Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch || Commentary
When director and writer Alfred Hitchcock advised other filmmakers with his filmmaking philosophy of back at the ranch, he envisioned two parallel tracks. We have been forced into watching the repeated defeats of California representative Kevin McCarthy for most of the week in his bid to become the Speaker of the House for the 118th Congress. When you reach a peak, Hitchcock postured, you switch to a different narrative, teasing your audience into rapt attention. There has been no rapture this week, just a sorry display of what most of us realized during the midterms elections; Republicans are not only unwilling but incapable of governing.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch,
President Joe Biden introduced a proposal to begin to fix the immigration problem. The day before, he led a bipartisan delegation to Kentucky touting a long-awaited infrastructure project to repair a hazardous bridge. Among the new plan ideas is “expedited removal,” which involves Mexico accepting up to 30,000 expelled migrants per month from Cuba, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Venezuela. In exchange, the U.S. would allow up to 30,000 people from those three countries and Venezuela to enter the country by air each month. Although this appears to be a one-to-one exchange, it does set up an orderly process where flyers would be checked and screened at airports, consequently and ideally relieving the glut at the southern border.
Mr. Biden’s complaint of the lack of financial resources for more border agents and, most importantly, more judges to adjudicate the asylum claims is another indictment of the GOP, who favor the punitive by caging children and separating babies from mothers and fathers at the border. On Wednesday, with the ethereal strains of Howard Cosell’s ‘down goes Frazier’ replaced with the name McCarthy, the Democratic President was at work. Mr. Biden stood shoulder to shoulder with Senators Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the Republican Governor of Ohio, Mike DeWine, and former Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) government got back to the ranch. “We can work together. We can get things done. We can move forward, but just drop a little bit of our egos and focus on what is needed in the country,” said Biden.
While there was encouraging news back at the ranch, the GOP city folk ran stoplights and burned the kale. Liberal politics would dictate that Democrats let the Republicans dig the hole and quietly pass them shovels. The problem with that philosophy is that the country suffers. Let me be perfectly clear; the Democratic caucus owes nothing to the GOP, who would bury them in the pit they are digging if possible. Democrats owe them no bailout, compromises, or ideas to solve a mess of their own making.
It was unseemly for Democrats to send out memes holding popcorn bags, but that is not why we should be upset. One-half of one-third of the United States government is effectively shut down. The Intelligence Committee is not receiving briefings. The calls one makes to their local representative when a mistake happens in your military retirement benefits will go unanswered. The country is without lawmakers to respond to a national emergency. Kevin McCarthy has nothing left but his soul to trade with intransigent Republicans. If the country is attacked, and Congress is called upon to exercise its power to declare war, would we be mired in an endless GOP fight against Mr. McCarthy? Hmmm, a Hitchcock plot in the making.
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