May 31, 2021
This is not a book review…
This is especially not a book review of a memoir by a politician. Because they always write them, and we never read them. We just read the reviews.
Oh, sometimes we buy the memoir and leave it around the house to show that we have $29.99 worth of admiration for the thoughts and deeds of the politician in question.
But we don’t actually read the thing. I mean, who has ever gotten past page 10 of What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton except book reviewers? Unless they’re fibbing, too.
We like a politician or we don’t. But we leave the drudgery of reading politician prose to book reviewers. We let them explain to us why we should have followed Hillary down the yellow brick road to Oz in 2016… Or why she was the wicked witch that Dorothy’s house fell on.
And that’s that. Unless we’re true inside-the-beltway types, in which case we give the book a “DC read” by consulting the index to see if our name is mentioned, and when we find out that it isn’t we move the book from the coffee table to a shelf in the rumpus room.
Therefore I am not going to review…
On the House: A Washington Memoir
By John Boehner
St. Martin’s Press
2,666 pages $29.99
Because you should read it.
Read what the Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015 has to say about the current state of American politics… What he can’t even wait until he’s started his book to say… What he says on page xiii of his introduction…
“… we’re about halfway through a double-decker shit sandwich, served up to us by an outrage-driven media and a self-interested political class.”
John Boehner is so blunt that reading his book is like watching a man trying to fell a mighty oak with the flat end of a hatchet – and the next thing you know the tree has come crashing down.
It’s such an amazing feat that you have to see it for yourself. But watch out when John yells, “Timber!” He takes his axe to a lot more things than Democrats.
Boehner came away from 24 years as a Republican Congressman with detestation for… a certain kind of Republican.
The wealth gap in America has never been wider — we’ve still never fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2008, and it’s only going to get worse from here. But the effects of the Big Con are going to devastate those who don’t take action. So do something now while you still can.
Here are his thoughts when calling on President Trump to resign after the January 6 invasion of the Capital…
My Republican party – the party of smaller, fairer, more accountable government – had to take back control from the faction that had grown to include everyone from garden-variety whack jobs to insurrectionists.
And Boehner is not shy about getting personal with the whack jobs…
Trump incited that bloody insurrection for nothing more than selfish reasons, perpetuated by the bullshit he’d been shoveling since he lost a fair election the previous November.
Boehner had been furious at the more extreme type of Republicans since the rise of the Tea Party movement during the 2010 midterm elections. There was no love lost between Boehner and Obama whom John describes as “too cool for school.” And Boehner was glad to get a Republican House majority and become Speaker, but…
You could be a total moron and get elected just by having an R next to your name – and that year, by the way, we did pick up a fair number in that category.
Boehner calls out “the far-right knuckleheads that came to Congress radicalized by blind Obama hatred” and says…
They didn’t really want to cut spending. They didn’t want Washington to work. They wanted chaos. And they wanted to go on TV complaining about spending without solving the problem, and then watch the money from outraged viewers flow into their own fundraising coffers.
Boehner is not shy about getting personal with the Tea Partiers either…
There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz.
So, depending on what kind of Republican you are, you may come away from reading On the House irked at its Republican author.
I myself don’t “want Washington to work” quite as much as Boehner does. But do not let irritation interrupt your reading pleasure.
John gives the other side its due, too…
I lost it on Harry Reid [Democratic Senate Majority Leader 2007 to 2015]. He’d been talking all kinds of shit on the Senate floor… I went over, got in Reid’s face, and said, ‘Do you even listen to all that shit that comes out of your mouth? You can go fuck yourself.’
The thing about Bernie, by the way, is that he is probably the most honest person to ever run for president… he genuinely believes all the crazy shit he says.
But you should read the book even if you’re a left-wing Democrat. Because Boehner is every bit as honest as Senator Bernie, and he genuinely describes all the crazy shit he saw in Washington, D.C.
You can make up your own mind about Boehner as a politician… That’s why I’m not being a book reviewer here. I’m being – in political memoir terms – one of those people who walks around in grocery stores giving out free samples of cheese. (Limburger in this case, given that Boehner is German and how Washington smells.)
You’ll want the whole wedge. I mean, who wouldn’t read a book full of things like Boehner’s story about meeting the venerable southern Democrat Senator Howell Heflin for the first time shortly after the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke…
Seeing me holding a Camel in my hand, he said, with a thick Alabama drawl, ‘I’m glad to see you smoking a cigarette.’ He told me he had just gone to the White House that day, his first visit since the Clintons were elected… ‘I lit up my cigarette like I always did,’ the senator told me, his eyes flickering with annoyance, ‘and these kids come running over to say, ‘Oh, senator, senator, you can’t smoke here.’ And I looked back at them and I said, ‘I can’t smoke here? But would it be OK if I put a penis in my mouth?’
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