How do they say this stuff with a straight face?

GOP announces new leadership team

[Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers(R-WA) speaking] This has been a big day for the Republicans, and I'm proud to stand with our new leadership team for the 113th Congress. Congratulations to our new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and our new Majority Whip Steve Scalise.

And more than anything, we are united. We are united in our effort to move American forward, make America strong. To make sure that moms and dads have more opportunity to provide, bring home higher paychecks for their children and provide for their families.

We are united in getting Americans back to work. We are united in getting the job done here on Capitol Hill. We want to be putting forward solutions rather than continue to see inaction out of the Senate.

And we're going to continue to work on behalf of the people that sent us here, to make them proud and to give them more opportunity.

| House Republicans yesterday elected Kevin McCarthy as majority leader, replacing Eric Cantor who is stepping down after losing his Virginia primary. They also elected Steve Scalise as majority whip, replacing Kevin McCarthy who moved up to majority leader.

Two things about the announcement photo are noteworthy. First, Speaker of the House John Boehner is barely visible, which is appropriate for such a feckless speaker. Second, the guy in the back row with a green tie, just behind Rodgers left shoulder, has his eyes locked on Kevin McCarthy rather than engaging with the TV camera. Perhaps he's trying to read McCarthy's body language to see which way the wind is blowing.

Now, as to Rodgers' remarks: All of the "we are united..." incantations are just pious piffle. "Move American forward" — as in voting more than 50 times to repeal Obamacare? "Bring home higher paychecks" — the House Republicans won't even consider raising the minimum wage. "Getting Americans back to work" — House Republicans have thoroughly stifled every jobs bill. "Getting the job done here on Capitol Hill" — see Obamacare. "Inaction out of the Senate" — it takes two to tango, but the House insists on its own dance. And what about the immigration bill the Boehner refuses to even bring up for a vote? "More opportunity" — The rich are getting obscenely richer, and the poor are stuck with stagnating wages and a dearth of well-paying jobs.

And above all, "make them proud." 

Gallup confidence in Congress
Gallup poll question: "Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one -- a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?"

Americans are most assuredly not proud of Congress. In fact they loathe Congress. The Gallup organization began asking about confidence in Congress in 1973, and the latest results are the lowest ever, not just for Congress but for any institution included in Gallup's poll!

Only seven percent of those polled said they had either a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in Congress. 7%! That is a resounding vote of non-confidence. It does make you wonder who those 7% are!

And putting a Red State, Tea Party conservative on the "leadership team" is not going to improve the situation.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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