Class Warfare Blog

September 30, 2013

Troublemaker Ratios

I learned from my years working in unions, that a very small percentage of union members caused the bulk of the problems and the bulk of the work for union staff. This is a basic fact of organizations. Society in general is made up of mostly law-abiding citizens but a small minority makes most of the trouble.

Consider the current Congress. A small minority of the House Republican Caucus is causing a great deal more trouble than their numbers indicate. The so-called “Tea Party” Republicans (which is a much too nice of a label) are a minority of the Republican Caucus, a much smaller minority of the House as a whole, an even smaller minority of the Congress, yet they are currently in the role of “tail wagging the dog.”

How can this be? The answer: cowardice.

The coward in question is Speaker of the House John Boehner. Rather than work with Democrats to pass bills, he insists that for any bill to pass his House, that it have a majority of his caucus voting for it. This rule is to be found nowhere in the rules of the House or in the Constitution. It was made up (not by Mr. Boehner, but a prior Republican Speaker) to protect Mr. Boehner’s job as Speaker. If Mr. Boehner had an ounce of courage he wouldn’t be standing in front of a parade he doesn’t believe in, yet he does. He is willing to threaten, to extort the American government with dire harm to get the way of that tiny minority of the Congress. In his world there is no such thing as the greater good of the country or “what’s best for the people,” there is only what is needed for him to keep his job. And the fascinating thing is . . . he hates his job.

Apparently he must enjoy the notoriety, the humiliation, and the shame, along with the prestige of being the most inept Speaker of the House in memory.



  1. Boehner is still 2nd in line for presidency – so maybe his hope that something happens to both Obama and Biden is what makes him hold on to the Speaker post.


    Comment by List of X — September 30, 2013 @ 2:50 pm | Reply

  2. Heard a fairly apt description of the House today: Boehner is like the leader of a fragile coalition government. Sort of sums it up.


    Comment by john zande — September 30, 2013 @ 3:24 pm | Reply

    • Leading implies moving somewhwere, people following. I don’t think he is leading so much as clinging.


      Comment by stephenpruis — October 1, 2013 @ 10:49 am | Reply

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