With the removal of Speaker Kevin McCarthy and no game plan going forward, it’s obvious to all the GOP has no idea what to do next. Capitol Hill Republicans are aghast while Democrats and their media are gleeful that a substantive distraction from Hunter Biden, the border, inflation, and all the Joe Biden debacles are firmly in place.
While Representative Matt Gaetz and the “hateful eight” have acted in a rather crude manner with no foresight in taking their grievances against leadership, they do have valid grievances. Republicans are very bad when it comes to keeping promises to voters.
Before the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican base was urged to come out in force and help the GOP take the House in order to repeal Obamacare, even though they damn well knew they couldn’t keep that promise.
The House Republicans’ “Pledge to America” vowed “to repeal and replace the government takeover of health care with common sense solutions focused on lowering costs and protecting American jobs.” The party won more than five dozen seats, the most in seven decades. There is no chance this pledge will be achieved.
While Republicans have a big majority in the House, Democratic control of the Senate and the presidential veto power make repeal or major change impossible.
— New York Times, 11/22/10
In 2014, Republican voters got more of the same as they were told giving the GOP a solid majority in the Senate would result in the repeal of Obamacare, even though they damn well knew they couldn’t keep that promise.
In addition to their oath to keep up their efforts to repeal Obamacare, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner said Wednesday the new Congress would authorize the Keystone pipeline and send a slew of House-passed jobs bills to the president next come January. That’s when Republicans will formally take control of the Senate, putting Republicans in charge of the entire legislative branch.
— Daily Mail, 11/6/14
Of course, Republicans didn’t have that vetoproof majority so Obamacare (again) stayed in place. But during the 2016 midterms, leadership assured voters that a Republican House, Senate AND president would mean the end to Obamacare. We just had to elect Donald Trump and it would get done….
Republicans narrowly failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But their newly passed tax legislation included a provision getting rid of Obamacare’s mandate requiring Americans to buy insurance, and President Donald Trump immediately declared victory in the partisan health care wars. “When the individual mandate is being repealed, that means Obamacare is being repealed,” he crowed at a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday. “We have essentially repealed Obamacare.”
— Politico Magazine, 12/20/17
Seeing how Republicans on the Hill look at their base as suckers, why not play this hand one more time!
“If we can get the House back and keep our majority in the Senate, and President Trump wins reelection, I can promise you not only are we going to repeal Obamacare, we’re going to do it in a smart way where South Carolina will be the biggest winner,” Senator Lindsey Graham said in an interview with a South Carolina radio station.
— The Hill, 8/8/19
Obamacare is just one of many promises made-promises unkept by Republicans over the course of many years. There’s balanced budgets, lower taxes, and many more. Just because Republicans depend on short memories and assumed intellectual inferiority, doesn’t mean trust will continue to be in infinite supply. We all know there’s hope because Donald Trump made many pledges to Americans in 2015-16 and actually accomplished more despite the Category 5 political interference he faced his entire term from within the party, from Democrats, and their media. He left office with achievements for the American people than was, more often than not, labeled “historic”.
Some politicians can keep promises, while Republicans can definitively only point to one in recent memory.
Republicans don’t have a monopoly when it comes to blatantly breaking promises to the base. Malcolm X made it clear that any black person in 1964 that voted for Democrats was a “chump” and “traitor to your race”. Democrats continue to break promises and blacks continue to give them the supermajority of their votes.
Unlike President Donald Trump, Republicans appear more interested in keeping their personal perks of power that delivering on promises made to put them in their seats of power. Until we have term limits (a very unlikely self-inflicted wound), there’s no reason to believe any promise a politician makes before or after an election. We all known this yet we allow them to sucker us every two years.
And seeing how Newt Gingrich is going off halfcocked against Matt Gaetz, let’s not forget the 1994 “Contract with America” that helped Republicans take the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
How many of those promises were actually written into law…?
Some observers cite the Contract with America as having helped secure a decisive victory for the Republicans in the 1994 elections. Republicans were elected to a majority of both houses of Congress for the first time since 1953, and some parts of the Contract were enacted. Most elements did not pass Congress, while others were vetoed by, or substantially altered in negotiations with President Bill Clinton, who would sarcastically refer to it as the “Contract on America”
Yeah, the “Contract with America” helped Republicans and Gingrich to become speaker. Making promises they knew they could keep? Not so much.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 24% of Likely U.S. voters said removing McCarthy from his position as Speaker would be good for Congress, while 26% thought it would be bad for Congress. Forty-one percent (41%), however, said it would not make much difference.
— Rasmussen Reports, 10/4/23
While this doesn’t defend Matt Gaetz’ actions, it does make them understandable.