This week's battle against the fatal inexorability of "Speaker McCarthy" seemed a little different from Swamp business as usual. There was, of course, the very public power struggle between Obstacle and Ambition, which went forward in an unscripted and, especially after the last stand of the House Holdouts, dramatic fashion (see above).
But such struggles are not unprecedented. Readers of this blog know that since the Coup of 2020, I have turned away from the kabuki antics of the fake branches of government; nevertheless, something captured my attention here. I think was the way in which the visceral nature of this power struggle was elevated by rhetoric of Rep. Matt Gaetz, who really did speak truth to the corrupt power structure, which exists because it is supported, enabled, perpetuated by a uniparty of McCarthy Republicans and Social Democrats alike and vice versa.
The fact remains we are at a place in American history where to be faithful to government by the US Constitution is to look toward a wobbly score of "right wing extremists" in Congress -- and they are considered to be "right wing extremists" not only by those on the Left, but also what passes for the Right. The GOP majority, which "controls" Congress by 9, count 'em, 9 votes.
Remember 2014? In an epic and tidal Red Wave, a clear and massive mandate against Obamacare, DACA and amnesty, the US Senate went Republican and the House increased its majority to 64 seats.
What did the GOP of the day do?
Here's the answer from one of my columns from November 2014, "The GOP Plan to Steal Your Election." That was little more than eight years ago, but doesn't it feel more like a century?
And so, as American polls closed, Beltway elites closed ranks. It was clear there was no appetite on high for the red-meat message of Obama-rejection that the electorate sent. Indeed, House Speaker John Boehner reacted to this stupendous Republican victory as "not a time for celebration." He expressed hope for "bipartisan steps," and working with President Obama. It's hard to imagine how his statement would have differed had he been responding to GOP losses instead of gains.
It's also hard to imagine he will heed the demand from the American voter that elected officials reverse course from Obama's socialistic agenda before it's too late, and probably literally so. If, even after this "Republican wave," Obama is permitted to enact an executive order for "amnesty," turning millions of illegal aliens into legal Democrats, this could well have been the Republicans' last national hurrah -- and the republic's.
Boehner and the rest of the Big Republicans just don't seem to care. Indeed, the post-election op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that Boehner co-authored with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell failed even to mention Obama's looming amnesty action, let alone the dire need for Congress to use its constitutional powers of the purse to stop it. At a minimum, these two Republican leaders should have signaled that in this upcoming "lame duck" session, Republicans wouldn't pass an omnibus spending bill that could be used to fund amnesty, and that they would instead pass a continuing resolution only to keep the government open until the new Congress is seated in January.
Republicans can and should pass a bill to defund "any agency of government that refuses to implement federal immigration law or that facilitates such refusal," as Ben Shapiro writes at Breitbart News. If the executive branch enacts amnesty, Congress must choose not to fund it. That's power.
Leave it to Big Republicans, though, to give it all up without a fight.
Today I would say: "Leave it to Big Republicans to kick the American voter in the teeth.
After an election that was in large part a referendum on Obama's promised amnesty power grab, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced that in spite of the midterm results, "serious immigration reform" (i.e., de facto amnesty legislation) was still on the table.
Whose table? Beltway types -- not Republican voters. The same goes for the bizarre search for Republican-Democrat "common ground" that Boehner, McConnell, Ari Fleischer, Michael Steele and others threw themselves on in reaction to what is well described as a "Republican wave." Of course, outgoing (yippee!) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is on board with that. "The message from voters is clear," he said "They want us to work together."
That's a hoot. But it's likely to happen, given the goings on in that sausage factory atop Capitol Hill. That's where newly elected Republicans are headed to vote for their speaker, this month in their Republican Party conference, and, later, after the new Congress begins, in the full House.
And lookee here:
According to "multiple GOP sources," the National Journal reports, a new Republican proposal circulating in the House sets forth that "any Republican who votes on the House floor in January against the conference's nominee for House speaker -- that is, the candidate chosen by a majority of the House GOP during the closed-door leadership elections in November -- would be severely punished. Specially, sources say, any dissenters would be "stripped of all committee assignments for that Congress."
"Severely punished"? "Dissenters" will be "stripped"? This sounds less like a U.S. Congress than an old Soviet Politburo with a hint of gulag. Which means the fight isn't over. Victory at the polls can and will be stolen unless you tell your new Republican representative two things to get off to a good term: Stop amnesty and the GOP establishment both.
I can only imagine what is in store for our "dissenters" today.