There is an old adage which goes something like when your opposition is damaging its own mission, don’t stand in their way. For over five years, I have shared my concerns with my Republican representatives in Congress and State legislature that rationalizing the untruthfulness and bullying antics of the former president is not a good path forward. I often asked what will it take for you to realize that something must be done?
Yet, here we are two years after the former president invited and incited a seditious action against a branch of government and there are still elected followers that believe what he says. Call me crazy, but his misdeeds are overt, yet the gaslighting that he and his sycophants have done have put up a powerful barrier to the truth.
Right now, the party of Trump is revealing their confusion and conflict. One editorialist termed it a “circular firing squad.” I am sure some resolution in the US House will be achieved, but what will it look like? As an independent and former Republican and Democrat, my hope is a the more rational Republicans who have not yet been run off can work with the Democrats to vote in a moderate Speaker of the House.
I must confess it does not trouble me too much that Kevin McCarthy cannot garner enough votes. However, it troubles me even more that more extreme folks like Jim Jordan are being bandied about. I am leery of such an untruthful person as Jordan being in charge after watching him the last several years and being aware of his lying at Ohio State University that allowed other wrestlers to be sexually assaulted by a groping doctor.
We citizens deserve better than we are getting. Democrats are imperfect, but at least they are focusing on policy issues and are concerned about a former president who acted seditiously. Many Republicans agree with that concern and some even testified under oath, but too many are scared to go on record and shut down the election denial that is still being discussed along with exaggerated and contrived issues. The truth is needed. Civilized debate and collaboration are needed.
Please join me in holding legislators accountable and demanding they tell us the truth and work together.
Note to Readers: I read that Kevin McCarthy is making some concessions to the extremist few to glean more votes. This may unnerve other Republicans, but it certainly unnerves me. I don’t want our country’s governance held hostage to folks who are looking to weaponize leadership to minimize scrutiny over their behavior and heighten opportunity to condemn people who disagree with them.
Scott, this is no different to than the Freedom Caucus holding the party hostage forcing John Boehner to retire. They got tired of Boehner passing legislation with some Republicans joining Democrats to get stuff done. Boehner just grew weary of the constant backbiting and left. The MAGA supporters in my view do not really stand for much that is not exaggerated or contrived and I certainly do not care for how they conduct themselves which is a disservice to us citizens.
I agree that Kevin McCarthy should have seen this coming as I have been reading about it for about a month. Although I am not a huge fan of Nancy Pelosi, one thing she does well is count votes, so she did a good job of making sure she knew the outcome before the vote occurred. McCarthy should have known he did not have the votes and either made concessions or found another candidate.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out. There are several candidates that might appeal to Democrats, so my preference as an Independent would be to see a more rational candidate than someone the MAGA crowd would support.
Keith, what do you say to this analysis of the McCarthy issue? I think he raises some good points, though I believe, like you do, someone like Jim Jordan, who lies about things, does not have the character or integrity to lead. Even so, this video speaks to some of the issues which are the impetus for the revolt we’re seeing now in congress. What do you say?
Scott, sorry I put my response in the wrong place. See above. My bad. Keith
What is taking place in the U.S. House of Representatives this week reminds me of a really bad soap opera, or perhaps even a slapstick comedy, though there is nothing humorous about it whatsoever. It has become quite obvious that NONE of the Republicans elected to the House care about good governance or about the people of this nation and are willing to sacrifice US for their own personal goals — goals which are not admirable by any stretch of the imagination. The only way this can possibly have a good outcome is if, as you say, the Democrats work with whatever few moderate Republicans there are, to elect a moderate such as David Joyce. McCarthy’s ego is so bloated that he has long forgotten his role, his duty, his Oath of Office. You’re quite right that civilized debate is needed, as well as a willingness to compromise and a determination not to enable the more radical side to call the shots, but … sadly I don’t see much hope of that happening. McCarthy is more than willing to sell out We the People for his own ego, as evidenced by his concession to refuse to raise the debt ceiling even if it means the government shuts down and the economy tanks. It’s almost like saying, “Sure, I’ll go out and kill people if you’ll just make me Speaker.” Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …
Jill, in all my calls to many offices of Congressmen and Senators, the most contentious ones were with staff of two members of the Freedom caucus. The staff takes on the personality of the boss, so it should not have been a surprise that they were highly antagonistic in multiple calls. I would add that my multiple calls to Kevin McCarthy’s staff pleading for him to be a needed leader did not seem to go as well as I hoped, but not nearly as contentious as the calls to the Freedom caucus members.
My point is all of the other calls, which number in the hundreds, went well. Staff was courteous, listened and permitted me to make my arguments. As you would hope, I try to be as courteous as possible, but I will point out information they tell me which know is not true.
I don’t mind people disagreeing with me, but it truly harms their argument when they feel they have to beat up on me to win. I feel McCarthy’s finest moment was when he criticized Trump on the Congress floor a week after the insurrection, but he erased that position to be in lock step with the former president. To me, our country needs someone who can galvanize us not carry a can of gasoline around. McCarthy is not that person, nor is it likely anyone who gets MAGA support. Keith
One of these days, my friend, I hope to meet you and shake your hand or give you a hug, for you are a good man dedicated to doing more than your share to make this nation a better one, to hold our leaders accountable. Thank you for all those phone calls you make every week! I, for one, appreciate it.
I find it disturbing that any elected official or his/her staff should be rude to a voter/taxpayer in a phone call or other communique. It’s unconscionable! We pay their salary!!! They took an oath … they represent US, not the other way around! Like you, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I do not expect to be treated rudely or talked down to by the people who are paid to represent our best interests.
No, McCarthy is not the person I want to be 2nd in the line of succession to the Oval Office, but then neither are any of the others they have nominated. How this ends is anybody’s guess, but McCarthy is doing more harm than good with each vote taken. IF he had a conscience or humility, he would have stepped down by now so that perhaps some agreement might be reached on a moderate who both parties could support, but his ego will not allow him to do so.
Jill, many thanks. McCarthy has not revealed why he should be entrusted as a leader this past week nor had he beforehand. The country needed for him to be the person that made the first speech after January 6, 2021, not the one who erased it after being called on the carpet in Mar-a-Lago. Keith
The NYT essay: Michelle Goldberg’s Leopards Eat Kevin McCarthy’s Face is going around the webs and is well worth the read.
Janis, thanks for the heads-up. I added a few more thoughts to my response to Jill’s post, so I will refer you there. I look forward to reading the piece. Keith
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Jill, thanks for the reblog. I appreciate it greatly. Keith
Note to Readers: I read that two more reasonable candidates might be worth considering as the Democrats might find them amenable to work with. Steve Scalise, the former Minority Whip from Louisiana, has a better reputation than Kevin McCarthy as does Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. I called the two of them speaking with their staffs noting that both would better candidates and Mr. McCarthy should step aside. I also called my new Congressman Jeff Jackson, a Democrat, suggesting to a staff member that he and other Democrats should find a Republican they could support. I shared we need a Speaker who can galvanize us and govern not chasing stuff to win an election. We are owed that.
I’m convinced there’s a faction of elected government officials who truly want to blow up America. They feel let down by the promise or hemmed in by the regulations needed to keep this many people living in some kind of viable harmony so they’re out to trash the entire thing, including public education. I believe we’re teetering on the edge of national anarchy.
Linda, truth be told, all institutions, media, regulations, deep state, etc. are open game for criticism by some nefarious people. The purpose of this is to discredit all of the above to lessen trust. In a more Wild West environment, those with the money can be more in control. Per Michael Lewis’ well-researched book “The Fifth Risk,” the deep state is actually the people who know how to do things and honor their oath.
A good example is Donald Trump having the climate scientists transferred and let go. All that knowledge was asked to leave their jobs.
They have been a convenient target to kick by folks who want to game the system. We need to be asking a lot more why questions of people who peddle these stories. I wish I was making this up. Keith
You’re not making it up. It’s out of the bag. And as far as I can see, America is doomed. Complacency wins again, just like with the 3rd Reich.
Linda, with that said, democracy did fight back this year and had some victories especially against many election deniers. As for your point on the effort to destroy the credibility of institutions, doing a good job and resolving problems will be one path of response. There is a story from “The Fifth Risk” when a farmer was having a problem with retaliatory tariffs and lost business, he was lamenting to someone who was trying to find out what kind of help he needed and he said it would be nice if someone from the Department of Agriculture was here. The man said “I am from the Dept of Agticulture.” Keith
Excellent and level-headed, Keith, despite the gross ads following (smile). What a good old fart you are! Seems like someone has put something in our water. Do you think maybe old-fashioned religion had an important role in keeping folks honest? Or at least respectable? –Not the Nationalist Christians, but the religion I sort of remember singing about Sundays on the farm. Keith, you’ve hinted that you’re a good Republican at heart. I’m curious what you ever saw admirable in the Republicans. But maybe that’s not a useful question at the present time…
Nan, there are and have been good Republicans, even if I did not agree with all or many of their positions. What people need to understand, there are very few people whom you will agree with everything the espouse of at least with the same fervor.
As for religion having an impact, I believe for some it made a difference giving a moral compass. On the flip side, some used religion (and still do) to rationalize discriminatory behavior. So, we must ask why questions and hold all leaders accountable.
Kevin is just the same old establishment type and I’ve heard that Mike Rogers was threatening to pull freedom caucus members from their committees if they didn’t vote for him. I don’t know about you but I don’t want a government where some members bully others simply because they don’t vote a certain way. That doesn’t sound like democracy to me. What do you say?
Scott, I agree about the bullying tactics whether it is done by Republicans or Democrats, moderates or extremists. What I also don’t care for is a strident few holding as hostage an entire body. We have a number of very vocal members of Congress who I would not define as using civil discourse, which is what is needed, in my view. Thanks for your comment. Keith
Note to Readers: Please reread this post from time to time in contrast it to what has been and will happen in the House under the tutelage of the Republican Party. I purposefully avoided the word “leadership” as I don’t see a lot of leadership in my old party. The truth tellers have been vilified and the those who lie have been aggrandized. Democrats are not perfect, but it is truly amazing how low my old party (the GOP) has fallen. Some members have self-created their own irrelevance.