So, Where Do We Go From Here?

As he so often does, Robert Hubbell has done an excellent job of summarizing the events of last week in the U.S. House of Representatives and what the coming weeks/months might bring.


The loyal opposition!

January 9, 2023

By Robert Hubbell

After the painful spectacle of Kevin McCarthy’s election as Speaker late Friday, I opened the Comments section to all readers to allow them to express their feelings about the confluence of the January 6th anniversary and McCarthy’s corrupt bargain to become Speaker. Several hundred readers took the opportunity to express themselves. Understandably, feelings of upset, anger, disappointment, and dejection were more common than usual from readers of this newsletter. While there is much to discuss regarding what McCarthy’s election as Speaker portends for America, those details will unfold over time (and may shift in the coming days). I want to start my discussion with the emotional reaction to McCarthy’s pathetic victory and our mission as “the loyal opposition” over the next two years.

It is reasonable for people to feel upset and angry over McCarthy’s victory. He is unfit to serve in Congress, let alone serve as its leader. Indeed, he is peculiarly unfit to be Speaker because he participated in the assault on Congress on January 6th by spreading the Big Lie and voting in favor of baseless objections to electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania. (McCarthy has since lied about his votes to overturn the election. See Talking Points Memo, McCarthy Falsely Denies Voting To Overturn Election Results.) And, of course, he was the first major politician to make a pilgrimage to Mar-a-Lago to begin the rehabilitation of Trump only a week after those killed in Trump’s insurrection were buried.

But all of this we already knew. McCarthy’s late-night victory felt like a slap in the face, even though it was based on humiliating groveling before the bottom feeders in Congress and a betrayal of the American people. After fifteen rounds of votes, McCarthy should have slithered out of the House. Instead, he acted like a conquering hero as GOP members chanted “USA, USA!” only moments after saying he could not be trusted to be Speaker. That moment of celebration by a grotesque caricature of a corrupt politician harkens back to the accidental election of singularly unfit Donald Trump to be president.

For some, McCarthy’s election was a replay of election night 2016. One reader (CC), wrote the following in the Comments section:

“Now many of us have PTSD from the first act of Kevin’s Circus, The Clown Show, that just ended in the House of Representatives. It is reminiscent of The Trump Show. But we’ve been through this situation before, and we know how to handle it. We need to stop inundating our nervous systems by listening to constant reporting about the same problems from different sources every day.

I’m not minimizing what we are facing. We’re all sick of having to fight the ugly underbelly of our country. But we don’t need to tackle the next few years all at once. And we really have no idea what tremendous things we will be able to achieve to counter this current set of dangers. We need to take it one day at a time.

We also need to protect our nervous systems from the overwhelming barrage of dung that will be flung from the monkeys in Kevin’s Circus. They will lie constantly. They always do. Expect it.

We fought back against them once. I would have felt a lot better during the four years of the “Trump administration” if I’d known how successfully Americans would fight back against these unimaginable horrors to “right the ship of state.” We have no guarantee, but we need to believe we can do it again instead of sinking into despair, which is easy to do.”

I agree with CC on all counts. We have every reason to be concerned about what McCarthy and the GOP will attempt to do over the next two years—but we are in a position of strength and should act accordingly. (More on that in a moment.) Even so, I acknowledge that it is almost as painful to watch McCarthy thumping his chest after a historic humiliation as it is to listen to Trump bloviate and lie with apparent immunity from Mar-a-Lago.

I am confident we will contain, outmaneuver, and defeat McCarthy over the next two years. But we can’t control the toxic mixture of gratuitous meanness, pomposity, and ignorance that passes for “politics” in the GOP. In the last forty-eight hours, McCarthy has failed to condemn any of the following: (a) George Santos’s use of a “white supremacist” hand gesture from the House floor, (b) a crude and offensive tweet by a freshman GOP member from Florida who tried to connect the Speaker’s gavel to the attack on Nancy Pelosi’s husband, (c) Trump’s claim over the weekend that Ashli Babbitt is a “true patriot”, and (d) the attack on the Brazilian Senate and presidential palace by supporters of defeated former President Bolsonaro.

As reader CC said, we must “expect it” from McCarthy and his gang, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept it. Indeed, our task as members of the loyal opposition is to make McCarthy et al. own every debased, depraved, selfish, corrupt, and ignorant statement made by the reprobates to whom McCarthy has surrendered his manhood. And they are about to start an endless stream of such statements without a moment of reflection on the fact that Americans rejected MAGA extremism in 2022.

With all of that as background, let’s take a moment to put Friday’s events in perspective.

They have McCarthy. We have Jeffries. We win—every time.

The Speaker’s election defined two men: Kevin McCarthy and Hakeem Jeffries. McCarthy is exposed as weak, corrupt, and desperate. He was humiliated on the House floor, begging for votes from Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert. It simply doesn’t get more pathetic than that. Conversely, the Democratic caucus unanimously supported Hakeem Jeffries through fifteen rounds of votes. And then the two men spoke—and the differences could not be more pronounced. McCarthy read his speech like the uncomfortable politician whose skill is in the back room, not the podium. Hakeem Jeffries gave an inspiring, lyrical, passionate speech that worth is watching in its entirety: Watch House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ historic first speech (Start at 4:15 mark).

When it comes time to communicate competing visions of our future to anxious Americans, Hakeem Jeffries will win every time. We should feel great about that fact.


Hubbell continues to talk about the promised/threatened ‘investigations’ and the debt ceiling threat, but the entire newsletter is too long for this post, so I hope that you’ll take a couple of minutes to pop over there and read the rest!

20 thoughts on “So, Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. I couldn’t read this post, Jill. For days now I have heard nothing but Kevin McCarthy and the Speaker of the House. Americans should be concerned I guess, but I can’t be anymore right now.
    The Canadian government just spent billions buying fighter jets from an American company, like American arms dealers need more money.
    I guess we are expecting to go to war soon. That is as crazy as your House of Representatives. I’m glad I’m an old man. I will be free of this world soon.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I suspect we’ll have several horrible weeks over the course of the next two years. My hope is that the people of this nation look at the spectacle and realize that some of these members of Congress need to be voted OUT! xx

      Like

  2. Reblogged this on The Voice of the Voiceless and commented:

    This is a great read concerning the state of the House of Reps with McCarthy in the seat that none of us with a sound mind wanted him in. In redistricting here in California, I got the displeasure of having this man elected as my district’s representative. I will be a huge thorn in his side because he works for me.

    This article is great, and I thank my Sis, Jill, for sharing the post from Robert Hubbell. Please take some time to read her post and visit the original post here:https://open.substack.com/pub/roberthubbell/p/the-loyal-opposition?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web
    In Community,
    Amy

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jill, this is well articulated. I expect Mr. McCarthy to have an unhappy tenure as Speaker since he made a deal with the more extreme Republicans who are not known for being either truthful or rational in their discourse. He will likely find as did John Boehner that he will have to make necessary deals with Democrats to get key things done which the Freedom Caucus did not care for then and I do not expect the extremist Republicans to be too happy with him when he does it. This is a key reason the better deal for our country would have been with the Democrats leaving the extremists off on their own. Keith

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, no doubt McCarthy has bitten off more than he can chew, and frankly I’ll be surprised if he lasts out the year with gavel still in hand. He’s going to be between a rock and a hard place for most of his speakership, I suspect, and he deserves it. Two lonnnnnnnnnng years … sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jill, on the same day the majority in the House voted to reduce the added funding to the IRS, the CFO of the Trump Organization was sentenced for tax fraud. On Friday, the rest of the Trump Organization will be fined and sentenced. No one likes the IRS, but they perform a needed role. And, this added funding is to restore cuts made by Trump when he was president. It is funny how rich donors want a depleted IRS so they can game the system. Plus cutting the IRS funding would increase the deficit. Fortunately, this bill is dead in the water in the Senate. Keith

        Liked by 1 person

        • I fully agree that the IRS plays a much-needed role! And the Republicans have lied and said the additional agents were going to be going after the poor, when that is the furthest thing from the truth. But, we must remember they and their wealthy donors were the real targets of the increased funding for the IRS. Did I ever tell you that I applied to work at the IRS many years ago? They turned me down cold … said I was “too nice”!!! Indeed, I do think the bill will die in the Senate, and even if it didn’t, it would never get President Biden’s signature. And they know that … it’s all for show.

          Like

  4. I ready him everyday. He is my go to guy for information that is informative and has feeling. Also many of the comments on his newsletter are exceptional as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: So, Where Do We Go From Here? — Filosofa’s Word | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

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