the problem one of the countless problems with the modern Republican Party: they’ve completely abandoned the idea that the purpose of government is to get shit done.
They say they want shit done, but they’re not willing to engage in the process required to get it done. I suspect some of them mean it when they say, “There’s shit we need to get done.” But there’s a hefty chunk of the GOP that actively interferes with getting shit done simply so they can blame President Uncle Joe for failing to get shit done. They love telling everybody “Shit that needs to get done is NOT getting done, BUT if you elect us, we’ll do all kinds of shit.” Except, of course, when they get the power and authority to get shit done, they…well, they shit the bed.
We’re witnessing that right now in the food fight over electing a Speaker of the House. The most telling (and probably least discussed) aspect of this fuckparade is the simple fact that apparently nobody in the Republican House can count votes. Each of the political parties in Congress has a semi-formal position called a Party Whip. The job of the Whip is 1) to find out how members are going to vote, and 2) to try to ensure they vote the way the party wants them to vote. Right now, ain’t nobody in the House GOP doing that. Nobody seems to have reliable information on how many people are going to vote for or against Kevin McCarthy for Speaker.
As I write this, the House is getting ready for the 7th attempt to elect a Speaker of the House. With any normal political party, this would be a formality. It’s been a formality for around a century. With any normal political party, there wouldn’t BE a vote until the party was certain they had the votes necessary to win. A normal political party would want to elect a leader who’d demonstrated strength of purpose, personal integrity, strong policy views. But the modern GOP isn’t a normal political party; the man most of them want to be their leader has cravenly given in to the threats of the GOP’s most extreme elements. He’s demonstrated a moral and ethical flexibility that offends both his supporters and his opponents. Kevin McCarthy stands for nothing other than a desire to be Speaker of the House.
Here’s a True Thing: governance is about getting shit done. It’s about the dull, grinding, detailed work of talking to people you disagree with and finding ways to compromise. The modern GOP isn’t willing to do that. The modern GOP isn’t capable of that. If the Republicans, as the majority party in the House, aren’t even able to elect a leader, they’re certainly not going to be able to get any meaningful shit done.
The modern GOP is more focused on doing shit TO others than in getting shit done. They’ve ceased to be a political party; now they’re basically acting as an incubator for future Fox News hosts and right-wing media darlings.
It’s going to be a long, long two years in Congress. Assuming the House ever manages to elect a Speaker.
Sadly, the bulk of Republican voters think that government is like professional wrestling: performative fighting to entertain the audience. The idea that government does thinks such as making sure there’s water that’s safe to drink, schools for the kids, etc. is quite alien to them.
There’s a direct line between the performative bullshit that constitutes the bulk of the GOP activity today and Ronald Reagan’s Inaugural Address in 1981. Reagan said, “[The] government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.”
You can’t improve government by electing people who hate the idea of government.
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The modern GOP, at least the MAGA faction of the GOP, is all about brinkmanship. How close can they get to destroying everything.
These MAGA clowns have told us that they will threaten to drive the car over the cliff by refusing to increase the debt ceiling. These people held their party hostage for their own fame and political power. They are actively trying to either dismantle the government, or demonstrate how dysfunctional government can be when they try to make it as dysfunctional as possible.
Government isn’t the problem. Self serving politicians are the problem, and the GOP is full of them.
An even deeper problem, in my opinion, is the constant assault on the concepts of Truth and Fact. If you refuse to accept and respect the notion that Truth and Facts exist, you destroy the foundation of trust. Representative democracy relies on a certain level of trust. Without trust, you have constant fear and suspicion, which undermines reason. And that’s what the GOP feeds on.
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