Democrats aren’t coping well with their loss of power, having been partially dethroned during the last mid-terms. As happened during the Obama years, many on the left had once again convinced themselves a permanent majority was attainable, but just two years later, those hopes have been dashed, and now we stand on the precipice of a new GOP-led House of Representatives.
Nancy Pelosi’s replacement, Hakeem Jeffries, seems to be pretty wound up about it. He put out a tweet on Monday evening that sounds very insurrection-like.
The new Republican majority plans to seat serial fraudster George Santos tomorrow.
One of many reasons why we must take back the House.
— Hakeem Jeffries (@hakeemjeffries) January 2, 2023
There’s a lot to comment on here, not the least of which is the idea that Jeffries or anyone else should interfere in the seating of a man who was duly elected by his constituents. Should there be an ethics investigation into George Santos? Sure, that sounds like the right thing to do, but stopping the wheels of democracy from turning because he pulled a Joe Biden in fibbing about his past? That’s going too far at this point in time, and it’s not a standard the Democrats hold themselves to. Otherwise, Richard Blumenthal wouldn’t be in the US Senate. The right move is to seat Santos and go from there.
Regardless, Jeffries goes on to say Democrats must take back the House “immediately.” How does he plan to do that exactly? By what power structure could Democrats become the majority again before the next election? Bill Kristol, neoconservative turned left-wing cheerleader, has a theory that’s slightly less inflammatory, but contrary to the will of the people all the same.
Hakeem Jeffries: "We must take back the House. Immediately."
This is probably just rhetoric. Or is some scheme afoot to have a few Republicans join with all the Democrats, after McCarthy falls short, to elect a non-election denying, non-crazy Republican speaker? https://t.co/L7Xt5uahzx
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) January 3, 2023
You have to love that Kristol is simping for Jeffries, talking about election denial on the right when Jeffries himself is a prolific election denier, but I digress.
If you haven’t been paying attention, what’s being alluded to is the “unity candidate” hopium Democrats have been huffing in regard to losing control of the House. Unable to just accept they lost the election, the ploy is a desperate attempt to hang onto government power they didn’t earn, with the idea being that if Republicans can’t agree on a Speaker, enough moderates will join with the opposition to select some unnamed squish instead.
Is that going to happen? I highly, highly doubt it. Still, there is some danger if Republicans don’t figure out their leadership situation sooner rather than later. There are somewhere between 5-15 GOP House members saying they won’t vote for Kevin McCarthy, but it’s getting late for such games.
At this point, everyone needs to be asking themselves what is being gained by prolonging this battle. Republicans do not control the Senate or the White House. That makes any disagreement over policy and legislation rather irrelevant. McCarthy may or may not be a “RINO,” but the only real question is if he’ll allow the investigations Republicans have been demanding to take place. Marjorie Taylor Greene has bought into his promise to do so and has been publicly supporting him. There are still holdouts, though.
Personally, I’m all for fighting when there’s a battle to be won. I’m less enthused about seeing Republicans destroy their own majority for no good reason whatsoever. If the vast majority of the caucus wants McCarthy, even if he’s not preferable, then some kind of compromise needs to be reached. It’d be one thing if the GOP had the power necessary to pass legislation, but they don’t. This is the time to be strategic and to make hay while the sun is shining.