As we move into the third week of the House of Representatives flopping around without a Speaker the questions of how the hell we got here are inevitable. It is not like we have not had a paralyzed Congress before, we had one when there was a Speaker—Kevin McCarthy.
The fact is, the source of that paralysis comes down to a few members, none of whom actually qualify to hold seats in Congress—or any other government post of any kind.
In the lower house of Congress we have the likes of Marjorie Taylor Greene, Paul Gosar, Lauren Boebert, Jim Jordan, Mo Brooks, Max Miller, Derrick Van Orden, Andy Biggs and Louie Gohmert. In the Senate we have the fist-pumping insurrection supporter—later caught on video running for his life—Josh Hawley and Ted “Cancun” Cruz who was interrupted objecting to the certification of the 2020 presidential election by the riot. There is also the Senator from Alabama who actually lives in Florida, but that’s another problem.
Section 3 of the 14th Amendment could not be more explicit.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Not one single person named above, currently holding office in our government qualifies to do so. Yet here they are, grinding the country to a halt.
With the close numbers between the parties, the abject fear the far right has injected with threats to members and their families and the requirement of a two-thirds vote to expel these members, we can see that both houses of Congress aren’t going to clean up their acts by themselves.
No, this job comes to the DOJ and to us, the citizenry to call for their action.
An example of what we should be seeing happened last year on Sept 6, 2022, when New Mexico County Commissioner, Couy Griffin, was summarily removed from his post by a judge for participation in the January 6th Insurrection.
Earlier this year in another essay, I wrote:
The House is now fully under the control of a band of unprosecuted insurrectionists, whose demonstrated intent is the overthrow and destruction of the United States government.
This situation has not only persisted, but has worsened. This cabal of extremists tried to bring about the collapse of the US economy by blocking a government funding bill. When they were effectively bypassed by a cooperative agreement with Democrats, they exacted revenge by removing Kevin McCarthy from the speakership. This of course increased the paralysis and has us staring at another government shutdown in short order.
Since the affected bodies of the legislative branch are unable to act to clean up their own houses by expulsion of these unqualified members, it is up to the Department of Justice.
Some of these members refused to testify before the House Select Committee on the January 6th Insurrection. Criminal referrals were made to the DOJ of evidence that has been gathered. So the open question here is, “What happened to that material?” “Who is going to act on it, further investigate, etc?”
In short, were are Merrick Garland and Jack Smith on these matters?
Personally, I can envision more productive actions on the part of Congress than lurching drunkenly from one intractable crisis to another. As a citizen, I will always cast my vote for representatives that demonstrate productivity, inclusion, constructive actions and care and have at least a passing understanding of the Preamble to the Constitution.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Clearly the extremists listed above have the opposite idea—if they have any ideas at all.
It is time for the checks and balances built into and added to our Constitution to be enforced.
Marty Kassowitz is co-founder of Factkeepers. As founder of Interest Factory and View360, he brings more than 30 years experience in effective online communications, social media management, and platform development to the site. He is a writer, designer, editor and long time observer of the ill-logic demonstrated by too many members of the species known as Mankind. After a long history of somewhat private commentary on a subject he totally hates: politics, Marty was encouraged to build this site and put up his own analyses as well as curate relevant content from other sources.