Home / General / A fifth failure and a new frontier in Murc’s law

A fifth failure and a new frontier in Murc’s law


The Party That Cannot Govern accomplished nothing on ballot #5 but swapping out Gym Jordan for Byron Daniels again:

The important thing to understand is that there is no ideological disagreement here. What McCaarthy’s critics believe — in a rare iteration of Murc’s Law that admits some Republican agency — is that the right Republican House leadership would force a Democratic president and Senate to enact an extremely unpopular and radical Republican agenda:

One of the key differences between the two major parties is that Democrats accept the reality that their agenda is not going to move forward when the opposing party occupies the White House. Democratic partisans might grow angry at their leaders for failing to stop it, but members of Congress generally understand that there are limits to the power of the opposition, and even the most unrealistic Democratic rank-and-file voters don’t expect their leaders to actively advance liberal policy in the face of a Republican president. Progressive Democrats wanted to defend Obamacare from Donald Trump’s repeal attempt. They weren’t demanding that Nancy Pelosi somehow force Trump to enact Medicare for All.

Republican voters, by contrast, expect and demand that the conservative agenda be advanced even — perhaps especially — under Democratic presidents. The Republican caucus is routinely gripped by frenzied efforts to compel Democratic presidents to roll back the welfare state. Newt Gingrich shut down the government to pressure Bill Clinton to sign a capital-gains tax cut and reductions to Medicaid and Medicare. Republicans used both shutdowns and the debt ceiling to try to blackmail Barack Obama into repealing his signature health-care plan.

This is why Democrats tend to splinter when they hold power but unify in opposition while the reverse holds true for Republicans. Democratic demands expand when the party holds full control of government and contract in opposition. Republican aspirations paradoxically become more grandiose during Democratic presidencies, which draw Republican minds deeper into the fever swamps of hysteria, making them more insistent on demands for maximal confrontation. These demands are inevitably impossible, causing Republicans to turn, again and again, against their own leaders.

There are certainly people online who believe that Barack Obama could have forced Mitch McConnell to confirm Merrick Garland (or somehow eliminated the advise and consent power) or forced Joe Lieberman to vote for single payer but he Didn’t Even Try. But what there is not is a substantial faction of Democratic members of Congress who believe this. It just nearly impossible to negotiate with people who believe in transparently irrational things, and so it’s hard to tell how this is going to be resolved. And even when a speaker is finally selected, they have no chance of successfully leading the Republican conference, because nobody can deliver what the nuttiest faction of the Freedom Caucus wants. And this isn’t about Trump — the guy who invented this strategery was Newt Gingrich.

…Since McCarthy has only 4 Republican votes to lose, sixth time won’t be a charm:

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