I was frustrated by the progress to elect the new Republican Speaker of the House.
It seemed to me that the process was cumbersome and chaotic and long. “What the hell….” I yelled at C-Span a few times.
It felt incomprehensible that twenty (20!!!) participants could hold 202 sensible people hostage. The 202 could and did make a decision! In my opinion, the twenty holdouts behaved like 3-year-olds. They stymied the process. “You’re not the boss of me!” they were saying. “I’m taking my vote, and you can’t have it”. They were not playing by the rules. They didn’t seem to budge, offered no compromise, and said “you can’t make me”.
And so it went, vote after vote after vote.
Hakeem Jefferies, like the former Speaker, appeared to have his Party in line. They knew how to play nice with each other. They followed established rules: all in lockstep. They did not waver … through every one of fifteen votes!! The media agreed; The Democrats had it together. The Republicans were in chaos; Bring your popcorn and settle in for the preposterous show, a spiteful display of childishness on television right in front of the world.
But after it was over and Kevin McCarthy was elected, I took some time to reflect and review what really happened. I did my best to block memories of the talking-heads “reporting” their opinions. I considered what I saw, what I read, what I thought.
It took a couple of hours. Henry Ford said “Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.”
Thinking is hard, especially when it will possibly change one’s opinion. Thinking requires an open mind and a reasonable amount of … reasoning!
There I went, down the rabbit hole of What Really Happened in Congress the past four days?
I wondered what the Constitution says about selecting a Speaker of the House. Here’s what I found on Google:
The general practice for election of Speaker begins with nominations from each party caucus followed by a viva voce vote of the Members-elect. Relying on the Act of June 1, 1789, the Clerk recognized for nominations for Speaker as being of higher constitutional privilege than a resolution to postpone the election of a Speaker and instead provide for the…