“It was nothing short of miraculous,” John Boehner said of his private meeting with Pope Francis. “With a touch of his hand, I felt cleansed of years of rolling around in the muck of Congress.”
“Did you really have a choice? Wasn’t your party planning to force you out anyway?” asked This Reporter.
“I wouldn’t say force,” said Boehner. “But I could smell the tar boiling and the delivery of fifty pounds of chicken feathers to the Capital didn’t go unnoticed.”
“What was the tipping point of their loss of confidence in your leadership?” asked This Reporter.
“Off the record?” asked Boehner. “Ever since Obama took office, the Republican Congress has been as polarized as a bunch of orangutans let loose in a tiger cage. They’ve been so busy throwing feces at one another, I never had a chance.”
“You said you vacated your position as House Leader for the sake of your party’s cohesion,” said This Reporter. “How do you envision the Republican Congress going forward?”
“Like Sherman through Georgia. Like Hitler through Poland. Like Mel Gibson through a B’nai Brith fundraiser,” said Boehner, wiping tears from his eyes. “The far right wing of the Republican Party wants to do away with the Supreme Court, the IRS, the Departments of Education, Health and the Interior. America will be a gun-crazed theocracy run by lobbyists, circus barkers and CEOs.”
“That sounds a bit extreme,” said This Reporter.
“They will use the Constitution for kindling,” sobbed Boehner. “The Republican base in the South has never gotten over losing the Civil War. To them, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the ultimate betrayal. They think it’s their God-given right to be as bigoted as they choose. That’s what all this State’s rights bullshit is about. Why do you think they’re turning a Kentucky county clerk into a martyr?”
“But you said you’re leaving for the GOOD of your party. What you’re describing sounds like a scenario for its destruction,” said This Report. “If they lean any further to the right, they won’t stand a chance in the 2016 election.”
“You know it. I know it. But they don’t want to hear it,” said Boehner. “They think Hillary is going to prison, Sander’s is a Commie, and Biden is a cardboard cutout.”
“So which one of the Republican presidential candidates do you see winning the election?” asked This Reporter.
“None of them,” Boehner sniffed. “Trump is a carnival act. There’s not a corporation in America who would hire Fiorina. Carson has aligned himself so far to the right, he has no credibility with women or minorities. Rubio doesn’t have the cajones.”
“Then who’s their knight in shining armor?” asked This Reporter.
Boehner’s face turned a deeper shade of tan.
“You’re looking at him,” he said, rocking on his heels.
“You’re throwing your hat in the ring?”
“I won’t be making any official statements for a few weeks, but, yes, I will be the savior of the Republican Party,” said Boehner. “This wasn’t in my game plan, but Pope Francis urged me to lead my sheep, not to slaughter, but to greener pastures.”
“But if they threw you out of Congress….”
“I left voluntarily!” Boehner corrected me mid-sentence. “For the sake of my Party.”
“I don’t understand. If you couldn’t get the various factions of Congress to agree on crucial issues, how will you get them to support your bid for the highest office in the land?”
“The old fashioned way,” said Boehner. “Tell ‘em what they want to hear.”
“You mean you’re going to lie to members of your own Party?” said This Reporter. “To the people you represent?”
“If I’ve learned anything from my thirty years in Congress, it’s that Truth is a meandering stream. At its shallowest point, you can see clear through to the shit at the bottom,” said Boehner. “I’ll do what is necessary to get the nomination and, if elected, I’ll be the best damned president my party has put in the White House since You-Know-Who.”
“Hell, no. All he had was good hair and Nancy. I’ll be the best president since Abraham Lincoln,” said Boehner, his eyes misting over. “For now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure…”
“That’s commendable but Lincoln was assassinated,” said This Reporter.
“Oh, dear. Maybe I’ll just retire to Marcos Island and work on my golf game,” said Boehner, dabbing his eyes with a hankie.