WASHINGTON — Against a backdrop of tanned Republican lawmakers, House Speaker John Boehner announced an initiative to help moderate members of his party bypass the congressional Tea Party Caucus and start making better decisions for themselves, their country, and the country club where he made his remarks.
Boehner was responding to President Obama’s recent call to action, in which the president asked individuals in positions of wealth and power to intervene in the lives of men of color and assist them in improving their lot.
“As a man of color myself,” said Boehner as he sopped his tears with a white monogrammed tissue that accentuated his bright orange hue, “it was as if the president were talking directly to me.”
The speaker then quoted Obama, who Thursday remarked, “It will take courage, but you will have to tune out the naysayers who say if the deck is stacked against you, you might as well just give up or settle into the stereotype.”
“Well Mr. President,” Boehner proclaimed, “message received. We must no longer make excuses for ourselves. We can no longer afford to be the party of ‘no.’ We have a responsibility to help govern, and by golly, we will own up to it.”
The 113th Congress is still on track to become the least productive in history, passing only 55 bills of substance last year, thanks to partisan gridlock as the Tea Party fiercely resisted any form of compromise or moderation.
“It’s like the president said,” lamented Boehner, “‘These statistics should break our hearts, and they should compel us to act.’”
Reminding the crowd of his less-than-privileged upbringing, Boehner veered into predictably personal territory. “If my barkeep dad were around today, I’d be ashamed to look him in the eye for not standing up to the bullies in the House earlier.
“You grow up around a bar—I mopped floors, did dishes, waited tables, tended bar—and you have to learn to deal with every jackass who walks in the door,” Boehner said between sobs. “Well, dad, I’m a man now, and I’m finally ready to deal with the Tea Party. I am going to pass immigration reform. I am going to work across the aisle. I am going to give white wines a chance.”
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney issued a statement welcoming the “My Boehner’s Keeper” initiative and the speaker’s willingness to negotiate in good faith. “While the president may not have had Speaker Boehner in mind when he was addressing minority men,” noted Carney, “he would fully embrace a Minority Leader Boehner following the midterm elections.”