Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Johnson Is Starting to Govern and Will Soon Discover What It Is Like

In his first interview with Fox News after becoming speaker, Mike Johnson said: "We need to bifurcate aid to Ukraine and Israel" (English translation: I am against aid to Ukraine). Guess what? An "Israel only" bill could probably not pass the House since every Democrat and many Republicans would vote against it and it probably wouldn't even be brought up for a vote in the Senate. Johnson has no experience trying to get consensus on contentious subjects, and he may be in for a rude shock. Pursuing the goals of at most a quarter of the House and only a very small fraction of the Senate just isn't going to fly. Dropping the bill isn't going to fly either because most Republicans strongly support Israel and don't want to see it destroyed. Supporters of Ukraine are never going to accept: "Let's pass aid to Israel now and then we can talk about Ukraine later" because they know there will never be a "later." Insisting that the two aid packages are in one bill holds the Israel aid hostage to the Ukraine aid. Supporters of Ukraine fully understand that, even if Johnson doesn't. But he'll learn.

The wars that Israel and Ukraine are fighting are very different, of course. Ukraine is struggling with a grinding ground war, trying to take back territory, foot by foot and inch by inch. The enemy is dug in along miles and miles of trenches. It's World War I all over again, sans the poison gas (so far). The war in the Middle East is a modern army fighting hard-to-find guerrillas hiding in underground tunnels. Think something along the lines of the Vietnam War, or either of the recent wars in Afghanistan (U.S.S.R. or U.S.).

Johnson's plan is to fund the aid to Israel and cut domestic spending by the same amount as the aid. The only problem is that will never even pass the House, let alone the Senate. It should be interesting to see how long it takes him to realize that it is going nowhere. Also, in addition to Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and Johnson, there are currently 431 other members of the House, any one of whom could introduce a motion to vacate the chair. That includes Democrats. If Johnson's view of governance is "my way or the highway," one of those 431 might just decide that it is already time for an MTV. (V)

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