On the House: A Washington Memoir

John Boehner. St. Martin's, $29.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-23844-3
Former House Speaker Boehner delivers an amiable if somewhat trite tour of his life and political career. One of 12 children raised by a Cincinnati bar owner, Boehner credits the Saturdays he spent working in his father's "shot-and-a-beer joint" with teaching him "how important it was for every single person to be treated with respect." He distinguishes between his own "rabble-rousing" as a freshman congressman in the early 1990s and the "pure, blind, knee-jerk ideology" of members of the "so-called Freedom Caucus," including Mark Meadows, who voted against Boehner's reelection as House Speaker in 2015, even though Boehner had campaigned for him. Boehner also takes aim at Ted Cruz ("a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else"), expresses regret for going along with the impeachment of Bill Clinton ("A partisan impeachment simply does not have credibility with most Americans"), castigates "right-wing propaganda nuts" in the media (Mark Levin, Sean Hannity) for helping to radicalize Congress with "blind Obama hatred," and defends his handling of congressional battles over the Affordable Care Act and the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Though Boehner shares plenty of colorful anecdotes (including the time Alaska representative Don Young pulled a knife on him in the House chamber), it's a fairly predictable run-through of his viewpoints. Readers will relish the gossip, but wish for deeper self-reflection. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 04/13/2021
Release date: 04/13/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-250-75230-7
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