That remark entitles Boehner, the House Minority Whip, to a great big "you're welcome!" from Democrats. Boehner was, you see, born in 1949 and so grew up in America where Jim Crow ruled in the South and was a presence in much of the rest of the country. It was an America in which gays were locked in their closets, women were expected to aspire to be nothing more than housewives (certainly not Supreme Court Justices) and civil rights took a back seat to state's rights.
It was an America in which pollution was released into the ground, air and water with little concern for the environmental impact. Seat belts were not regular features of cars, indeed many safety features we take for granted today in vehicles, equipment and in homes were not in wide use or in some cases even dreamed of.
In the America of Boehner's youth there were no African Americans in Congress, let alone the White House (except for the custodial staff). Handicap access ramps at schools and other public facilities were unheard of. TV, film and other media were stilted by stiff censorship. Of course today there's is a censorship being enforced -- on the advertising of tobacco products.
It may have been former president Ronald Reagan (who did far less damage to the country as a bad actor than he did as president) who started the myth of the good old days of white picket fences. Actually they were good days -- for straight white Christian males of means.
Progressives must keep pushing forward with vigor because there are plenty of folks like Boehner pushing back. They are afraid of change of a disruption of the old order that has served them (and them alone) so well. Many of these people have complained since Obama's election that they feel this is not their country anymore. Great, now you know how African Americans have felt for the last 200 years. Who said it was your country anyway? Shouldn't America be a place where everyone feels at home?
I leave you with this poem from the great Langston Hughes that I believe captures the feeling that many Americans have had for much of this country's history.