Without a speaker, the House can’t pass emergency aid to Israel and it’s not clear yet whether unelected speaker pro temprore Patrick McHenry (last seen kicking Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi out of her hideaway before sending everyone home to relax since they couldn’t get any work done) can receive classified briefings on the matter, given that he doesn’t have the security clearance to receive āGang of Eightā level intelligence.
“But as an unelected speaker pro tempore, Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., is effectively powerless on the matter. Under House rules, the interim speaker can act only on matters that relate to the election of a new speaker: gavel in, gavel out, and preside. That post-9/11 rule was designed for continuity of government, not for an unprecedented political situation like the current one. Two scholars with knowledge said the House would need to elect McHenry as speaker pro tem for that to change,” NBC explained in a piece detailing that experts say interim Speaker McHenry “effectively powerless on Israel matters.”
Given the fact that the attack on a close ally of the U.S. is highlighting Republican chaos and dysfunction, you might think they’d be embarrassed about their infighting putting the U.S. at risk and our ability to be a proper partner to our ally at risk — and want to get to work. But if you think that, you’re just projecting your own work ethic on to these folks and missing the bad faith with which they’re acting.
Remember, we currently have no ambassador to Israel because Senate Republicans blocked President Biden’s nominee as well as Republican Senator Tommy Tuberville blocking over three hundred military positions including top officers whose job would be to command forces in the Middle East.
To get more stories like this, subscribe to our newsletter The Daily.
Tuberville says he will NOT lift his military blockade even in light of the Israel-Hamas conflict.
So you might ask yourselves, why would this party – already led by a man who elevated white supremacy into his administration during his scandal-ridden presidency whose supporters who stormed the Capitol on 1/6 included Holocaust deniers and neo-Nazis – see the deadly attack on Israel as a good thing for them?
Sure, it might have seemed like a gaffe when Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniels said on Fox News that the horrific attack on Israel is a “great opportunity” for Republicans, but other Republican strategists have joined in to say that it is a “huge political benefit” for them, even as the Republican-controlled House remains unable to pass aid for Israel due to the unprecedented situation of not having a speaker.
Not to worry, one Republican strategist told The Hill that it’s too early to tell if the historic dysfunction of not being able to pick a speaker even after an attack on Israel will impact House Republicans next year, saying āthe negative political impacts for us are still very limited.ā
So, not having a speaker is a limited negative. That is to say, not being a functioning body that is capable of doing the bare minimum is not a problem for Republicans when it comes to elections. Why? Because this war on Israel is good for them.
āI think itās really a huge political benefit to our Republicans in New York,ā the Republican strategist said. āEvery member of their party is going to have to answer for what the far left is saying about the issue and itās an incredible opportunity for us to label every member of the party, unless they speak up, as agreeing with them.ā The GOP strategist also noted that the party would likely target swing districts in Michigan in the wake of Tlaibās remarks.Ā
So, a few voices on the left who aren’t near leadership are something the entire Democratic Party is supposed to be accountable for, but the Republican Party having a literal white supremacist as one of the three replacement options for Speaker is apparently fine.
House Majority Leader Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) is one of the two declared options, and he infamously said he was former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke “without the baggage” while speaking at a white nationalist event in 2002.
The other option is House Select Committee dubbed “significant player” in the insurrection against his own country, Jim Jordan (R-OH). Jordan has little respect for the House’s power and responsibility, demonstrated by his evasion of a House subpoena over his involvement in the 1/6 terrorist attack which included speaking with Trump that morning. Jordan also covered up a wide spread sexual assault scandal at Ohio University.
Those are the top two choices for third in line to the presidency by the Republican Party. These are their best and brightest.
At least one New York based Republican strategist was able to see clearly. Tom Doherty admitted to The Hill, “Having a Speakership sitting vacant at the moment is obviously not good. It doesnāt serve us or our foreign partners any good not to have a Speaker of the House.”
Keep all of this in mind after a dizzying last 24 hours full of Republican attacks on Biden for things they had to make up due to the President doing his job well by being a competent, experienced foreign policy expert with deep connections and ties to foreign leaders.
One of these parties is a white supremacist chaos circus run by a wanna be dictator and the other is a functioning governing party with imperfect politicians. Only one of these parties is looking at the Israel-Hamas war that has killed over 1500 people so far as an “opportunity” and “huge political benefit.”
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.