You’d never have thought, when listening to the pundits, that the long process of getting a new speaker was justified. When it came to the GOP failure to find a speaker, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” hosts and chorus were all crocodile tears. Last week saw them weeping that the Republican dysfunction in settling on a speaker meant losing the respect of “Chairman Xi.”
They needed to chill.
Chinese President Xi Jinping knows, even if MSNBC does not, that democratic republics are messy – full of things such as no confidence votes, bickering, removals and recriminations. They are messy because human beings are messy.
Most of us will take the mess to the orderliness-via-coercion that comes from dictatorships and totalitarian regimes.
The tiny media bubble that cares about Washington and politics – and which loves to crank the volume on any potentially negative story about Republicans – was doing their best to turn the story into ratings.
But America doesn’t think much of Congress. And a lot of Americans – to the extent they are thinking about Congress at all – feel that every day Congress isn’t in session is a day lawmakers can’t do more damage.
Americans want a Congress that keeps its promises
Republican House members happen to know those voters – the same ones who voted for former President Donald Trump, and probably voted for many of them.
They are voters who want a Congress that is worried about what Americans think of Congress.
They’d like a Congress that actually keeps its promises. A Congress that acts on our problems here at home – our worrying costs of living, our nonexistent border, our expensive health care that needs to allow us to see real cash prices up front, our high suicide and drug addiction rates, our schools too many parents no longer trust because they teach victimhood rather than success and won’t be transparent.
What they don’t want is a Congress that leaves men and women who’ve lived, worked and paid taxes here all their lives without a hand when they need one, because it prioritizes giving those same resources to asylum-claiming immigrants who’ve just arrived.
They’ve seen this movie before.
They remember how we were assured our country would be permanently scarred by the unprecedented lengthy process to arrive at a Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Yeah, right. That prediction was as accurate as commentators’ recent vapors.
Those 15 ballots were worth it to get what was promised: separate votes on appropriations and commitments from Congress to be more responsible with spending our money, to at least slow the brakeless spending hurtling us toward bankruptcy.
Republicans had to work through their frustrations
Many of the House GOP members know their voters expect this of them. They also know it is very hard to deliver, because so many other members get reelected by playing Santa Claus with a seemingly bottomless goody bag.
That meant real differences of opinion with a lot at stake. Telling them to “just get over it” or “just fix it” was like telling your head cold to go away faster: It doesn’t work.
Republicans had to work through the F’s: fuming, furious, frustrated, frayed and ultimately fatalistic, forbearing and figuring it out.
After several weeks, they’ve figured it out, and the country is better off for their taking the time to work it through and unanimously buy into that consensus. Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., is the new speaker of the House, and he’s on a mission to restore our pride in Congress.
And even better: We’ve got a speaker who clearly cares more about our good opinion than China’s. Score one for the people.