John Boehner has just disrespected President Obama most gravely and, by extension, all people of color in much the same way that the jerk owner of the LA Clippers insulted blacks this week. Boehner picked his words with a bit more subtlety but the import is the same. The Speaker of the Houser as much as said, "Step off the sidewalk, boy, so a white man can walk by."
Boehner did this in the way he framed possible passage of immigration reform, conditioning such passage on Obama adopting a "more respectful" attitude toward the House of Representatives.
In all my 70 years of paying close attention to politics, I never heard such a thing. Passage of urgently needed legislation is conditioned on how nicely-nicely the President treats the rival party in Congress? And who is to judge the adequacy of this conduct? Why the GOP, that's who!
So they can blame Obama if immigration stays off the table, accusing him of not having gained their "trust".
Eleven million immigrants and countless businesses - everything from construction to hotel services and agriculture - have to wait on the pleasure of the GOP in the House as to whether these lords almighty "feel" okay about Obama.
In other words, he has to "cotton" to them.
These are the people whose followers in 2010 spat on Democratic members of the House as they entered to vote for the health insurance act. They spat on Representative John Lewis, who got his skull split in a peaceful march for civil rights. He's a national hero and they spat on him. Above them GOP Congressional representatives looked down from an outside balcony and cheered their supporters on in their disgusting conduct.
Sure seems the GOP in Congress and their followers are the ones who have to learn to "respect" Congress.
The subtext of all this is racism. Because Obama is half black, Boehner and his ilk can suggest he's not trustworthy and not respectful enough. I'm very sorry to say that the struggle to end racism in this country still has a long way to go. Racism is clearly the driving force played on by Boehner and his cohorts to deny Obama an effective second term.
Obama can't say one word about it. And apparently the Democratic leadership in Congress won't say anything, being a remarkably chicken bunch.
So what are we going to do about it? Can we do anything?
I suggest we pull an upset on the GOP this fall and win back the House. That would more than settle their hash.