New Orleans Watching the machinations of the US House of Representatives as the followers try to elect a leader as Speaker is better than a soap opera and almost includes the same themes, minus the sexual innuendos so common to that genre. The Republicans are not a gang that can’t shoot straight. They are a circular firing squad with bullets and brickbats firing at each other. If you’re a Republican this has to be a horror show. If you’re a Democrat, this is a piece of standup comedy. For the rest of us living and working here, this is a case study of broken governance. The only thing most of us have to be thankful for is that Trump is not still president or we would likely have pure anarchy.
All of this is chilling once you look at the resume of the main contenders.
Jim Jordan from Ohio was one of the founders of the misnamed Freedom Caucus and a charter member of the radical right in Congress as a showboat and flamethrower. He now heads a committee that is ruthlessly partisan. He has been key in bringing down other Republican speakers until Nancy Pelosi worked the room. He was a Trump election denier and is a Biden impeacher. The fact that now he wants to drive the House is analogous to getting offered a ride with some who already has three DWI’s, and says he’ll get you home safely. No way, you should ever believe that, if you know what’s good for you.
Then there is Greater New Orleans own, Steve Scalise. When he was in the Louisiana legislature, you could have called him the Jim Jordan of the body: a disrupter and headline hound. He was elected to the House from the David Duke, white flight district in the immediate suburbs of New Orleans where many fled the city to avoid school integration and equal rights for the burgeoning African-American population. Most of us thought it was a good thing, because he could do less damage to Louisiana in Washington. We might now be proven wrong. He’s a racist, a conservative, and a hyper-partisan. The fact that many believe he might be preferable to Jordan is a daytime nightmare.
It turns out that Steve Scalise, as formerly the House whip under Kevin McCarthy when he was minority leader and now majority leader when McCarthy was Speaker, can’t abide him and it’s mutual. Him jumping into the race is a regular “Game of Thrones” move without the gore and bloodshed. Despite all of their professions of unity, including the current Scalise claim that he could “unite” the House, here in the cheap seats, we have to wonder if Scalise didn’t help push McCarthy out.
But, hey, Mr. Fifteen-Ballots before being elected Speaker and now the first Speaker in history to be voted out, now says, if the Republican caucus and their frenemies’ on the Democratic side can’t agree, he’s willing to “considering being re-elected” as Speaker, I guess as a compromise candidate.
You can’t make this stuff up! Now we have a government that can’t govern. A virtual electoral prison being run by the elected inmates. All we can hope is that don’t burn the House down and drive the country into the wall, drunk on self-love and ruthless ambition.