Bad boy! Bad girl! Get in your place and keep your mouth shut!
You could hear such an admonition from an angry parent at the mall or a frustrated teacher simply trying to restore order in an unruly classroom. Or it might even stem from a dog owner distraught over his or her pooch’s departure from the lessons of doggie obedience class.
Or, as has been the case a lot lately, the stern talking-down could originate from guardians of the stodgy Washington DC swamp establishment and its biased keepers in the media who were most upset this week when a small contingent of conservative Republican holdouts refused to take the easy way out to go along with the rubber stamp preferences of the elite crowd and simply vote to elect California’s Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House.
“This hasn’t happened in over a hundred years” they cried. “This is embarrassing to the Republican Party” they moaned. “Republicans can’t govern. Democrats get things done,” they entreated. “Why would you allow a couple bad apples to spoil the whole dang barrel?” they wondered.
At the center of it all was the always neatly groomed Kevin McCarthy, a man who’d patiently waited his turn to grab the Speaker’s gavel when the occasion arose, the same one who’d raised gobs of money for establishment candidates and said he “deserved” the position because of the favors he’d done for Republicans in the past couple elections. Suddenly, RINOs and even liberals were coming out of the woodworks to express sympathy for poor Kevin’s unfortunate plight.
As for the “holdouts” – they’re shown as just a bunch of crybabies and disruptors without a plan or legitimate mission. In a piece titled “Kevin McCarthy Is a Victim of Republican Ingenuity”, liberal political observer Jeff Greenfield wrote the other day at Politico Magazine:
“The House of Representatives is supposed to be the place where the majority rules by majority vote, where the power of a state is roughly equivalent to its population. It’s supposed to be a contrast to the Senate, which is laden with protection against the unruly mob. That’s where a minority can filibuster a bill to death, where a single member can put a ‘hold’ on an appointment, where the body gives equal votes to the least and most populous of states. That’s where even a party with 58 or 59 votes can find its legislative hopes dashed by the need for 60 on virtually every bill...
“Members who constitute less than 5 percent of the chamber, and less than 10 percent of the Republican caucus, brought the House to a standstill…
“What we do know is that we are being taught another lesson in just how fragile majorities — and our very system of governance — can be, especially if they are challenged by a minority shrewd enough and committed enough to attack their vulnerabilities.”
Hmpf. It seems clear from this opinion piece that Greenfield doesn’t understand what a “republic” truly is -- and how it functions. We’re seeing first-hand and in live action that the United States isn’t a “democracy” where a pure majority trumps everything else. And the House of Representatives, at least as it’s organized under the current party system, was never intended to flat-out ignore the preferences of a sizable group of members where the concept of one person, one vote meets reality.
Especially when that sizable group of members happens to be correct in their cause.
Has Greenfield – or anyone else – actually studied how the first American political parties came about, namely due to the drastic differences of opinion that ripened between the factions led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison (a.k.a, the Republicans) and John Adams and Alexander Hamilton (a.k.a. The Federalists)?
Generally speaking, the Jefferson/Madison party favored a weaker national government with more power reserved for states and The People – which they saw as embodying the very principles of the American Revolution – while the Adams/Hamilton party felt a strong central government was required to give the fledgling nation legitimacy in its never-seen-before position as guarantor of individual rights and the common good.
All of these men played crucial roles in establishing the new nation and could stake a claim on being the best ones to determine its direction under the newly ratified Constitution. Both sides had good arguments and legions of backers. All that was left was for the process to play out. Neither side won nor “lost”, though eventually the Democratic Republicans (Jefferson’s group) basically eliminated the Federalists (which hung around for much longer than the original leaders under the guise of Chief Justice John Marshall, who held a decidedly pro-national government power bent well into the 1830’s).
This week’s back-and-forth between the McCarthy-ites and the so-called “rebels” is just the latest iteration of an age-old political skirmish. The “rebels” have every right to pursue their end goals the way they’ve been doing it this week, mainly through denying their votes for McCarthy as Speaker. They’re neither wrong nor out of bounds, and they certainly aren’t “hostage takers” as Greenfield – and the bulk of the ignorant establishment media – presents them to be.
Besides, who asked a liberal like Jeff Greenfield to offer his thoughts on the ongoing struggle between conservatives and the Republican establishment anyway? I’m a student of history but I don’t ever recall reading about a time when one enemy combatant paused in the heat of the fight to consult with the other side on the best way to win not only the battle, but the war they were engaged in.
Need a visual? Imagine General George Patton in the midst of World War II instructing one of his staff to devise a message and send it to German General Erwin Rommel seeking input on how Americans should solve a perplexing dilemma. “Um, excuse me, sir. This is General George P over on the other side of the battlefield. Can you tell me how we Americans should choose a top leader so that we can thoroughly whip your Nazis’ rear ends and win this war? We’re the righteous ones, after all.
“Any hints on the weaknesses in your fortifications and troop positions that you can spare would be greatly appreciated. With sincere regards and fondness, George Patton.”
This just wouldn’t happen. And if it did, the gesture wouldn’t likely be returned to Patton’s satisfaction. Neither would he expect it.
So why, then, would the conservative holdouts care what other people are telling them to do? I get it that people want order and conformity in the legislative branch. Based on my observations, I’d say the average American doesn’t think about government that much and could truly care less about the grievances put forth by the “rebel” faction these days. They would prefer every elected official in Washington to like each other and get along, debate modestly, pass laws and then go about their business back home – you know, the stuff that matters.
But that same average American, statistics show, didn’t pay attention in civics or history class, and when it comes to one half of the political spectrum (guess which one), they would much rather Democrats be in charge and passing laws to expand and protect abortion, dole out welfare, limit free speech, give the federal government the predominant say in setting elections rules and knock the country back to the stone age by outlawing all forms of fossil fuels in favor of “renewable energy” and wacko environmental restrictions.
In other words, they don’t read newspapers or online publications and probably get whatever news they ingest from Facebook and social media and likely still wear masks at the grocery store because Dr. Fuzzball Fauci said it was good for you. These are the “sheep” who love taking advantage of America’s freedoms but don’t give a lick about safeguarding the nation’s purse strings against erosion and corruption.
The establishment has done enough damage to our country’s psyche. It’s time to stand up to them.
I personally think that Jefferson and Madison would not only approve of the “rebels”, they’d find this week’s events in the House to be wildly entertaining and good for the country. Whoever said representative government was supposed to be clean and smooth and boring? You wouldn’t find such a notion among our founding fathers, that’s for sure.
The founders weren’t wallflowers and none of them were afraid to step on toes. And they cared about what the press wrote about them but they weren’t governed by it. Don’t be swayed by the criticism of the McCarthy critics among the Republican House caucus. They’re more American than the establishmentarians, that’s for sure.
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