This a Republican Turning Point
Did the prolonged fight for the Speaker’s gavel create circumstances for change in Washington -- especially in the Republican party? For the first time in over a century, it took 15 rounds of voting, cajoling, compromise, and almost one fistfight to select a Speaker of the House. The MSM gleefully reported on the “Republican clown show,” predicting that the conflict would split the party. They even fantasized that it could result in a Democrat Speaker, in a majority Republican House of Representatives. What a sweet victory that would be. Well, the Republicans didn’t break up, the Democrats didn’t pull off an upset, and the MSM was blind to something much more significant.
The Dems screwed up -- again. They had an opportunity to pick the kind of Speaker they’d like to work with, and they squandered it. If they’d had their thinking caps on, they would have realized that it was to their advantage to vote for Kevin McCarthy -- the Republican. They probably could have even negotiated some concessions from McCarthy for their support -- because he wanted the job really, really bad. Had the Democrats done so, they could have pulled McCarthy over the finish line, and he would have become the Speaker despite resistance in his own party -- before he had to make concessions to that resistance.
It would have been business as usual in the House. The Republican leadership would talk big, but do little -- just the way the Democrats like it. The Republican base would become disillusioned, frustrated, and start thinking about sitting out the next election. There would continue to be no accountability for broken promises. Return to Democrat control would be a short two-year wait. For the Dems, it would be like a nice long vacation before returning to work.
But instead, the Democrats unanimously and consistently voted for someone who was never going to be voted the Speaker -- regardless of how many rounds of voting occurred. Their rabid base would rather see childish defiant gestures than shrewd tactical maneuvering. They’re beginning to see the cost of that tactical error.
The Republican Freedom Caucus refused to vote for Kevin McCarthy until they got concessions -- and boy did they get them. McCarthy wanted the job so bad that he was willing to give up almost anything to get it. The Freedom Caucus figured that out, and played a masterful game of chicken. They got a lot. And what they got may end up changing the mindset of the whole Republican party.
The Freedom Caucus got:
- A promise to push several conservative pieces of legislation
- A commitment to fiscal constraints
- Investigations of deep state corruption
- And most significantly, rule changes
Those rule changes include such things as actually coming to work to do the job voters elected congressmen to do, and reading bills before voting on them (yes, they’ve really been passing bills without reading them for years). Perhaps the most significant rule change is one that enables a single House member to call for a vote to remove the Speaker. If McCarthy steps out of line, they can start the contest for his job all over again. They got the ability to hold the Speaker accountable. What a novel concept -- accountability in government. I don’t think we’ve ever seen that.
So, what happens when Speaker McCarthy tentatively takes a few steps to the Right (politically and morally), and his popularity explodes? Will he go from being a hostage of the conservatives, to being an enthusiastic supporter of their agenda?
He is beginning to take those baby steps. He’s preparing to remove several of the most repugnant Democrats from their committee assignments. The base is ecstatic. Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, and Ilhan Omar can thank San Fran Nan for setting that precedent -- another tactical blunder.
He's making good on his promise to bring bills that the base wants to the floor. Bills that the House has passed so far include everything necessary to give the Democrats ulcers.
- Rescind certain balances made available to the Internal Revenue Service
- Born alive abortion survivors protection act
- Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act
- Establishing the Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party
Granted, these bills will likely be killed in the Senate or vetoed by the President. At least the Speaker is doing what he does have the power to do -- getting every House Democrat on record supporting the killing of newborn babies (aka abortion survivors). Letting the constituents of those Democrats know where their representative’s moral compass points is also a measure of accountability -- no?
McCarthy is even talking about releasing all 14,000 hours of security footage from the January 6 insurrection of unarmed cosplay nuts and selfie photographers. Panic is setting in with the Dems. Apparently, they don’t want the public to actually see what happened on that day.
The conservative base is beginning to praise Speaker McCarthy -- and he loves it. Will any other Republicans learn from McCarthy’s experience? Will they see that it’s safe to stop being the battered wife of politics? That they can fight back, and win? Will the Republicans finally realize that when one side wants freedom and the other tyranny, it’s not a time for comity and compromise? It’s a time to fight. Will they come to realize that Trump’s success was not an anomaly? His fighting spirit was how he succeeded -- and they can do the same.
How different will Washington be if the Republicans stop playing victim, start listening to the voters, and fearlessly deliver for them? I know that’s a lot to ask -- and it won’t happen overnight. But we’re seeing those baby steps. The next couple of years may be very interesting -- thanks to a colossal tactical error by overconfident Democrats.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He has written for American Thinker, and American Free News Network. He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: Vikram Gupchup