Our little game of Political Survivor abruptly expanded to the House of Representatives last week, with potentially explosive results. Speaker John Boehner finally got so disgusted with his own tribe that he voted himself off the island, and now his presumed successor, California Representative Kevin McCarthy, has done the same before his colleagues could even attempt to kill him.

With the Tea Party crazies vying with so-called establishment candidates for the top job, the whole process looks to be veering more towards a Lord of the Flies confrontation. My question: will the Republicans tear each other apart before they have a chance to further screw up the USA?

One can hope.

All this was actual Breaking News just a few hours ago, as I write this. But just when I thought the drama couldn’t get any crazier, Newt Gingrich volunteered to assume the Speakership—again! He hasn’t held office since he quit following the 1998 election disaster for Republicans.

Even crazier, it wouldn’t be illegal. Seriously? You don’t have to hold elected office to be Speaker? But Newt always always did think big. Remember this gem?

…“By the end of my second term [as U.S. President], we will have a base on the Moon, and it will be American!” Newt, on the campaign trail in 2012. Newt should be the first settler.

Boehner hand-picked McCarthy as his successor, but young Kevin immediately stepped knee deep into his own bullshit when he bragged on Fox News that the main function of the select committee on Benghazi was to drive down Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Both Clinton and the press have reaped much political capital from that gaffe, and McCarthy recognized (or more likely, was told) that he was doomed before he even got started.

Oh wait, I wasn’t supposed to actually say that?

The witch-hunt strategy on Benghazi worked so well that there’s a brand-new committee this week formed to “investigate” (read: destroy) Planned Parenthood. Even though the real target is legalized abortion. Oh, and women’s health/rights in general.

These a-holes are NOT pro-life. They are pro-birth and nothing more. That’s the “truth bomb” that Bernie Sanders dropped during his visit to Liberty University a few weeks back: why do the conservatives who claim to care so much about the unborn, seem to care so little about those same babies (and their mothers) after birth?

WHY is this issue not front and center in every Democrat’s campaign speeches?

I hope it comes up during the first Democratic candidate debate (an event probably in the past when you read this). I will miss it live but am taping it because the dance that Clinton must do to gain advantage over Sanders without alienating his supporters will be interesting to watch.

’Twill also be interesting to see what everyone has to say about Vladimir Putin’s latest moves in Syria. As I said in my last installment, if we let him push the U.S. around, we avoid war with Russia but we may also wind up electing a truly bellicose (and Republican) president—which could eventually put us WAY closer to war between nuclear powers.

So there will be more dancing in the debate. And possibly trashing of Obama, just to make sure that no candidate gets lumped in with the President’s inaction. You can bet that Fox News is all over this, IN LARGE CAPITAL LETTERS. But don’t get me wrong! I think no military response is best. But I don’t know what else we can do to rein in the Russian cowboy. More economic sanctions? We can’t do that alone, and Europe needs Russia’s oil for the coming winter. The whole thing is just plain ugly.

But let’s get back to the Lord of the Flies, oops, I mean Speaker of the House job. Hand-picked successor Kevin McCarthy didn’t only blow it that one time on Fox News. Numerous videos from just the past week reveal that he can’t seem to put a grammatically correct sentence together.

Dan Quayle used to mess up better—you could listen to him get lost in the middle of a sentence—while McCarthy merely blows the grammar. But the effect is the same: you ask yourself how far this guy got in school, and the same question about the people who voted him into office.

And of course that wasn’t his only problem. So many House Republicans hate Boehner that a designated similar successor wasn’t going to have any easier a time getting their cooperation. Part of me wants to see an extremist get the job because then HE can experience what that kind of failure is like.

But I thought that about George W. Bush before he was “elected” by the Supreme Court: “How bad can it get?” I asked rhetorically in 2000. We found out. After reelection in 2004, I reasoned that W would have to clean up his own mess in Iraq. Hah!

I find myself looking at this circular firing squad with delight and horror simultaneously. As I recall, Lord of the Flies didn’t end so well, for anyone.

Written by

Steve Schlich is retired after 35 years of writing fiction about software: “easy to use,” “does what you want,” and the like. Hobbies include webmaster for www.RodSerling.com, writing songs and short stories. In 2004, he created www.NakedWashington.com, a website chronicling the naughty public art in Washington, D.C. He lives happily with his wife and cats, north of San Francisco.

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