And while it is still possible that some other modest bills could be brought to a vote and passed in the House, the political dynamics within the House GOP will make even the crudest bipartisan and non-ideological issues difficult to pass.
While the circus that was the Trump presidency, a toxic mix of incompetence and cruelty, has long since left Washington for greener pastures, we are now seeing the birth of a new sideshow. He is one who can, in fact, match the former president in malevolence and surpass him in ineptitude.
But we knew that was going to happen, right?
In the tightly divided House, where the Republican Party retains majority control by a fingernail, a significant amount of political control rests in the hands of a small number of members of the far-right, ultra-MAGA Freedom Caucus wing of the Republican delegation. Their positions are so extreme that even QAnon-friendly Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene has broken with other members of the Freedom Caucus about their heavy-handed tactics against McCarthy, saying they were «playing Russian roulette with our hard-won Republican majority right now.»
In fact, the Freedom Caucus’ guerrilla-style approach to politics is already making the actions of recalcitrant Sens. Joe Manchin, DW.Va, and Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., look like simple elementary school playground antics. . .
Just look at what has occurred over the past few weeks in the lead up to this week, as Freedom Caucus members have been jockeying for power. To win enough votes for speaker, McCarthy has been hard at work with the extreme right of his party to ensure his voice. He has thrown overboard any modicum of principle in the service of his desire to wield raw power, but in doing so he has been forced to swear allegiance to a series of utterly absurd positions.
one has been threatening to indict the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alejandro N. Mayorkas, for his management of the southern border, despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that he committed an indictable offense anywhere close to treason, bribery, or felonies and misdemeanors. (Fun fact: since the founding of the Republic, just a cabinet member has been indicted and was ultimately cleared of all charges).
And floating above all this hodgepodge is another Off-Broadway show that is, in many ways, a perfect microcosm of the party now in control of the House: the fiasco of George Santos, a newly elected staunch Republican representative of Trump. who will almost certainly have to resign due to a staggering array of lies, alleged crimes, and other misdeeds.
But the truth of the matter is that the widespread applause that stopped the so-called red wave of 2022 in its tracks he was short a few seats, and with that, like it or not, a band of misfits now wields considerable power in a divided Republican Party that is now trying to govern, albeit with a narrower majority.
Like a trailer that tells the entire plot of a really bad movie in 30 seconds, the speech fight foreshadows quite clearly what we can expect to unfold over the next two years in the House.
But with the consequent fight over the 2024 presidential election looming, we can’t skip this show as much as we want.
The public will not only be watching how bipartisan politics are at stake, but what this Congress does with its investigative power it could also play an important role at a very crucial time for the country. Republican control of the House is almost certainly destined to become a little vaudeville display of toothless, bogus investigations into Hunter Biden, a public impeachment of the January 6 committee, and the rest of Freedom’s «Greatest Hits.» caucuses.
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Unfortunately for many Americans, particularly centrists and independents at home who want to see meaningful bipartisan legislative action on a host of issues from health care to immigration to climate change, this daily display of incompetence and extreme extremism can cement the view that the Republican Party is not capable of governing nationally.
Importantly, it is these middle voters who make up the most important swing vote, and if the GOP fails to show that it can’t do any meaningful work in Washington, it could very well find itself driving the nail into its own coffin by 2024 and a lot more. beyond.
But for now, grab some popcorn and let’s see what happens next.