The chaos and incompetence that marks the Republican Party’s alleged management of the House of Representatives is spiraling ever downward. The GOP’s razor-thin, and likely short-lived, majority is proving that their party is utterly unfit to govern.
In the eight months that Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has been in charge, the GOP agenda has been narrowly focused on defending their Dear Leader Donald Trump from his dozens of pending felony charges, and on struggling to magnify Hunter Biden’s personal troubles into a monstrous political scandal. They have failed pitifully on both counts. Not that they care, since their overarching goal from the start has just been to smear President Biden and other Democrats.
The latest example of the GOP’s flaming ineptitude is their inability to pass the defense appropriations bill. That’s usually one of the easiest congressional tasks that garners bipartisan support. And with only days before a government shutdown would be invoked if the legislation – or a Continuing Resolution – isn’t passed, the GOP stalemate persists.
Under McCarthy’s “leadership” the House has now failed twice to pass even a vote to bring up the defense bill for debate. And following the second humiliation, McCarthy vented his frustrations to the press saying that…
“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand how anyone votes against bringing the idea up and having the debate. And then you’ve got all the amendments if you don’t like the bill. This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. That doesn’t work.”
“This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down.”
— After House Republicans once again failed to pass a basic procedural rule to fund the Pentagon, Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) hits some members of his own conference pic.twitter.com/Qt4AR71jP3
— The Recount (@therecount) September 21, 2023
To be clear, the “individuals” that McCarthy is referring to are members of his own caucus who are hell-bent on sabotaging the legislation unless they get their way. That means weighing down the bill with unrelated irrelevancies such as mandating single-subject appropriations bills, subpoenaing Hunter Biden, and commencing impeachment hearings. Never mind that any bill with anything like those matters in it will never pass in the Senate and the government will be forced to shutdown. Which is what many in the Republican Party actually want.
What’s curious about McCarthy’s whining is that he seems to be learning for the first time that Republicans have always been the party of government failure. Their long-time platform and campaign slogan has been that government doesn’t work. And whenever they have held any measure of power, they did their best to prove it. It is hardly, as McCarthy complained, a “new concept.”
Not to be left out, Trump made his interests known in a posting on his failing social media scam, Truth Social. After making a superfluous aside about his fabled border wall, Trump got to the point of his directive, which typically was focused solely on himself…
“A very important deadline is approaching at the end of the month. Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State. This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots. They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”
So Trump is insisting that his minions in Congress “must defund” what he calls a “weaponized Government.” And if that wasn’t clear enough that he wants them to interfere with the duties of the Justice Department, he elaborated saying that this is “the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me.”
Unfortunately for Trump, he is too self-obsessed and ignorant to know that the Office of the Special Counsel is funded independently and the House of Representatives has no authority to unilaterally obstruct its operations. So Trump’s desperate yearning to impose his will on Congress and evade accountability for his crimes is just more wistful wailing into the void.
This is the environment within which McCarthy must find a way to keep both the government and his speakership post active. And given his demonstrated impotence, it’s unlikely he can succeed. His excuse is that his majority is just too small to work with. But Nancy Pelosi had the same small majority and managed pass numerous significant bill, including the American Rescue Plan to restore the economy and create jobs; the Infrastructure Act to rebuild America’s roads, bridges, airports, and communications; the Inflation Reduction Act that also advanced projects to mitigate climate change; the CHIPS Act to bring technology manufacturing back to the U.S.; and the PACT Act to expand veterans health care.
That’s what can be achieved by a party that believes that government is there to pursue the interests of the people. And McCarthy’s moaning about his mini-majority won’t fool anyone that he’s interested in serving the people.
As for “Burning down the House,” here’s a more entertaining version of that notion…
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