The Day After…

 

We can now officially be glad that there was not the Great Red Wave in November. After 15 votes on the House Speakership, those truly interested in a restoration of the republic and actual conservative governance did get a beginning to a beginning in that direction which certainly would not have been the case if McCarthy had gone into 2023 with all the cards he mistakenly figured for himself.

If the career politico stands by his word and the concessions made to finalize his selection as Speaker, there is a chance to start a journey toward a House more responsive to the grassroots and responsible to the Constitution. There should be a move away from the totalitarian model of Speakership practiced by Pelosi, a more decentralized House, more “regular order” instead of the fake unity of keeping the more conservative voices “in their place”, well-placed conservatives who will actually push an agenda in key spots as well as a “Frank Church type committee” to go after the abuses of the FBI and Intell.

I have said before that McCarthy would not be a great Speaker, but he might be the stepping stone to one. He is what he is, a political ladder climber who has been a staffer, then state member, and then on to the House. He has been a deputy whip and a whip and seemingly still isn’t very good at it. He is a fundraiser and lives and breathes the D.C. game. He makes promises, etc. He also lacks any real mission beyond the politics. Politics is little more than vanity and power-mongering without a true purpose.

If McCarthy had been serious about these important changes, this could have well been settled either in the summer or certainly in December after the election. The truth is that he ignored the more conservative demands because, at first, he thought he wouldn’t have to if the Red Wave actually happened. He could rely on all the others. Then as things changed, he took the same tactic that his stripe have always taken with grassroots interests. He treated them as second-class citizens. He still wanted to avoid those things which would make the process more open and transparent.

He avoided making concessions early, especially to keep the so-called moderates in line and not excite them. They are as uneasy with grassroots issues as anyone, and as unreliable.

There will be more transparency with the budgeting and spending than ever before. But it was hard won. And it is far from enough.

There are real lessons here. Those 20-odd individuals who made a stand and then worked their tails off to create a workable start at restoring the true function of the House, grabbed what leverage they had and used it. They hung on despite whatever was thrown at them.

I have already said in various places that I believe this was truly a “dog catches the car” moment that might have been a surprise. But the notion that they didn’t have “a plan” is short-sighted. When they saw their chance, they took it, and their plan was to win some of the things they consider necessary for saving the republic. And then to fight again when needed. Each one’s wants might have been slightly different in some ways, but they were headed in the right direction. Among them and those who will follow in their steps are the examples of leadership that might actually save the GOP from its old self.

Action is always required if substantive change takes place. Action always involves some risk. Recklessness is not required but boldness is. To engage is to risk. But you win nothing if you do not engage.

We managed to avoid the comfortable disaster of some “moderate” fix to the stalemate. Believe me, there are plenty of those middle roaders who would have preferred dealing with Dems on the matter and wish it had happened that way.

The concessions won are important but the road will not be easy. The establishment, “go-along” crowd will still want to return to the old ways. They are uncomfortable with open government. They prefer counting seats instead of results. But their past has proven that seats themselves are not results. It is vitally important who and what sits in those seats.

What those 20 gave us is a chance at a start. They are to be thanked. They are and certainly will be targets. The sad truth is any who try to shake the trees much for the comfortable have always been targets to most of the party elites.

True, Matt Gaetz might have a little too much show pony in him but he mattered in a positive way. Chip Roy seems to be a level-headed but determined warrior. It is a good thing that the last six only voted present if they didn’t feel respected enough or want to make sure it is understood that their trust has not been won. McCarthy shouldn’t be trusted. His feet need to be continually held to the fire as much as possible.

I am hopeful, but only if this is built on in a big way realizing that we are in an eternal fight. Hardly anything is settled. The rules package still has to be voted on, and frankly, there are plenty of the old GOP crowd who are unhappy with positive change, no matter how small.

The start that the 20 gave us should include much more of the same. Two sure ways to improve anything are choice and competition. That is certainly true for ideas and policies. Challenges are good. It is time to quit buying the false dichotomy pushed by so many that prefers “safe” seats to ones that actually are committed to advancing positive change. What we have seen for those short few days is what the contentious practice of self-governance is about. Head-to-head and open competition of ideas is just a start.

Those of the old school will always prefer the lifeless “unity” they seem to admire. It protects their positions and walls them off from the base, the grassroots.

If this indeed turns into a chance, if even a slim one, then we have to realize it is a long, long battle that requires both purpose and direction.

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  1. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Ole Summers: We can now officially be glad that there was not the Great Red Wave in November. After 15 votes on the House Speakership, those truly interested in a restoration of the republic and actual conservative governance did get a beginning to a beginning in that direction which certainly would not have been the case if McCarthy had gone into 2023 with all the cards he mistakenly figured for himself

    I do think the red wave fail got a positive result in the House. And Mitch has definitely displayed himself in full. We’ll see if the McCarthy concessions hold up and if they yield any benefits to the people.

    Now there needs to be some work done to get rid of Mitch and those Senators who helped pass that Omnibus spending bill. There were a few who voted for it that puzzle me but several were not surprise at all.

    • #1
  2. mildlyo Member
    mildlyo
    @mildlyo

    Hope for the best. 

    • #2
  3. Blondie Thatcher
    Blondie
    @Blondie

    Ole Summers: If McCarthy had been serious about these important changes, this could have well been settled either in the summer or certainly in December after the election. The truth is that he ignored the more conservative demands because, at first, he thought he wouldn’t have to if the Red Wave actually happened. He could rely on all the others. Then as things changed, he took the same tactic that his stripe have always taken with grassroots interests. He treated them as second-class citizens. He still wanted to avoid those things which would make the process more open and transparent.

    This is what I don’t understand. Or maybe I do. I guess they thought they could paint the holdouts as crazies enough to cause them to cave without giving them anything. The whole thing just makes me even more determined to get rid of the whole lot of them and start over. I’m hoping this is that start. Fingers crossed. But I thought the Tea Party days were the beginning of that change, too. 

    • #3
  4. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    I agree pretty much with all that Ole Summers said. What troubles me about this past week’s activities is that the group of anti-McCarthys end up looking no different than The Squad on the other side. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle. They don’t like radicals on either side. However, because of the leftist media they hear a lot more about radical Republicans than they do about radical Democrats, and that can be a turn off. The appearance of disunity in the party is also something that can be exploited by the leftist press. The Democrats, by contrast, appear to be united and well organized. I am not sure I like the idea of a unified party since it also means, very likely, that it is far to the left of what we here would like to see. However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity caused by Trump prior to the election very likely cost us a lot of votes. The people want a stable government and, at least, the appearance of mature, intelligent leadership. Undercutting McCarthy before he was even installed has created an image of his as speaker as anything but intelligent and mature. No matter the reality, we need our leadership to appear to be doing more than herding cats.

    • #4
  5. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    I agree pretty much with all that Ole Summers said. What troubles me about this past week’s activities is that the group of anti-McCarthys end up looking no different than The Squad on the other side. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle. They don’t like radicals on either side. However, because of the leftist media they hear a lot more about radical Republicans than they do about radical Democrats, and that can be a turn off. The appearance of disunity in the party is also something that can be exploited by the leftist press. The Democrats, by contrast, appear to be united and well organized. I am not sure I like the idea of a unified party since it also means, very likely, that it is far to the left of what we here would like to see. However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity caused by Trump prior to the election very likely cost us a lot of votes. The people want a stable government and, at least, the appearance of mature, intelligent leadership. Undercutting McCarthy before he was even installed has created an image of his as speaker as anything but intelligent and mature. No matter the reality, we need our leadership to appear to be doing more than herding cats.

    What political positions are favored by the anti-McCarthy Republicans that you would characterize as radical?

    • #5
  6. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    I agree pretty much with all that Ole Summers said. What troubles me about this past week’s activities is that the group of anti-McCarthys end up looking no different than The Squad on the other side. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle. They don’t like radicals on either side. However, because of the leftist media they hear a lot more about radical Republicans than they do about radical Democrats, and that can be a turn off. The appearance of disunity in the party is also something that can be exploited by the leftist press. The Democrats, by contrast, appear to be united and well organized. I am not sure I like the idea of a unified party since it also means, very likely, that it is far to the left of what we here would like to see. However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity caused by Trump prior to the election very likely cost us a lot of votes. The people want a stable government and, at least, the appearance of mature, intelligent leadership. Undercutting McCarthy before he was even installed has created an image of his as speaker as anything but intelligent and mature. No matter the reality, we need our leadership to appear to be doing more than herding cats.

    I disagree.  This is not “our leadership”.  This is representative government — Americans do not work for the executive or the legislative branch.  That *should* be a lot of herding cats.

    Every time this conversation comes up, you should not feel discomfort or embarrassment, or wish the topic would go away.  This is the PERFECT opportunity to explain how representation is supposed to work, and why.

    How REFRESHING IT IS to have government go off its comfortable teleprompter into the wild lands of things that actually matter.  We will be damned in the media and slagged by the cushy status quo class no matter what, so we should proudly and happily push for what we want.

    • #6
  7. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    In response to both @BDB and @bobthompson:

    What I consider “radical” is not at issue. It is what the general voting public views as such. We are the minority party in terms of registered voters. In order to win we need to enlist non-committed voters who generally hold position that are centered near the DMZ between the two parties. Anyone to the right or left of their respective parties is seen as radical, and that view is, unfortunately, reinforced in the media. It is pretty obvious what that leads to when you look at the results of the last election which should have been a very decisive Red Wave and turned out to be barely a ripple in the a small pond.

    Understanding that we do not represent, in any shape, manner or form, the majority of the American voters, it is also important to understand as was pointed out in a frequently quoted bit of wisdom (the origin of which escapes me at the moment), the idea is to run the most conservative candidate that can get elected. As I understand it, the members of the anti-McCarthy caucus are from districts so distinctly Red that they are in no danger of losing their seats, no matter what they do. The vast number of Republicans in congress don’t have that option.

    I don’t object to fighting against Kevin McCarthy’s election to the speakership. What I object to is the airing of the party’s dirty laundry so publicly, and the consequence diminution of McCarthy’s standing as the leader of his caucus in congress and speaker of the house. I am sure that we are all in agreement as to how we feel about Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, but there is much to be said for the internal discipline of their party in not airing their disagreements as openly. Such things can and should be done in private, particularly in a media environment so openly hostile to our party. It all begins to look a bit like the latest drama we are seeing from across the pond with the royal family. It does nothing to enhance the solidity of our caucus, and a great deal to expose its essential disunity. That, I can assure you, does nothing to convince independent voters to join us in the next election.

    • #7
  8. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    BDB (View Comment):

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    I agree pretty much with all that Ole Summers said. What troubles me about this past week’s activities is that the group of anti-McCarthys end up looking no different than The Squad on the other side. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle. They don’t like radicals on either side. However, because of the leftist media they hear a lot more about radical Republicans than they do about radical Democrats, and that can be a turn off. The appearance of disunity in the party is also something that can be exploited by the leftist press. The Democrats, by contrast, appear to be united and well organized. I am not sure I like the idea of a unified party since it also means, very likely, that it is far to the left of what we here would like to see. However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity caused by Trump prior to the election very likely cost us a lot of votes. The people want a stable government and, at least, the appearance of mature, intelligent leadership. Undercutting McCarthy before he was even installed has created an image of his as speaker as anything but intelligent and mature. No matter the reality, we need our leadership to appear to be doing more than herding cats.

    I disagree. This is not “our leadership”. This is representative government — Americans do not work for the executive or the legislative branch. That *should* be a lot of herding cats.

    Every time this conversation comes up, you should not feel discomfort or embarrassment, or wish the topic would go away. This is the PERFECT opportunity to explain how representation is supposed to work, and why.

    How REFRESHING IT IS to have government go off its comfortable teleprompter into the wild lands of things that actually matter. We will be damned in the media and slagged by the cushy status quo class no matter what, so we should proudly and happily push for what we want.

    The Progressive Democrats have “leadership” and they follow like robots. I watched that creepy minority leader list off his alphabet, each with a pair of descriptions the second in each case his projection of Democrat positions assigned by him to Republicans. I have a hard time figuring how someone who has reached his standing in terms of position can do that. Their deception and lying must be second nature, maybe even first.

    • #8
  9. Bob Thompson Member
    Bob Thompson
    @BobThompson

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    In response to both @ BDB and @ bobthompson:

    What I consider “radical” is not at issue. It is what the general voting public views as such. We are the minority party in terms of registered voters. In order to win we need to enlist non-committed voters who generally hold position that are centered near the DMZ between the two parties. Anyone to the right or left of their respective parties is seen as radical, and that view is, unfortunately, reinforced in the media. It is pretty obvious what that leads to when you look at the results of the last election which should have been a very decisive Red Wave and turned out to be barely a ripple in the a small pond.

    Understanding that we do not represent, in any shape, manner or form, the majority of the American voters, it is also important to understand as was pointed out in a frequently quoted bit of wisdom (the origin of which escapes me at the moment), the idea is to run the most conservative candidate that can get elected. As I understand it, the members of the anti-McCarthy caucus are from districts so distinctly Red that they are in no danger of losing their seats, no matter what they do. The vast number of Republicans in congress don’t have that option.

    I don’t object to fighting against Kevin McCarthy’s election to the speakership. What I object to is the airing of the party’s dirty laundry so publicly, and the consequence diminution of McCarthy’s standing as the leader of his caucus in congress and speaker of the house. I am sure that we are all in agreement as to how we feel about Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats, but there is much to be said for the internal discipline of their party in not airing their disagreements as openly. Such things can and should be done in private, particularly in a media environment so openly hostile to our party. It all begins to look a bit like the latest drama we are seeing from across the pond with the royal family. It does nothing to enhance the solidity of our caucus, and a great deal to expose its essential disunity. That, I can assure you, does nothing to convince independent voters to join us in the next election.

    If McCarthy had been more open to those pushing these concessions before the election your approach might have worked. I happen to believe that those failing to support the concepts underlying our Constitution are wrong, even if they are now a larger group than those who do. A lot of what those principles stand for and mean must be expressed to our young people and that has been avoided in public education for decades. I think what we saw here was necessary unless one approves of the approach taken by Mitch McConnell in the supposedly deliberative body as opposed to the representative body.

    • #9
  10. Bunsen Coolidge
    Bunsen
    @Bunsen

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    I agree pretty much with all that Ole Summers said. What troubles me about this past week’s activities is that the group of anti-McCarthys end up looking no different than The Squad on the other side. The vast majority of people in this country are in the middle. They don’t like radicals on either side. However, because of the leftist media they hear a lot more about radical Republicans than they do about radical Democrats, and that can be a turn off. The appearance of disunity in the party is also something that can be exploited by the leftist press. The Democrats, by contrast, appear to be united and well organized. I am not sure I like the idea of a unified party since it also means, very likely, that it is far to the left of what we here would like to see. However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity caused by Trump prior to the election very likely cost us a lot of votes. The people want a stable government and, at least, the appearance of mature, intelligent leadership. Undercutting McCarthy before he was even installed has created an image of his as speaker as anything but intelligent and mature. No matter the reality, we need our leadership to appear to be doing more than herding cats.

    This is exactly what the elites and their media lapdogs want Americans to think!  At times I was thinking “would you just vote for Kevin to get it done?”  But after hearing some of the Rebel Alliance talk after the final vote, I understand why they held out for all they could.  I think we don’t understand just how powerful the elites are.  And make no mistake, McCarthy is at the very top with the Turtle.  

    I am praying that the 20 continue to keep McCarthy’s feet to the fire, Gaetz gets his ego in check, more Rs stand up with the 20, and most importantly, more of us of like ilk as the 20 step up for ’24.  

    • #10
  11. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Cowardice and dishonesty never appealed to anybody.  We will gain exactly zero new voters by cowering or pretending.    IF we are actually a minority, then bold and principled stands are required to fire the hearts of people who want what we want — liberty for all.

    I am proud of the 20 for standing their ground, and I am proud of McCarthy for ceding what it took to seal the deal.

    Don’t counsel meekness and small goals.  GO FORTH AND PROCLAIM that there is an alternative to the vicious cycle of managed decline and diminished stature of the citizen.

    I have no ears to hear from those too smart to fight.

    • #11
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Ole Summers: Action is always required if substantive change takes place. Action always involves some risk. Recklessness is not required but boldness is. To engage is to risk. But you win nothing if you do not engage.

    This comment says so much, Ole! Great post!

    • #12
  13. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity

    Appearances are largely caused by the people with the cameras and editing equipment. 

    • #13
  14. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity

    Appearances are largely caused by the people with the cameras and editing equipment.

    And those people can create “disunity” out of nothing.

    • #14
  15. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity

    Appearances are largely caused by the people with the cameras and editing equipment.

    And those people can create “disunity” out of nothing.

    No one needed any editing equipment to see disunity in the Republican caucus. A blind man could have seen it.

    • #15
  16. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    Bunsen (View Comment):
    I am praying that the 20 continue to keep McCarthy’s feet to the fire, Gaetz gets his ego in check

    On that we are in full agreement. I don’t think it has to be public, though. The job can be done without exposing the party to ridicule from the left. As to Gaetz, that may be far more than he is capable of.

    • #16
  17. Bunsen Coolidge
    Bunsen
    @Bunsen

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    Bunsen (View Comment):
    I am praying that the 20 continue to keep McCarthy’s feet to the fire, Gaetz gets his ego in check

    On that we are in full agreement. I don’t think it has to be public, though. The job can be done without exposing the party to ridicule from the left.

    Fair enough.  I think it is about time we see how the sausage is made.

    • #17
  18. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    However, appearances are important, and the appearance of disunity

    Appearances are largely caused by the people with the cameras and editing equipment.

    And those people can create “disunity” out of nothing.

    No one needed any editing equipment to see disunity in the Republican caucus. A blind man could have seen it.

    I’ll bet you saw it through the news media, though, and weren’t there in person to observe. They did a good job in keeping the Hunter Biden laptop out of the news, and could also have found something else to talk about rather than this, if they had wanted to.  Even Ricochet mostly talks about the things the news media talk about.   It’s why I don’t need to watch any broadcast news or read any newspapers.  I can figure out what’s in the news from the Ricochet post headings. 

    • #18
  19. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):

    Bunsen (View Comment):
    I am praying that the 20 continue to keep McCarthy’s feet to the fire, Gaetz gets his ego in check

    On that we are in full agreement. I don’t think it has to be public, though. The job can be done without exposing the party to ridicule from the left. As to Gaetz, that may be far more than he is capable of.

    Wow, what’s with all the disunity?

    • #19
  20. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    The Reticulator (View Comment):
    I’ll bet you saw it through the news media,

    Have you or anyone else on this forum seen it anywhere else? We are all blind men looking at the elephant, and each us has our own interpretation as to what it is. That is called opinion, not fact. It is important that we differentiate between the two. I don’t know that “facts” any better than you do. So, we can, at this point, agree to disagree.

    • #20
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