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Stop pitying Boehner!: He’s not just some well-meaning victim

How much blame does John Boehner deserve for the shutdown of the federal government? A common narrative in recent months has been that he is a weak Speaker who has failed to rein in hard-line Republican House members, especially in the Tea Party’s ranks. Radical Congressmen make uncompromising ideological demands, the narrative goes, thereby forcing Boehner to take inflexible stances he does not really believe in, including the government shutdown. What most commentators tend to overlook is that Boehner himself has helped foment the radicalism of the modern Republican Party.

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