Adkins: Too many in GOP favor chaos over governance


Michael Adkins

Even Republicans agree with me that their leadership in Congress is incompetent. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson has already showed that he cannot count votes nor can he get anything done. Even Matt Gaetz, who forced out the incompetent McCarthy, admits he’d prefer a return of the previous Speaker. McConnell’s leadership in the Senate is better, but not by much.

There are a number of reasons for this incompetence and why Republicans cannot govern at the federal level.

First and foremost, the GOP took the Reagan campaign rhetoric too serious and believe that government is the problem.

Second, far too many GOP in Congress are more interested in social media and chaos than in governance. This includes Boebert, Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Jordan and others in the “clown caucus.”

Third and fourth, a majority of congressional Republicans are more interested in embarrassing President Biden than resolving the many problems facing the nation, and too many of them are more focused on what “Orange Jesus” wants than what the nation needs. If you cannot buy into that, I remind you of the foolhardiest Republican failure in decades. President Biden angered progressives by caving in to the GOP demands for border security in order to get approval of arming Ukraine in its proxy war versus Putin. Everything progressives wanted, including a clearer pathway to citizenship, was omitted while Republicans got all they asked for. Traditional conservatives agreed this was the best possible outcome they could hope for. However, Donald J. Trump does not want a border crisis resolution unless it is under a Trump administration. Heaven forbid that Biden might be viewed as getting a win. The stupidity of this is the GOP could boast of a great victory in forcing a Biden capitulation. But Trump is not that bright, and by extension, neither are his congressional cronies. Keep in mind, Trump is the fellow who said he hoped for a depression during the Biden administration. Yet, his congressional cronies still bend the knee.

There is a fifth reason for this inability to govern at the federal level. Competent governance requires a vision, consensus forming and compromise. There is no vision within today’s GOP. They cannot even say with a straight face that they are all about conservative principles or a strong military as their actions say otherwise. I blame you, the Republican voter. In numerous polls, you say you do not want any compromise with the Democratic Party. Your fellow voters have gotten in bed with Donald Trump, who is no conservative, at least by traditional definition, and are willing, like lemmings, to follow him off a cliff.

It isn’t all bad. Republicans are very capable of governing — at the local level, where partisan political ideology plays no part. Effective local governments rely on personal relationships, consensus of the issues and compromise; all of which is missing at the federal level and, too often, at the state level. Voters of both parties overwhelmingly agree that local issues are neither Democratic nor Republican. On the rare occasion when a party in power attempts to “nationalize” local politics with partisan ideology, it fails miserably. In a perfect world, all voters would realize that what makes local governments better should be what we see at higher governmental levels.

Michael Adkins is a former Chair of the Hancock County Democratic Party.