Shaw: The Grand Old Pile-On

In January of 2011 John Boehner was arguably one of the happiest men in America. The son of an Ohio tavern keeper had fought his way up through the ranks and was not only accepting the gavel of office as Speaker of the House, but was presiding over the entry of one of the largest class of freshmen Republicans in the history of the nation. For a brief, giddy period, it was very good to be John Boehner.

What a difference half a year can make. His new charges had dutifully recited all of the standard promises during their respective campaigns and stoked the imaginations of conservatives across the country. Little did the new speaker know that they actually intended to keep their word. They showed up for work and, rather than lining up as dutiful children ready to learn from the wizened elders waiting to greet them, they immediately began kicking over the furniture, writing angry slogans on the walls in crayon and telling tales out of school to every media mouth with a microphone.

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