The Squeaker Speaker
The vote was close; the winner’s a rat
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
January 7th 2023
You may not have heard about this, but there was a little bit of confusion surrounding what is normally the routine election for Speaker of the House. Oh, you say you have heard about it and for gods’ sake, Zepp, don’t natter on more about it? You say you’re sick to death about it?
Well, that’s understandable. Five days of eating popcorn and laughing can get a bit stale. By about half-way through, I was paying more attention to the weather myself. Granted, northern California has been having …interesting… weather. More interesting than Kevin McCarthy, at least.
Now, in defense of the weather, it doesn’t have McCarthy, Boebert, Taylor-Greene, Gaetz or Jordan falling from the sky, attractive as that mental image might be. And have I just invented a necessary new genre? Splatter/Political Commentary? Gym Jordan is sure the Founders had something like that in mind when they invented MAGA.
Kevin McCarthy is finally Speaker, and despite the general support he had in the caucus, he’s widely viewed as the Ted Cruz of the House; a dishonest and unnecessarily vicious snake, one whose malevolence is blunted by his utter nihilism and lack of any personal courage. Adam Schiff gave an interview a few days ago where he explained exactly what sort of creature McCarthy really is. Yes, Twitter is still a thing. For now.
We should do a ripoff of an English newspaper who, in the dying days of Liz Truss’ doomed Prime Ministry, put up a picture of her and a head of lettuce, and asked readers which they thought might last longer. The results for our present moment here in the States might look like this:
McCarthy gave away so much in his frantic efforts to gain a majority vote that any whim by any member of the House could force what in effect would be a vote of no-confidence. The first time Kevin breaks a promise to the insurrectionists (and maybe we would need a soap bubble for a shelf-life comparison on that one), or even if he simply refuses further blackmail (“do as I say or I’ll call a vote!”) we’re start seeing such votes. A few of those and you’ll see Democrats gleefully joining in just to further the chaos on the GOP side.
And while that’s an ugly prospect, a stable contingent of Republicans in the House is even uglier. “Stable” is a relative term here, folks. Republicans don’t have any policy or even philosophy per se: they want to investigate Hunter Biden in hopes of embarrassing the President (and they will have to subvert the DoJ to have anything they uncover bear fruit, unless they somehow come up with the sort of rock solid evidence the January 6th Commission did). They want to undermine investigative agencies and the IRS for much the same reason the Mafia would if they had the power. They firmly believe that if Republican criminals aren’t safe, then no criminal is safe, and they want to be safe. They don’t want to neuter the FBI or revenooers because they are a threat to us; they want to do it because they are a threat to them. They don’t mind America being saddled with over half a million cops, many of whom are ill-trained, sadistic, racist and stupid, but the thought of the IRS having 74,000 agents who might look at what Nepo Children are doing with their unearned income is utterly horrifying.
The GOP are out to destroy America. They’ve managed to persuade enough people that government is the enemy of America (and America as a country doesn’t exist without government) that they have some of these opportunistic traitors running the House. Some were involved in January 6th. Some deserve to spend the rest of their lives in prison. The rest are just your usual opportunist crooks and greedheads, of no value to society (America doesn’t exist without government, but it will do just fine without the people the GOP really represent.)
So if the Republicans remain chaotic and totally subsumed in their own petty strife, that’s actually doing the rest of us a favor.
Meanwhile, the population of America gets two more years to see, once and for all, what we’re really dealing with.