The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s latest fund-raising letter describes Speaker John Boehner as a “coward” for not challenging his unruly House’s threat to shut down the government if it doesn’t get its way on Obamacare and other White House programs.   Aside from a routine political bite out of the Republicans, the  DCCC’s assessment of Boehner is wrong.

Maybe a coward. But for those of us who see the grim-visaged congressman from southwest Ohio on TV every day with his funereal expression, he impresses me as being no more than a pathetic heap who is haunted in his own House on Capitol Hill.  Leader, he isn’t.  Rather, he has left himself with no options in resisting the Tea Party takeover of the House.  First things first:  He is solely committed to getting reelected free of a Tea Party uprising in his  district, the nation’s health be damned.

Some of the current Boehner profile is being recalled by former Ohio  Republican congressman Bob Ney, who had nothing good to say about his colleague in his post-prison book, “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill”.

OK, I know what you might say:  Ney is a felon who spent more than a year in prison for corruption emerging from his role in the  Abramoff  scandal (Unlike the Benghazi and IRS trumped up varieties  since dismissed as  a matter of partisan huffing and puffing).

Ney, pale and worn from the debilitating forces of prison and alcoholism, turned up on Bill Maher’s show the other night to repeat some of his charges, primarily that Boehner is hardly an effective voice for the American people because he spends so much trying to appeal to his own political bosses on the Hard Right.

In his book, a repentant Ney, accused the Speaker of being lazy while raking in thousands of dollars from lobbyists for golf, food and goody etc.   (There is somewhere a photo of Boehner,a chain smoker himself,  actually passing out  tobacco company lobby’s money to his buddies on the House floor before  taking up proposed tobacco legislation.)

Since the  arrival of Ney’s book, Boehner’s staff has simply slashed it as the work of a drunken felon.

Whatever, you can easily see for yourself that the Speaker speaks for a narrow assembly of right-wingers and lobbyists with a public disposition of Count Dracula. .

Did I say haunted?  I did.