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Jim Jordan, 2021 AmericaFest
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) speaking with attendees at the 2021 AmericaFest at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED)

While watching House Republicans devour themselves has been entertaining, at some point, a new speaker has to be selected. Here are a few creative ways to resolve this impasse.

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A while back, we wrote that, on balance, Republicans are now the greatest threat to humanity, which is why it’s nice to watch them turn their destructive energy onto each other for once.

A great case in point is Rep. Jim Jordan’s (R-OH) futile quest to become House speaker, which highlighted so many things wrong with the GOP. It is a party of extremists for extremists. It’s not just that they tried to put an insurrectionist second in the line of succession to the presidency, it’s also the manner in which it went down: death threats, harassing messages, constant bickering, and a zero-compromise approach.

All of these things highlight why the GOP is unable to govern, which seems to work well for House Republicans, who have apparently no desire to do so.

In the coming week, they will try again. This time, an entire handful of lawmakers will throw their hats in the ring even though it seems more than unlikely that any of them can get the support of 217 of their 221 Republican colleagues.

There will be lots of grandstanding and even more stupidity. In other words, it will all be highly entertaining, and if “Quest for the Gavel” were a soap opera, it could continue indefinitely with ever-changing characters, heroes, and villains.

However, it is not, and the House has to fulfill functions apart from entertaining people who want to see the likes of Jordan embarrass themselves.

Therefore, while this mess has been great fun to watch, in light of various looming crises, it’s time to find a way to select a new speaker.

It’s pretty obvious that the usual approach won’t work with this bunch, so we have come up with a few alternative ways of trying to decide who should run the House of Representatives.

Speaker for the Day

In the National Hockey League, it is a tradition that each player of the most recent championship team gets to do what he wants with the trophy for a day. Some take it to their old schools, one player had his child baptized in the Stanley Cup, and the daughter of another used it as a potty.

That last example is especially applicable to the House GOP, so why not do something similar? Let’s assume there are 221 legislative days left until this session of Congress ends; every Republican could have a turn to be “Speaker for the Day.”

And, in light of the speaker’s broad authority, they would get to do whatever they want on that day. For example, current Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry (R-NC) used his newfound authority to immediately kick long-standing Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Steny Hoyer (D-MD) out of their offices in the Capitol.

Just based on that, this proposal should appeal to all Republicans. Just imagine how many times you could make 83-year-old Pelosi move! That could be a running gag among GOP lawmakers.

But they could do so much more. Remember how Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) launched impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden without a House vote… or evidence?

The Speaker for the Day could do the same thing with any government official. One day, it might be Attorney General Merrick Garland’s turn; the next, somebody could try to impeach that mean lady from the DMV who made him wait 20 minutes to renew his license. The opportunities are endless.

A Raffle

Since the speaker doesn’t have to be a member of the House, why not raffle it off? Anybody who gives a maximum donation to Donald Trump’s legal defense fund is eligible to enter. One obvious pitfall of this alternative would be that liberals could give money as a goof and end up winning.

Still, this seems like a good grift, which is why the former president would probably get behind it.

Alternatively, an essay contest would also be good. Topic: “Why I will never compromise with Democrats on anything, no matter how beneficial for the country it would be.”

Masked Speaker

It seems pretty clear that many Republicans hate each other… and who could blame them? They insult each other, justify the death threats some of them have received (which sparked the hilarious tweet below), and generally don’t seem to get along.

With so much animosity, the only way to elect a speaker might be to do so anonymously. And that doesn’t mean by secret ballot, which clearly didn’t work so far… it means with secret candidates!

We propose something like the show The Masked Singer, in which celebrities perform while hidden in ridiculous costumes.

That could also work in the House… and it would be perfectly in line with the circus/clown theme Republicans have been pursuing.

Just have the candidates dress up, present their agendas, and then Republicans vote on who they liked the most without their judgments being clouded by their personal animosities.

Survivor — Capitol Hill

Sticking with the TV show concept, let’s turn the race for speaker into a reality TV show. Americans love those, and no tagline is more popular than that of Survivor.

So let’s stage a Capitol Hill edition.

Republican candidates who want to participate will be divided into tribes based on their political ideologies, e.g., “far right,” “white nationalist,” “MAGA,” “ultra right,” and “not totally insane,” and then they will compete in various contests.

Then, at the end of every day, one person is voted off, which should appeal to GOP lawmakers because that is basically what they have been doing.

Obviously, the TV show’s tagline of “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast” would have to be changed to something more apt, such as “Outlie, Outscheme, OutHouse.”

A Consensus Candidate

Two words: Sidney Powell

Let It All Burn to the Ground

Currently, this seems to be the most likely alternative, and it certainly appears to be the one that many Republicans favor.

They can use the excuse of not being able to select a speaker, which is a crisis entirely of their own making no matter how much they want to blame House Democrats for it, and destroy the government from within.

Most GOP lawmakers do not think that the government is needed in the first place. In fact, various presidential candidates keep talking about which departments and agencies they would like to close, so this is the perfect opportunity to show Americans how much their lives will improve once the government is shut down indefinitely.

Compromise

We saved the most ridiculous and unlikely scenario for last. This is going to sound completely nuts, but hear us out: The not-so-crazy Republicans could work with Democrats on a compromise that would allow one of them to be speaker in exchange for agreeing to a few things, such as votes on one or two Democratic priorities and the passage of a lengthy continuing resolution to keep the government open.

There would be no guarantee that these Democratic bills would pass, of course. In fact, they probably won’t, with the GOP retaining its majority, so these are all fairly minor concessions.

However, even this modicum of compromise would likely be too much for a GOP that is hellbent on having its way… even if it leads their party, and the country, off the cliff.

Author

  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a writer, editor, former congressional reporter, and director of the WhoWhatWhy Mentor Apprentice Program. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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