‘If we all row together’

But if not, the debate will be vigorous, not personal.

Kevin McCarthy was elected as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives on the 15th ballot late Friday night (Wisconsin time). Six holdouts voted present, thereby lowering the winning threshold to 216 to Hakeem Jeffries’ 212. After an nearly physical tussle between the execrable Matt Gaetz and Mike Rogers of Alabama. In a rare instance of common sense, Blaska was beddie bye at that unholy hour like many of you, we suspect. But we caught up this morning with the Speaker’s address to the House upon election at 12:15 our time and must say, it is one of the finest addresses we have encountered. It deserves be shared.

McCarthy vowed that the Republican-dominated House would conduct its business in full view of the American public. (One wonders why was the news media complicit in congressional secrecy — until one remembers their partisanship.) Congress, McCarthy promised, would wield the “power of the purse and of the subpoena” to unravel the bug-out in Afghanistan and the origins of Covid. It would hold hearings at the porous Mexican border because “answers are not always found in Washington.” It would defund the Democrats’ additional 87,000 IRS agents because government should help people, not hurt them. It will explore the political weaponization of the FBI — which as great a threat to our democracy as anything that happened on January 6, 2021.

Beyond the litany of to-do’s, McCarthy analyzed the famous painting that hangs in the Capitol — a picture of a general who, to that point, knew only defeat: George Washington crossing the Delaware River on Christmas Day 1776 on the way to the nascent nation’s first victory. The new Speaker drew attention to the others in the boat — among them a Scotsman, an African-American, a woman, a farmer, and a native American. Historically accurate? Probably not. But very much resonant with the aspirations of a new nation, McCarthy said.

by the German immigrant Emanuel Leutze. Completed in 1851,
the original hangs in the the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 

McCarthy may be California, but his California is not San Francisco or L.A. but hard-working, unglamorous Bakersfield in the agricultural Central Valley, a country-western music shrine indebted to Buck Owens, whom McCarthy quoted. Destination of the Great Depression Oakies. He closed by saying that one thing to know about the new Speaker, “I don’t give up easy.”

Blaska’s Bottom Line: We cannot understand the hardheads in Wisconsin who suspect Kevin McCarthy and WI Assembly Speaker Robin Vos as, somehow, secret Democrats. (Some, like Bill Elmhorst, even blame McCarthy for the loss of the Senate and Vos for Tim Michels’ crash and burn in the governor’s race!) Nor are the 15 roll calls to elect the Speaker near the disaster the MSNBC pundits wish it were. What will be remembered is if Republicans can perform good governance. If words matter (and do they ever!) America is off to a great start!

What are YOUR expectations for the 118th Congress?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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16 Responses to ‘If we all row together’

  1. Pasco says:

    McCarthy’s address was in stark contrast in tone and tenor to Hakeem Jeffries tirade!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    What are YOUR expectations for the 118th Congress?

    Try as he might, The Gotch can’t seem to get past hoping that they channel their inner Gordon Gekko:

    Well, It’s Payback Time, Sport.

    The Gotch

    Liked by 1 person

  3. brynstane says:

    Had the misfortune to be exposed to CNN coverage for an extended period (rowing machine regimen at Planet Fitness); not surprisingly all (4) commentators on Republican Speaker election were crazed Dems. Biz as usual.


  4. One Eye says:

    “After an nearly physical tussle between the execrable Matt Gaetz and Mike Rogers of Alabama.”

    The only physical tussle was between Rogers and whoever dragged him away. More specifically….dragged his mouth away. Good chance Rogers was not privy to the underlying machinations and those who were made sure Rogers mouth didn’t queer the deal.


  5. Bob says:

    Wow. Congress met four days in a row and even put in overtime on Friday. I wonder if they will get rid of proxy voting and actually have to show up to vote? It’s a good thing they are salaried employees instead of hourly.


  6. Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

    The Chickens have come home TO_ROOST!

    Ah Lefty; so MUCH hypocrisy, so little time!

    The Gotch


  7. old baldy says:

    “Mr. McCarthy doesn’t have the votes today, he will not have the votes tomorrow, and he will not have the votes next week, next month, next year,” Gaetz said as he nominated Ohio GOP Rep.-elect Jim Jordan to serve as the next speaker of the House.

    Guess gaetz was wrong on that, too. You think anybody will hold him accountable?


  8. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    I wonder how many high school graduates in this country could name the subject of the painting displayed in this post.


  9. old baldy says:

    R’s have long campaigned as the party of law and order, folks that back law enforcement. rojo makes it his mantra, albeit hypocritically.

    Yet new speaker McCarthy had this to say, ““I know the night is late,” he declared from the dais, “but when we come back our very first bill will repeal the funding for 87,000 new IRS agents.” (a discredited claim, by the way).

    So in other words, the first legislative priority for the new House Republican majority is to undermine enforcement of our tax laws. I’m sure that was payback for the tepid support KM got from the Great Orange Tax Cheat.

    I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes. They are the price we pay for civilization. But I want the taxation to be fair, and enforcement of those laws to be firm, fair, and consistent. Looks like the house R’s don’t feel that way. What a bunch of hypocrites.


    • Cornelius_Gotchberg says:

      You can always count on hankdog/old baldy to effortlessly avoid anything resembling a fact-based Reality; to wit:

      The job requirement of some of those new 87K IRS employees (not all auditors, and a claim NOT discredited…to anyone that isn’t a slobbering moron, that is), would be a willingness to use DEADLY FORCE.

      Wanna talk hypocrisy? Howse about Lefty advocating for MORE GUNS in the hands of Big Gubmint.

      Wanna talk hypocrisy, 2.0?

      Funniest thing; the DEADLY FORCE requirement mysteriously vanished from the job posting.

      Try harder!

      Ah despicable Lefty; so MUCH flaming hypocrisy, so little time!

      The Gotch


  10. Stephen M Bledsoe says:

    I wanted to get totally drunk over the Packer loss, but I had a busy Monday to look forward to,


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