Friday, September 25, 2015
For twenty years, John Boehner (R-OH) has sought to extend an invitation to the Pope and give him the opportunity to address Congress. Thursday that dream came true. In a historic moment, Pope Francis spoke to the members of Congress and guests about a host of topics.
The political side of this Pope - he considered a career in politics before entering the priesthood - shined as he lectured on everything from climate change and social justice to the sanctity of life and charity. All parts of the political spectrum could cherry pick a bit here and there to claim the Pope is in agreement of the listener's political agenda.
Many in the audience, and surely many listening elsewhere, were moved to tears at the spirit of the moment. As is his nature, Speaker Boehner used his handkerchief more than once.
Friday morning brought the news that Speaker Boehner will resign at the end of October. After a rocky tenure and recent years of bomb throwers coming into elected office, herding cats has been quite a challenge. He is known for his respect of the institution and it's place in the political process.
An honorable man and longtime public servant will no doubt receive cheers from his detractors wishing him a speedy exit. That's too bad. He came into office at the time of Newt Gingrich and the Republican Revolution in the early 1990's. That was an historic time as Republicans took control of the branches of the federal government for the first time in 40 years.
Let's hope for a smooth transition as we enter a very important national election year.