JOHN BOEHNER is tired of business as usual in Washington. He should be--he's been at it a long time.
"Across the country right now, we are witnessing a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government...and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the people," the Ohio Republican who is slated to replace Nancy Pelosi as House speaker, told supporters on Election Night.
Despite his tear-filled speech to the crowd chanting "U.S.A." at Washington's Grand Hyatt Ballroom, this is hardly the tale of some "outsider" taking the Beltway by storm, nor is it the first time Boehner has tried to make this claim.
Boehner--who is easily one of the most successful Republican fundraisers in the business--has been a political fixture in Washington for decades.
Boehner had already served in Congress for four years, and in the Ohio legislature six years before that, when he joined "outsiders" Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey in their so-called "Republican Revolution," which swept congressional Democrats out of power in 1994.
With the mantra of cutting "big government" down to size, Boehner helped craft the "Contract with America," mean-spirited legislation that aimed to cut programs like welfare to poor families, while promoting the idea that poor people need to start taking "personal responsibility" for their poverty.
Boehner backed strict time limits on welfare, raising work requirements for recipients and funding for "marriage promotion," abstinence education and "responsible fatherhood."
Meanwhile, the Contract on America let the actual welfare cheats off scot-free--namely the wealthy who would get huge tax breaks and corporations who were promised free-market deregulation.