Who says government can’t get things done? Republicans in Congress have turned the usually recurring choice of Speaker of the House into a middle school drama that’s both embarrassing and hilarious at the same time.
For days, C-SPAN was the funniest channel on TV. Near the end, Alabama’s Mike Rogers lunged at Florida’s Matt Gates and North Carolina’s Richard Hudson had to hold him off. A Friday night at The House turned into a Friday night at the Waffle House.
finally on the 15thth Voting, Kevin McCarthy got enough votes to become a speaker. Hmm.
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I have little sympathy for McCarthy. But he spent five days packing gear for the entire process, which is even less for the 20 or so Republican Congressmen. I don’t trust them to run a car wash.
And two of them happen to be locals.
Ralph Norman of Rock Hill represents much of north-central South Carolina. Dan Bishop of Charlotte represents part of southeastern Mecklenburg and a strip almost to Winston-Salem. The Norman and Bishop districts share a small state line. Their ideologies are also connected.
Bishop is perhaps best known for his time as a state legislator. He was the driving force behind what North Carolinians remember with a big sigh as the “bathroom bill.” That bill was signed into law by Charlotte’s own Pat McCrory and forced transgender people to use the restrooms of the gender listed on their birth certificate.NBA withdraws All-Star Game from Charlotte etc. led to a huge backlash, and Congress eventually repealed and replaced the bill. So yeah, a big win for Dan Bishop.
Ralph Norman may be best known for pulling out a loaded handgun and placing it on the table during a conversation with voters about gun safety. You may know him as the guy who joked at the hearing about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped by Abraham Lincoln. A real class act.
Bishop and Norman ultimately voted for McCarthy but came in 12thth Vote to do it.
The hardcore group got some concessions from McCarthy, but I don’t think there was a noble principle behind all this. But to me, it just felt like a long mouth.
Bishop, Norman, and their friends can’t stand being on the losing side of their party. Some of them blame Donald Trump, the genie who survived most of their careers. They can’t stand that Republicans have to work with Democrats to get anything done.
For a while it’s fun to watch. So was this. But all of a sudden the kids are getting older. When it comes to Ralph Norman and Dan Bishop, I don’t count on it.
Tommy Tomlinson’s On My Mind column appears on Mondays on WFAE and WFAE.org. It represents his opinion, not that of WFAE. You can reply to this column in the comments section below. You can also email Tommy at email@example.com.