The speaker of the House was singing last Friday. A reporter had just prodded John Boehner, a man never shy about showing his emotions, to reveal how he really felt walking away from 24 years in Congress and the highest-ranking Republican post in government, amid the fracturing of his party. He responded with a Disney tune: “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah,” he warbled, his gaze threatening to dissolve into tears. “Zip-a-dee-ay.”It was a properly surreal end to his career. During the former plastics executive’s four years as speaker, the same far-right conservatives whose victories had given him his majority then openly plotted against him for having occasionally been willing to make deals with the Obama administration. When news of his resignation reached a convention hall across the capital where conservatives were vetting an equally fractious slate of GOP presidential candidates, the room erupted with a standing ovation. To many, the party’s dissension is dumbfounding, the leaderboard of presidential candidates absurd. But there is one man who would not have been surprised, had he lived to see it, because he was there when the internal forces now threatening to ravage the modern Republican Party first came together: Roger Milliken.
House Democrats are pouncing on Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) public acknowledgement of the political value in the Select Committee on Benghazi and calling for GOP leaders to shut the panel down.The Tuesday evening comments from McCarthy — the No. 2 House Republican and front-runner to be the next Speaker — confirmed long-held accusations that the panel has been little more than a political hit job for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, they say.”Everybody thought Hillary Clinton was unbeatable, right? But we put together a Benghazi special committee, a select committee,” he said on Fox News. “What are her numbers today? Her numbers are dropping. Why? Because she’s untrustable.” “But no one would have known any of that had happened had we not fought and made that happen.”Now, multiple members of the panel want the committee closed
Jeb Bush argues that black voters want more than what Democrats can offer them.”Our message is one of hope and aspiration,” the former governor of Florida said last week in response to a question about how he’d win over the black electorate.”It isn’t one of division and, ‘Get in line, and we’ll take care of you with free stuff,’ ” Bush continued.
The people of Texas owe America an apology. They elected Ted Cruz to the United States Senate, and now the country is forced to endure his presence throughout the interminable election season. Cruz has worked diligently (and successfully) to become the least liked human being in Congress. Judging by last night, he’s hated most by his Republican colleagues, who, once again, blocked his inane efforts to shut down the government unless it defunded Planned Parenthood.Both Republicans and Democrats passed a temporary spending measure that will keep the government afloat (a move supported by a majority of Americans) through mid-December. After the bill was passed by a vote of 77-19, Cruz theatrically sought a roll-call vote but he was promptly denied by his fellow Republicans, many of whom shouted “No!” at the Senator’s request.
John Boehner probably isn’t the only member of Congress who’d like to curse out Ted Cruz on national television. The senator has been clamoring for another pointless government shutdown, this time over federal funding for Planned Parenthood, but on Monday night the Senate moved to keep the government funded — at least for the next few months.
Here’s another challenge for the press — and members of the American public, and people in the rest of the world affected by U.S. debates — in reckoning with this moment in U.S. political history. It’s one that Paul Krugman, with whom I’ve sometimes disagreed about politics, mentions almost as a throwaway line in his column early today, as shown at right.The United States still has two major parties. But one of them is no longer interested actually in governing. And we’re dealing with the consequences.
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), “who is quietly locking down support to be the next House speaker, is privately assuring Republicans he’ll take a tougher stand against the White House — and also the Senate GOP leadership,” CNN reports.