Monday, October 19, 2015

Party Politics Divide Speaker of the House Battle

By Douglas V. Gibbs

The House Freedom Caucus is a congressional caucus consisting of conservative Republican members of the United States House of Representatives that can be considered the representatives that are most closely in line with the Tea Party movement.  The "Establishment" is a term used for Republicans that may or may not be conservative, but place protecting the political party above ethics or doing the right thing with the excuse that doing the right thing is not possible if the party crumbles due to "extreme conservatism."  The establishment believes the Tea Party folks are destroying the party, and the Freedom Caucus believes it is saving the GOP (or at least they'd be able to if the establishment would quit being so resistant).  So, while the establishment seeks a more moderate Speaker of the House to replace departing and embattled Boehner, the HFC is seeking a more conservative individual like Daniel Webster of Florida.

Strategy and positioning is the game, and sometimes you must lose a little to gain a little, or at least that is how the game used to be played.  Those who believe that kind of chess game in politics still exists are delusional.  The time for dancing around and trying to be careful went out the door during the last century.  The liberal left has increased their war.  We are in the Obama era now.  The Democrat socialists have thrown all caution to the wind, and the Republican Party has been infiltrated by statists in massive numbers.  Interestingly, some of the infiltrators don't realize they are infiltrating.  They actually believe they are doing the country some good, and the party some good.  They are willing to set aside principles to gain a few votes that the Republican Party would never have chased in the past.  They believe they are doing what is best for the party, and therefore it must be good for America.  However, the continuous compromises and willingness to lose a little ground with the hope of later gaining some ground that will never be relinquished by the statists is a fairy tale.  The line in the sand must be drawn.  The right thing to do is not to continue to give up ground.  Some may think that chasing after a conservative Speaker is folly.  Perhaps it is.  But isn't refusing to compromise one's values worth fighting for?

While those that support playing the game as it has always been played believe themselves to be pragmatic, and while the Tea Party believes it is being ethical, I say let's mix it up a little.  Let's, as they say, think outside the box.

In Article I of the United States Constitution, Congress is granted the authority to make up its own internal rules.  The article also states that it is up to the House to choose its own Speaker.  But, if you dissect the House of Representatives' rules, you will notice that the Speaker does not have to be a member of Congress.  So, why not pick someone that both sides can stomach, yet sees things from a different perspective because they've been on the outside for a while?

On March 15, 2014, Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs (now on KMET 1490-AM) was on KCAA and welcomed Senator Jim DeMint as the program's guest.  Senator DeMint was pushing his latest book, Falling in Love with America Again, and came on the program to promote the book.  As a constitutionalist, I could not resist asking him some difficult questions about the Constitution, and to my surprise, he nailed it each time with his answers.  He's respected for his work as a Senator, and he's a respected conservative that currently serves as President of the Heritage Foundation.  What better choice for Speaker of the House could there be than Senator Jim DeMint?  With DeMint in place, the conservatives and Tea Party Republicans would be satisfied, and the GOP establishment would be satisfied (or at least they may perceive it in that way) that the HFC isn't trying to sabotage the party.

Then, perhaps, for just a moment, the two could stop slamming each other, and turn to the real enemy: The socialists of the Democrat Party.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


JASmius said...

An intriguing suggestion, though a highly unlikely and impractical one. I still think going outside Congress for the next Speaker is a defeat and a debacle, since that by definition can only be a temporary measure. The House GOP caucus has, ultimately, to choose a Speaker from its own ranks. Which means that the primary role of an outsider should be to heal this intra-party schism - a role for which Jim DeMint, one of the original and biggest instigators of that schism, is supremely ill-suited.

The best that can be said for the idea is that it might disarm the "establishment" (since DeMint would technically be an outsider) and kick this can down the road to the degree that DeMint didn't gratuitously roil the proverbial pot even more - which I also consider to be unlikely, as he just wouldn't be able to help himself. Why else did he leave his Senate career behind?

It's a pity that Ronald Reagan isn't still alive, because he would be perfect for this role - a proven conservative of unimpeachable credentials with the equally proven diplomatic skills to remind both sides, as the promulgator of the "Eleventh Commandment," that they are part of the same team. Or are supposed to be, anyway.

What's needed is a mediator. Jim DeMint is no mediator. Paul Ryan is still our best, last, flickering bet.

JASmius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JASmius said...

Let me use a - what else? - Star Trek illustration.

I'm currently re-reading the David Mack novel "Rise Like Lions," which tells the Mirror Universe tale of the overthrow of the Klingon-Cardassian Alliance by the Terran Rebellion. In the middle section of the book, one rebel faction led by MacKenzie Calhoun (a character from Peter David's "New Frontier" series) seeks to join his Xexian-Romulan armada with the remains of Miles "Smiley" O'Brien's Terran Rebellion. The combined force needs a single overall commander, but neither man is willing to cede his authority to the other, and neither man is fit or suited for the role. So Memory Omega, the organization founded by Emperor Spock a century earlier to lay the foundation for the eventual liberation of the fallen Terran Republic, intervenes and imposes a leader of its own choosing that both rebel factions will accept: Jean-Luc Picard.

To apply that analogy to the House Speaker mess, we've got the HFC (the ruthless, "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" Calhoun) endlessly bickering with the "establishment" (the weak, incompetent, ineffectual, but obstinately prideful O'Brien). What is needed, if an outsider must be imposed, is a Picard, not a second Calhoun (or O'Brien). I'm not sure who that would be, but the closest analog I've seen proposed is Dick Cheney.

But then here's the question nobody is asking: What outsider that both sides would accept would take the job? Until that is answered, we're all just verbally wanking ourselves.

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

The problem is the establishment is primarily populated by infiltrators. I get the 11th Commandment idea, and it is appropriate when all of the Republicans believe more or less in the platform, but you can't apply it to infiltrators, for then you are saying you are willing to sleep with the enemy.

JASmius said...

There aren't any "infiltrators". That's melodramatic nonsense. There are, and will always be, a handful of "centrists" in the party by virtue of the fact that there are Republicans from "blue" States and enclaves who are correspondingly likely to be more, shall we say, "philosophically malleable," but the GOP as a party is more conservative than it has ever been. The very presence and existence of the HFC is proof of that. You have to go back to before 1980 to find a Republican Party that fits your depiction.

Let us not confuse tactics and strategy with ideology.

But as I recall asking you on previous such occasions, feel free to provide me with a list of these "infiltrators," complete with their case officers and who sent them on their "deep cover" missions. I'm willing to look it over.