Democrats: The Next Speaker of the House Can Be Your Decision!

Please, for the good of the country, leverage your unity

Kevin Donovan

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Image by Jim Larkin / Purchased by Author

The recent ousting of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy illustrates the dramatic disparity between competent governing and the chronically ungovernable.

It has been a long time since either political party has had more than a handful of House members to comprise their majority. The division in the House of Representatives is roughly representative of the division of the country, and yet, the defining ethos of each party emerged with equally narrow majorities: Democrats legislated thanks to cohesive unity while Republicans have disintegrated under individualistic fragmentation.

But leading a party is not the same as leading a country.

As a Democrat, it pains me to say this: As long as Democratic Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries and his members continue their popcorn-eating indulgence while they watch their counterparts flounder, they are engaging in the same party-over-country politics that prolongs dysfunction. As Democratic strategist James Carville has said, if your opponent is drowning, throw them an anvil.

Democrats can do better than that. While they do not have a majority, they have something much more valuable: unity. They should be leveraging that unity at every turn, and here’s how:

Among the 221 Republicans in the House, there are still many pragmatic, moderate Republicans who believe in country-over-party. We barely hear from them because their views are typically inaudible among the cacophony of their radical attention-starved colleagues. They have timidly fallen in line with their party to achieve political survival, but for those Reps who won districts that Joe Biden also won, their future is in jeopardy. Just as a small number of radical right House members have captured total control of the body, so could a rational and pragmatic caucus, if they had the courage and foresight to put it together. But to do so, they would need to do the one thing that their wing-nut colleagues would never consider: Team up with Democrats.

Unfortunately, while these moderates are suffering from the fear of stepping out of line, Democrats appear to be suffering from a failure of…

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Kevin Donovan

Where there is great fear, there is no empathy. Where there is great empathy, there is no fear.