Gaetz, Far-Right Republicans Push Out McCarthy
At once, the ouster of Kevin McCarthy out of the House Speaker’s job is a significant political rebellion — but almost irrelevant to any positive shift in governing.
If anything, the extreme right wing of the Republican has advanced the ideological split to constant warfare.
McCarthy, R-Calif., simply ran out of too many unmet promises and too many flip-flops with his own factions and he refused to turn to Democrats to save him. The Democrats would not have done so in any case without a deal altering House direction, and so the numbers were unstoppable. It was the first time such an ouster was voted, and it was not clear that any Republican could win a vote anytime soon — including another attempt by McCarthy.
That, in turn, threatens governing. It was hard to see this as good news for anyone.
Even by our very diminished expectations for politics as reflective of our values and our lives, it felt as if we were reaching yet another dispiriting low among the many that arrive daily as unwanted distractions from our biggest issues.
Unless you are McCarthy, we’re witnessing the tyranny of the unserious.
The problem, of course, is that these self-centered timewasters have actual control over what our government does — or not — and the outcomes reflect what our country’s values seek.
Leaving House Republicans to stew in partisan bickering can leave war efforts in Ukraine, and the need to care for our own most vulnerable adrift. Ignoring Donald Trump has become an open invitation to violence against judges, prosecutors, jurors and opponents who brace even his most outrageous, self-serving needs.
So, yes, we can’t look away, but the silly, selfish and dangerous ways they are going about trying to persuade us to their cause is just pitiful. The calls to victimhood even across the political aisle stink of self and openly threaten critics; these are politicians out to help themselves, not you and me.
A Long List
The revolt to undermine led by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., is simply distracting Congress from dealing with problems like stuck federal spending and under-addressed problems at the Southern border, as well as a host of issues touching on economic security and individual rights.
Substantively, the Gaetz rebellion opposes compromises on any issue of note. The reason for tossing McCarthy out was because he came too close to compromise.
Instead, Gaetz and allies seem to want us only to embrace chaos.
But the unseriousness is a long, and lengthening, list.
Trump’s public-facing campaign to seek to turn his legal issues into “one long witch hunt” is both legally inept and politically inane. Trump, who started further proceedings in a case that has declared him, his company and his family as frauds, has put himself in legal jeopardy in multiple federal and state court trials through behavior over months and years. The appropriate arena for his testimony and participation in sealing his own fate is in those courtrooms, not in outlandish, non-evidential bleats on social media. It was a welcome ruling from an angered state judge in New York to slap a limited gag order on the former president after Trump posted a dumb photo of a court clerk with Sen. Chuck Schumer, as if that proved bias.
Rather than simply appall, Trump’s outbursts are a waste of our time. Calling multiple prosecutors and judges deranged and biased will not help him in court any more than demeaning veterans and threatening outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley will win my vote.
Two insipid debates among Republican candidates for president without Trump present have made the prospects of a third even less relevant.
The relevance of an impeachment inquiry against Joe Biden that is fact-resistant is as useless as watching Hunter Biden be arraigned on a charge that the Supreme Court wants to eliminate in the name of gun rights.
The insistence of a Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez to resist calls to resign amid bribery and political influence charges following the discovery of cash-stuffed envelopes and gold bars in his home is simply an insult to anyone looking to trust our leadership.
Even the announcement that Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas had thankfully recused himself from a court rejection to hear an appeal by insurrection adviser John Eastman on privilege issues because Eastman was politically involved with Thomas’ wife, Ginny, rang hollow after the repeated refusals to own up to ethical standards bracing the court justices.
Parade of Political Parries
The list goes on as a daily parade of reasons to push away from the public agenda, from politicians of all stripes, from the news itself and certainly from any consideration that what we’re hearing is true, straight or helpful to dealing with daily life.
In place of steady progress to match wages and prices or to defend voting rights and democracy or to assure Americans of their civil liberties, we’re living on a huge rollercoaster of daily partisan slights, each a little worse than its predecessor. We keep getting the message that without anyone in a position to turn down the noise, we’re in for yet more public theater that threatens markets, world peace and individual violence.
A lot of it is about parrying over process, in court, in Congress and among corporations or political players who would otherwise be tangential to the nation’s business. How exactly does changing McCarthy for another Republican speaker change any deal that is needed with Democrats over spending? How precisely is criticizing the judge going to change what either is or isn’t a pattern of overvaluing and undervaluing real estate for financial advantage going to make Trump less of a fraud? How are New Jersey voters supposed to decide anew to trust governmental decisions by Menendez, who skated on procedural grounds for a previous bribery charge, regardless of whether he squeaks by a jury once again?
When do we get to demand that only serious candidates who want to govern sit in these jobs?