House Speaker Boehner Skipped Selma Anniversary For California Resort Town Fundraisers

John Boehner

Republican House Speaker John Boehner missed the Selma 50th Anniversary commemoration because he was attending two fundraising events in California resort towns. CNN reports that Speaker Boehner was raising money over the weekend, at a pair of events in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta, two posh communities east of Palm Springs, known for their golf courses and spas.

According to The Hill, Boehner spokesperson Michael Steel, defended the Republican Congressional leader, stating simply: “The Speaker was at long-planned political events in California over the weekend.” The Speaker’s decision to skip the Selma Anniversary was widely criticized last week. The revelation that he missed the event to attend political fundraisers will likely reinvigorate those criticisms.

Members of Congress spend a lot of their time raising money for the next election cycle. Boehner, of course, is no exception. However, the optics couldn’t be worse for the Speaker. By choosing to prioritize a pair of weekend fundraisers over the commemoration of the historic Selma march, the Speaker has demonstrated his indifference towards voting rights.

To be sure, given that the Speaker has presided over a Congress that has shown no desire to protect voting rights, his absence from the Selma anniversary is not surprising. Even if he had attended, his presence would have been mostly a symbolic gesture, but an important gesture nevertheless.

However, some Republicans still made it to the Selma event, including former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush. Their symbolic presence highlighted the idea that ensuring that everyone has the right to vote is not a partisan issue, but something all Americans should honor. Bush’s presence wasn’t entirely symbolic. While many of his policies were unpopular with African-Americans, he did, at least, sign an extension of the Voting Rights Act in 2006.

Boehner, by contrast, doesn’t seem even the least bit interested in securing voting rights, or even in acknowledging the struggles that lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Today’s Republican Party is trying to make it more difficult for African-Americans, and other demographic groups who lean Democratic, to cast a ballot. By passing legislation making it harder to vote, the Republicans are doing their best to try to restrict voting to people who vote the “right way”. The people who vote the “right way” are the kind of people who attend fundraising events in opulent resort communities. John Boehner knows them well. He was with them over the weekend, instead of marching in Selma.

16 Replies to “House Speaker Boehner Skipped Selma Anniversary For California Resort Town Fundraisers”

  1. So, let me get this: The 50th anniversary of one of the key moments of the Civil Rights Movement wasn’t important enough for the Speaker to go to, but two events in cities that are very posh were.

    I’d ask where his priorities lie, but I guess that has been figured out already.

  2. F Boehner, I hope this bites him big time. What an arrogant fool. Like this wasn’t important to him and his party. Shame on them all.

  3. Timmy is the token so he must abide by the terms of the republicants. He has already forgotten where he came from.

  4. The Republicans speak volumes about their priorities by what they do and say. At least they are consistent in that.

  5. For those that don’t know, John Boehner doesn’t have to raise a dime to win reelection. His district includes the rich northern Cincinnati suburbs and lots of farm country. How many of the people who live in those kind of places do you think vote democrat? Answer: Not Many. Boehner has a Congressman job for life. Notice I didn’t say Mr. Speaker. I said Congressman. Tell your friends to register to vote and to vote Democrat.

  6. And yet his constituents will re-elect him. All politics is local, and Boehner’s district doesn’t give a rat’s arse about Selma.

  7. So you have two types of Negro. The old type and the new type. Most of you know the old type. When you read about him in history during slavery he was called “Uncle Tom.” He was the house Negro. And during slavery you had two Negroes. You had the house Negro and the field Negro.

    The house Negro usually lived close to his master. He dressed like his master. He wore his master’s second-hand clothes. He ate food that his master left on the table. And he lived in his master’s house–probably in the basement or the attic–but he still lived in the master’s house.

    So whenever that house Negro identified himself, he always identified himself in the same sense that his master identified himself. When his master said, “We have good food,” the house Negro would say, “Yes, we have plenty of good food.” “We” have plenty of good food. When the master said that “we have a fine home here,” the house Negro said, “Yes, we have a fine home here.” When the master would be sick, the house Negro identified himself so much with his master he’d say, “What’s the matter boss, we sick?” His master’s pain was his pain. And it hurt him more for his master to be sick than for him to be sick himself. When the house started burning down, that type of Negro would fight harder to put the master’s house out than the master himself would.

    But then you had another Negro out in the field. The house Negro was in the minority. The masses–the field Negroes were the masses. They were in the majority. When the master got sick, they prayed that he’d die. [Laughter] If his house caught on fire, they’d pray for a wind to come along and fan the breeze.
    http://ccnmtl.columbia.edu/projects/mmt/mxp/speeches/mxa17.html

  8. I can understand why Hillary Clinton didn’t go. Or John Ellis Bush. Or Scott Walker-Koch. These people might not have wanted to politicize this epic event, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights movement, and they really can’t do anything to undo the damage the Republicans on SCOTUS have dealt to the VRA.

    But I can be and am incensed that Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, both heads of both chambers of our Legislative branch, didn’t go because it tells me one glaring thing: they have zero intention of working to reinstate the Voting Rights Act – something only they can do.

    All I can hope for is that the Black, Latino, and Asian communities don’t forget this betrayal by Republicans come 2016, and won’t allow themselves to be distracted by the media’s focus on whether or not Hillary Clinton should have used a .gov e-mail account – something U.S. media are trying very hard to push.

  9. Yep. Innate opportunists, through and through. “I’ve got mine, who gives a shiite if you don’t” seems to be their life’s motto.

    I see these minorities (including Latinos, women, Blacks, Asians, and all others that don’t fit in the WASP-male image) to be unscrupulous opportunists. Almost sociopathic.

    They might share the same ideals as Democrats, but love of money trumps everything. These people are sell-outs, wanting to get theirs even if they have to step on the heads of their downtrodden brothers and sisters to do it.

    They want to be the big fish in the little pond, and people like the Koch bros are happy to indulge them. These people are the elite’s useful fools…but well-paid useful fools, and that’s all they care about. Money.

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