Hakeem Jeffries isn’t taking the bait
Amid the chaos of picking a House Speaker in order for Congress to session, there’s been an idea growing around social media for House Democrats to step up and be the good guys here by offering to vote for a moderate Republican as speaker – even someone not currently serving in Congress as there’s no rule in the Constitution that requires the speaker to be a sitting member of the House of Representatives. There’s a rising chorus in the media as well – but thankfully House Democrat leader Hakeem Jeffries isn’t taking the bait – and frankly, neither should any of us.
It remains to be seen if McCarthy will withdraw his nomination or just keep embarrassing himself on the House floor – but if Republicans don’t pick him, whoever they’ll get behind will be just as awful – and just as good as keeping order over their most insane members – which is to say they’ll be absolutely terrible at it. Nor is there a guarantee that the elected speaker will even be around for a full term – a concession that McCarthy himself openly supported. There really isn’t such a thing as a moderate Republican anymore – only ones that are quieter about their embrace of awful policies that have come to define the modern GOP.
Even if there were, that person wouldn’t stand much of a chance against the increasingly demented Freedom Caucus – and would have to cave to them on at least some things to placate the average Republican voter who’s been fed years of right wing propaganda. No matter what, a Republican House majority is going to be awful. Any Republican presiding as speaker will have to waste everyone’s time with investigations because it’s one of the few promises they can actually make good on.
Thinking Democrats can just save the day by picking a “good Republican” as speaker is just wishcasting nonsense, that in the end, will just elevate someone in that party unnecessarily for their future political prospects. Let’s not be conditioned by the media into disparaging our own party at a time when it’s the Republican House majority that got the job they auditioned for and have no idea what to do with it.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making