The Dangerous Weakness of Speaker McCarthy
To get the job, McCarthy gave away his power, but the rest of us could end up paying the price
After a week, more than a dozen votes, and an unprecedented level of national embarrassment, Kevin McCarthy finally became the Speaker of the House.
To buy off the votes of the opposition, McCarthy relinquished all the power and authority of the office. There appears to be nothing he is unwilling to sacrifice for the title of Speaker.
Kevin McCarthy begins his tenure as the weakest legislative leader in American history. He is a national joke. Democrats — myself very much included — enjoyed our laughs at Kevin McCarthy’s expense this past week. And we will laugh again when he can’t do the basics of his job. But we should be aware that a weak Speaker leading a fractured caucus is not really funny. It’s actually quite dangerous. Enjoy the laughs because shit will get real before too long.
The Critical Times When the House Matters
A Republican House is a largely irrelevant institution when the Democrats control the White House and Senate. They will enact no laws. They have no involvement in judicial and executive confirmations. If there are congressional negotiations, the Speaker will likely get a pity invite because it’s rude not to invite every kid in the class to the party. Sure, they hold trumped-up hearings and issue subpoenas. They will probably even try to impeach Joe Biden at some point. At the end of the day, all of that is partisan performance art designed to keep the base happy and the folks at Fox News busy.
But there are two very notable exceptions: President Biden and the Senate Democrats need the House Republicans to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling.
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