As we enter week three of a speaker-less House, it is easy to get caught up in the unprecedented nature of it all. A U.S. Speaker, for the first time in history, deposed. The party in power unable to unite behind a consensus alternative. Do we blame former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, who, desperate for the job, willingly gave his opponents the very tool they needed to oust him? Or, is this former President Donald Trump’s fault, with many Republicans in Congress empowered and encouraged to mimic the behavior set by the leader of the party? We can also point the finger at the less-than-impressive midterm results for House Republicans. Had Republicans been able to pick up just a few more seats, those eight defectors who cost McCarthy his job would have been marginalized.
But, if you step back from the day-to-day chaos, it’s easier to see this as part of a longer trajectory — one in which the so-called establishment has been gradually and effectively undermined for the last 30 years.
It started in 1994
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