Carnes: Far-right GOP eating its own
We all knew the inevitable outcome.
Whether some of us actually cared or not is an entirely different subject, however, those who did care were fully aware of exactly how it would end.
Admittedly, getting from A to B was more tortuous than making it over Vail Pass and through the tunnel during a Christmas week blizzard in less than three hours.
How many Republicans does it take to plug in a speaker?
After 15 tries the number is apparently 216, but not before relinquishing the remaining sound system components to unfriendly neighbors, thus rendering the lone speaker virtually mute.
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But eventually, the hot air smoke arising from the congressional smokestack finally turned a dull yellow, announcing Kevin McCarthy as speaker of the House.
The man who then claimed to “Never give up” gave up whatever he could in order to hold on to his version of “Precious,” the behind-closed-doors concessions including a promise to mandate three days for bills to be posted before votes, expand the number of seats available on the House Rules Committee, attempt a constitutional amendment to impose term limits and allowing any single member to call for a vote to oust him as Speaker.
What could go wrong?
To be honest, I actually agree, in principle, with most of these, yet all four agonizing days were like a scene straight out of “Blazing Saddles.”
“Everybody votes against McCarthy or the House gets it!” says Sheriff Matt Gaetz while holding a gun to his own neck.
“Won’t somebody help that poor man!” pleads Lauren Boebert from the crowd with a smirk.
Or the Black Knight from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
“It’s just a flesh wound,” says McCarthy as 15 appendages are whacked off one by one (use your imagination) by members of the inappropriately named “Freedom Caucus.”
Their side of the House is still on fire, and although the left side is offering a giant water hose, Republicans insist on putting it out themselves with scooped-up gallons of Keystone pipeline crude from the latest spill.
Spineless McCarthy secured the votes he needed but has emerged as a feckless speaker from Day 1, having as much impact as a chicken holding a protest sign at the Vista Bahn (or whatever it’s called now).
George Santos will in all likelihood take credit for convincing Gaetz and Boebert to vote “present” in order to end the stalemate while Democrats will foolishly try to control the narrative instead of simply allowing the far-right extremists (not forgetting Marjorie Taylor Greene, of course) to continue tearing each other apart with their appropriately named “Sedition Caucus.”
You think Boebert was ineffective as a Colorado representative the first two years?
The failed restaurant owner has been a part of introducing 41 pieces of legislation to the House floor, of which exactly zero have made it past committee to become law or policy. With all the friends she made from this latest “Hey, look at me!” campaign for self-promotion, we can expect even more mind-numbing accomplishments.
McCarthy, meanwhile, will sadly discover that giving away the farm, including all the animals, barns, equipment, houses, etc. will only result in the inevitable bankruptcy of morals and ethics.
But it’s not like he possessed any to begin with.
Richard Carnes, of Avon, writes weekly. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.