The Romney-Boehner Dream Dies

It didn’t get reported, so we all missed this important news until the full text of Speaker John Boehner’s remarks yesterday at the Peter G. Peterson 2012 Fiscal Summit (the best fiscal summit money can buy, BTW, as Digby has noted) was published. Here’s the crucial passage, elegant in the simplicity with which Boehner delivered this shocking statement:

But if we have leaders who will lead … if we have leaders with the courage to make tough choices and the vision to pursue a future paved with growth, then we can heal our economy and again be the example for all to follow.

I’m ready, and I’ve been ready. I’m not angling for higher office. This is the last position in government I will hold. I haven’t come this far to walk away.

And with those words, John Boehner dashed the hopes of those who prayed Mitt Romney would look to him to join the ticket, carry Ohio and save the Republic. Worse yet, Boehner is foreswearing a run for the presidency in 2016 if Romney loses.

His self-sacrifice is typical of the man; I would imagine that tears fell on his handsome, permatanned visage at the pain of it. But it’s a reflection of how deeply he feels about the fiscal health of the nation that he would also sacrifice the opportunity to boost his party’s electoral prospects in order to stay at his lonely post, determined to wreck the government’s creditworthiness and perhaps the economy itself before flinching from his clear duty.

Like Luther, his motto shall be: “Here I stand; no other can I do!”

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.