By Rick Wilson
If we saw a government as profoundly dysfunctional as the House GOP in any third-world nation, the U.S. and the U.N. would send humanitarian aid by the container ship-load. We’d fly in NGO governance specialists to train people to administer a country.
Paralyzed, ungovernable, locked in a torturous spiral of grotesquely negative incentives, the MAGA GOP’s end-state is in sight: a majority without the will, discipline, or courage to govern in even the most cursory way, a profound willingness to deadlock over purity, and an eye to the Fourth Branch of Government, Fox News.
Kevin McCarthy’s ascent to the throne was clearly shaky from the jump. The Scalise flop, the Jordan dumpster fire, and now whatever hybrid clown show is in effect at the moment of this writing seems like it’s been going on forever, but we’re really only two weeks in.
We’re nowhere near Belgium yet, which deadlocked for 589 days without an elected government, which the Google Machine tells me is a world record for the longest period of time a democratic country has been without a government.
Why? This time, it was the eternal Flemish-Walloon language battle, obviously. It’s been at the root of Belgian crises in the last 500 years. Henry De Man once called it “the balance between Teutonic and Gallic influence at the most vital spot of their time-honored battlefront.” And you think MAGA vs normie conflict is something.
Wolves smell fresh meat, and Israel’s series of deadlocked elections, political uncertainty, and Bibi’s moves to politize the Israeli Supreme Court (who does he think he is, Leonard Leo?) were, as the lawyers say, an attractive nuisance. The current war in Israel wasn’t inevitable, but it's worse given the shaky coalition of Bibi Netanhayu’s government.
The chaos to come cannot be overstated. The weakness of the rudderless, leaderless House is beyond embarrassing; it’s dangerous. The world watches as the greatest democracy slides into chaos, infighting, and juvenile politics that would embarrass a middle school student government. Our economy and security are quite obviously secondary to the desires of the Republican chaos caucus, and that’s sadly a feature, not a bug.
My Take On What Happens Next
I’d tell you that no one really knows, but we really do.
Republicans follow the Ohm’s law of politics; they always take the path of least resistance. They’ll temporize and flail around until the next vote and the next and the next as the crazies call their homes and offices, as the news coverage puts its grim focus on their cowardice and eventually, painfully, reluctantly vote for…Jim Jordan.
Stop expecting heroes in the GOP. The incentives are inverted. Obedience, abnegation, and depraved cowardice are safer than courage, strength, and character. They know what they should do: make a deal with Democratic Leader Jefferies for a moderate caretaker speakership focusing on the budget and aid for Ukraine and Israel.