Who Knows And What We Do Know

Timestamp: Saturday morning.

As of publishing date the United States House of Representatives has been without a speaker for 19 consecutive days. It appears that the earliest this situation could be resolved is on Tuesday of this week and that is a bit optimistic. The bottom line is that for decades the Republican Party is and has been incapable of governing. It is really that simple.

A small group of Republican ousted Kevin McCarthy from the speakership and the caucus is blaming the House Democrats for not saving them from themselves. Somehow, I can’t pity them.

Then the House Republicans met, held a secret ballot and designated Steve Scalise as their nominee. Before his name could come to a floor vote his nomination was scuttled. (The inside story of that, when it is finally revealed, will be interesting.) Jim Jordan became the new Republican nominee. In three House floor votes Jordan’s not only failed to get the required votes, his total went down. Friday the House Republicans held another “family meeting” at which the caucus voted 112-86 to not support Jordan in any future votes. (Yes, many members didn’t even bother to attend the meeting, some already having departed for home. Again, hey why work a weekend?)

Previously I had written that if we got to a third ballot on this round all bets were off. At this writing I have no idea who the next speaker will be or when they will be selected. The fact that it appears it will not be Jordan is a major victory for America and democracy at large.

Getting into Jordan’s professional (and I hate to use that word in reference to Jordan) ability; he is sadly lacking. In his nearly two decades in the House Jordan has yet to have one bill he sponsored signed into law. How is he supposed to successfully guide others? He is little more than a bomb thrower and certainly not someone who can build consensus. He makes for good programing for right wing media but little else. He wanted to lead the House yet openly defied a House subpoena. Jordan as speaker would have been the institution of Steve Bannon’s tear it all down philosophy. Respect for the institution? I could go on but you get the idea.

Getting back to my opening point that Republicans simply are incapable of effectively governing, Friday’s vote was their 18th speaker vote of this Congress and at least a 19th is assured.

If we go a bit farther back it was the policies of Republican Donald Trump that gave America the worst track record in the world of handling COVID.

A few years before that it was the bad policies of Republican President George W. Bush that gave us the Great Recession.

Going back a few more decades, it was the policies of Republican President Herbert Hoover that gave us the Great Depression.

Democrats Joe Biden, Barack Obama, and Franklin Roosevelt rescued us from those governing errors.

Trump is just a wannabe mobster from whom Jordan takes his marching orders. Like a mobster Jordan tried to intimidate his opposition into supporting him. In the process he made a huge mistake, he brought them all together in an attempt to get them to cave. A real mobster would have held one-on-one sessions, but neither Jordan nor Don Trump is that skilled. They learned their “trade” from B mob movies.

The silver linings in the cloud are that it appears Jordan will not be speaker and this was yet another political defeat for Trump. When not in the majority the best the Democrats can do is what they did; avoid the worst case scenario.

I feel older by the day. I remember when: “Who is the Speaker of the House?” was not a trick question. I also remember when the election of the speaker was a small segment on the newscast when you could run to the bathroom or refrigerator.

The Republicans created the current problem by not knowing what their next step was when the ousted McCarthy. Two weekends in a row they went home to watch football games instead of staying in DC and solving the problem of their own creation. The only predictions I’ll make at this point is that history will repeat itself and the Democrats will have to save America from the Republicans. I also predict that in the next House with a Democratic majority the Democrats will only need one ballot to elect Hakeem Jeffries as speaker.

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