Squeezing Out the Middle

Yes, new Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is anti-gay, opposed decriminalizing gay sex and opposed same-sex marriage. It’s also true that polls show many or most Republicans now disagree with him on these issues (55% of Republicans supported marriage equality in 2021 per Gallup, falling back to 49% in 2023 amid unease over bio males in women’s sports/locker rooms and schools pushing trans identities on gender-nonconforming kids, which, for some, seemed to confirm “slippery slope” fears). Nevertheless, the GOP was hijacked by 8 House members of the ultra-MAGA variety, and they were able to force their will on the Republican’s slim majority because the Speaker must be elected by a majority of the House (not the party) and Democrats were all no votes against any Republican.

If a handful of Democrats had bucked their party’s top-down lock-step tactics and chosen just not to be present for the House vote that ousted the more moderate (certainly on culture-war issues) Kevin McCarthy, then McCarthy could have kept a majority of the House without the 8 insurgents. But that’s not how the game is played in Washington.

Here’s an interesting X thread discussing the awful situation of the Republicans held captive by the anti-gay right (again, a minority of today’s GOP), while the Democrats are captive of the LGBTQ gender ideologues (trans the kids, no guardrails) left.

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4 Comments for “Squeezing Out the Middle”

  1. posted by Edward TJ Brown on

    So, you favor Republicans voting for a Democratic house speaker, if the situation was reversed?

    Reply
  2. posted by Agee on

    Read the post — Stephen was not suggesting the Democrats vote for a Republican as Speaker, but that a handful of Democrats (I think four would have done it) not be present, to allow the majority of the Republican members to keep the relatively moderate (on social issues) McCarthy rather than the anti-gay social conservative Johnson.
    For gay people and others, that would have been a better outcome — but not for scorched-earth Democrats who want the GOP to be as rabidly right as possible. Again, worse for the nation, but maybe strategically better for the Democratic party. And remember, party first!

    Reply
  3. posted by Agee on

    And yes, to your question, Edward TJ Brown, if the GOP were the House minority and four Republicans not being presented would have allowed a majority of the Democratic majority to keep a moderate Speaker rather than being forced to go with an extremist (if you can imagine a majority of Democrats favoring a moderate over a left extremist), I would hope that the Republicans would do so.

    Reply
  4. posted by Tom Scharbach on

    Speaker Johnson is a conservative Christian who conforms to all of the current Republican bases. Speaker Johnson is a tight fit with the opinions of the current Republican constituency, and that is why he was elected Speaker.

    Speaker Johnson is a strong and unwavering ally of President Trump and his MAGA following, a strong anti-equality and anti-choice ally of the conservative Christian segment of the Republican base, and a strong opponent of accommodating the demographic and racial change that has taken place since I was a child in the 1950’s.

    Republicans, conservative homosexuals included, spent the better part of the last three decades turning the Republican Party into what it is today, and it is unrealistic — and more than a bit hypocritical — for conservative homosexuals to blame Democrats in the House for failing to save Republicans from themselves.

    You made your bed. Stop expecting “the left” to save you from yourselves.

    Reply

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