Speaker John Boehner Walks Out on Americans

COMMENTARY | If anyone had any doubt left about where the current Congress stands on the issues of censorship and the well-being of everyday, regular, non-corporate Americans, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) has made his position clear, as reported by The Raw Story. Rather than entertain a motion — let alone discussion — pertaining to the payroll tax cut championed by the President and pushed by Democrats, Boehner, ignoring the pleas of Rep. Stenny Hoyer (D-Md.), adjourned the session, banging the gavel loudly as if to drown out Hoyer, and walked out of the chamber (see video).

And then he went one step further. According to The Raw Story, Rep. Boehner turned off the C-SPAN cameras. C-SPAN later confirmed that the Speaker has control over the House cameras.

This is a Congress that has been seriously considering legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, which could change the face of the internet, as explained by CNet. The act allows the government to censor the spread of information in a way that sounds far more fitting in China than the United States.

This same government, represented by Rep. Boehner, did not like the version of the message that was being given — that Americans need the payroll tax, and he’d rather walk out than discuss it — and so he stopped C-SPAN from disseminating that message by turning off the cameras.

Please remember this moment when it comes time to vote again. Rep. Boehner is up for re-election in 2012. How many of you in his district simply earn a wage or a salary? How many are on Medicare? For how many of you do the issues Rep. Boehner turned and walked out on resonate?

This government is not acceptable in the United States of America. While we are supposed to have a government of the people, for the people, what we have instead is a ragtag bunch of mavericks who think the Constitution is mere suggestion, who think that their power is derived from some mystical source of corporate lobby and crowd manipulation that is somehow undetectable to us mere mortals.

The Speaker of the House turned his back on Americans because our interests do not suit his interests. The worries of families depending upon the extension of the payroll tax cut or unemployment benefits did not warrant a look over his shoulder. He walked out on all of us today, and then he tried to control the story by turning off the cameras.

You do not turn your back on the people you serve. You do not walk out on a conversation with someone you respect, or someone who vaguely matters to you. You do not pretend that the issues pressing the nation you are sworn to serve cannot be heard by your ears; and you do not pretend that your disdain is invisible and try to make it so by turning off the cameras.

Remember this day, America. This is the day the government told us that the very issues we sent them to Washington to fix, the very reasons they draw a salary, aren’t even worth feigned interest.

Rep. John Boehner walked out on us today. Perhaps the favor will be returned in 2012.

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