The GOP and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week
There are many days of the year known to be wild and crazy. Most of them are associated with horror films and spooky days. Friday the 13th for the superstitious, and Jan. 6 is apparently the day of the year Congress almost falls apart completely. After the 2021 riots that led to hundreds of arrests, here we sit in 2023 with a GOP House of Representatives majority and, as I write this article, it took 15 rounds to elect Kevin McCarthy Speaker of the House. Staying up late to get this confirmed was not my original Friday night plan. Even though the GOP eventually took the W, they certainly cannot be proud of themselves, and with all this in-house division, along with record employment numbers, Biden should be feeling good about 2024 and the DNC feeling great about retaking the House in 2024.
To call what happened last week a nightmare for the Republican Party is an understatement. Led by sex scandal-tainted Matt Gaetz, his resistance was fueled by McCarthy’s lack of urgency to help him after being accused of sex trafficking. Yahoo News reported late Friday night on how the bad blood between the two MAGA-loving conservatives started.
According to Yahoo! Entertainment, “[. . .] Gaetz’s hatred curdled into something even more powerful after it was revealed in early 2021 that the MAGA congressman was the target of a federal investigation into the sex trafficking of a minor. (No charges were filed against Gaetz, but his “wingman” Joel Greenberg was sentenced to 11 years in prison.) McCarthy, in Gaetz’s opinion, failed to mount a forceful enough defense on his behalf. According to two sources familiar with the matter, Gaetz has been furious at McCarthy for the perceived lack of support ever since — despite the fact that McCarthy did not strip him of any committee assignments during the probe.” (“Sex trafficking row helped fuel Gaetz’s hatred for McCarthy,” Asawin Suebsaeng and Tessa Stuart, Jan. 6, 2023.)
So as Gaetz let the world burn with a handful of supporters, his one-time mentor and presidential boss, Donald Trump, failed to unite the party as well. Trump told the GOP to get behind McCarthy and yet, once again, he proved to be an ineffective leader. If someone were to ask me who the leader of the GOP is as of January 2023, I’d say it’s just Murphy’s Law. Anything bad that could happen did, and the GOP may have shot itself in the foot in two years. After storming the capital on Jan. 6, 2021, the GOP sat on the capital in 2023.
While the GOP fought each other, Joe Biden was able to score a big win for his presidency. According to CNSNews.com, “Reversing recent declines, the percentage of the population that is either working or actively looking for work increased slightly to 62.3 percent in December, up one-tenth of a point from November, and four basis points higher than the 61.9 percent in December 2021. In its final report for 2022, the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics counted a record 159,244,000 employed Americans in December, an increase of 717,000 from last month’s 158,527,000 (revised number); and the number of Americans counted as not in the labor force dropped below the hundred million level to 99,879,000.” (“159,244,000: Record number of Americans employed in December,” Susan Jones, Jan. 6, 2023.)
Even though Biden is a far-from-perfect man or president, the last two years of success have stemmed not from his ability to lead, but his opponent’s inability to unite. All Biden has to do for the next two years is remind the American people that he leads the party of stability and the Republicans are the party of anarchy.
Without a clear Republican leader heading into 2023, a failed “red wave” last November, and a Democratic presidency that looks good on paper, the race for 2024 might already be over. Hell, how are the Republicans supposed to win 2024 when they can barely get their own leader elected Speaker of the House with a majority of the voting block?
There is a popular children’s book and film called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. On Friday night, after watching this comedy of errors play out and with the GOP acting like children, it is fair to say that the GOP had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week.