When a Crazy Party Takes Over the House
I’m publishing this series of articles to share and discuss my ruminations on coping with a troubled and messy world. You can “follow” me to never miss an article.
When it comes to how worried we should be about the upcoming takeover of the House by Republicans, New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and Ross Douthat couldn’t be more at odds[i]. Where Douthat sees Democrats as Alarmists, thereby overblowing and ramping up Fears unnecessarily, Krugman sees the Republican Party as bent on wreaking havoc in every possible way. Thus, in Krugman’s we have every reason to be worried.
Of the two, I naturally side with Krugman. I agree with him that the Republicans are not interested in governing but in undermining Government. Given the tightness in the House, soon to be Speaker Kevin McCarthy will be beholden to the most extreme elements of the Republican Party. “As one former G.O.P. congressman put it, McCarthy may hold the title, but Marjorie Taylor Greene may well be speaker in practice.”[ii]
While they still hold the House, Krugman urges Democrats to do what they can to soften the upcoming blows. They can raise the debt limit high enough so that it won’t be undercut. They can lock in sufficient funds for Ukraine, and so on.
In sum, “It’s a given that Republicans will behave badly over the next two years. But Democrats can both limit the damage and try to make bad actors pay a political price.”
While hopefully this is true, it just furthers the Divide. We are in a different kind of Civil War with no end in sight.
It will take a new generation, if then, to get us to a better place.
[i] Ross Douthat, “Did the Vote Save Our Democracy?,” The New York Times, Sunday, November 20,2022, P SR2; Paul Krugman, “How Democrats Can Fight a Crazy G.O.P.,” The New York Times, Tuesday, November 22, 2022, P A23.
[ii] Krugman, Op Cit.
Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He Is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 41 books. His latest is: The Socially Responsible Organization: Lessons from Covid, Springer, New York, 2022.