John Boehner’s Resignation and Polarization in Politics

Congress’s inability to comprise is amplified

Mari Boyle, Cal Times Contributor

Since the government shutdown in 2013, Congress’s inability to compromise has magnified. Now, another event has shown the issue is not only continuing but is getting worse. John Boehner, the current Speaker of the House, announced his resignation from Congress, effective Oct. 30. At a campaign event, a politician happily announced the news and was met with a standing ovation and cheers. This politician was Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio. The cheers were not coming from the opposition, but Boehner’s own party.

  Boehner himself during his press conference stated that not resigning would cause “irreparable damage to the party.” In U.S. History, only four Speakers have ever resigned from their position. The last resignation was 26 years ago in 1989, when James Wright Jr. resigned over a scandal involving a financial ethics investigation. In the case of John Boehner, there was no scandal, no affair, and no investigation; in fact the resignation took a majority of the public and politicians by surprise.  However, recently, John Boehner has received harsh criticism from his own party, particularly those on the far right. Their main issue with Boehner was his supposed willingness to compromise with the Barack Obama.

     Political polarization continues to severely weaken our government. Each party’s inability to reach compromises freezes the political process and the consequences have a harsh effect on the American public. The recent trend of political parties attacking and discrediting the opposition in order to strengthen their own credibility has hindered the governing process. This is done to please their voter base, thus the farther right or left you pander the more votes you might get. So, in office we have a large number of far from center politicians that refuse to compromise in hopes of reelection. While they may be securing votes, they are harming the overall public.

     This has created an increasingly challenging job for the Speaker of the House, particularly John Boehner who has had to work with a Democratic president the past six years. Boehner simultaneously knows the necessity of compromise for the good of America and the consequence of disapproval he will face in his own party if he sacrifices Republican policies. Far right Republicans, known as the Tea Party, would rather see a government shutdown than see a bill pass that compromises their beliefs. Not only is this ideology unrealistic, it is not how a functional government works. Our nation was created by a constitution that had the intentions of slow legislative changes. This is so that no drastic actions to public policy happen quickly. Yet, current Republican congressmen are attempting to achieve just that.

     John Boehner is a conservative Republican whose values and opinions are in line with the Republican majority. Boehner’s resignation is a signal that polarization in Congress will only get worse. Republicans are overjoyed that they have proven that if you go against the party, you will be replaced. The pressure has only increased for Boehner’s replacement to please the far right Republicans and avoid compromise by fighting for nothing less than conservative ideologies.