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Down with Boehner: Portman for President

March 28, 2013

Published here on March 26, 2013

I used to love John Boehner. The man that New York Daily News described as a “chain-smoking glad-hander with a permanent tan and anchorman hair” was once the apple — or should I say pumpkin — of my eye.

Despite his leaky tear-ducts, Boehner is a brilliant politician.

Last month, when the Department of Labor released statistics that unemployment had gone down to 7.7 percent, spin-doctor Boehner came out and said the following:

“Any job creation is positive news, but the fact is unemployment in America is still way above the levels the Obama White House projected when the trillion-dollar stimulus spending bill was enacted.”

Somehow, lower levels of unemployment meant Obama broke a promise. I’m sure every pair of eyes in the White House immediately rolled back toward the ceiling.

But Boehner didn’t seduce me with his whiskey-voiced rhetoric. Last December, as Congress grappled on the edge of the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama and Speaker Boehner quickly began to represent their respective parties. Obama wanted bigger government, more taxes increases, and smaller spending cuts. Boehner opposed all of it.

I easily looked beyond Boehner’s stance on social issues because he functioned so well as the “small government” guy. Until two weeks ago.

On March 17, Senator Robert Portman’s son announced that he was gay. This caused Portman — who is a Republican — to change his position and support gay marriage, a decision that Boehner criticized. When asked by ABC’s This Week about what he thought about Portman’s decision, Boehner responded:

“I believe marriage is a union between one man and one woman,” Boehner told This Week. “It’s what I grew up with. It’s what I believe. It’s what my church teaches me. And I can’t imagine that position would ever change.”

Sigh …

I want Bulldog Boehner to represent the Republican Party, but I’m sad that he actually does. I’m tired of the anti-gay white-man party that is afraid of undocumented immigrants. I know I said my columns weren’t going to cover social issues, but is it too much to ask for someone who will support both small businesses and equal rights of marriage?

Cue Senator Portman — who appears to be Boehner’s foil. While both men are from the Cincinnati area, Portman’s gentle demeanor radiates in stark contrast to Boehner’s ever-present tan.

Ideologically, Portman’s views on gay marriage line up a little more accurately with America’s — according to NPR, 58 percent of Americans now support gay marriage.

This RepublicMan (yeah, he’s back again from last week’s column) is proud of Senator Portman. He represents everything I want the GOP to become. I hope to live in a country with smaller government and stronger emphasis on business, but also in a country in which equality truly rings true. I support him for trying to separate conservatism from Republicanism.

With that said, what do you think of “Portman for President?” I’d vote for him.


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