WASHINGTON. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy handed the Speaker’s gavel to Nancy Pelosi as the 116th Congress convened last Wednesday. The good news, for the country, is that the US government, for which Speaker Pelosi holds the purse strings, is in partial shutdown.
“While we seek cooperation,” said McCarthy to Democratic House members, “there is one core principle upon which we will not compromise. Republicans will always choose personal freedom over government control.”
Who is he kidding?
Not a dime’s worth of difference between the GOP and incoming Speaker Pelosi
A nation is not truly free while shackled to massive debt. But that’s the way it is, with that massive debt compiled over many years by a routinely spendthrift Congress. This miserable state of affairs is thanks to both political parties.
Question: Which president signed the first trillion-dollar federal budget into law?
Answer: Ronald Reagan.
The Chicago Tribune noted in January of 1987 that it was “not exactly the kind of milestone a conservative President wants to have connected with his name in the record books.”
Conservatives conveniently forget that. Speaker Pelosi could care less, just as long as she and her Party get more money to spend on buying votes in 2020.
Speaking of moral equivalency, let’s also remember it was a Republican Congress (conservative?) that passed the Patriot Act. That legislation unleashed extra-constitutional domestic spying programs. These, in turn, culminated in an elaborate Deep State operation against the ultimate political outsider, Donald Trump, during the Presidential Campaign of 2016. Speaker Pelosi is just fine with that.
Weird Republicans and whiny Republicans
While it’s hard to believe, until recently, former FBI Director James Comey was a Republican. But former FBI chief and current Special Counsel Robert Mueller remains a member in good standing with the Party of Lincoln.
On the bright side, Jeff Flake of Arizona and Bob Corker of Tennessee, the US Senate’s whiny #NeverTrump Republicans, retired rather than face certain defeat at the polls, mainly due to disgusted Republican conservatives in both states. Unfortunately for the GOP, that Republican seat was ultimately won, under possibly dubious circumstances, by a notorious, Code Pink Marxist. That effectively gives Speaker Pelosi one more firm vote in the Senate. There, inexplicably, the GOP managed to hang on and slightly increase its majority in a year when the party might have won a veto-proof majority.
But that was not to be, courtesy of the GOP’s elitist supporters.
Supporters like Rory Cooper, who headed the “Never Trump PAC” in 2016 told the Washington Times, “There is not an incentive structure for senators who disagree with or oppose the president to speak out right now.”
That’s because the Republican electorate – aka, The Deplorables – finally grew tired of these tedious political hacks. Which, of course, the hacks deeply resent.
Fed-up with GOP gutlessness
When John Boehner was House Speaker in 2013, he half-heartedly led House Republicans through a government shutdown over the defunding of the widely-unpopular Obamacare legislation. He later confessed to his intellectual equal – late-night comedian Jay Leno:
“It was a predictable disaster. So, the sooner we got it over with the better. We were fighting for the right thing, but I just thought tactically it wasn’t the right thing to do.”
Now in ignominious retirement, Boehner passionately battles for big marijuana. He sits on the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that dispenses cannabis in 11 American states. Finally! A Republican who has found a cause worth fighting for. Perhaps there are two more advisory positions opening for former senators Flake and Corker.
Back in the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has returned to work her left-liberal, San Francisco-style magic for at least two more years.
It’s an awesome outcome. If you’re a Democrat.
Keeping the monster closed
Meanwhile, President Trump confirmed to reporters on Friday that what horrified Democratic leaders told them was true. He is willing to extend the US government shutdown for months if not years should Congress fail to fund construction of a border wall with Mexico.
Unlike the word of duplicitous, staggering, cannabis Republicans, you can bet your last dollar that Trump means what he says.
Trump, you see, is unaffected by an ineffectual GOP’s slow-motion collapse. That’s because – in a very real sense – he’s the nation’s first Third-Party president.
What this means is this: Should the GOP refuse to get its act together on the border wall and related matters, it’s just a matter of time before a robust and genuine opposition Third Party arises to combat Speaker Pelosi and her gang. For now, the Republicans, as a political party, are barely holding their own.
Top Image: Nancy Pelosi regains Speaker’s gavel. Fox News screen capture.