Matt Taibbi’s new Rolling Stone article on “The Crying Shame of John Boehner” starts promisingly:
John Boehner is the ultimate Beltway hack, a man whose unmatched and self-serving skill at political survival has made him, after two decades in Washington, the hairy blue mold on the American congressional sandwich.
It’s well worth clicking over and reading all six pages, not just for the anecdotes (I had not heard about Boehner campaigning for Marcy Kaptur’s opponent, Rich Iott, the guy who enjoyed dressing up as a Nazi for military reenactments) but for Taibbi’s merciless portrait of a highly specialized corruptocrat dinosaur, the political equivalent of a GM or IBM middle manager, ten minutes after the giant meteor changes the environment forever:
It was good times in America for a while. A man could wait for his local congressman to get caught diddling a 16-year-old, make a run for his seat, and then spend the next 20 years getting hustled around the world on golf junkets and showered with campaign checks and apartments and corporate-jet flights, and nobody would utter so much as a peep of protest. Congress was an easy job for any man with a nice fairway stroke, a limited moral compass and a keen sense of bureaucratic loyalty; it was half an acting job and half clerical work, taking orders from industry captains and selling the resultant giveaway bills to your voters as principled blows for Adam Smith, the flag and the free-enterprise system. Back when America was still a feared international bully that was flush with borrowed Saudi and Chinese cash and could stand to blow a few hundred extra billion in public funds every year on budget-padding deals — back in the Bush years — John Boehner was the perfect candidate for congressional leadership, a lifetime company man who didn’t give a shit about most Americans but could shed tears on national television on behalf of Jamie Dimon’s bottom line.
Things are different now….