Blogger: House Freedom Caucus Too Irresponsible to Have a Say In Determining Next Speaker

Is the Republican party actually two parties? In a sense, believes Washington Monthly blogger Martin Longman, who contended in a Monday post that the forty or so congressmen who constitute the Freedom Caucus “are best understood in the parliamentary sense as being a party in their own right. In our system, they are still called Republicans, but in any other system they would be a minor party that has allied itself with another larger party to form a majority.”

Longman asserted that this unofficial party is so ideologically bonkers that it doesn’t deserve a role in resolving the central issue facing the House: “As long as the so-called Freedom Caucus of Republicans continues to demand a continuance of government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship, they do not belong in the majority and should not have any say in who the next Speaker will be…The Freedom Caucus has to be sidelined.”

From Longman’s post (bolding added):

[A] lot of the Republicans who were elected to Congress since Obama took office…came in with a mandate to burn-the-mutha-down, not a mandate to work out unsatisfying compromises with the president and his party.

What’s making Congress ungovernable, though, isn’t that there is some innate superiority to being a squishy compromiser over a dedicated reformer. The problem is that these reformers want to use tactics that are so problematic that they can’t find leaders who will continue to employ them after they’ve proven ineffective for the cause and destructive to the country’s credit rating.

Back when our country seriously flirted with defaulting on our debt, Speaker Boehner made it clear to anyone who would listen that it was an insane idea that he would never allow to happen. But he humored his new radicalized majority-making members for too long and the credit downgrade came anyway.

After the last government shutdown caused a huge decline in popularity for the Republican Party, both Boehner and now-U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged that there would be no more government shutdowns. They have repeated that pledge over and over again since that time.

…[T]he Republicans who refuse to stop demanding government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship are not best understood as wayward lawmakers who won’t accept any leadership. They are best understood in the parliamentary sense as being a party in their own right. In our system, they are still called Republicans, but in any other system they would be a minor party that has allied itself with another larger party to form a majority…

As long as the so-called Freedom Caucus of Republicans continues to demand a continuance of government shutdowns and debt ceiling brinksmanship, they do not belong in the majority and should not have any say in who the next Speaker will be. To be more precise, their preference for Speaker would not win out, and the result would be that they would have to serve in the minority in the House…

The Speaker would be chosen by a coalition of lawmakers who express a willingness to actually vote for the funding of our government and who are willing to make a commitment to pay our bills on time…

…The Freedom Caucus has to be sidelined.

This means a shattering of the modern Republican Party, but it’s no one’s fault but the “reformers” who don’t understand the way power works or that they’re quickly forcing responsible people to call for a coalition government as the only way to avoid a global financial catastrophe.

Congress Economy Budget National Debt Conservatives & Republicans Washington Monthly Martin Longman House Republicans


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