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January 9, 2023

GOP Stronger After Speaker Fight

Despite what Democrats and their Leftmedia toadies claim, the Republican Party is better for having vigorously debated the issue of our next speaker.

Everyone had their say, the competing factions agreed to some significant reforms, and then the Republican conference voted up a speaker of the House. So what’s wrong with that?

Plenty, if you to listened to Joe Biden or Chuck Schumer or Dan Crenshaw or the mainstream media.

On Saturday, California Congressman and longtime House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy finally won enough votes to become speaker. It took 15 votes and more than a few frayed nerves, but Republicans got it done just as we said they would. They had to, after all. And in so doing, they reaffirmed the truism that real freedom is often messy, often contentious, but ultimately indispensable.

“Sure, it looks messy,” said Wisconsin Congressman, Marine, and Iraq War veteran Mike Gallagher, “but Democracy is messy — by design. That’s a feature, not a bug, of our system.” (And by “democracy,” he no doubt meant republican democracy or representative democracy.)

A lot of good came out of the negotiations, too — and all of it good for those who respect the Constitution and appreciate limited government. As one of the 20 Republican holdouts, Dan Bishop of North Carolina (American Conservative Union lifetime rating: 100), yesterday explained:

Twenty courageous members of the House Republican conference made sure that we’ve … nailed down a vision for a Republican majority so that we know what we’re doing together. We have restored genuine parliamentary participation to the body, rather than have it run in a Pelosi-style [with] backroom-deal-making. We have agreed to specific and achievable fiscal commitments to prevent the Democrats from winning every negotiation. And there’s several other details, but the big one, or a big one for me and that I worked on personally, we have nailed down in complete detail the terms of a select committee to investigate the weaponization of the federal government against Americans and to make sure that it is sufficiently vested with authority to get the job done.

That select committee is indeed a big win. Republicans and conservatives generally have been set upon in recent years by a federal law enforcement and intelligence apparatus run amok, and the committee that Bishop is talking about would focus on these agencies’ abuses in a way much like the Senate’s Church Committee of the 1970s — a select committee that investigated abuses by the CIA, NSA, FBI, and IRS.

Anyone else think a little sunlight might help disinfect those agencies?

Another win was to force separate votes on the 12 different appropriation bills — from agriculture to defense to transportation — rather than allowing them to be bundled together into an abominable 11th-hour pork-laden $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill. Still another win for the holdouts was to allow a single member of the House to raise a motion to vacate the chair — that is, to raise what’s essentially a no-confidence vote on the speakership. This is a return to the rules that were in place before Nancy Pelosi trampled them. “That’s been in parliamentary law in the United States since the country began until Pelosi eliminated it at the beginning of the last Congress,” said Bishop. “It’s not weakening Kevin McCarthy. It’s providing the speaker with the tools he needs for Republicans to go to the mat for the American people.”

To be clear, we expect a lot of opportunistic hand-wringing and pearl-clutching from the Left, but we don’t expect it from our side. Still, we got it from a few grandstanders, most prominent — and most disappointing — of whom was Texas Republican Dan Crenshaw.

On Wednesday, Crenshaw blasted the holdouts, accusing them of looking for a “scalp,” calling them “terrorists,” and ranting: “Behind closed doors tell us what you actually want, or shut the f**k up. They need to be men and adults and say what they want, instead of playing these little games, that’s what we’re asking.” Crenshaw gave an awful lot in service to our country fighting actual terrorists, so we’re willing to give him a lot of latitude here, but he should also know better.

Crenshaw’s fellow Texan Ted Cruz took him to task: “My view is ‘settle down.’ This will work out and it’ll be fine. That kind of overheated rhetoric, calling people ‘terrorists,’ is not terribly conducive to anything resembling Republican unity. It’s not conducive to having strong leadership for the next two years in the House, engaging in vitriol and personal attacks.”

As it turns out, the holdouts made their case and got their concessions. And the country will be better for it. Despite what the Democrats and the Leftmedia would have us believe.

All in all, it ended as a good week for Liberty.

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