Wednesday, October 25, 2023

THE PRAIRIE EDITOR: Curtain Down! Curtain Up!

The Republican House of Representatives majority, after

three tries, finally settled on a new speaker, following a

long-brewing revolt that led to the end of Speaker

Kevin McCarthy’s tenure three weeks before.

Louisiana Congressman Mike Johnson won a unanimous

GOP vote to win the speakership 220-209 over Democrat

Hakeem Jeffers. This party unity was in stark contrast to

the party divisions which marked earlier voting that saw

three GOP speaker nominees fail to even come close to 

the 217 votes necessary to win the post.

For three weeks, the House majority performed a comic

opera that wasn’t at all funny. When the curtain came 

down, there was relief instead of applause. 

Speaker Johnson says the next show will be serious 

drama. There is plenty to be serious about in both 

domestic and in international affairs.

The first action of the House under Speaker Johnson was

a bipartisan resolution condemning the barbarity of

Hamas in its attack of Israel. It passed overwhelmingly.

Coming up, the House must take action on the national

debt limit, an issue which provoked GOP dissension

before. It will test Speaker Johnson’s ability to serve as

leader of the House as perhaps no other immediate

issue. If he and his caucus are successful, they will then

face many more serious decisions in the term leading

to the November, 2024 national elections.

The work of the legislative branches of the government

goes on. The curtain will now rise on the next show in

D.C. The business of nominating candidates for

president will likely attract the most attention. There is

considerable dissension in both major parties on which

person that will be, and there is an unusual interest in

this cycle for third party and independent candidates.

Democrats might have enjoyed the spectacle of the

Republicans’ House leadership battle just concluded,

but now they face a decision of what to do with their

own incumbent president and vice president whose 

support is plummeting ominously in virtually all 

battleground states.

The curtain is now going up on that show, and no one

knows now who will be in its cast, or whether it will be 

a comedy or a tragedy or something else.


Copyright (c) 2023 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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