The GOP Clown Show
It is said that insanity is repeating the same action over and over expecting to get a different outcome. At least we have a name to put on the Republican clown show on full exhibit in the House of Representatives.
With the entire world watching Republicans, who hold a narrow majority in the House, have failed to muster a majority in the vote for Speaker, the powerful leadership position vacated by Democrat Nancy Pelosi following her party’s loss in the last election.
Eleven times in three days the Representatives-elect have voted for Speaker. Each time Democrats have been unified, voting for Hakeem Jeffries of New York. Jeffries would be the first African American to lead the House of Representatives and each time he has received the most votes. But each time Jeffries has fallen short of a majority for the simple reason that the Democrats do not have the majority.
The majority is held by the Republicans, who in speech after speech have proclaimed their victory indicates a clear mandate from the American people to change the direction of government. If you believe that, I have a gavel I’d like to sell you.
The Republican majority is the result of extreme gerrymandering and a series of false steps by Democrats who, among other disasters, managed to lose four seats in the Democratic stronghold of New York.
But this is a story about Republicans, whose majority leader, Kevin McCarthy of California, has failed in eleven votes to fulfill his lifetime goal of becoming Speaker. McCarthy has a solid two hundred votes, numbering among them more than one hundred insurrectionists who voted to overthrow the legally elected president in the January 6 coup attempt just two years ago.
But McCarthy falls short because he has repeatedly failed to convince another twenty Republicans to go his way. These twenty are, if it is possible, even more insane than McCarthy and his followers. While the McCarthy crew strives to take power while exhibiting nothing in the way of policy or strategy, or any indication they are prepared to govern, the crazier twenty appear to want to destroy the government as we know it without any plan beyond the chaos they desire.
McCarthy has been reportedly making tremendous concessions to the crazy twenty, in effect turning the speaker’s gavel over to them, but it has not proven to be enough to win their votes. He has even called in the insurrectionist in chief, Donnie Trump, to make calls to the crazy twenty on his behalf. Trump’s calls did not change a single vote.
There is of course, a bipartisan compromise. It would only take a dozen or so Republicans, who actually want to see a functioning government, to agree on a compromise candidate Democrats could support. That would produce a bipartisan majority to elect a speaker. Don’t hold your breath.
And so, we sit, going into a fourth day and a twelfth ballot, with the world watching, wondering if the Republicans can get their act together.