Boehner Resigns, Unifies Right and Left in Celebration more than Pope Francis

Something has happened this morning that we have not seen in a long age - conservatives and liberals are united. No, they’re not all celebrating Pope Francis’ message of unity and equality, though there’s some of that, and the papal visit is related. No, what has brought both sides together is the announcement that Speaker John Boehner will resign both his leadership position and House seat at the end of this October.

Apparently speaking to the Pope yesterday moved Boehner so much that he has decided to step down. And who can blame him? Since his ascendancy after Republicans took back the House in 2010, there have been constant calls for his replacement. He’s been called a RINO, a sell-out, a stand-in for the real Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and worse. Conservatives never supported him strongly enough (though most kept reelecting him to the position), and Democrats opposed him on nearly everything.

Boehner was also constantly mocked for his emotional rawness. But again, who can blame him? He’s in awe of his country, his government, despite its flaws, and his position within it. I well up every time I hear the Star-Spangled Banner at a sporting event. I can’t imagine being elected to a government position by your fellow citizens and feeling the overwhelming responsibility and trust that entails.

Regardless of your view its success, Boehner maintained a Republican majority through two elections when they were being blamed for literally every problem the country faced, decrying every investigative hearing, from Benghazi to IRS targetting, as a partisan witch hunt. Despite the public narrative Republicans took back the Senate last year, so voters must not have thought they were that bad.

The fight now begins to find a new Speaker. There are status quo establishment options and fire-breathing conservative options, leaders and yellers, but unfortunately no other Orange-Americans to maintain the diversity Boehner brought to the office. Technically the Speaker of the House doesn’t even have to be a member of Congress. Maybe Donald Trump could be convinced to campaign for that instead?

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