That is, in essence, what David Harsanyi of The Federalist writes after the big news on Thursday that Rep. Kevin McCarthy was dropping out of the race (and bless the film critic by the same name who is getting all kinds of mean Tweets!).
As you might have guessed, there was pressure from the GOP for McCarthy to drop out of the race, especially after his major “foot in mouth” moment regarding the Benghazi Committee. But that wasn’t the only problem with McCarthy. From The Hill. Some rumors were swirling that McCarthy claimed were not true, and the committee accepted that answer, according to The Hill. But then, McCarthy dropped out suddenly. Go figure.
In any event, Harsanyi says this whole kerfluffle is overdone. From The Federalist:
Not one person in America is changing their mind about anything because Kevin McCarthy won’t be Speaker of the House.
If you listened to the political media, though, you might have been under the impression that something had gone horribly wrong because the House Majority Leader made the surprise decision to withdraw from the race for speaker, leaving Republicans to scramble for a candidate. Yet this is the kind of messiness we should expecting from our most democratic institution. The House is where public sentiment first manifests. And public sentiment—on the Right, and probably in most corners of American political life right now—isn’t in the mood for coronations.
Nevertheless, nearly the entire political media treated a healthy instance of intra-party debate as a failure of governance. Upsetting the status quo (if it’s Republicans, at least) is treated as turmoil rather than change.
Ain’t that the truth? People have been running around like Chicken Little after this announcement. Not for nothing, but there were actually some other people interested in the position. Reps. Jason Chaffetz and Daniel Webster come to mind. It is GOOD to have some competition, is it not?
Harsanyi concludes with this:
[…] Until a new president is elected, the dynamics of DC remain the dynamics because of structure, not personalities. The Treasury Department says Congress has to raise the debt ceiling by Nov. 5. Congress will agree to bump it again. Congress has to reach a two-year budget deal before funding expires. Republicans will agree, because they will not want to close down government. And conservatives will be mad.
Sooner or later, though, after someone else takes over, that new leadership will strive to maintain intraparty stability and demand disciple. That’s its job. And a bunch of newcomers will show up and want to change things, as they always do. In 1994, there was a Republican revolution in the House. By 1998, there was another House rebellion, this one overthrowing Newt Gingrich. That tension will never go away. It’s not a good thing for professional partisans, but hardly a tragedy for the rest of us. Or, at least, it’s a lot healthier for a republic than watching unprincipled politicians uncritically take orders from their leadership.
The House most directly represents the American voter, yet The Beltway sees pandemonium when the representatives of those voters no longer want to be managed and “governed,” but also have a voice. This doesn’t signify the end of the republic. And it doesn’t mean Republicans are on the verge of ceasing to function as a national political party. Though, you’re free to dream. (Click here to read the rest.)
There is much more to this interesting article, and I recommend reading it in its entirety. The bottom line is this, though: it ain’t no big thing for there to be some jockeying for this position. It isn’t a coronation, after all. And Representatives – OUR Representatives – actually feeling like they have a voice is a good thing indeed.
More of us know who Rep. Jason Chaffetz is, having seen him at numerous hearings and often being interviewed. But Daniel Webster? Besides putting out a mighty good dictionary (ahahaha), most of us have never heard of him. Thanks to a dear friend for providing this link, we can know more. Louder With Crowder has five Webster facts to know:
[…] 1. Daniel Webster may not be the next Speaker of the House. 40 votes is enough to shake things up, but not enough to put him over the top. Those 40 votes ensured McCarthy would’ve endured multiple ballots on October 29th (the floor vote for Speaker) and subsequently, would’ve made tons of concessions to the Freedom Caucus before becoming Speaker. Hence… McCarthy drops out. And when the Freedom Caucus wins, conservatives win. You could call it a win-win.
2. His constituents love him. Webster served 18 years in the Florida House of Representatives before being elected to serve as a Congressman in 2010.
3. Daniel Webster shakes things up. In 1996, he became Florida’s first Republican Speaker of the House in 122 years. So he’s kinda a big deal in the sunshine state. Upon his rise to power, Webster implemented serious change in the Florida House: the chamber began following House rules (imagine that!), considered bills in alphabetical order of each committee (goodbye political gamesmanship), and finished work at 6 p.m. every day. Efficiency, baby.
4. He’s an all-around conservative, not just a “fiscal” conservative. Webster is 100% pro-life, an outspoken advocate of school choice (he’s a homeschool dad), and is an active member of his church… where he’s taught Sunday School for over 40 years. In other words, babies are humans, you should educate them how you want, and Jesus is a cool dude. Yes, please.
5. Daniel Webster gets it. Check out his reasoning for running for Speaker and tell me you couldn’t support this man:
“I think we have a power-driven system now. I have seen it at every legislative level all over the country, where a few people at the top of the pyramid of power make all the decisions. All I want to do is push down that pyramid of power, spread out the base so every member has an opportunity, at least an opportunity to be successful. That’s it…”
Nutshell: Webster wants members of Congress to do their job.[…] (Click here to read the rest.)
As noted above, that is certainly something – wanting to let Representatives do their JOB.
There is no telling yet who will win the position, or if it will even be one of the men mentioned above (there is a big push for Rep. Ryan, too). But it is good to know a little more about who Webster is, should he be the next Speaker.
What do you think? This is an Open Thread.