Why (Republican) House Speaker is the Worst Job in Congress

Jonathan Allen in Vox: “God, it sucks to be the Republican speaker of the House.”

“There are a lot of reasons the job of speaker has become less desirable over the years, from fundraising demands to losing power over perks like earmarks and watching the dysfunction of Congress rob the institution of some of its clout. But the real issue is as brutal as the total disrespect rank-and-file Republicans have shown for the office and the institution it represents — and, I would argue, for the American public.”

“Our system of governance only works when our elected leaders are willing to either compromise or find common ground … The idea, hard as it is for some in the House to understand or accept, is that the republic functions when people and parties of disparate views can agree. Sometimes that requires giving up a little bit of ground. But this small band of House Republicans is unwilling to do that. Its members threaten to take down the speaker when he tries to govern.”

“I think the best way to look at it is this: Anyone who wants to be speaker of the House, by definition, should be someone who wants to participate in governing the country. The Freedom Caucus and its ilk are preventing anyone who holds the job from doing that. So what’s the point in being speaker in a Republican House? It sure as hell isn’t to govern responsibly. Thus, no one in the GOP who feels a commitment to that ideal wants it.”

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