Republicans are now searching for a new leader, but personality and charisma will not heal this deep divide between politics and governance that has plagued the party for more than two decades. It may be the greatest unintended consequence of the Gingrich revolution.
With the resignation of Speaker John Boehner and the withdrawal of Kevin McCarthy as a candidate to replace him, it is clear that there is a structural issue in how the House of Representatives is organized (or not).
"Usually we space these things out a bit, but I'm sure we can come up with fresh, exciting ideas to alarm and piss off Americans until the 2016 election and beyond."
The Tea Party wing of the House Republican party is seeking changes in the rules and procedures. Changes designed to strip the Speaker of the ability to assemble a majority within the House and enable that majority to govern. They cloak their demands in the language of bottom-up democracy. But their complaints about John Boehner's leadership give away the game.
Sure, the Speaker of the House is the most prestigious and powerful position in the House. It's the top position for which Kevin McCarthy could aspire. However, would it have been good for his future to get this position? Let's unpack the future scenarios to see what would occur.
The GOP worked so hard for so long to attain the power they have amassed: control over the United States Congress, one of the most powerful bodies in the entire world. And what they do with that power? They use toddler-inspired "my way or the highway" strategies to win, and most striking, they readily destroy their own if they can't get their way.
This week, as Joe Biden inched closer to jumping into the presidential race, Ben Carson inched closer to forcing us to retire the use of "brain surgeon" as a linguistic stand-in for "brilliant genius," with thunderingly dumb comments about guns, the Umpqua Community College shooting, and the Holocaust. Meanwhile, Congressional Republicans took on the trappings of a badly written soap opera, with Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrawing from contention as the next Speaker due to opposition from Tea Partiers who didn't find him conservative enough -- or was it really because of those rumors of a steamy extramarital affair with a colleague? Tune in next time for "As the GOP Turns"... Is it any surprise that neither John Boehner nor Paul Ryan wants a position that has gone from someone who can get things done to someone who promises to stop all things from getting done? Welcome to today's Washington.
The Benghazi hearings damage a political career. (Hint: It's not Hillary Clinton's.)
Today's topics include: Republicans in Disarray; Kevin McCarthy Drops Out of Speaker Race; Speaker Election Postponed; Boehner Begs Paul Ryan to Run; Ben Carson Is Totally Bananas; Ben Carson's Popeye's Stick Up; Ben Carson Doesn't Understand the Debt Ceiling; Babbleocity from Rocky Mountain Mike and Mary in Ann Arbor; Trump and the Colombian Woman; Jesse Ventura on the Two Party System; and much more.
This fight for speaker may only last for a few weeks, but the battle for the party will last for much longer. This will drag into the presidential elections in 2016. The earthquake that is breaking the party apart is massive and an open GOP civil war is here now.
Now that Rep. Kevin McCarthy has bowed out of the race to replace House Speaker John Boehner, there's only one logical choice to replace him: Washington Congresswoman Catherine McMorris Rodgers.
For all of his talk about mending internal wounds, the Speaker of the House is likely to leave his colleagues on the verge of bloodshed.
Kevin McCarthy is not worthy. Of using the English language correctly, among other things. Amusingly, though, this will likely not stop him from becoming the next speaker of the House.
Those politicians celebrating Boehner's ouster, however, are not interested in debate about what is an appropriate balance; they instead elevate ideology over sensible policy insights. In the meantime, the rest of us are held captive to their ignorance and intransigence.
Now as the dust has settled after an unforgettable visit from Pope Francis, we are left to face an emotional Speaker of the House exiting a tumultuous Republican Party in Congress and the growing threat of a stubbornly ultra-right agenda.
On Thursday, September 24, I saw Pope Francis with my own eyes. That's the gospel truth. Now the confession. I was attending the Interfaith Moral Action on Climate rally -- organized to support the Pope's call to action on climate change.