The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

February 15, 2013

Other Views: Resting against the ropes

— In 1974, boxer Muhammad Ali popularized a ring strategy when he leaned back against the ropes, letting George Foreman flail away at him until Foreman had worn himself out. Ali then went on to defeat the exhausted, arm-weary Foreman.

That strategy apparently has re-emerged in our congressional politics in the unlikely personage of House Speaker John Boehner, the nation’s most powerful Republican.

Boehner may be a little arm-weary himself after two years of battling President Barack Obama, a Democratic-controlled Senate and the dozens of tea party members within his own caucus.

It wasn’t his arms he mentioned in a recent interview with The Associated Press. He expressed weariness and frustration after a couple of rounds of failed budget talks, where he was stymied either by the president or, when he thought he had an agreement, his own rank and file.

“Frankly,” he told AP, “every time I’ve gotten into one of these high-profile negotiations, you know, it’s my rear end that got burnt.” From now on, in what the wire service described as an “almost Zen-like approach,” he plans to rest against the ropes, so to speak, and let others — the White House, the Senate, his own party — take the initiative.

Boehner and the Republicans generally are trying to portray the looming sequester — $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts — as not only exclusively Obama’s problem, but exclusively the president’s idea. In truth, both parties were complicit — the Republicans maybe even more so than the Democrats — in its creation in August 2011.

“Remember, this is the president’s idea,” Boehner now says. The solution is up to the president and the Senate Democrats. The House will take a look at whatever they propose.

What about gun violence, immigration reform, early childhood education and all those other proposals mentioned in the State of the Union speech? If the president has “got such good ideas, his party in the Senate could pass it. Then we’d be happy to take a look at it,” the speaker told AP.

The speaker surely finds appealing the idea of remaining aloof and above the fray and making others come to him. But as a skilled lawmaker of 22 years standing, one conscious of his responsibilities, it is only a matter of time — and probably not very much time — before he comes off the ropes swinging.

Scripps Howard News Service

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Safe and sound

    Of the 7,500 Joplin and Duenweg homes hit by the 2011 EF-5 tornado, fewer than 20 percent of them had basements.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: Funding for state’s roads

    Missouri is finding there is no good alternative to growing the economy, adding new well-paying jobs and expanding the tax base.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Pledge must be priority

    Mike Seibert, after being elected Joplin’s mayor on Monday, immediately pledged that the city will be operating with transparency.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Phill Brooks, columnist: Value of outside fiscal experts for government

    Missouri recently lost a man who had been one of the state’s tax leaders of decades past.

    April 15, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Hate hurts us all

    Investigators say Sunday’s shooting of three people — two at a Jewish community center and another at a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan. — were hate crimes.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: State’s theatrics

    Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have taken advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Would you use a community safe room when the area is under a tornado warning?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Facebook
NDN Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Sports