Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Extended Speaker of the House vote is complete

 I often try to explain things that happen here to my British friends. It helps me coalesce my thoughts in general, and gives me a different perspective to think about.

So, let's go down the rabbit hole on this weeks drama from our Drama Queens.

First: This vote (for Speaker) is unique to the American Legislative versus Europe, Britain in particular.  In Britain, the party leader - who will become Prime Minister - known before and a key factor in an individual's vote. Usually the party will state who their Prime Minister will be (like Tony Blair) before the party is vote has occurred.

In the last big election in England, one major party (Labour) lost in part because their leader (Jeremy Corbyn) was a huge ass flake. I mean, super liberal. Not American "liberal", but more like AOC on steroids AND crack. 

Instead, in America, the voters will elect a Representative to represent them, with little to no thought of how it will effect the Speaker (leader) of the House. And the Speaker actually has a LOT of behind the scenes power. Also, FYI, is 3rd in line for the Presidency should the President and Vice President somehow die or resign.

For example: Joe Smith in Wyoming is not electing Rep. Harriet Hageman with the thought she will vote for Kevin McCarty or anyone else as speaker. Now of course, Harriet will have a vote for a Republican Speaker, but no one in Wyoming voted for Harriet thinking "Wow, I can't wait until Kevin McCarthy is Speaker!"*

Second: This circus has nothing to do with legislative priorities. Previously, all but one of the extended votes in the House for Speaker revolved around the issue of slavery. The competing factions, even within a single party, tended to vote for their nominee who best represented their views on slavery. Which is why it took so many votes.

But there is no legislative argument or issue involved here. This crazytown visit is only about power. But even that is given it too much credit.

No, these extended votes were about grandstanding and fundraising. The two most famous holdouts, Loren Bobert and Matt Gaetz, have raised millions of dollars standing up "to the Washington Swamp" in the past week. That the "Washington Swamp" is now in Republican hands doesn't change their press releases, just sub out Democratic Washington Swamp with RINO Washington Swamp. RINO - Republican In Name Only - is a slur directed at anyone that tries to actually accomplish anything in that party at the national level.

Third: One of the concessions given to the bozos is to have a re-vote if only 1 Representative is pissed off. Until this session, there had to be a majority of the House agree to revote for Speaker. Having another vote for Speaker in a few days, weeks or months will not bring down this government. 

FYI, for my American Readers, there is a thing in Europe and Britain called "a vote of no-confidence". Technically this means a vote for a law comes up for a legislative wide vote, and if the leading party does not win, then the government falls, and a new election is held. But in reality very rare in most European countries.

But this IS why Israel keeps having elections. A fragile coalition means that each vote can be held hostage by anyone.

Now, in Britain, the leading parties have made a change where the party in question can have an internal vote with only their members and if the leader doesn't get 50% +1, then they change leadership. That way they can change leaders (like the recent Liz Truss debacle) without new nationwide elections or having a vote of No Confidence.

Result: who knows. Maybe once this shit-show has been passed, maybe all will be fine. I doubt it personally. I think this votarama will be repeated at least a few times, instigated by Gaetz, or Bobert or MTG when they need to have a fundraiser.

*The Wyoming voters were actually voting to screw Liz Cheney, but that is a unique situation.


  1. I also doubt it will be fine unless you think getting nothing done that benefits the representatives' constituents is fine. There are going to be a lot of very mean and angry people in key positions and McCarthy doesn't have to strength or the balls to reign them in.


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