?

        • Steve

          This is what I expect….he can bring a budget to the floor and pass it with democratic and relatively sane republican support now because a. he is smart enough to realize that a government shutdown will hurt his party (and he is a loyal republican) and b. there are zero personal consequences for him to do so.

          I think this extinguishes the shortrun crises but makes longrun crises much scarier since I am not sure whoever takes his place will be quite as sane.

          • Cassiodorus

            I don’t see it. If anything, this points to the insurgents having the votes, meaning it’ll strike fear in the rest of the caucus. They’re not going to want to act against the wishes of the new Speaker, be in a true believer like Webster or a castrated member of the old leadership team like McCarthy.

        • NonyNony

          WaPo is reporting that Boehner’s resignation was part of a deal to pass the clean budget from the Senate that maintains PP funding with no shutdown.

          I mean they don’t directly say that the Tea Party leadership said “we’ll let the bill go through without a shutdown if you step down and let one of us take charge” but that’s sure what it looks like.

    • njorl

      The minting of platinum coins with the engraved images of Cesar Chavez on the front and the first Planned Parenthood clinic on the back should be ready to go.

      • Cassiodorus

        I’d level up the trolling and put Hugo on there.

        • joe from Lowell

          Who goes on the $ten?

          Dorothy Day. There you go.

          • Cassiodorus

            Kid tested, Pope approved.

          • Malaclypse

            Did you read Charlie Pierce’s take on Day being in the speech?

            To quote David Lowery, “Sometimes I wish I were a Catholic.”

            • Murc

              It’s a mixed bag. On the one hand, crippling guilt and the vague sense you’re in a cult.

              On the other hand, snacks and booze during church!

              • Pseudonym

                Sorry to let you down, but the refreshments only have the outward appearance of bread and wine.

              • postmodulator

                When I was a kid, the back rows of Catholic churches were the smoking section.

            • joe from Lowell

              Whoa. “Strategic ambiguity” indeed.

  • Denverite

    Whoever takes over as Speaker is likely to be even more nuts.

    I never really thought Boehner was nuts. Just a bog standard non-Southern Republican.

  • rdennist

    Wonder if the next speaker’s gavel will be as big as his.


  • ChrisTS

    This is a huge (yuuuuggge) WTF? moment.

    I cannot blame him for fleeing the leadership role, but to quit his seat? Wow.

    • Rob in CT

      Could there be health reasons?

      • Monty

        Let’s hope not – if I’d been in Boehner’s position I’d be on my 3rd liver by now.

      • ChrisTS

        I suppose that’s possible and would further explain the weeping yesterday.

        I dislike him intensely, but I hope that is not what’s going on.

    • Joe_JP

      This business of quitting early is getting a bit pathetic.

      • ChrisTS

        Yes. I admit to being a bit of a stickler for ‘doing one’s duty,’ but these days no one else seems to have that in mind at all.

    • ThrottleJockey

      Why not quit his seat? If he can’t have the power of a Speaker, he may as well as have the loot of a lobbyist!

      • ChrisTS

        There’s always a silver lining. :-)

        • Philip

          Gold lining! Please, we’re not savages here.

          • ChrisTS


    • NonyNony

      From his point of view, why should he stay in it? He’s moving from a Speaker seat to the back bench and knows that his ability to do anything productive for the next year is nil. He could sit and collect a paycheck for a year, but getting out early moves up his schedule for getting a lobbyist job to 2017 instead of 2018.

      He could stay out of loyalty to his district, but that’s a laugh – he knows they elected him because he was a Republican and kept him in there because of what he did for them via constituent services. He doesn’t owe them anything at this point.

      And as far as loyalty to his party goes, well, he probably doesn’t care much but it’s better for the Ohio GOP to make the state pay for a special election to replace him than to have him stay until the presidential election. Because there’s a tiny sliver of a chance that the new guy might not be able to hold the seat during a presidential election year, but there’s no chance at all that a Dem wins a special election in that district.

      Frankly quitting early looks like the best move for him from every angle. (Bad for me, as Ohio taxpayers will foot the bill for a special election to replace him, but Republicans have never really cared about spending my money on stuff like that so why should they start now?)

      • ChrisTS

        Because there’s a tiny sliver of a chance that the new guy might not be able to hold the seat during a presidential election year, but there’s no chance at all that a Dem wins a special election in that district.

        That actually makes a lot of sense.

  • Cassiodorus

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer orange.

  • It’s about time. That Boehner persisted much longer than four hours.

    • Ahuitzotl

      but did you call Dr Paul?

  • matt w

    I have exclusive video of his resignation speech to Congress. So far I’ve been unable to identify the next-to-last of the representatives that he singles out.

    (NSFW, though in fact I am sitting in front of my students as I post it between classes.)

    • werewitch

      Warning appreciated but possibly a lil overzealous — anyone who Ws at a W where just saying “Fuck you, I’m out” is NSFW probably shouldn’t be reading LG&M at W. :)

  • Mike in DC

    I nominate Steve King.

    • Warren Terra

      Don’t worry, I’m pretty sure he got there before you.

  • osceola

    He looks like he ought to retire to the Betty Ford Clinic.

  • Pingback: John Boehner to resign at end of OctoberAmerican Patriot | American Patriot()

  • timb

    Does anyone think I’m right with the idea that this almost guarantees a default on the national debt? The talk show hosts who control the base, which controls the nut caucus, has been latpying the groundwork that “this wouldn’t be so bad.”

    The worlds most powerful nation’s right wing splinter is about to push us into relative decline.

    • The worlds most powerful nation’s right wing splinter is about to push us into relative decline.

      …while blaming everyone opposed to them for their actions.

  • Warren Terra

    Science fiction author and blogger John Scalzi, who lives in Boehner’s district, has a pretty good post on Boehner’s departure. No real surprises there, especially for this crowd, but it’s pretty good.

  • joe from Lowell

    Representative Matt Salmon is now talking smack about Mitch McConnell.

    Rep. Matt Salmon (R-AZ)…said Friday that now that Boehner has announced his resignation, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is probably “the next guy in the crosshairs.”

    “Mitch McConnell is infinitely worse as a leader than Boehner,” Salmon told reporters Friday. “He surrenders at the sight of battle every time.”

    Uh huh. Mitch McConnell isn’t John Boehner.

  • Warren Terra

    Just so I’m clear: once the new Speaker is determined, will they also have to dye themselves orange?

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