At the orders of Donald Trump – and make no mistake that was the genesis of the gambit – the Office of the Speaker of the House was vacated by the House membership for the first time in American history. That isn’t the only game Republicans have been playing with offices and it didn’t start this week.
There has been a successful TV series called The Office. It’s first iteration was a British show which was followed by an American adaptation. I must admit I have never watched an episode of either but then I haven’t watched much network TV since about the Johnson administration. Both shows were/are (I’m not sure of their statuses) comedies. The Republicans have their own version which I suggest they call The Office – Capital Cities.
In the interim Republican Representative Patrick McHenry of North Carolina is the acting Speaker. He will be in that post until at least Wednesday of next week because after vacating the Chair the House went on vacation and does not plan to address filling the post until at least next week Wednesday. Reminder, at that point more than 10% of the 45-day CR will have expired. Why rush?
Recently the North Carolina Republicans, who control the state’s General Assembly, moved a Democrat to a basement office as punishment for getting “too uppity”. This is not the first time they have used the “office demotion play”. A few years back when a friend of mine was working as a staffer for a Democratic member of the General Assembly their office was moved into what had previously been used as a broom closet in retaliation for his speaking too effectively on the chamber’s floor.
McHenry should be a caretaker and his job is to resemble wallpaper as much as possible. Instead, one of his first acts, (keep in mind as of this writing he has been in the office well less than 24 hours), was to evict Nancy Pelosi from her Capital Building office. Pelosi issued the following statement that read in part, “Sadly, because I am in California to mourn the loss of and pay tribute to my dear friend Dianne Feinstein, I am unable to retrieve my belongings at this time. Now that the new Republican Leadership has settled this important matter, let’s hope they get to work on what’s truly important for the American people.”
I’ll leave it at Nancy’s words. Mine, as my personal friends can tell you, would violate my self-imposed PG constraint.
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