12/27/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

John Boehner & The Audacity Of Nope

If a visitor from a faraway place fetched up in Washington in search of a single person who embodied the manifold complications, contradictions, and pitfalls of the modern Republican Party, he would be well advised to look long and hard into the heavy-lidded blue eyes and smooth mahogany face of John Andrew Boehner, of Ohio, the minority leader of the House of Representatives. Boehner's personal journey over the past three decades--and especially over the 20 months of Barack Obama's presidency--neatly parallels that of his party, and presages the warfare to come.

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