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Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Qualifications of a House Speaker - First Do No Harm

House speaker John Boehner is a leader obsessed with obstruction. Although he pretends to lead his colleagues in the House of Representatives, he fails the basic political test of a public servant to create trust. 

As though Americans need more reasons to mistrust Speaker Boehner, he has now criticized President Obama for not attending a previously scheduled summit meeting with Russian President Putin in early September. House Speaker John Boehner used the development as an opportunity to take a swipe at Obama.
"A reset with Russia just collapsed," he said.  

President Obama has every reason not to attend a summit with Putin in advance of the G-20 economic summit in St. Petersburg.

Apparently, Boehner is unaware of how the US was diplomatically snubbed when the National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden, a man on the lamb for breach of national security, was given asylum by the Russians, despite US protests 

This decision to cancel the summit meeting was made in the interest of affirming America's international leadership in the face of a national security embarrassment over the asylum granted to Snowden by Putin.  

Boehner's criticism of President Obama is making a delicate situation even more fragile. Moreover, the criticism doesn't demonstrate patriotic leadership.  In short, Boehner isn't building trust in America by criticizing the President about this important decision not to attend the summit.  

Putin must have known this response to the summit was coming. For President Obama to attend the summit, while Russia continues to provide Snowden asylum, would be ridiculous, because only acrimony would result. This anticipated negative political affect shared by two world leaders wouldn't be good for either nations' public relations.

One has to wonder if Speaker Boehner even bothers to read the news he needs to know.  (Boehner needs Katie Couric's question. "So, Speaker Boehner, what newspapers do you read?")

Boehner doesn't understand how his leadership is harming our national security and America's international credibility.

In short, Boehner must learn to "first do no harm".


Let's begin with the public servant's obligation to build trust. About the only thing Americans can trust Boehner to do is obstruct any and all things sanctioned with a President Obama imprimatur.

Obviously, Speaker Boehner doesn't recall, or he chooses to ignore, the effective leadership built upon the trust shared by Republican President Ronald Reagan and Democratic Speaker of the House Tip O'Neal.  MSNBC pundit Chris Matthews reported in a January 8, 2011 Washington Post op-ed article how politicians today should pay attention to the effective leadership shared by these two elected politicians, who didn't philosophically agree:   "...it seems like a good time to reflect on Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neill.  It would serve us well to understand how these very different politicians managed to temper their philosophical divide with a public, and sometimes personal, cordiality," wrote Matthews.

In other words, President Reagan and Speaker O'Neal worked together for the public good.  Although the two didn't agree much, they enjoyed mutual and national respect, leading to trust. 

Certainly, this isn't so with Speaker Boehner and his relationship with President Obama.  In contrast, Boehner's leadership of the US House has driven public opinion for the once dignified august House of Representatives into a walloping Gallop Poll rating of 79 percent disapproval!  Americans can't trust a politician who leads the Congress into a hole covered by public disdain.  

Speaker Boehner is harming American foreign policy by not supporting President Obama, especially when it makes patriotic and international good sense to do otherwise.  

Supporting President Obama's decision not to attend the summit with arrogant President Putin will do no harm to our nation or Speaker Boehner. As a matter of fact, the decision for President Obama not to attend the summit will likely save Americans a lot of tax money needed for travel security.  Support, rather than criticism, won't do any more harm to Speaker Boehner's image with Ohio Democrats, either.

It's really time Americans examine the qualifications of House Speaker John Boehner in the same way we ask to see the licenses of physicians who are treating patients for illness. Speaker Boehner's continuous obstruction of President Obama's agenda is unpatriotic and, therefore, doing more harm than good.

It's time to remove Speaker Boehner from his Congressional leadership position, because he's clearly doing us harm.  I have seen no evidence to the contrary.  There isn't a public initiative I can think of where Boehner's leadership has improved our nation's human condition.  

Boehner is not demonstrating the patriotic qualifications required to continue being Speaker of the House. My vote is to replace Boehner with somebody who garners respect.  Unfortunately, a Republican with qualifications required for this important leadership role seems, at this time, to be nonexistent.

Which may prove that the entire Republican Party needs to be sanctioned for political malpractice, until they can learn how to govern without doing more harm.  

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