House Republicans are turning potential glory days into a ‘clown show’ with government shutdown looming

The president is politically weak and mentally feeble.

The country hungers for a change and even most Democrats are ready to abandon Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

In the Senate, Dems hold a one-vote margin, but one member has just been indicted on explosive federal charges and another shows serious symptoms of dementia.

A third insists on wearing shorts and sweatshirts on the Senate floor, so to keep him happy and present, the majority leader eliminated the dress code.

Meanwhile, many urban areas were besieged by crime and overrun with tent cities before Biden’s open-border policy let in millions of unvetted, illegal crossers needing food, shelter and health care.

Dystopian scenes from sea to shining sea should translate into glory days for Republicans in the House of Representatives.

They have a majority of just five votes, but hold the whip hand at a time when Democrats’ policies on the economy, inflation, crime and immigration are wildly unpopular.

But instead of seizing the moment, the House GOP is engaged in a circular firing squad, determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Their inability to unite around a basic obligation — passing a budget — makes it look as if they are unable to govern.

The possibility of a government shutdown doesn’t seem to concern some of them.

Their timing is lousy.

In addition to the administration’s rampant failures, there is clear evidence the president participated in his family’s influence-peddling schemes.

That makes Biden not only a liar but also a compromised commander in chief because payments of many millions of dollars came from a rogue’s gallery of America’s foes — China, Russia and crooked Ukrainian oligarchs.

Yet the pending impeachment inquiry, along with everything else, now takes a back seat to the threat of a shutdown.

It’s a “clown show” one member of Congress says.

Another calls it “dysfunctional” — and both are Republicans talking about their party!

Speaker’s frustrations

Even Speaker Kevin McCarthy is flummoxed.

“It’s frustrating in the sense that I don’t understand how anyone votes against bringing the idea up and having the debate,” he said of last week’s spending bill failures. “This is a whole new concept of individuals that just want to burn the whole place down. That doesn’t work.”

For Democrats, it’s a gift from the gods.

Their media handmaidens are delighted to change the subject from policy failures and Biden corruption to the Republicans’ inability to function.

The budget holdouts were just five at last count.

One is GOP Rep. Ken Buck, from Colorado, who wrote a Washington Post op-ed to air his grievances against the impeachment effort.

After the Democrat-sounding screed appeared, Steven Nelson, a New York Post colleague, revisited reports that Buck was searching for a TV gig so he could leave Congress.

Buck confirmed his goal, telling Nelson that “I am interested in talking to folks at CNN and other news organizations — on the, I don’t want to call them left, but sort of center-left — and having an opportunity to do that full-time or do that as a contributor would be great also.”

Perhaps aware he was pigeon-holing himself as a critic of his own party — the only kind of Republicans CNN likes — Buck called Nelson again to say he also would be interested in a position at right-leaning Fox News or Newsmax.

“I didn’t want to give you the impression that I’ve only talked to folks at CNN, on the left. I’ve also talked to others about this,” Buck said.

How generous of him!

Buck’s pathetic search for a new career aside, the holdout caucus does have a solid argument.

Using continuing resolutions to temporarily fund the government usually morphs into enormous omnibus spending bills that nobody has time to read before passage.

The sloppy process, which smothers any rational debate about cuts, is a major contributor to large annual deficits and the unsustainable national debt, which recently topped $33 trillion.

The burden of cutting falls on Republicans because Democrats generally believe the more spending the better.

One result of these dynamics is that the most frugal House Republicans are often at war with their leader and colleagues over both cuts and process.

They drove John Boehner into retirement and Paul Ryan was miserable enough to quit Congress after serving less than two full terms as speaker.

McCarthy has had a historically rough ride from the start, needing 15 ballots to win the job in January.

The public humiliation ended only when he bargained away some power and Donald Trump got on the phone to persuade holdouts.

Their do’s and don’ts

With some of the same January refuseniks the cause of McCarthy’s troubles now, and with Trump foolishly urging a shutdown, the comparison with Democrats is most instructive.

Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi also had a four-votetiny majority for the first two years of Biden’s term, but she didn’t have a fraction of McCarthy’s problems with her members.

Even when the far-left “squad” of progressives had enough votes to scuttle Pelosi’s initiatives, time after time she found a way to keep them in line.

Republican leaders should be so successful.

The good news is that some in the GOP are going public against the party rebels who don’t know when it’s time to surrender to the math.

They include two frustrated members from the Hudson Valley who were elected last year in districts Joe Biden won in 2020.

Marc Molinaro and Mike Lawler are especially vulnerable in ’24, and are threatening to work with Dems if the GOP can’t pass a continuing resolution.

Lawler told NBC his Republican colleagues have to face facts.

“In a divided government where you have Democrats controlling the Senate, a Democrat controlling the White House, there needs to be a realization that you’re not going to get everything you want,” he said.

“And just throwing a temper tantrum and stomping your feet, frankly not only is it wrong — it’s pathetic.”


Associated Press has gone nuts…

Taking the tearjerker angle way too far, the AP reports from Mexico: “During the weeks it took Yeison and Niko to migrate from Venezuela toward the US, they navigated dangerous jungles and over a dead body. The two are so inseparable that Yeison sold his phone so both had enough bus money to continue their journey. Now as Yeison prepares to finally enter the US, it’s likely he will have to leave Niko behind.”

“That’s because Niko is a squirrel.”

The great a-woke-ening

Reader Joseph Donnelly sees a Big Picture, writing: “Let the record show that while Americans were smoking dope and binge-watching Netflix, passionately exhorting their favorite sports teams to win while slammin’ beer ’n nachos, and mourning the passing of baby-boomer rock icons, . . . giving every participant a trophy, filling stadia to see Taylor Swift, feeling good about themselves because of gender transitioning and Roe v. Wade being overturned, sending thoughts ’n prayers and waiting for somebody else to do something, their country was taken from them.”

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