Former House Speaker John Boehner, who leaves Congress this week, is done with his barn cleaning and has passed his tear stained shovel to Paul Ryan, according to ABC News on Thursday. Boehner, who succeeded Nancy Pelosi as Speaker when the GOP won the House back in 2011, had hoped to pass the shovel to Kevin McCarthy, but he spilled the beans on the Benghazi Committee. Consequently, Boehner had to pass the shovel to Ryan, who never wanted the filthy job in the first place.
Boehner, whose term as a House member was not supposed to end until January of 2017, joins other notable half-term politicians like Newt Gingrich who could not handle the heat in the kitchen any longer, nor the methane gas from the barn. In Gingrich’s case, the befuddled House Speaker resigned in 1999 after his “Contract with America” fell flat on its face. Half-term Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who got lured away from government service by big money from Fox News, resigned as Governor after failing miserably in 2008 while running as Senator John McCain’s co-conspirator.
In Boehner’s case, the stumbling House Speaker no longer could stomach the endless cycle of negative energy from the Tea Party element of his own party. Unable to derive a solution to the stagnation and paralysis that ensued, Boehner saw no other option but to resign as Speaker.
Despite his rocky ride and tumultuous tenure as Speaker, Boehner has not lost his idealism. He still believes in freedom, boldly stating:
“Real change takes time. Yes, freedom makes all things possible, but patience makes all things real.”
Unlike former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, (R), who most likely will lose his pension after pleading guilty to lying to FBI investigators, Boehner will enjoy a large, $86,000 pension, according to the October 2, 2015 edition of “The Atlantic.” After one year of sobriety from politics, Boehner will be allowed to lobby Congress and the financial rewards and possibilities will be unlimited. And then of course there are the book deals, the million dollar speaking engagements, and the likely “talking heads” position on one of the conservative cable news networks.
It is safe to deduce that being a failed House Speaker, especially one who resigned under fire, can be quite profitable. Only three things are needed: a Kleenex box for your farewell speech, a shovel to clean out the barn, and a methane gas meter so you will know when to leave Congress. Of course, if the meter does not work, using one’s nose will suffice.