Politics, News, Republicans
Congress is Officially Lost in the Fun House
The 15 rounds of voting that culminated in the election of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House of Representatives were compelling television for some of us. Material for dozens of political science Ph.D. theses was created, but the brazen power grab by the right-wing Freedom Caucus was also fascinating as a study of the types of people being elected to Congress here in the second decade of the 21st century.
I watched several hours of the process over four days with Maria Grant, a fellow journalist with the Spy Newspapers on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Ms. Grant shared her thoughts on the process in a column published in the Talbot Spy, Chestertown Spy, and Cambridge Spy this morning. I am reprinting it here with the permission of Ms. Grant and the Spy newspapers.
Congress is Officially Lost in the Fun House by Maria Grant
When I was a grad student at Georgetown, admittedly many years ago, it was easy to enter the House gallery and witness the proceedings. I spent many afternoons after class in the gallery watching bills become laws. I was in awe of the process and impressed by the impassioned speeches. I remember envying the “gravitas” and eloquence of the whole environment.
Let’s fast forward to last week’s circus on the House Floor. It took 15 ballots and four days for California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy to gain his long-coveted Speaker of the House role. During that time, children were slouched over, babies slept, bags of popcorn were brought into the Chamber. One representative brought her puppy into the chamber to show off to her colleagues. Husbands and wives, who were there to witness the long-delayed swearing-in ceremony, were frantically rescheduling plans to remain in DC for extra days. Some representatives brought novels to read — one appeared to have finished about three-quarters of the book before the proceedings ended. A few congresswomen were knitting scarves. After the 14th round with no victory, Alabama Republican congressman, Mike Rogers, lunged at Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz and had to…