Dem 51
image description
GOP 49
image description

Today in Republican Shenanigans

It's no secret that sizable numbers of Republican officeholders don't much care about governing. Actually, some of them don't care about governing and some of them just realize that governing is not especially possible for the GOP these days, meaning that all that's left is silly political theater. And yesterday, there was plenty of that.

We'll start in California, where Republican activists, knowing full well they cannot win an actual gubernatorial election, are trying once again to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA). His crimes are that he has not balanced the California budget (a common state of affairs) and that he is... making noises about running for president in 2028. If we think of recall as being a form of impeachment, well, these hardly seem offenses worthy of removal. In particular, if presidential aspirations were that sort of offense, half the governors in the country would be thrown out on their ear. In any case, there is zero chance this will work, while there is a 100% chance it will produce very bad PR for the California GOP, and possibly the national GOP. One thing Newsom could do to end this nonsense once and for all is ask the state legislature to pass a law stating that whenever the office of governor is vacant (for example, after a successful recall election), the lieutenant governor becomes governor. Then all a recall would do is replace one Democrat with a different Democrat. That is far less attractive to Republicans.

And now, let's shift to Washington, DC. There, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) has somehow decided that Joe Biden is not impeachable, but that the President IS too mentally infirm to continue as president. Consequently, Buck has introduced a resolution calling on Biden's cabinet to invoke the Twenty-Fifth Amendment and to remove him from the presidency. Needless to say, there is zero chance that the Cabinet will do that. And if they do decide such a move is warranted, they do not require any input from Republicans in Congress. Like so many constitutional amendments, the Twenty-Fifth does not require enabling legislation.

And then there are Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) and Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA). They have both shared their view that Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) should withdraw the invitation to deliver the State of the Union Address until the President has "addressed" the situation at the southern border. Undoubtedly, since it was a grand total of 2 weeks ago, readers of this site recall that the lack of legislation on the border is the doing of... Perry, Johnson and the House Republican Conference. And if Johnson yanks the SOTU invitation, all Biden will do is toddle across the Capitol, and deliver the address in the Senate. Let us not forget that the President has a constitutional responsibility to do this particular job.

And finally, there's the most consequential shenanigans of them all. The country is once again just days from shutting down (four days, to be precise). Here is a list of people and entities who made clear yesterday that they do not want a shutdown and that they are willing to roll up their sleeves and work hard to prevent one:

Perhaps you will notice who is conspicuously missing from the list. And you will undoubtedly need your fainting couch once we tell you that it's the Freedom Caucus that is the stumbling block. Note that Johnson actually has put forward a draft spending bill, but it's full of extreme stuff that isn't going to get through the Senate, or the White House. "We get everything we want" is not how governing works, and so one cannot take the Johnson bill seriously. Oh, and the House is in recess until Thursday, so there's little time for sausage-making.

Maybe, one day, the 45% of the country that votes Republican will grow weary of a party that cannot and will not govern, and that tolerates Nazis in its ranks (see above). But that day is not today, and it's not tomorrow, either. (Z)

This item appeared on Read it Monday through Friday for political and election news, Saturday for answers to reader's questions, and Sunday for letters from readers.                     State polls                     All Senate candidates