Mike Johnson is Jim Jordan in drag. — Charlie Sykes
We just spent the last three weeks with the House GOP looking for all the world like one of those National Geographic shows where they look through a microscope at a petri dish of bacteria, just scurrying around blindly, bouncing off of each other, and getting absolutely nothing productive done.
But here’s the punch line. In another two weeks Jordan, Gaetz, and the rest of these imbeciles are going to look back on the last three weeks as the good old days. Because at least for the last three weeks, the only ones the GOP House were fighting were each other.
Don’t get me wrong, they’re still going to be bouncing against each other, but they’re about to have lots of company. Because if nothing unites Democrats with each other and independents like Donald Trump, nothing unites Senate Democrats and Republicans like the House Freedumb caucus. And they’re about to have the opportunity to make their lives a living hell.
I put that Charlie Sykes quote at the top for a reason. Because it’s true. Mike Johnson is every bit as batsh*t crazy as Gaetz and Jordan, he just keeps it in the closet. Every day since the House elected him Speaker the media are uncovering new stupidity and insanity about Johnson, but it doesn’t matter now. At the time, those moderate conservatives were getting heat from their constituents, and Johnson comes across at first glance like Barney Fife with really bad eyes.
But the GOP House still has the same problem. We’re 30 days away from a government shutdown, and the mental midgets in the Freedom caucus are still all full of bluff and bullsh*t about passing a series of stand alone budget bills, which would require not only negotiation with each other, but with the Senate too. Gaetz and Jordan are adamant about this since McCarthy took their favorite toy away in negotiating a debt ceiling increase including budget spending baselines, and Gaetz and Jordan want to barter on those, and force concessions.
Fuggedaboudit. They might almost have had a prayer if they’d elected Johnson Speaker 21 days ago, but these misfit toys can’t even select a conference room on the first ballot. And while the moderates may have settled for Johnson in order to get back to work, they’re never going to sign on to the kind of Draconian budget cuts that the Freedom caucus is going to try to pass.
But because these toddlers just must touch that stove, they’ll try to ram through a quick single bill for one department’s budget, just to get the rhythm. And it will fall flat on its ass. There is still far too much animosity in yhr moderate caucus over McCarthy’s ouster, and they’re not going to be in the mood to take another one for the team, much less a whole series of them under an ever decreasing timeline. They’ll never get 217 votes.
Meanwhile, the senate is busy sticking the shiv in. They’re almost done with a bipartisan continuing resolution that will extend current spending into the new year, as well as providing aid for Israel, Ukraine and spending on border protection. Then they’ll pass it, sit back, fire up the microwave popcorn, and enjoy the freak show.
It’s not like this would be the first time. In the relatively short modern history of GOP House control, they have a long history of not being able to get their budget sh*t in gear, because they keep wanting to use the budget and the debt ceiling as hostages. Meaning that every year the Senate pulls what they call a Christmas dump, slopping together all of the budgetary sh*t together along with a clean budget extension, and rams it down the House’s throat at the last minute. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
One of two things will happen. Either the House won’t even bring it to the floor for a vote, continuing to pass their drivel, which will crash and burn in the Senate, or they’ll bring the bill to the floor, yank the Ukraine aid, and maybe shorten the duration, and if they can pass it, send it back to the Senate, which will immediately restore it to its original pristine beauty before ping-ponging it back to the House. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.
But the odds are stacked against the House GOP for two reasons. First, Johnson is a total infant when it comes to legislative procedural management, Hakeem Jeffries would be far superior to Johnson. Which means he’ll be stumbling at every step, and the Democrats will call him on every mistake, count on it. More delay.
Second, because he has no legislative management experience, he can’t even negotiate the rug out from under the Freedom caucus the way McCarthy did. Johnson is a slavish sycophant to Gaetz and Jordan. Like Kiddie Court Judge Aileen Cannon, he had this whole thing dropped in his lap almost as a lark. He’ll likely follow orders even if it means shutting the government down.
If President Biden had fun negotiating with Cave-In McCarthy, just wait until he gets a load of this animal cracker. Which is why I’m pretty sure that the GOP brain rust will insist on either Jordan or Gaetz being present for any negotiations with Biden. Which, if the meeting is restricted to the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate, Biden will toss them double barrel birds. And if they return the favor, then it’s the GOP House that’s refusing to negotiate to end the crisis.
I honestly don’t know how this plays out. All I know is that the GOP House is boned. Sideways. If they dig their heels in and shut down the government in a fit of pique, I can guarantee you that they will accomplish nothing more than to piss off every voter in the country by ruining their holidays. And if they extend the budget until mid January, then they reopen the same nightmare right in the middle of the GOP primaries. Even Trump will be ordering them to shut up and solve the problem so hr doesn’t have tu run against it in November, if he survives legally that long.
The only logical ones in this whole farce have been Biden and McCarthy. They negotiated the debt ceiling extension to run until mid January of 2025. Which took it off of the GOP table until after the election, which is what so enraged Gaetz. The smartest move that the House GOP could make would be to take the continuing resolution the Senate sends them, extend it until 2025, and send it back to the Senate.
Because if these budget cuts are the hill the GOP House wants to die on, it’s going to turn into Groundhogs Day. They’re just going to keep climbing the same damn hill over and over again every couple of months.