The U.S. Constitution requires candidates for the U.S. Senate to be 30 years old, but it doesn’t require them to be grown-ups, and it ought to.

Perhaps it wasn’t an oversight on the part of the Founders – perhaps they and their compatriots were all grown-ups and behaved accordingly, and it never occurred to them that 200 years later, we’d find ourselves having to contend with folks like House Speaker John Boehner or Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

You’d think that I’d stop whining and just abandon the Republican Party, but so many of my ancestors were proud Republicans that I can’t quite manage it – even after the relentless stream of embarrassing moments.

They began six years ago when, in spite of an economic crisis that had left thousands of Americans in desperate straits, McConnell declared that my Republican Party and the United States Senate had nothing more important to do than to concentrate their energies on denying President Obama a second term.

The latest of the embarrassing moments was Speaker Boehner’s infantile decision to circumvent diplomatic and longstanding convention by inviting Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington without consulting the White House.

Contacts between heads of state are customarily just that – between heads of state, with good reason. To do otherwise diminishes the stature that presidents and prime ministers have – for the most part – earned and employ to advantage.

Boehner behaved like a 10-year-old who has invited one kid to his birthday party but not another just to be spiteful. I’m embarrassed for us.

Phil Crossman

Vinalhaven