John Boehner Announces Retirement, Reminds Us to Keep Things in Perspective
September 25, 2015
I think this is something beautiful:
House Speaker John Boehner capitalized on the busiest news day in history to announce his retirement and drift queitly back to Ohio. He entered this Capitol Hill news conference singing a song.
“Last night I started thinking about this, and I woke up. I said my prayers as I always do, and I decided, you know, today’s the day I’m going to do this. As simple as that,” Boehner said.
House Speaker John Boehner announced Friday he will give up both his speakership and his seat in Congress at the end of October, news that took the political world by surprise, including Boehner’s fellow Republicans.
Boehner, who has served in the lower chamber for more than two decades, became speaker in 2011 and served through a period of deep division and turmoil within Congress and within his own conference. His announcement comes amid one of the most grueling fights he has led, a battle to prevent a government shutdown threatened by conservative lawmakers’ attempt to strip Planned Parenthood of federal funding.
“My mission every day is to fight for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government,” Boehner said in a statement. “Over the last five years, our majority has advanced conservative reforms that will help our children and their children. I am proud of what we have accomplished.”
I know some conservatives aren’t the biggest fans of Mr. Boehner, but don’t let your half-empty glasses blind you; he also has his good points, and has achieved some real accomplishments. For example, recall that Boehner managed to get the White House and the Senate to agree to the “sequester” budget restraints a couple of years ago, when both were controlled by Democrats.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after what now appears to be the pinnacle of Boehner’s speakership: the address by Pope Francis to a joint meeting of Congress.
A devout Catholic, Boehner had been trying for more than two decades to have a pope to come to Capitol Hill, and fulfilling that goal Thursday was an emotional and deeply meaningful moment for the Ohio lawmaker.
He followed his dream, and it finally happened.
Overall, he sounds like a man filled with the joy and peace that come from knowing that your meaning in life ultimately does not come from your work or from this world. I imagine that politics can be a grueling and an ugly business at times; he sounds like a man who is free.