Don’t Cry For Me, Speaker Boehner

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) (photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

You forgot or never realized, sir, that the Speakership of the United States House of Representatives is not a position of stability, nor of stasis. It is the least, rather than the most-protected, seat in that great chamber o’er which you presided (but which you failed to lead) these last four years.

That chair and the nifty gavel that accompanies it are signs and symbols of the authority and responsibility entrusted to you directly by the several representatives of the partisan majority of which you are a single member, and indirectly by the people of the United States of America who placed your co-partisan House members in their respective chairs on that same Chamber’s floor.

In the Autumn of 2010, the American people directly elected a number of Republican representatives to the House sufficient to directly place you in the Speaker’s chair. Admittedly, the American people were once-removed from your apparent success, but you should have paid attention to the deeper, general-electoral origin of your election to the Speakership. You didn’t. It is lamentable that, as in the current Jeb Bush/Hillary Clinton mode, you assumed the aura of deserving it; of it being your time. In short, you believed you were entitled to that chair and gavel. But you weren’t, precisely because no one ever is. You should have studied more Greek tragedy, sir.

With that 2010 election came a mandate from the American people. Across the country they sent representatives to Congress, assigning them to you to inspire them to effect real change. Continue Reading

How to Improve the Debate Format: Take a Cue from English Soccer

An English Premier League table (photo credit: Mike Beales via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)

Allow us, today, to draw lessons from our British cousins.

English Premier League Soccer, like today’s Republican Party, organizes its winners and losers into two strata. At the conclusion of each season, the three worst-performing clubs are “Relegated” to the lower league, while the three top-performing clubs from the lower league are kicked upstairs to the “Big Leagues.”

Such should be the case with the two “Leagues” of last night’s Republican debaters. Let’s shake up the debates by rewarding success and punishing those candidates who depressed us, objectively failing.

Organizers take note:

The three lowest-performing debaters can be fairly judged to have lost last night’s 9 P.M. event.

The three top-performing debaters from last night’s 5 P.M. debate can be justly carried into the winners’ circle.

Debate winners and losers can be determined by polling. But here are my provisional picks.

From the 5 P.M. debate, promote the following 3 candidates:

  • Carly Fiorina
  • Blank – no qualifier
  • Blank – no qualifier

From the 7 P.M. debate, relegate the following 3 candidates:

  • Ben Carson
  • John Kasich
  • Rand Paul

And, oh yeah, Fox News, promote Martha McCallum and relegate that oh-so-tiresome Megyn Kelly.

James McCrery is and architect and political thinker who lives in Washington, DC. Continue Reading