Last week, we asked the following question of our Bridge Alliance, Coffee Party and Fulcrum communities regarding the historic removal of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House:
- What are your thoughts related to this historic moment and what does it say about the present state and future of a democratic republic in the United States?
It is apparent based on the responses received that people on both the left and the right are not happy with the fact that such a small number of members of Congress could remove the Speaker. The overwhelming consensus indicates that our readers are dissatisfied with the dysfunction in Congress and would like rule changes to prevent a small group of members from throwing the legislative process into chaos. While we have grown immune to the dysfunction that exists in Congress no matter which party is in power, we are less patient with the current chaos perpetrated by a few.
Here is a sampling of your thoughts. Responses have been edited for length and clarity:
McCarthy came in and went out because of unprecedented gamesmanship reflecting the corrupt demise of how Congress does business now-a-days. Trusting who is or isn't playing fair across the aisle in a corporatocracy is impossible; this ousting reveals the spreading disease. It's another tragic symptom, not the cause, of what's jeopardizing America's political well-being. - Candace A
My first thought is that we need to remove the law that allowed one congressman to oust the speaker of the House or even to have a few Congressmen oust McCarthy. That is simply not Democracy! Democracy is 50% plus 1. Just like censorship laws, these kinds of policies can easily be turned against anyone. We need to live in a free society.Because the Republican vote to have him removed was so low and mostly all Democrats voted for his removal , I hardly see how this decision benefits the Republican party. So it was easy to see that this was personal with Gaetz. - Brian S
I am not only disappointed, but saddened, and disheartened at the way “America's finest” have handled not only this situation but so many things we see happening to us each and every day. The two tier justice system is so obvious. Look at Ukraine. Look at the border situation. You know the rest. It is not only Americans who are suffering, but think how desperate these people must be to risk their lives to come here. Forget about the cartels, and even the journey. What are they supposed to do once they arrive here? Where do they go? Where do they eat, sleep, shower and tend to their daily needs and those of their children. I won’t get into Dems v. Republicans, I just feel so disappointed in what has happened to what was once (at least I think it was) a better place for us politically, socially and morally. All I can say is God bless America, she needs it. - Barry Kramer MD
I am generally a political conservative. I find myself sympathetic to the goals of the Freedom Caucus, specifically to reduce government spending drastically, but I also realize the Republican Party never wins by "shutting down" the government. In the latest circumstances, McCarthy might have achieved a better deal on a budget, but his Republican opponents take their frustration out on him and -- irony of ironies -- oust him from the speakership in alliance with their real enemies, the Democrats! My chief consolation is that I associate with the party where there is disagreement, where members frequently dare to vote not in accordance with their leadership -- in contrast to the Democratic Party, where members are more in lockstep with each other. - Greg Ripps
McCarthy’s removal is another indication that American political norms have been upended in recent years. But it’s not yet clear just how much and in exactly what ways the guardrails of democracy and society itself have been weakened. Populism is a serious threat in the U.S. and many other countries, but performative politicians, who value online clicks over legislative progress and necessary compromise, are to be found on both the left and right. - Richard Davies
I believe McCarthy deserved his fate. He voted to invalidate the election, he reneged on the deal struck in the spring made with the president, started an impeachment hearing with no supporting evidence. Clearly, his word means nothing to him. Additionally, the Gaetz contingent wants nothing more than a paralyzed government. To that end, they are achieving their goal. This is not how our system was designed. We need adults looking to govern, not to create sound bites for the news cycle. - Craig E
We conservatives could take a lesson from one shrewd politician named Joe Biden. One of the most fundamental qualities of political leadership is the ability to keep your base united, if only against its common enemy. Don’t you believe it? Biden shrewdly made concessions, both rhetorical and operational, to his party’s far left flank keeping his extremists pacified. Thus, he prevented the kind of internal fracture that the GOP is now suffering from. Knowing he has plenty of time to move back to the center after securing renomination. - Ralph B
I view the current events in Congress from the point of view of an outsider looking in. I live in Sweden. You describe the current events as historic which in one sense they obviously are. But in a larger context, they seem to follow a pattern. America seems to be constantly pushing the boundaries in many areas way past what is reasonable. When the result is so obviously dysfunctional and disadvantageous for a large enough proportion of the participants, and the population at large becomes affected negatively, then the pendulum begins to swing back again. This seems especially true in politics. - Cris D
From what is coming to light, Speaker Kevin McCarthy was keeping a back door collaboration with previous Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi. I always felt somebody or something restraining McCarthy from his responsibilities. Recent budget debacle showed his double play by giving in to Democrats. I back Matt Gaetz 100%. The Immediate action from the Speaker Pro Tempore convinced us of McCarthy's incompetence. If Republicans focus on punishing Matt Gatz and seven other Republicans, we probably are wading into a situation that may place Hakeem Jefry to the Speaker's seat. - Josy K