April 23, 2024

Today is the final day of October for the year 2023 which, of course, means tomorrow is the first day of November and I have a very strong feeling that November 2023 to November 2024 is going to be the most eventful year in this country’s history politically.

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If I told you to buckle up, I would be somewhat disingenuous because I don’t think you can buckle up when you hop on the back of a bull that’s violently trying to throw you off. There is no seatbelt in the world that’s going to be able to keep you buckled in for that. 

So, here we go.

As I have commented in a number of articles this month I think the United States is going to be challenged in a number of different ways and in today’s offering I’m going to focus on one of the political aspects that I have already covered here. The leaders in the Republican Party and the base of the party are way out of sync right now and this is going to cause problems leading into November of 2024.

We already have an example of criticism coming from the flank towards newly minted Speaker of the House Mike Johnson that I predicted just last week. 

Get Ready to Hate the New Speaker, Part II — Even Though You Really Shouldn’t

From that article.

The House of Representatives is tasked with creating spending bills and passing them on to the Senate, but that does not mean that the Senate has to accept those bills as they are. A lot of times, continuing resolutions are used and are just a mishmash of bills that they just go ahead and pass — sometimes with a lot of changes, sometimes with none — just to keep the federal government’s doors open and everything operating.

Once again, in my earlier piece 

The End of Continuing Resolutions

This is something so common sense that it’s hard to believe that we’re still talking about it in 2023. 

However, we are discussing a body politic in Washington, DC, that treats common sense like sunlight treats a vampire. They seemingly run from it as fast as they can, and this is not just Democrats but some Republicans as well as this is a common theme among all of them.

I know there was a moment within my lifetime when individual appropriation bills were still being done, and we weren’t having the hodgepodge of funding bills on top of funding bills to get something passed to keep everything moving. But this ended a very long time ago and there’s a reason why.

Individual Appropriations are much easier to scrutinize than having to go through 1,500 or 2,000 pages of something dumped on you at 2:00 in the morning.

Now this is in my opinion only my opinion is why 9 percent of Congress is totally happy with this because stuffed inside those bills are things that they can go back home to the taxpayer and say, “Look at what I did.” Ultimately every congressperson is judged on how much bacon they bring back from the slaughterhouse of Washington, DC.

Now the reason why this will not change under the new speaker is because of a little process that is hardly ever talked about called reconciliation. 

The act as defined by the Congressional Budget Office:

Budget reconciliation is an expedited process for considering bills that would implement policies embodied in a Congressional budget resolution. Since 1980, the first year the process took place, many laws have been enacted through budget reconciliation—for example, the 2017 tax act (Public Law 115-97) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2). This page shows CBO’s publications related to the reconciliation process that has occurred since the fall of 2021, pursuant to the budget resolution for fiscal year 2022 (S. Con. Res. 14). That process culminated in the enactment of P.L. 117-169 on August 22, 2022.

Every well-meaning Congressperson or Senator would love to be able to pass 12 distinct spending bills, with over a two-week span of time for members and for the public to take a look to see what’s in them; that is, to find out what is being spent in the people’s name.

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While the Democrats hold the Senate and the White House, the House has one card to play while the Democrats have two. That does not mean Republicans can’t win some concessions but they are not going to win the whole game.

Conservative commentator Charlie Kirk is one of those people who believes the GOP needs to batten down the hatches at any cost, as he indicated right here:

So you must understand that because they’re going to saying there’s a lot of different excuses. And here’s where we are, Speaker Johnson, praise God that he is speaker of the House, biblical worldview, godly man, he is now caught up in a whirlwind of what it’s like to actually run a Republican Congress in the midst of a uniparty swamp.

Speaker Johnson is saying, well, look, we might have to do just one more, just one more continuing resolution, we just got to do one more all the way through January 15th? Why is that? It’s obvious he doesn’t want to make people work through Christmas because he says, well, we need some breathing room. No. No breathing room. Work through Christmas. 

You guys have destroyed this country through complacency and some intentional behavior. Work through Christmas. You get no Christmas break. The people that you are harming put you in DC not that you could have nice trips and enjoy the pleasantries of life and the luxuries of being a congressman.

Kirk goes on to say that we absolutely need to have 12 separate spending bills no Christmas break and go ahead and shut down the government.

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All of those goals are fine, and I have called for that myself in the past.

Yet I was screaming for that back in the mid-90s when the Republicans held the House and the Senate during Bill Clinton’s term. I was calling for that back when the House and the Senate were controlled by Republicans under George W Bush’s term.

Calling for that now, in my opinion, is just going to turn the House over to the Democrats in 2024.

We just got through 22 days of the republic moving forward without a Speaker of the House. I have said in the stories that I’ve written here at RedState that I wasn’t really too concerned because the nation didn’t really miss much. The press, of course, harped about it but here we are almost a week since Johnson was put into the Speaker’s chair and everything seems to pretty much be back to normal.

I’m not even opposed to a government shutdown because I think the vast majority of the things that the federal government does are nonsense, but Republicans get BASHED for government shutdowns.

There is a political reality, and then just reality, and that is the reality with shutdowns.

The reason why I wrote in the article that you shouldn’t hate Speaker Johnson is that the continuing resolutions are already decided, and they are going to continue to be done until the Republicans take control of the Senate because that’s how official Washington DC works. 

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Most of the members are all in on it, and you can get upset and red-faced as much as you want, but when 80 to 90 percent of the Capitol is filled with people that are cool with people jamming stuff through and not knowing what’s really in it you’re screwed.

As long as the Senate is controlled by Chuck Schumer, bills are going to be jammed together as continuing resolutions so Democrats can hold out and fold their arms and sit there and watch the Republicans implode. 

The President can sit there with his arms folded, waiting to be told what ice cream he’s going to have for the day or what to sign, and the mainstream media in this country is going to do the dirty work and blame the Republicans for the government shutdown. 

You can wish on one hand and you know what on the other and you know what this is going to do — it’s going to make the Republicans look incompetent 12 months before a national election.

The Republicans in the House only hold a four or five-seat lead depending on the day, which allows them the flexibility to start investigations and impeachment inquiries.

That is truly the only thing the GOP has going for it right now, aside from the fact that Joe Biden probably doesn’t know where he is right now. Yet the closer we get to the election, the more bubble wrap the White House is going to put around him, and that will leave the only thing the GOP has going for it the investigations on the House side.

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So I truly sympathize with those who think like Charlie Kirk and are demanding continuing resolutions be ended, and we start talking about the debt. That’s all fine, well, and dandy, but without control of the Senate and the White House, you have no shot at affecting any of that. The only card House Republicans have to play right now is the investigations that they’re doing, and that’s pretty much it.

I understand that people get upset when I say this, but as I mentioned above, there’s political reality, and then there’s reality. And the plain, simple reality and truth right now is that the Republicans need to focus on the investigations and get as much dirt out between now and next October to do as much optimum damage to whoever the Democrat nominee will be to help whoever the GOP nominee is.

Taking the eye off the ball in this regard will just be another reason why Democrats even with slim majorities, always stay focused and achieve their policy goals, and Republicans load up their peashooters and form a circle and start firing.

If the base of the GOP doesn’t move closer to what Johnson is trying to do here, then most likely, they’ll lose their slim majority in 2024 and be left with nothing going into the next four years of a Democrat-controlled federal government.

In that case, you can pull out your violin and fiddle as you watch Rome burn.

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