The GOP Leadership team for ’23-’24 of Donald Trump and Kevin McCarthy came out of the speakers fight in great shape. They will have to reenact their teamwork together many times before and after Trump is finally sworn in as president, but it was glorious maiden voyage.
It’s not just that Trump whipped his people into line as Pelosi would have, but he did so by reforming the process to make it more conservative, anti-spending, and transparent. Those who opine that McCarthy will emerge as a weakened speaker do not understand that democracy strengthens you. It does not weaken you.
The reforms, sometimes lost in the drama of personalities, are enormous. Now congressmen will be able to say, “I want to vote for the defense budget but against the welfare budget” or “I vote for better roads but against the pork barrel demand by Mitch McConnell for a bridge in Kentucky.”
Budgets will not be jammed through overnight with only five or six hours to evaluate trillions of dollars of spending but there will be a 72-hour notice requirement. Now, the House rules committee will no longer be a roadblock to effective legislation — autocratically enforcing the Speakers will.
In securing the votes for McCarthy’s, Donald Trump showed an increased ability to work with people and motivate them to do the right thing without bluster or threats. He remained largely behind the scenes, piecing the votes together, constantly pushing McCarthy toward — and across — the finish line.
For his part, McCarthy showed the difference between his leadership style and those of Ryan and Boehner to say nothing of Pelosi. He did not threaten or arm twist like Pelosi or disdain to hear the views of others like Boehner or stubbornly insist that his was the only way, as Ryan did.
Instead, he worked with the members to find a mutually acceptable path to reform and to his speakership. His yoke was easy, and his burden was light.
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