In the 1960s spy-based sitcom "Get Smart", Maxwell Smart and his fellow CONTROL agents battled the agents of KAOS, which was billed as the "international organization of evil." Despite Maxwell's ineptitude, good always triumphs over evil, which meant CONTROL always defeated KAOS. The current comedy of errors playing out in the United States House of Representatives could easily pass for another episode of the show.
Unfortunately for us this is not a sitcom. This is real. This is chaos personified, and it has real world consequences. The only display of ineptitude in this moment has been perfected by the Republican majority in the House. As I am writing this, it has been 21 days since the House has had a Speaker. Republican Matt Gaetz of Florida started this debacle by offering a motion declaring the Speaker position vacant. He was able to get seven other Republicans to vote, along with all of the Democrats present, to successfully remove Kevin McCarthy of California from the Speakership.
How can one member of the House have the ability to do that? Because McCarthy allowed that possibility to happen in order to end the 15 rounds of voting earlier this year it took for him to be elected Speaker. Yes, he mortgaged away stability in order to attain the position for a mere ten months, the shortest tenure of a Speaker in U.S. history.
Now that he has been ousted, the position cannot be filled because no Republican has been able to secure 217 votes to replace him. Three have tried, but only one was able to obtain a floor vote, Jim Jordan of Ohio. Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Tom Emmer of Minnesota failed to even carry their campaigns to a floor vote. Now it is Mike Johnson of Louisiana's turn.
Why is this happening? Because the Republican Party does not want to govern, they want to create chaos. Chaos is normally the best friend of the minority party in legislative bodies, not the majority party that can set policy and elect leadership. However, when you have campaigns based on emotion, and not substance, these are the type of people that get elected, people not capable of leadership and governance.
These are the members of the current Republican Party. A party where hypocrisy knows no bounds, humility has no place and hubris has no limits. A party where facts are loose and truth goes to die. A party where "owning the Libs" is more important than rising to the challenges before them.
They cannot be held accountable because they control the narrative. Their most loyal constituents are told on a daily basis that the chaos they see emanating from their closed door meetings are the fault of President Biden, former President Obama, and the Democrats that permeate the "Deep State." Therefore, they don't have a timetable to settle this issue, because their voters think that everything is okay and the champions of their "conservative" cause will eventually win the day and bring Donald Trump back into the White House.
Nevermind a conflict in the Middle East.
Nevermind a war in Eastern Europe.
Nevermind an approaching government shutdown in less than a month.
It makes me wonder if this chaos is not intentional. I mean, it is a distraction from Trump's legal adventures. 91 felony counts in four indictments. Civil cases concerning fraud and defamation. Even more than a distraction though, it plays into the narrative that government doesn't work, especially for white Americans who fear that a government that serves all the people will ignore their needs and privilege. The more chaos created, the more appealing the Republicans appear to their base of voters.
Again, it sounds like a nefarious plot for a spy-based sitcom. However, there is no humor to be gleaned from this scenario. The only hope is that the majority of the voters, even in the most gerrymandered of districts, will be able to see the truth amidst the chaos and choose wisely a year from now.
The Republicans are incapable of governing. The Republicans have no desire to be accountable and responsible. The Republicans have no capacity for leadership, which they have proven by not finding a leader amongst their own ranks that they can rally around.
As far as I am concerned, the Republicans can own me and my kind on social media all day long. I, and the majority of the American people, would rather have leaders, willing and able to govern, in times like these.