Tom Foley died. Most of the commentary is in terms of ideology, but ideology really isn't the point. Foley lost the '94 election because he had moved too far into the role of Speaker, and had lost touch with his district.
I saw him fairly often in those years because his local office happened to be in the same building where I worked. When he was in town, he was always rushing around, never shaking hands with businessmen or kissing babies.
Nethercutt replaced Foley and took special care to stay local.
He avoided moving up the leadership ladder and always made time for local radio, always shook hands and kissed babies. He left politics after three terms, clearly disgusted with the direction DC politics was taking.
I'm sure Boehner's constituents must feel the same way that we felt about Foley, whether they agree with his ideology or not.
Representatives were not meant to become Speaker.
The Speaker was supposed to be a purely national figure, something like a low-grade Prime Minister, appointed by the Lower Nuthouse from leading citizens.
I might draw an analogy at the international level. The US was not meant to be an empire.
It was supposed to be just another nation, and the peculiar demands of empire have caused the whole national government to turn into an imperial monstrosity. It needs to be removed and replaced with a more 'local' government that shakes hands and kisses babies. But that ain't gonna happen.
Further thought here.
Semi-relevant sidenote: Ever notice that Foley and Bing Crosby looked alike and had similar manners and voices? (In speaking anyway; I don't know if Foley was a good singer.) There are several other specimens of the same type in Spokane, especially around Gonzaga. Seems to be a particular Irish type that clustered here.