The video: An emotional Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) took the gavel as the new Speaker of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, promising to restore trust in Congress through "real transparency, greater accountability, and a renewed focus on our Constitution." Boehner said the Tea Party-fueled wave that swept aside outgoing speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats served as a reminder that Congress exists to serve the people, and the privilege of running the show can be short-lived. (Watch a clip below.) "The people voted to end business as usual," Boehner said, "and today we begin to carry out their instructions."
The reaction: Boehner's maiden speech as Speaker was a "home run," says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. It perfectly summed up his party's "core message: We are humble. We heard the voters. We're here to end the spend-a-thon." So, Boehner believes Congress is "the people's House," says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly. "It is a fine phrase, and an admirable sentiment." The trouble is, the "people" Boehner and his allies seem most concerned about are lobbyists and the rich. Watch part of Boehner's address below:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- The U.S. government is actually trouncing Ebola. When will it get credit?
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week