Speaker Boehner takes the gavel
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) didn't give a full-on snort as he did on "60 Minutes." But his expressions of emotion were plainly apparent, and I'm glad he didn't try to hide them. To quote Vice President Biden in another context, Boehner's accomplishment is "a big #&@!% deal." Now comes the hard part -- governing.
Before handing over the Speaker's gavel, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) read through the litany of legislation the 111th Congress was able to pass. Consequential matters from equal pay to ending don't ask don't tell to health care reform, which she played up to the hilt since the GOP majority will vote to repeal it next week. And she laid down a marker on behalf of the Democratic minority. "Our most important job is to fight for American jobs," she said. " . . . And so Democrats will judge what comes before Congress by whether it creates jobs, strengthens our middle class, and reduces the deficit - not burdening future generations with debt."
For his part, Boehner was still cloaked in the humility from election night. "This is the people's House. This is their Congress," he said. "It's about them, not us. What they want is a government that is honest, accountable and responsive to their needs. A government that respects individual liberty, honors our heritage, and bows before the public it serves."
I can't wait to see how long Boehner's humility lasts and how his lofty rhetoric will mesh with political reality.
| January 5, 2011; 3:03 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
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