The Good, and the Bad and Ugly

First, the bad and ugly: the House adjourned today with no speaker for the first time in a century. Nineteen Republican spoilers have prevented Kevin McCarthy from taking the gavel. Reportedly, some of the dissident Republicans have told McCarthy that they don’t mind if far-left Democrat Hakeem Jeffries becomes Speaker.

I don’t want to believe that, but there are some conservatives who are only comfortable as outsiders and who shun responsibility. One of the knocks on Republicans is that we can’t govern. Sadly, today’s fiasco suggests that the criticism may be valid. It seems obvious that House Republicans should elect their leader–McCarthy–as Speaker, and start governing. But some, apparently, prefer making headlines and currying favor with the party’s least responsible elements, even if the result is a fiasco.

I have no idea where the potential disaster in the House will end up–I assume with McCarthy’s election, after the party has suffered more embarrassment–but let’s move on to the good.

Ron DeSantis was inaugurated today for his second term as Florida’s governor. The video of the occasion below is courtesy of Breitbart. DeSantis begins speaking at around 14:20 and finishes at around 31 minutes.

No one has described DeSantis as a great orator, but he was highly effective today. This is because of his content, not his style: his record as Governor of Florida is tremendous. Today DeSantis did a good job of hitting some of the highlights. But he is no technocrat. Today’s speech was heartfelt and at times impassioned. DeSantis repeatedly threw down the gauntlet, contrasting the Free State of Florida with the sclerotic liberalism that prevails in Washington and in some other, less successful states.

And DeSantis doesn’t shy away from the controversial issues. On the contrary: I think his biggest ovation came when he said, “We will defend our children against those who seek to rob them of their innocence.” Florida is, as he says proudly, “where woke goes to die.”

While DeSantis is not noted as an orator, he delivered today’s speech strongly and smoothly. He was not just reading it off the teleprompter, but knew the speech and has mastered its themes. If I were a Democrat, I would be frightened by the contrast between DeSantis’s strength and competence and Joe Biden’s senescence.

Here is the inauguration ceremony:

We can hope that what we saw in Washington today was the Republican Party’s past. What we saw in Florida was its future.

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