With no one but the extreme fringes of the Republican party jumping at the chance to become the next Speaker of the House, freshman Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) has a bright idea: how about a war criminal?
“Look, these are trying times for our nation. It’s important to have a steady hand on the helm during times like this. I think experience really counts in a matter like this. I think House leadership experience really matters,” Cotton told Politico. “And as you know the speaker doesn’t have to be a member of the House: So therefore, Vice President Cheney for speaker.”
Asked whether or not he was actually serious, Cotton responded, “He’s a man of the House, he says that himself.”
Cheney says a lot of things. Earlier this year, the former Vice President and architect of the Iraq war said “we were right” to invade based on fraudulent claims of the country’s involvement in the attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001. He said we would be greeted as liberators. He said the Iraq war was worth it because it allowed us to know that they didn’t, as he claimed repeatedly, have weapons of mass destruction. For Republicans — and especially for Cotton, who is still salivating over the idea of a war with Iran — a man who is willing to destabilize an entire region and kill countless American troops in the process is the perfect choice for Speaker of the House.
As negotiations were ongoing with Iran, Cotton led a group of 46 other Republican traitors sending a letter to the leaders of that nation promising to scuttle any peace deal we might reach — something that caused great embarrassment for our country when Iranian leadership actually had to school our own legislators about the United States Constitution and basic international law.
While it likely won’t be Cheney, the next Speaker won’t be someone able to make any progress in unraveling our Congressional gridlock. The Freedom Caucus, a group of right-wing extremists, is holding the entire process hostage to their demands. Recently, Kevin McCarthy dropped out of the running because he likely could not secure the votes needed to actually become Speaker, no matter how popular he is with Republicans. The reason is that, without the votes of the Freedom Caucus — which demands that a candidate promise to make the gutting of social security and other “entitlements,” the decimation of Obamacare, and the defunding of Planned Parenthood a priority — a candidate can not possibly reach the 218 votes needed.
Who will be the next Speaker? Perhaps Paul Ryan, perhaps someone worse. The end result will not be pretty, in any case.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.