October 15, 2015

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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

The headline is a play on the oft-chanted slogan from OWS protests. Please, no “it’s not a democracy” emails.

That’s a threat.

A couple years ago on a Saturday night, I wrote about 2,000 words on the meaning of “democracy” and “republic.” I never posted it out of pity for you. I’m telling you, there’s a lot of Montesquieu in it, so if you don’t like superfluous vowels, don’t make me post it now.

The journalism world, and some Democrats in Congress, are feigning concern over the “chaos” of the Republican caucus. I’ve seen where Democratic Congressmen have described the search for a speaker as an “embarrassment.”

Good God, people, sober up. We just abandoned Syria after erasing our own red line because Putin showed up shirtless on horseback brandishing an AK-47 and drinking Schlitz from a 25 ounce (one ounce free) can. And you’re embarrassed that Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name?

This is how a republic resolves disputes. We don’t shoot each other, save for a few precincts in north and south St. Louis. Instead we try to form coalitions to support a candidate acceptable to varying factions of the majority party. It’s not perfect, but it’s how things are supposed to work.

The Worst Case Scenario

Suppose the Republicans were unable to choose a new speaker before the end of Congress CXIV. What’s the worst that could happen?

John Boehner doesn’t retire.

That’s the worst possible outcome.

Santa doesn’t shoot himself. Obama doesn’t get a third term. Hillary doesn’t strip on live TV. We just get stuck with another year and a half of Speaker Boehner.

The Best Case Scenario

What if we get a new speaker? The new speaker, mathematically speaking, would have to be acceptable to the House Freedom Caucus. That person may not be your first choice or mine, but someone the Freedom Caucus could live with is someone I could live with.

[Tweet “Santa doesn’t shoot himself. Obama doesn’t get a third term. Hillary doesn’t strip on live TV. “]

So mellow the harsh, America. Nothing is as bad as you think it will be when you’re thinking about it. The House will have its speaker just as the dog will have its day. And the sun will rise and the Cubs will find a way to blow it.

Everything will be okay.