There, I said it. It’s the only logical explanation for his behavior if you think about it. He doesn't really want to be Speaker any longer, but he doesn't want to be seen as a quitter or as weak for passing on the gavel. He’s hoping to be voted out.
Oh it may well not be a conscious decision. But lately he reminds me more and more of some of my father’s less functional alcoholic ‘friends’. They don’t really like their job, but their wife threatened to leave if they quit another job, so they sabotage themselves. They come in late, but it’s not their fault, they were stuck in traffic, or the alarm clock didn't work. They get mad because someone is being mean to them and end up in a shouting match in a public place. They make bad decisions or just plain don’t get things done they promised to do, but it’s not their fault really, they just ran out of time. So they get fired instead of quitting and they can place all the blame on their co-workers or their boss, because they were mean and didn't care that life was treating them unfairly.
It’s typical alcoholic self-destruction. Sometimes it’s intentional, sometimes it’s not. But let’s look at some of the events that have tainted Boehner in the past month or so alone.
Refusing to bring bills to the floor or do anything to get them passed: The Sandy Emergency Disaster funding bill, the farm bill, anything at all to do with the fiscal cliff. Then he designs something he knows even his own party won’t vote for, like Plan B. Then he refuses to bring everyone back from vacation to actually work on anything, even though he announced they would be back on Thursday before they left. But you know, he had to wait for the Senate, so what’s the point right? And then when he has to push through a bill that most of his party doesn't like he can say “well we didn't have enough time to work on it, or even read it. How are my people supposed to vote for this when they didn't have 72 hours or even 48 hours to read it?” Of course he's hoping that people will forget that he was supposed to be back at work on Thursday and didn't show up until Sunday night.
Then of course when someone insults him for not doing what he was supposed to be doing, he swears at them steps away from the Oval Office. And of course it’s a prominent member of the other party who HAS been doing their job while he was off playing hooky. But he doesn't want people to see that, just that they were being mean to him.
And then, because some people may actually believe after all of THAT it was just other people being mean to him both in his own party and in the other one, he has to make one final move to ensure he gets fired. He shuts down the House and goes home before a vote can be had to help people desperate for help rebuilding after a natural disaster. Never mind he promised countless people it would be done before he left. Never mind doing so means that the process will have to start again in two days. Never mind that people are suffering. Never mind it should have been done weeks before that.
None of these things speak to me of someone who wants to keep the office he’s in. It looks way too much like the self-destructive habits of an alcoholic, either intentional or unintentional. I doubt that any new speaker we get will be much better, so far as political leanings, and probably they will be worse. But maybe they will be more interested in political self-preservation, and that may convince them to work more honestly towards compromise. Maybe. But as for Boehner, he wants to be fired because he’s too much of a coward to quit. As the daughter of an alcoholic, it’s clear as day.
8:05 AM PT: Rec list. Wow, thanks everyone, I wasn't expecting that!
Going for groceries this afternoon, so I've got to leave about 12:30pm EST. But I'll be here and responding until then, and again after.