Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Will McCarthy Ever Have Enough Votes?

            The battle to determine the Speaker of the House continues after six votes failed to determine who would lead the House. Once Republicans won control of the House by a narrow majority, most people – including myself – expected Representative Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to win the seat without any serious problems. McCarthy had to move his stuff out of the Minority Leader’s Office to allow Democrat Hakeem Jefferies to move his stuff in. So, McCarthy oved some of his stuff into the Speaker’s office.

Six rounds of voting made this race for Speaker one of the most contentious since 1923. Twenty Republican House members are still opposing McCarthy. Many people on both the Left and the Right have labeled the situation as chaotic and dangerous for the Republicans.

Messy House Race

In reality, what we are seeing in the House is a debate, something that has been absent from the House for numerous years. However, we should see a debate on most of the bills that come out of the House. After all, democracy is messy, while other types of governments are more orderly. Jarrett Stepman at the Daily Signal explained it this way. 

Right now, the House represents the only serous brake on Democrats’ initiatives until the next election. How it operates during this time will mean a lot if Republicans take the Sente and White House in 2024.

Unlike how the Left now defines “democracy” – which vacillates between pure mob rule and rule by a bureaucratic, woke priesthood – the Founders understood that democracy had a limited, but important place in our federal republic.

In the debates over the Constitution, George Mason of Virginia called the House the “grand depository of the democratic principle of government.” The Framers created it to more directly represent the interests, temperament, and immediate concerns of the people – certainly by comparison with the Senate.

If democracy was the only element of our government, as with the Greek democracies of old, we would quickly obliterate ourselves. However, if democracy is entirely shunted aside, we end up with other forms of malignant government, such as oligarchy.

Democracy can be brutal and unthinking, but it can also provide a quick and necessary course correction when conventional wisdom is wrong and “elites” have become corrupted.

At a time when most of the big decisions in our society are made by unelected bureaucrats and courts, and when elected representatives are more likely to listen to lobbyists and the donor class than to the American people, we should be encouraged by our representatives showing a little independence.

Is rebellion a bad thing?

Stepman explained that the “House was meant to be bumptious” and other races for Speaker have not gone smoothly. “The 1856 election took two months and 133 rounds of voting. So, a couple of days of voting is minor-league stuff by comparison.”

Yes, the House speaker’s race is messy. So is democracy. And we live in troubled times. Let’s be honest: American society – especially post-pandemic – has become more dysfunctional, resigned, and willing to accept mediocrity. That shouldn’t be good enough….

Surely, Republican voters deserve more than token, ineffectual “opposition.” A little contentiousness now may prevent a bigger problem in the future….

As no less a personage as Thomas Jefferson once said, a little rebellion from time to time is a good thing.

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