'Potential breakdown in governing': Why whoever wins GOP speaker will 'enter office weakened and compromised'
The GOP’s complete disarray this week sets the precedent for a “potential breakdown in governing” and an even more chaotic future for the 118th Congress, chief correspondent for The Washington Post Dan Balz reports.
House members have voted a total of six times over two days for a new Speaker, and each time, California Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy has suffered defeat.
After observing a few days of incessant feuding, name-calling, and deadlocking on the House floor, Balz wrote, “When a new speaker is chosen, McCarthy or someone else, that person will enter the office weakened and compromised, presiding over a majority that is not just fragile but also highly volatile.”
The public chaos the world is currently witnessing among the members could be considered a manifestation of the Republican party’s failure to “organize themselves” over the last few years — which has become even clearer after the many GOP candidates suffered midterm election losses in November.
Balz noted that a handful of GOP members who have been elected to office since Donald Trump’s presidential term came to the nation’s capital, not with the goal to legislate — as they were elected to do — but “to stop legislation.”
And with that, even when a speaker is finally selected, achieving any real legislative wins could become nearly impossible.
Additionally, the Republican members of the far-right Freedom Caucus such as Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and Bob Good (R-VA), Balz wrote, are “politicians for whom social media, cable news and self-aggrandizement take precedence over the institutional obligations and governing challenges of being an elected official.”
Of those GOP hardliners who refuse to submit votes for McCarthy, Karl Rove — a Republican strategist who worked alongside George W. Bush, said, “The fact they are driven to nominate Byron Donalds, an unremarkable sophomore, is a sign of incompetence, stupidity and absurdness of all this."
“This is not a serious exercise. It is an infantile temper tantrum," Rove said.
Long-time GOP political commentator and editor-in-chief of The Bulwark, Charlie Sykes tweeted, “The MAGA crackup accelerated as crackpots fought with nihilists, wing nuts pointed fingers at extremists, and grifters started slap-fights with one another.”
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