We are now heading for the 7th vote for the Speaker of the House and there’s not even a hint of light at the end of the tunnel. It is like Republican’s have stuck themselves in their own self-imposed Groundhog Day syndrome, except that they aren’t learning anything.
How long can this go on? Heather Cox Richardson has an answer to this from her newsletter yesterday,
People are comparing this multiple-ballot contest to that of 1923, when Progressive Republicans forced incumbent speaker Frederick Gillett, a Republican, to accept rules changes that gave them more power before they would put him back in office. Perhaps more instructive, though, was the speaker’s contest of 1855–1856, when a struggle over the future of the country created shifting coalitions that crossed party lines until, after two months and 133 ballots, representatives put Nathaniel Banks, who had ties to most of the different factions, in the speaker’s chair.
Some folks may be overdosing on the schadenfreude of the Republican Party’s self-harm debacle like Twitter personality, Jeff Tiedrich:
holy fucking shit, Matt Gaetz and the rodeo clown caucus are having a contest to see who can be the stupidest fucking thorn in the side of hapless fuckface Kevin McCarthy and make his life miserable as fuck and I'm about to overdose on schadenfreude. send help
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) January 4, 2023
Others might be getting a bit less than enthusiastic about watching the results of Republican’s educational deficiencies over and over.
So to keep up interest, the House might want to consider a few suggestions:
- The first one that comes to mind is having celebrity guests come in and take the vote roll call. (Of course, if this is still going on February 2nd, Bill Murray would be an obvious choice.)
- Taking the roll in Shakespearean speech patterns, “How doth thee cast thine vote, good sir?”
- Selecting the next person to cast the vote not by alphabet, but by a frisbee toss.
- If the vote is still going on Presidents Day, all members must wear powdered wigs.
- C-Span could set up a fantasy candidate betting league where participants can choose and bet on who outside of Congress might become speaker. (There’s a certain amount of this going on already, why not turn it into a revenue stream.)
- Add a live comment stream to the broadcasts similar to those done by Mystery Science Theater 3000, with the SciFi silhouettes doing commentary from the bottom of the screen.
- You can add your own suggestions in the comments below.
The fact that this much parody can be generated from what should be a routine process of Congress says a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I have no more enthusiasm for the rapid installment of Kevin McCarthy in the Speaker’s chair than anyone else who thinks governing involves more than finding fault with the administration. This is especially true of McCarthy and the other batch of Republicans who by varying degrees supported the Jan 6th Insurrection. In fact none of them belong in Congress or any other office. It is more than ironic that the hardest core of these insurrectionists are at the heart of this stalemate.
There’s a solution in here somewhere. But rest assured, the Republican Party is demonstrating a fantastic talent in evading any attempt to search for it.
How soon will Las Vegas odds makers start taking bets of how many votes there will be?
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.