Ronald Reagan famously quipped that the scariest words in English were “I’m from the government and I’m here to help.”
Modern Republicans are a step above Reagan. Saying “I’m a Republican and I’m here to help” is like showing up in a barn with lighter fluid and a flamethrower. Why build when you can burn? Why establish order when you can sow chaos?
The pitch to Republican voters during the 2022 midterm elections is “Trust us” to lower inflation, control illegal immigration and end the Biden administration’s unruly spending bonanza. I did. Voters said okay. Democrats took control of the Senate, but Republicans took control of the House, enough to block Democrats’ legislation and establish a conservative agenda in the House.
That was my promise. The reality is that the Republican Party is embroiled in civil war, unable to deliver on its promises to voters or serve as a responsible governing bloc. A competent operation would be put into action by swiftly moving to the beginning of each new parliament’s pro forma: electing leadership, assigning committee posts, setting the agenda, one of symbolic changes. one or two. Republicans began by blaming each other in the struggle over who should be Speaker of the House, showing that they were more like a motley crew of competing cultists than an organized rally. I got
With Republicans in control, Kevin McCarthy of California, who has been the minority leader of the House of Representatives for the past four years, would be the natural choice to become chairman. Opposes McCarthy on the grounds that he is too hopeful, establishmentist and not a pure conservative. Given that all Democrats are voting against him, the 20 or so Republicans who oppose McCarthy are more than enough to prevent his rise.
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In three ballots on January 3, McCarthy fell about 15 votes short. On January 4, former President Trump stepped in, urging all Republicans to support McCarthy. Trump’s endorsement might have come to the top if McCarthy still had some clout over party agitators. Just like the first 3 times. The House must continue to vote until someone wins a majority and becomes Speaker.
Who if not McCarthy? There are still moderate Republicans who won’t vote for far-right bombers. But why are they? Democrats seem perfectly content to step aside and torment Republicans for as long as possible. , has emerged as a non-McCarthy who may be able to end what is becoming one of the most embarrassing self-owners in congressional history.
Then what? It is speculated that House Republicans will coalesce at some point and begin presenting a coherent agenda aimed at winning more voters during the 2024 election, when full government control is at stake. But it seems likely that over the next two years they will be at odds with each other and going to the mat for symbolic or even nonsensical purposes.
The “Never Kevin Republican” hardline is not just against liberals. They also oppose established Republicans, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and many of his colleagues. . For them, it’s all about fighting the likes of McCarthy. As if to lure them in, McConnell appeared alongside his arch-enemy, President Joe Biden, at a Kentucky event to highlight a 2021 bill that would fund billions of dollars in infrastructure spending. .
When politics works, it is the art of compromise, with factions abandoning unreachable goals and embracing what is achievable. The left wing of the Democratic Party who voted for they wanted Progressives such as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York have effectively run against bills that do not contain measures in their favor, such as the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. You could have exercised your right of veto.
Democrats had the same narrow margin as Republicans in the House and just one vote in the Senate. With a slight holdout, Democratic legislation could have sunk. Democrats certainly had trouble sinking laws that centrists felt were too liberal. Left-wing Democrats pardoned several bills that didn’t contain provisions they favored, giving Biden a surprisingly long list of legislative accomplishments.
Republican outliers do not compromise. They want the power of veto and will use it relentlessly. This will have real-world implications later in the year when Congress must approve an extension to her 2024 federal borrowing limit and spending bill. It will most likely end up teaming up with moderate Republicans to show that they can pass the necessary legislation and save the country from Republican mayhem.
The real message of the Republican Party in 2024 is that there are enough nihilists within the party to prioritize absolutism over pragmatism, war over compromise, and chaos over efficiency. McCarthy’s madness subsides, but other degassings continue. The Republican Party will continue to fail Administration 101 until someone fences in the Coalition Buster or loses control again in 2024.
Rick Newman Yahoo FinanceFollow him on Twitter. @rickjnewman
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