The political world spent today openly guessing — when not talking about Cliven Bundy's racist remarks — whether the Speaker of the House is hoping to soon be unemployed. A plan to retire after 12 terms would be the only explanation for John Boehner (R-Ohio) going so far off script at an event at home yesterday, some have concluded.
In remarks before the Middletown Rotary Club in Ohio, Boehner accused his fellow colleagues in the House Republican Conference of being afraid to pass immigration reform, something Boehner has stuck his neck out to support — but only so far — since Republicans lost the presidential election in 2012. "Here's the attitude. Ohhhh. Don't make me do this. Ohhhh. This is too hard," he said in a mocking imitation of the lawmakers who oppose reform.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Boehner told some pro-reform donors just last week that he was "hellbent" on getting immigration reform passed this year. Every Republican I have spoken to since then has said, in so many words, "not a chance."
Everyone in both parties, and everyone either advocating or opposing reform, knows Boehner could pass a reform bill, including the controversial legalization provisions, tomorrow with mostly Democrats and a few Republicans. It would make conservatives mad. More mad than his chastising comments from yesterday?
Retirement or reelection — just do it, Mr. Speaker, if you feel so strongly about it. No more path of least resistance.
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