This was a critical week in the Speakership of John Boehner (R-Ohio). It was as good for his Speakership as his capitulation to the right before the government shutdown was harmful. It was high time and long overdue for Speaker Boehner to take the right to the woodshed and not only disagree with the right, but attack its credibility, as he did Thursday.
More than a million jobless Americans will find their unemployment benefits ended, and hungry Americans will continue to have their food aid cut. Meanwhile the president, who let this happen without a fight, gives an eloquent speech about Nelson Mandela and poses for a smiling selfie (not an inappropriate word) with the Danish and British prime ministers. And the Congress prepares to leave for another prolonged period of partying, fundraising, leisure, entertainment, sporting and public relations pursuits for the holidays.
As for Boehner, good for him. The right deserves to be taken to the woodshed, and Boehner did the job well; though stay tuned for big trouble on the debt ceiling next year.
The right will not go quietly into the night. This fight has just begun. Ditto for the liberals, who are very unhappy campers today watching their president and their members in Congress refuse to fight for the jobless and the hungry — again.
I predict that when 2014 begins and attention turns to 2016, the Republican right and the Democratic left will have much more to say that political establishment insiders will not want to hear.