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Tales from the Mark Side: Game of Thrones sequel not for the weak


I don’t know if you’ve been watching this new Game of Thrones show play out on CSPAN, but oh wow, it’s been a doozy.

Like the original, it’s full of betrayal, backstabbers, power grabs and court jesters.

Sadly, it’s we – the mere peasant citizens – who suffer while Republican egos clash while trying to elect a Speaker of the House.


It’s like watching your wife and mother get into a minor tiff during the holidays. You love them both so you just kind of shrink into your chair as far as possible and hope it gets worked out quickly because you don’t want to be the one who has to take sides.

It’s a lose-lose situation all the way around. Trust me, I’ve been there. I had nothing to do with anything and yet, I was the one who paid the long-term price.

This infighting is no different and the results will be the same. We’ll pay the long-term price for it.

That’s kind of how I feel watching this nonsense play out for the entire world to see. I feel like the little kid hiding under his sheets as mom and dad get into a heated argument in the other room. You just want it to end and you want to become invisible. You just want things to get back to normal, if there is such a thing.

It doesn’t matter if the Kevin McCarthy folks are right or whether the Freedom Caucus is right. We are the ones who are going to pay the long-term price for these shenanigans.

In the meantime, the real enemy – like the hated liberal son-in-law – or in this case democrats, just sit by and smirk while they enjoy the show.

It just makes a bad situation much worse.

My guys at the Manatee Herald won’t be happy at how late I submit this visit with you to them but I wanted to wait as long as possible for some kind of conclusion.

But who knows when that will be as I watch the fourth vote go down in flames to put a Speaker of the House on his or her throne.

Now don’t get me wrong here. The Freedom Caucus has a legitimate argument but timing – and perception – is everything when you start your time as the majority in the House with such a slim margin, and decide to make it a Keystone Cops episode.

Dating myself again, I know. Google it. You’ll enjoy it.

If you attend our visits on a regular basis, you know this is exactly the kind of Republican infighting that I have warned about for several months. I predicted this would happen and I predicted the destructive nature of such behavior.

I have argued that such behavior from fringe groups within the party would lead to disaster and I can assure you that the average American voter who finally decided that Joe Biden needed some checks and balances watching this play out is bewildered and disgusted.

And that’s where perception will haunt us because not everyone like us can understand why the Freedom Caucus has a legitimate gripe. Your average voter will miss seeing the elephants because the circus is in the way.

Kevin McCarthy has been working toward being Speaker for his entire political career. He put in the hours. He put in the miles and he raised a ton of cash – a lot of which went to representatives who now oppose him.

Is that fair? Does it matter within America’s Game of Thrones? Not really.

I think we are all familiar with bosses and corporations who live by the, “What have you done for me lately?” mantra.

They celebrate an accomplishment for a hot minute, but at the end of the day, all you’ve done is set yourself up to meet a higher standard you are now expected to meet day in and day out.

We all know what happens when that doesn’t happen. You can have 10 years of incredible success, but as soon you make a mistake, it can all come crashing down.

That is essentially what is happening to McCarthy. But let’s face facts that McCarthy failed to produce the Red Wave we were all expecting. It’s the same reason why I support replacing Ronna McDaniel as the chair of the Republican National Committee.

This isn’t about securing a big merger for your corporation or winning a big case for your law firm. This is about saving our country so if you fail, you must be removed.

So I actually agree with the Freedom Caucus that McCarthy let us down. I agree with them that Jim Jordan would be a better speaker, but we learned from Paul Ryan what happens when someone who doesn’t want to be speaker is pushed to the front of the line.

But let’s face it. We haven’t had a good Speaker since Newt Gingrich. Ryan was one of my favorite representatives but his time as Speaker was a disaster.

John Boehner started off well but he eventually caved to democrats and was rightfully run out of D.C.

I believed in McCarthy until his recent actions, but I was willing to give him a chance to right the ship to avoid what is happening right now as we enter vote number five.

I absolutely do agree with one of the Freedom Caucus’s demands in returning the rule that any elected member of the House can call a vote to remove the sitting Speaker.

It’s a rule that has been in effect for a century until dictator Nancy Pelosi came along and got rid of it. I, however, do not agree with the way the Freedom Caucus is trying to manipulate this situation to gain personal power in their demands to chair committees.

At the end of the day – today and yesterday, so far – is the public display of incompetence and bitter infighting being displayed on day one of our hard fought majority.

I can understand pushing a vote or two to make a point, but now as I begin to watch vote number six – well, it’s just embarrassing.

Hopefully by the time of our visit on Thursday, something will either be resolved or we’ll be on vote number 20 or so. But the damage has been done. Republicans have done exactly what I warned against and that’s simply a shame.

The work of the people is waiting to get done. Put on your big boy and girl pants and get it done. Someone in the room needs to be the grownup.

So as we move on to vote number 7 my fellow Patriots, stay vigilant, stay informed, educate others and let’s try to work together to move this country forward.

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