Four years and seven days ago (with apologies to Abraham Lincoln) I wrote, “A woman can serve in Congress and remain popular so long as she is not perceived as smart, powerful and effective.” That was a line from an article I penned back then called “Get the hell off Nancy Pelosi’s back,” (Palmer Report, 11 November 2018.) Democrats had just retaken the House and Pelosi was once again to be handed the Speaker’s gavel in January. I stand by that line today.
Back then Ms. Pelosi undertook the position of Speaker of the House by declaring that impeaching Donald Trump was not on the table. She understood better than anyone why serving the American people — and not political vengeance — was her job first and last. She was roundly criticised by many in her own party for holding that opinion. If nobody else remembers it, I do. And the criticism was virulent.
Grumbling against Pelosi’s leadership has fallen off considerably since then, not because she started jumping to her critics’ tune but because they came to see, some slowly and some quickly, that she was right. And a good thing too. Trump, as he inevitably would, was hoist on his own petard.
Now Republicans are about to show us what politics looks like when the chickenshits are in charge. Nothing says “fighting inflation” quite like forming numerous committees to do everything from investigating Hunter Biden to impeaching the President of the United States for absolutely nothing. Despite the lessons of the 2022 midterm Pink Puddle, that is what the Republican Party will consume itself with for the next two years. It’s what the House of Representatives looks like when it’s run by a bunch of tantrum-throwing babies.
What’s more, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is not Kevin McCarthy. Get ready for a MAGA-controlled House under the psychotic “leadership” of Marjorie Taylor Greene and her radical caucus. The thinly-sliced Republican majority can be derailed with ease by a small number of Republican wackos whenever they want.
That is why Greene stumped so heavily for McCarthy as leader. She knows as well as anyone that McCarthy is the weakest and dumbest member to ever pick up the Speaker’s gavel. Greene and her caucus can easily defeat him. Make no mistake about who the real Speaker will be.
The fight Chuck Schumer had with the nefarious democratic senators Kyrsten Sinema and Joe Manchin was nothing compared with what Speaker McCarthy is going to face. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy. McCarthy is the opposite of Nancy Pelosi. Where she was strong he is weak. Where she was a deft negotiator of the treacherous polItical landscape, he is stupid and clumsy, and myopically stumbling his way toward disaster.
In the midst of all this Democrats may even sneak some worthwhile legislation to the Senate. Whatever we can get to the them the Democrat-controlled Senate will pass, while derailing Republican attempts to outlaw same-sex marriage, give even more tax breaks to the super rich and make abortion unlawful in all fifty states. The net effect will be yet another public self-immolation of the Republican Party.
The fact that Republicans won back the House will be effectively nullified by their own stupidity. This election has been a double victory for Democrats and the silly MAGA caucus, ironically, is going to see to it personally. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.