Tuesday, September 29, 2015

How To Fix The United States House of Representatives

If Geoffrey Kabaservice is to be believed ("Anarchy in the House") --
Years ago, I wrote a history of the Republican civil war between the moderates and radicals of the Goldwater era. I’m sufficiently alarmed, watching history repeat itself, that I now work as a research consultant for the Main Street Partnership, an organization of over 70 members of Congress who represent the moderate-conservative wing of the Republican Party. Their rivals are members of the Freedom Caucus, who would rather close the government than compromise.

Once again, the battle is between Republicans who want to govern and those who don’t. The radicals have no realistic alternative solutions of their own. Even to contemplate the negotiations and compromises such policies entail would sully their ideological purity.

-- there are 70 "moderate-conservatives" in the House of Representatives who are horrified by what the "Freedumb Caucus" is up to.

So in the words of The Untouchables' Jim Malone, "What are you prepared to do?" Because the Lord hates coward, boys and girls, and so far your grand strategy of sitting on your asses and doing absolutely nothing about the fascists who are eating your party alive doesn't seem to be yeilding terrific results.

Neither does holding group therapy sessions of your little Reasonable Republican club at which you can bitch safely and quietly about the problem between cocktails.

So if you want to do something to break the back of the beast that is wrecking the place, here is my suggestion:  Go across the aisle and cut a deal with Nancy Pelosi. 

Agree to divvy up committee chairs between your caucus and the Democrats. Agree to hold joint press conferences in which you can make all the impassioned, and yummy bipartisan speeches you like, flanked an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

And then help the Democrats vote Nancy Pelosi back in as Speaker of the House.

Make it clear that, however profound and deeply-held your differences are with Ms. Pelosi, they pale in comparison to the anarchists and nihilist who have seized control of the Party of Lincoln.

Stand up, sheep, and assert your power.  The only power you really have -- the power to vote.  Do it up big and loud and you will not only help to save your party, but you will also be the toast of the "Meet the Press" greenroom for the next five years, and you'll be able to pocket an unspeakably huge IOU from Speaker Pelosi which you can call in whenever you need it.

If loyalty to your country is more important than the good opinions of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh, you can do this and you'll go down in history as heroes.

Or you can continue grumbling into your oatmeal and going along with people you know are monsters and who you know have no plan outside of wrecking the country you claim to love.

The problem isn't finding it.

The problem is, who wants to cross Capone?


Martin Pollard said...

I'm more partial to the Ellen Ripley solution: "Nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Paul Wartenberg said...

It would be nice to think the "moderates" that remain in the GOP can stand up and deal with the Democrats to break the wingnut hold on the House.

But while the Lord hates a coward, the fanatics hate betrayers, which is how the Teabagger wingnut side of spectrum will view the moderates who make ANY deal with a Democrat.

A good number of Republicans happen to serve in wonderfully gerrymandered districts that's safe for the Far Right but never safe for a moderate/indy candidate. Some of them are barely clinging onto their jobs as they dread facing a Far Right primary challenger that could unseat them (hi, Cantor!).

We really won't see any sane responses from the Main Streeters until it gets to the wire, when/if the race for the Speakership turns into a battle between the various sociopaths that have blocked those moderates out of any contention. Or when we're five weeks into a government shutdown that's clearly a grandstanding effort to make Obama look bad.

Unknown said...

It will never happen. They value their future prospects as K Street lobbying hacks too much to risk their current employment by being primaried from the right. From where they sit it's preferable to mumble into their oatmeal than have to stand up to the wingnuts both in the chamber and in their own district.

Cowards, all of them.

Kathleen O'Neill said...

Tengrain ponders the possibiity of a Scalise speakership:


Here's your chance, DG, if you want to sell your soul. You could enjoy a lucrative career crafting "Both Sider" euphemisms Toddler & Company can employ while hosting The Hood Head.

For example, picture Chuck Todd introducing Scalise on Meet the Press thus: “Viewed by liberals as a somewhat controversial figure, Scalise is nonetheless a passionate advocate for promoting conservative American values like self pride, self reliance, and safe communities”.

Let's face it, you've got the lingo down. Get your business plan together. I will subcontract, and only require compensation in the form of home cooked meals or freshly baked cakes and cookies.

EVille Mike said...

Felt the need to make a quick interpretive clarification: "Once again, the battle is between Republicans who want to govern and those who don’t."

That should be: "...between Republicans who want to govern and those who intend to rule."

And then I'll leave you with this line I heard last nite on a PBS thing looking at the history of the British Parliament: "A shiver went thru the entire chamber, looking for a spine to run up."

Keep doin' good, DG.

Donald Walsh said...

Moderate Republicans look at the wilderness the Democratic party is in, being outspent in the post-Citizen United spending spree, blockaded from political TV, even on "their" MSNBC, by the 1% oligarchs-in-waiting, and too naive to suspect industrial-scale vote fraud via electronic voting machine rigging, and figure they're better off kowtowing to the Tea Party anarchists. Expect a carefully orchestrated Constitutional Convention within the next decade, to do away with checks and balances and substitute government by Fox call-in show.

dinthebeast said...

Or conversely, we could institute Gowachin law (from Frank Herbert's "The Dosadi Experiment") and simply fact check all speakers real-time, and execute any found to be lying on the spot. I've been wondering whether any of the Tea Partiers (yeah, I know, there is no tea party) believe they've been elected to the Bureau of Sabotage instead of congress, then I remember that they probably don't read much.

-Doug in Oakland

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

"...industrial-scale vote fraud via electronic voting machine rigging..."

That, plus gerrymandering and voter suppression.

Why does anyone with a functioning brain take any election in this country seriously any longer?

The only consolation which I can find here is the fact that the oligarchs apparently still feel it necessary to simulate democracy in the USA, meaning that they still fear us peasants enough that they do not yet feel they can rule nakedly as aristocrats.

Chan Kobun said...

"Moderate Republicans".

Assumes people not in evidence. There are the insane, screeching psychopaths, and there are their enablers.

Jenonymous said...

Aaaand...you win the comments section for this post right out of the gate. Thank you for the belly laugh! 😀