Voter Beware: Divided Government Will Be Utter Chaos

With election day two weeks away, Republican prospects of taking control of the House of Representatives, already strong, appear to have solidified. Barring the unexpected, President Biden’s next two years will be shaped by challenges from a House led by some of his most zealous opponents.

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That isn’t unusual; every president for the last four decades has contended with divided government. Sometimes, that has arguably been a good thing — a constructive check on executive power.

Not now.

The House won’t merely be held by Republicans. It will be led by Republicans loyal to former President Trump, many of whom refuse to accept Biden’s legitimacy as president.

Most members of the new majority will have been elected with Trump’s endorsement. There will be almost no Trump critics in the House GOP — none who dare voice their qualms, at least. The caucus has been purged.

Of the 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump after his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, eight retired or lost primary elections. Only two are still on the ballot.

Of the likely members of the next majority, well more than half have questioned or denied the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. January’s incoming members will, not incidentally, be in the House when it considers the results of the presidential election of 2024.

Meanwhile, the ranks of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus are swelling. The group has been recruiting members among this year’s candidates and is on track to boast at least 46 next year, an all-time high.

The likely next House speaker, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield), is a Trump loyalist too. As Republican floor leader during the Trump administration, McCarthy worked to forge a relationship with the volatile president, who rewarded him with the slightly demeaning nickname “My Kevin.” McCarthy broke with Trump oh-so-briefly over the Jan. 6 riot but flew to Mar-a-Lago three weeks later to seek forgiveness.

McCarthy has made clear that other Trump acolytes will gain under his speakership. He has promised Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, one of the founders of the Freedom Caucus, the chairmanship of the powerful Judiciary Committee. He has promised Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, who once suggested that California’s wildfires were caused by Jewish-funded space lasers, a seat on the Oversight Committee, which is likely to launch an investigation of Hunter Biden, the president’s wayward son.

Jordan and the Freedom Caucus were once considered GOP gadflies, in-House critics who challenged the less disruptive conservatism of Speakers John Boehner and Paul D. Ryan. Greene was considered an outlier whose ability to grab headlines was a problem, not an asset.

No longer. Both are now core members of a GOP conference whose mission is to fight the Biden administration to a standstill. Their agenda begins with deep spending cuts in domestic programs, which they argue are needed to shrink the federal budget deficit and quell inflation.

Some members have already declared their willingness to shut down the federal government to get their way.

“Shut it down if necessary,” Rep. Bob Good of Virginia said last week. “Gridlock is a good thing compared to the alternative.”

Even worse, several have said they plan to block an increase in the federal debt ceiling — a move that would raise the specter of the government defaulting on its debts and risk a global financial crash. McCarthy said he too would be willing to block a debt limit increase as a tactic to force spending cuts.

“OK, we’ll provide you more money, but you got to change your current behavior,” he told the newsletter Punchbowl News.

Government shutdowns and debt-ceiling hostage dramas tend to backfire on the party that launches them. Most voters don’t enjoy watching the economy being held hostage by politicians. McCarthy presumably knows that — but he also knows his majority includes many who would relish a showdown, either on principle or to pander to right-wing voters.

In another sign that Republican radicals are in the ascendance, McCarthy said he wants to impose limits on future U.S. aid to Ukraine, a hobbyhorse of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

“Ukraine is important, but … it can’t be a blank check,” McCarthy said.

It adds up to a recipe for a series of collisions — not only with the Biden White House but with the Senate. No matter how the election turns out, the Senate is almost certain to be narrowly divided between the parties — and because of its 60-vote filibuster rule, any major legislation will need support from at least a few senators on both sides.

In an earlier generation, Americans often viewed divided government as a sensible way to check the power of the president and even an opportunity for bipartisan deal-making.

Virginia’s Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin sought to evoke that brand of nostalgia this month, arguing that GOP control of Congress could be “a calming influence.”

Click here to read the full article in the LA Times

Comments

  1. This guy should have stopped at “divided government is a good thing.” Darn right it is. To assess the alternative, look at California.

    • Disgusted CA Voter and Tax Payer says

      Total agreement!!!! CA is a living HELL!!!!! This slimey little dicktator and his uflyfuglyauntie are destroying everything we have here. Amazing how far it’s gone down in just a few years!!!! We have NO legal elections – the machines are owned by the MRs Piglosi and Feinstein – the DA is a CREEP who doesn’t care if women and children are brutalized or murdered – the idiot in the governor-seat is practicing medicine without a license, a federal offense – the schools are from hunger – the cartels are in control of neighborhoods – the homeless are rampant – and the illegals are allowed to vote!!! Please – someone, ANYone, tell me what is good about all that?????

  2. Wow. Another anti Trump advocate. What does McManus suggest? We are swiftly heading towards socialism with a White House that doesn’t believe in the rule of law or the constitution. Ryan was worthless . Does McManus suggest that Romney and Collins lead the Republican Party? That would be a disaster. I’ll go with chaos.

  3. We are swiftly heading to communism. We are already at the socialism level.

  4. Very good points about the new majority.

    1st if they are smart they will take over the ranking chair and majority on panels and commissions/committees.

    2nd they will NOT bring the hammer down on social issues but instead work compromise on their side. The lousy Dem’s have demanded compromise to move to their side “without” any concessions to the Republicans.

    3rd if smart they will start investigations into Pelsoi and Shiffty how the impeachment process was done. We now know the Dem’s refused to acknowledge the false Russian papers, and held in secret other items that impeach the FBI and themselves. With the now open issues with the Biden Laptop it should be and easy slide to walk into offices and state you are gone. How do you want to do it? Pelosi might have political bank accounts but it is now open that she and her husband have profited with insider trading.

    4th Quietly take the military leader aside and state the issues of woke pronouns ends immediately. If it doesn’t they and any cooperation they might want from congress ends. That is an ultimatum that starts the minute they leave the room. Not OK we’ll give you a month to think about it.

    5th They need to make it clear that field conditions for new military technology in combat will start immediately. If they need to have “civilian” advisors there then do it. End the Biden Stalemate in Ukraine and prepare for the next technology war that China is obviously preparing for.

    6th Make it clear to all Democrat Leadership that the Border chaos ends immediately. The shipping of illegals through out the nation ends. The border will be sealed.

    7th Stealing from the Oil Reserve for fake energy costs ends. The nation starts becoming a net producer.

    That is just to begin.

    It can be done quietly. Does not have to make headlines.

    If you Democrats don’t like it. Too bad. In less than 2 months you sent the nation into debit, created the massive inflation it will take years to fix, and you made the strongest nation in the world a 3rd rate power that Xi and others are taking advantage of.

    • All good ideas, but we will have to have Republicans with the guts to make the changes and fire the swamp creatures. That means no Romneys or Pences. And let’s have some new Senate leadership too.

  5. Fighting Biden to a standstill aka saving the country, cmon McManus!

  6. McManus is just another DNC stenographer. Why is this article even here? If I want DNC propaganda I’ll pick up the L.A. Times, or S.F. Chronicle, or Mercury News, or NY Times, etc.

  7. Voter beware: undivided government gives the USA undivided California.
    And don’t tell me we get what we voted for. All those folks voting from out of state and their grave got us into this.

  8. We have chaos now and it’s ruining the country. I’ll settle for some chaos that MAKES AMERICA GREAT AGAIN! Who could possibly be against that? We don’t need this huge government! PERIOD!

    Doyle needs to find something easier for him to handle than this topic.

  9. The destruction of our republic under the Biden administration has been so great that there can be no other conclusion than that it has been intentional. Doyle, you must be a communist.

  10. Speaking from a strictly pragmatic perspective, the executive branch’s extensive apparatus can completely negate what Congress does or does not want to do. I see considerable foot dragging on any initiative Congress might want to pursue. Plus, even if a Republican Congress passes legislation, the Republicans won’t have the votes to override an almost certain Biden veto. Ultimately, we are looking at grid lock and a barrage of accusations hurled by both sides toward each other. Then there are ‘leaders’ such as McConnell, Murkowski, Collins, Romney, and all the other RINOs who won’t support conservative initiatives. Regardless, the bloated spending will continue because both sides want it so desperately to reward their campaign supporters and special interest groups. Will the Republicans have the courage to ban all stock trades by Congresspeople and their staffs while they are in public office? We will see if their ‘principles’ allow them to make less money in stock trading.

  11. TheRandyGuy says

    Two years ago, despite holding the smallest majority in history, Democrats declared they had a mandate and sought the most radical political agenda in US history. Thanks to Manchin and Sinema, they failed but managed to preside over the worst time in this nation in more than 50 years. In two weeks, they get their report card, and many are going home. The corruption in this government is mind boggling, and Republicans will be given one two-year chance to prove they are serious about exposing it. Every tool must be on the tavle, including impeachment.

  12. It’s about time the complicit, corrupt, feckless RINOs are booted out so real America First patriots take over. Maybe more will get done for the American people now and at record speed.

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