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Bob Dole

After John Boehner, whither the GOP?

After John Boehner, whither the GOP?

It's said that faith can move mountains. Perhaps Pope Francis moved House Speaker John Boehner to step down by urging Congress to break out of its partisan paralysis.

The pope said among other things that "the contemporary world ... demands that we confront every form of polarization" that divides it. As he spoke, Mr. Boehner, sitting behind him on the rostrum of the House chamber, characteristically fought back tears.

They may have been tears of joy from a former altar boy at his success in bringing the Holy Father to the U.S. Capitol. But the very next day, the speaker stunned the political world by announcing his resignation, thus confronting the polarization that...