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January 05, 2007

John Boehner's belated wisdom

"If there is one lesson that stands out from our party's time in the majority, it is this: A congressional majority is simply a means to an end. The value of a majority lies not in the chance to wield great power, but in the chance to do great things."

That's John Boehner, former Speaker of the House Majority Leader, speaking shortly before handing over the gavel to Nancy Pelosi (which he did in a gracious manner, and to bipartisan applause in recognition of the historic import of the event). 

Notwithstanding my continued lack of interest in any advice a Republican might choose to share with my fellow Democrats, I find it funny that he realized the "value of a majority" only after having it beaten into his head by the electorate.

Would that the GOP had understood that sage bit of wisdom when they took power in '94, we might really be facing that permanent majority they promised us all.

Unfortunately for America, they didn't understand it, and we've suffered through six years of rubberstamp governance, illogical and at times harmful legislation, an historic and unprecedented stifling of the minority, and now we're saddled with a war, financial and constitutional crisis of the GOP's making, which could take years if not decades to unravel. 

Boehner's observation about the value of a majority is worthy of notice, however, because (in a GOP rarity) he's exactly right.  Being in the majority is a chance to do great things, but not only a chance - it's an obligation.  The Dems got off to a good start yesterday by passing a beefed up ethics measure shortly after formally electing the first femal Speaker and highest-ranking woman in our government's history.  Here's hoping they get their 100-hour agenda accomplished and then get down to business in a bipartisan manner (within limits, given the GOP's stated plan to disrupt Congressional business).

And lastly, a toast to my former boss, Senator Patty Murray.  Congratulations, Senator, on becoming the highest-ranking woman in the Senate, fourth-ranking Dem, and hiring a strong new chief of staff!

Posted by switzerblog on January 5, 2007 at 10:46 AM in National and International Politics | Permalink


maybe Boehner should drop his lawsuit against jim mcdermott.

Posted by: Dean | Jan 5, 2007 2:30:04 PM

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