It is January 3rd, 2023. The first day of the 118th Congress. The first order of business, electing the new Speaker of the House, is not going very well.
It is beginning to look like this will be going on through the 2024 elections. The famous saw about insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results—falsely attributed to Einstein—is certainly applicable here.
The only change in the activity was insurrectionist and “America Firster” Lauren Boebert nominating fellow insurrectionist Jim Jordan for the position of Speaker—which he does not want. Jordan got 20 votes. Kevin McCarthy needs 218 to secure the gavel. He’s gotten up to 203. Meanwhile Hakeem Jeffries, the new leader of the House Democrats, got 212.
At first glance this should be a no-brainer since Republicans have a majority in the House. But the pandering of the party to ultra right wing groups is now coming back to haunt all involved. These folks call themselves the America First Caucus—either completely oblivious or utterly uncaring that “America First” has for over a century been the slogan of the Ku Klux Klan and is identified with a white supremacist, neo-Nazi mentality.
The utter extremism in the thought processes—if we can call them that—of these fanatical House members precludes any of the traditional concepts of negotiation and compromise that are the hallmarks of a working government.
At the end of third round of voting the results were pretty much identical to round two. It looks like they are headed for a fourth round of voting.
This situation is simultaneously hilarious and tragic. Congress has actual work to do, for us, the people who hired them. Ironically however, the majority of the America Firsters in the House are also insurrectionists whose very presence in the House is a direct violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. These are people who overtly or covertly attempted the overthrow of our government—and then pushed Trump for pardons. These are the crazies who live in the mentality that destruction as a useful tool and who think that compulsively stopping things equates to power.
Ironically, it still rests on the Department of Justice and the Special Counsel to indict, prosecute and remove the insurrectionists from the House. So one could say that it is the slowness on the part of this department of the Executive Branch that is holding up the Legislative Branch. There also exists the possibility that once the DOJ acts against the Treason Caucus—a better name for the America Firsties—that Republicans could lose their majority.
No matter what the final outcome, this excruciating exercise is oozing forward, with Republicans dropping apples to see if gravity still exists. We hope they figure it out before they get to round forty-seven.
One could hold out the fantasy that six Republicans could just throw in the towel and back Hakeem Jeffries for Speaker. That would be worth a bag or two of popcorn.
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.