Speaker of the House John Boehner took Republican dysfunction to a new high when he called his own House Republicans knuckleheads before a critical vote on funding the government.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Tuesday said he has “a few knuckleheads” in his conference.”
As a result, Boehner described his House majority as being a “paper majority.”
“On any given day, 16 of my members decide they’re going to go this way, and all the sudden I have nothing,” he said. “You might notice I have a few knuckleheads in my conference.”
Boehner added in his comments on Tuesday that “dealing with Democrats is one thing, dealing with the knuckleheads is another.”
The timing of Boehner’s oddly truthful outburst was strange. On Wednesday, House Republicans are expected to vote on a bill that would both fund the government and provide President Obama with authorization to train the Syrian rebels. The vote is expected to be close, as Republicans don’t want to do anything that will show support for the president, while Democrats are skeptical of providing authorization for another war.
Rep, Boehner has been one of the weakest Speakers in history, He has had withdraw somewhere in the neighborhood of ten major pieces of his own legislation since he has been in power due to a lack of support from his fellow Republicans. Politically, Boehner’s knucklehead comments were part of a common plea from establishment Republicans.
One of the major sell points that Boehner has been using this year is that Republicans need more House seats to neutralize the power of the tea party House Republicans. Without a larger Republican majority, insiders argue that Boehner will continue to be paralyzed by the dysfunction in his own caucus.
Boehner could bypass the tea party by working with House Democrats on issues that both sides agree on, but that would be way too easy. Instead, the Speaker is going to insult his members ahead of a key vote that will avoid another government shutdown.
Speaker Boehner’s behavior is another reminder that it’s the Republican Party that’s broken, not Washington.