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A Coalition Led House of Representatives

2023 House Speaker Election

Let’s get provocative!!  What would a coalition House look like and how might it work?

Per government rules, a Speaker of the House must be elected with a majority of votes from congresspeople, and in 2023, if all members of the House were present and did not vote present, the number of votes needed was 218. 

The House elected a Speaker in January 2023 with Republicans having 222 seats and the vast majority wanted Representative Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker. They got their wish but it wasn’t pretty.  The process exposed the split within the Party and reminded everybody of the contentiousness that grew from the 2020 Presidential election but had been brewing for at least 10 years. A 20 member House caucus of which 18 were Republican 2020 election deniers refused to vote for McCarthy, causing the election to repeat multiple times for the first time in over a century.

Often there needs to be a problem before change can wiggle into existence and we witnessed a problem that may have multiple solutions but for now I am talking about a coalition solution.

It took 15 rounds before McCarthy was elected.  McCarthy’s concessions to the GOP dissidents were significant and could ultimately cut his tenure as speaker short. McCarthy agreed to restore a rule allowing a single Republican member to call for a vote to depose him as speaker, the same rule that led to John Boehner’s decision to resign as speaker in 2015.

The 20 House members throwing a roadblock to the election of a House Speaker were part of the Freedom Caucus formally known as Tea Baggers/Tea Party.  It was the Tea Baggers that would attend Democrats’ “meet your congressman” meetings after President Obama was first elected and shouted down the speakers.

While McCarthy’s victory gave him the speaker’s gavel there is little that he or the House can accomplish with the Senate and Presidency held by the Democratic party.  Therefore the House and Republicans will have to settle for multiple partisan investigations.

McCarthy and moderate Republicans will most likely need Democrats votes to overcome the group of 20  who have shown disdain with government spending and raising the debt ceiling.  Even with Democrats help, McCarthy will have to deal with the deals he cut on spending with those 20 not to mention that he would have to compromise with Democrats to get their help.

A coalition controlled House would need a new Speaker.  Why?  To start fresh and marginalize each Party’s hard liners.

Should a Speaker of the House be an election denier?  I don’t think so nor should any of the 147 Representatives and Senators who went along with the mob and voted to reject the electors from Arizona and Pennsylvania be in office.  The constitutional officer second in line to the Presidency should not be someone who tried to overturn the last election for the Presidency.

McCarthy was a steady defender of former president Donald Trump for most of his time as majority leader and minority leader. After Biden won the 2020 presidential election, McCarthy supported Trump’s false denial of Biden’s victory and participated in efforts to overturn the results, and while he condemned the January 6 United States Capitol attack in its immediate aftermath, blaming Trump for the riot and saying the 2020 election was legitimate, he  later walked back these comments and reconcile with Trump.

I think the best path forward given the tendency of that gang of 20 is to elect a Speaker that Democrats would help elect and keep the gang of 20 on the sidelines, off committees, and eventually out of Congress.  There are some election deniers that are not in that gang of 20 and they too should be kept off committees.  America needs to move forward and the election deniers are a boat anchor.

To this end, why not do it with a bang?  I would like to see Adam Kinzinger elected as Speaker of the House.

He served as a United States representative from Illinois from 2011 to 2023. A member of the Republican Party, Kinzinger originally represented Illinois’s 11th congressional district and later Illinois’s 16th congressional district. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Air National Guard.

After President Donald Trump was defeated in the 2020 presidential election, Kinzinger became known for his vocal opposition to Trump’s claims of voter fraud and attempts to overturn the results. Kinzinger was one of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection in his second impeachment, and one of only two Republicans to vote to create a select committee to investigate the 2021 United States Capitol attack, to which he was subsequently appointed.

On October 29, 2021, Kinzinger announced that he would not seek reelection to Congress in 2022, after redistricting placed him and another Republican incumbent in the same district.

If Republicans truly want to move on from President Trump then this would be a bold and powerful way of doing so.  It would send a message that the Republican Party is back and no longer hijacked by whatever it was that took the Party away from its roots.

Kinzinger is not a liberal.  He is a Republican. Republicans should not be afraid of him.  Since Republicans now control, sort of, the House, maybe Democrats should find someone they can work with and if that is Kinzinger, they too should not be afraid of him.  He won’t give Democrats everything they want but maybe together they can accomplish something other than investigations and denying the results of the 2020 election.

Here are just a few of the questions that Democrats would have if Kinzinger were Speaker of the House:

  1. Kinzinger might want to repeal Obama Care and replace it with a plan that would greatly increase costs for older Americans.
  2. Kinzinger might not want  to reduce the number of people who can get legal or illegal use of fast firing guns.
  3. Kinzinger might not take aggressive steps to reduce green house emissions.
  4. Kinzinger might not want to financially support the children and mothers that would not be allowed to end a pregnancy.
Republican vs democrat

This Is Not Your Dad’s Republican Party Or Your Grandfather’s Democratic Party

This Post is republished from its original publishing date one year ago and has been updated several times since.

There comes a time when we as an American people need to work together, other than in times of war, for our greater good.  We have much in common and our differences should be the spice that makes the meal great and stop being the meal.

We should not be competitors intent on winning elections.  Winning needs to be grander than that.  Winning needs to be about bringing America closer to the lofty words contained in our Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.  We need to stop being selfish, tribal, divided, and seeing others as an enemy.

To accomplish grander winning we need to hit the refresh button on Congress.

  • If we could take money out of elections our elected representatives could be more independent of the power brokers.  Then, we start electing individuals and not parties.
  • If there were 18 year term limits on Senators and 12 year term limits on Representatives, power will begin to reside with a younger group that actually want to cross Party lines to move us forward.

The differences we have are manifested by liberals and conservatives. There are many progressives in both parties but conservatives and liberals are not in both Parties. Conservatives and liberals hate to compromise.  Progressives are balance seekers.  Balance is needed in almost everything we do.  Republicans generally point to three presidents they most admire–Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, and Reagan  and two of them, Lincoln and Roosevelt, were progressives with Reagan of Trickle Down fame, being a conservative. Nixon was another Republican President that deserves to be in this conversation even if he were mostly disliked.

Eisenhower doesn’t seem to get as much love compared to those three but he was also a progressive and warned us of the Military Industrial Complex while expanding Social Security.  Eisenhower fought isolationist policies and fully supported NATO.  He prioritized inexpensive nuclear weapons and cut military spending.  He warned about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly deficit spending.  He spent money on infrastructure and created the Interstate Highway System.  Eisenhower’s two terms saw widespread economic prosperity and achieved this with high tax rates.  His taxes on corporate taxes were two times what they were in 2017 and now greater than two times with the 2019 tax changes.

Teddy Roosevelt was known as the Trust Buster.  He was President when many were prone to nostalgically looking back upon the preindustrial era “when the average man lived more to himself.”  He challenged them to look forward, not backward–to a time when public sentiment was ready for the national government to find constructive ways to intervene in the workings of the economic order, to regulate the trust, stimulate competition, and protect small companies.

During the beginning of his Presidency there was a major coal strike that if ignored would create substantial hardships.  At the time Republicans would have taken the side of business but Roosevelt took his own path to solve the strike.  A strike that brought to focus the issues arising from gigantic trusts that were rapidly swallowing up competitors leading to corruption and increasing the concentration of wealth and the growing gap between the rich and the poor.

Roosevelt was a student of history, a voracious reader, and a historian.  He knew this strike reflected the decades long trend where owners took advantage of miners, businesses put profits above worker, and the gap between rich and poor grew.

Nixon.  This might surprise you because Nixon was so disliked by both Parties.  But military budgets decreased under Nixon despite the ongoing war in Viet-Nam.  He ended the military draft.  Unlike Republicans of today, his economic policies were not particularly friendly to business and the rich.  In 1969 he supported and signed a bill that abolished investment tax credits for business and for the rich he increased capital gains taxes and cut off loopholes by introducing a minimum tax.  He created new regulatory bureaucracies targeting business including the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency which under Nixon set strict standards on air and water pollution.  He signed into law the Equal Employment Opportunity Act to root out racial and gender discrimination and tripled the budget for civil rights enforcement.

Nixon also significantly enlarged the U.S. welfare state, making cost-of-living increases in Social Security automatic, created an entirely new benefit for disable workers, and expanding the food stamp program.  In his five and a half years in office, federal spending on social services doubled.  Nixon proposed a universal health insurance plan not unlike Obama’s Affordable Care Act, which Republicans have called socialism for the last 40 years.

Lincoln and The Party of Lincoln freed the slaves.  Is this the same Party that has been making it difficult to impossible for blacks to vote for the last 150+ years?  Lincoln was a progressive and avoided extremes, leaving those to liberals and conservatives.  His Republican Party in the 1860’s was drawing progressives from Northern Democrats and from the splintering Whig Party.  The Democratic Party as a result of their progressive members gravitating to Lincoln’s new Republican Party, became controlled by the Southern Democrats and became known as the Andrew Jackson Democrats–Your grandfather’s Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party, whose roots included Jefferson and anti-federalists, did not grow again until Franklin Roosevelt introduced the New Deal that gave a country hope during the Great Depression while the Republican Party refused to support it.  Then World War came and the nation was successfully guided to victory by Democratic Presidents, Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman and a 5 Star General, Eisenhower, who although became a Republican President, was recruited by both Parties to be their candidate.

The Party of Lincoln and the 1960’s Infusion of Southern Democrats

Lyndon Johnson(D) was a Texan that got Southern and Northern States, Democrats and Republicans, to pass civil rights legislation that since 1776 this country knew was eventually going to have to pass if our great American Experiment was to be real and closer to what we declared in the Declaration of Independence.

 “We foremost hold truths to be self evident, that this nation was conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Lyndon Johnson gave us Medicare, Medicaid, and Head Start and other legislation designed to help abolish poverty.  He is remembered most for his Civil Rights Act that outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.  It prohibits unequal application of voter registration requirements, and racial segregation in schools, employment, and public accommodations.

That Civil Rights Act resulted in a huge migration of Southern Democrats into the Republican Party which has had a profound effect on both Parties through addition and subtraction. Grass roots campaigning is fundamental to winning an election and the makeup of the grass roots in each Party changed.  Party Platforms also changed with the Democratic Party moving more toward the 1860 version of the Party of Lincoln and the Republican Party moving away from the 1860 Party of Lincoln.

The Party of Lincoln and the 2000’s Infusion of The Tea Bag Party Into The Republican Party

In 2008 the Tea Party, now called the Freedom Caucus, became part of the Republican Party.  The Freedom Caucus is very conservative and wants to balance the budget by reducing entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, Affordable Health Care Plan, etc. They have moved the Republican Party away from Lincoln’s and Teddy Roosevelt’s visions and toward a more pro-business stance less burdened by employee expenses and taxes.

Bernie Sanders

While the Southern Democrats that moved to the Republican Party in the mid 1960’s and the Tea Bag Party/Freedom Caucus that joined the Republican Party in the 2000’s have pushed the Party of Lincoln away from its progressive roots, Bernie Sanders has pushed the Democratic Party toward liberalism.

However, Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama were progressives and governed left of center.  The Democratic Party elected Hillary Clinton  over Bernie Sanders as their Presidential candidate in 2016.  And now, it has chosen Joe Biden over Bernie Sanders as their candidate for 2020.  This means the heart of the Democratic Party is not radical liberalism or socialism.  It is instead dominated by progressives who are generally left of center.


We need balance.  We need progressives like Teddy and Abraham and Barack.  Yes, I know, I slipped Barack in there.  But whether or not you are comfortable with a black family in the White House, it was historical and a profound outcome of Lincoln’s vision of America.

And no matter how many of us want to reject this, the Obama Administration was clean, inspirational and soul satisfying for the majority of Americans–he made the majority of Americans proud of themselves.  The world was disappointed with us due to the Iraq War and our part in the economic collapse that almost put the world in a depression just as Obama was sworn into office.  Obama Care along with the Franklin Roosevelt’s Social Security Act, Eisenhower’s expansion of Social Security, Johnson’s Medicare and Medicaid Acts, and Bush’s Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit plan have saved American’s financial lives over and over again.  All progressive measures.

And let’s remember that the Iraq War and Medicare Part D were not budgeted for and therefore they were paid with debt.  These two accomplishments are Republican accomplishments.  Obama Care was budgeted for and therefore was paid for with fees and taxes.  Republicans like to say the phrase “Tax and Spend Democrats” over and over again.  But Republicans use debt to finance big ventures.  They could comparatively be called “Debt and Spend Republicans.”  Both terms are meant to demean the other Party and not enlighten voters.

Since 1977, the three presidential administrations that have overseen the deficit increases are the three Republican ones. President Trump’s tax cut is virtually assured to make him the fourth of four. And the three administrations that have overseen deficit reductions are the three Democratic ones, including a small decline under Barack Obama. If you want to know whether a post-1976 president increased or reduced the deficit, the only thing you need to know is his party.

Republicans have now spent almost 40 years cutting taxes and expanding government programs without paying for them. The other party has raised taxes and usually been careful to pay for its new programs.  It is an inconvenient truth that Republicans will hate to swallow and probably will not.  Alternative facts are not the truth however.

There is an important distinction between being uninformed and being misinformed.  Many citizens may base their policy preferences on false, misleading, or unsubstantiated information that they believe to be true. Frequently, such misinformation is related to one’s political preferences.

Research in political science has found that it is possible to change issue opinions by directly providing relevant facts to subjects.  But most of the time news shows don’t have guests that are trusted by both Democrats and Republicans and instead have Democratic Party and Republican Party political strategists present “Alternative Information” which doesn’t change anybody’s opinion.

Six Political Parties

None of us fit entirely in one of the two major Parties.  And yet we tend to vote straight Party tickets as if we did.  If we were to answer questions about where we stand on 20 issues we might find ourselves in one of six Parties.  That would be a good thing and maybe the only way we escape the chains that keep us from working together.  Try it here:

I am not a big fan of President Biden.  I offer that to sooth the reaction I might get by saying there is no doubt in my mind that Trump would have been too despised by Republicans if he were a Democrat to ever get a one of their votes much less believe him when he said he won the 2020 election.

The Direction of America

While Americans have moved from state to state, job to job, young to old; there has been a political battle to control the direction America takes. The direction is dependent on how we incorporate into our voting these words from Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:

That government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth and shall have a new birth of freedom.

Conservatives tend to be pro-business and Liberals tend to be pro-people.  The former has accepted that wealth is accumulating in the top two percent of Americans and the latter has not and while both parties differ from issue to issue, these two core beliefs of conservatives and liberals, pro-business v pro-people, are the foundation for the lack of balance that currently exists in the Republican and Democratic parties we know today.

Progressives in both Parties understand that being pro-business does not mean people support greed and being pro-people does not mean people do not want businesses to be very successful.

Does being pro-business mean someone is materialistic and does being pro-people mean someone is more spiritual?  No!  But if it did we would again need balance.  Balance that progressives bring.

Progressives in both Parties understand that material prosperity without spirituality leads to greed, lack of inner and outer peace, and war and that spirituality without material development leads to poverty and famine.  Progressives are to the right of Socialism and to the left of Capitalism.  Capitalism without spiritualism and Socialism without materialism produces a system that is not in balance.

Voting a straight Party ticket without regard to whether a candidate is too far left or too far right can lead to a nation that is out of balance.

Donald Trump and a quote of bob Anderson

Two new polls show the damage Trump has done to U.S. standing in the world

Before we get to the poll data let’s look at the type of things that have caused other nations to think less of us.  There was a time where the world could look at our C.D.C. for guidance and truth and science.  Not any more and it is because the Trump administration now controls the information.  For example, C.D.C. scientists didn’t write the virus testing guidance on its website last month, and it was published against their objections, officials said.

The Pew Research Center found, in a survey of 13 countries, that America’s current standing in the world has dropped to unimaginable lows.  

In 2020, Only

  • 26 percent of Germans,
  • 30 percent of the Dutch,
  • 31 percent of the French,
  • 33 percent of Australians and Swedes,
  • 35 percent of Canadians, and
  • 41 percent of the Japanese and British

Have a favorable impression of the United States.

In 2016,

  • The U.S. favorability rating ranged from a low of 57 percent (Germany) to a high of 72 percent (Japan).

In 2020,

  • Only 15% of respondents give the United States good marks on the pandemic.
  • China’s handling of the pandemic is more than twice as popular.
  • Trump is more unpopular than Russia’s Vladimir Putin or China’s Xi Jinping.
    • Eighty-three percent of respondents in U.S. allies have no confidence in America’s president.
    • Only 16 percent trust him to do what is right in world affairs. 

A new survey out Thursday from the Chicago Council on Global Affairs shows that most Americans reject Trump’s isolationist, protectionist policies.

  • 62%  say that the lesson of covid-19 is that we need to “coordinate and collaborate with other countries to solve global issues.”
  • 68%  say it would be better “for the future of the country if we take an active part in world affairs.”
  • 65%  say that globalization is “mostly good” for the United States.

The majority of Americans are in favor of free trade, alliances and international leadership — the traditional pillars of America’s post-1945 foreign policy.

  • 60%  of Republicans now support for NATO.
    • 85%  of Democrats now support NATO
  • 21%  of Republicans now view climate change as a threat.
    • 75%  of Democrats now view climate change as a threat
  • 40%  of Republicans are now concerned about Russian power.
    • 57%  of Democrats are now concerned about Russian power.
  • 61%  of Republicans now are concerned by large numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into the U.S.
    • 13% of Democrats now are concerned by large numbers of immigrants and refugees coming into the U.S.

Democrats want to address the United States’ internal problems and take an internationalist approach to foreign policy.

Republicans favor a nationalist, unilateralist approach while denying that America needs to address serious flaws such as racial or income inequality.

Republicans are far more friendly toward Russia, and far more hostile to NATO, than they used to be. However, 40 percent still see Russia as a critical threat and 60 percent still support NATO.

Most independents are closer to the Democrats than they are Republicans on foreign policy.

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