If there is a cinematic treatment of this week in the House, it will undoubtedly improve on the original.
Eleven votes for speaker and counting have failed to produce a result, or even anything remotely interesting. There were few compelling plot twists, but there was a lot of borrowing from “Groundhog Day,” “Veep,” “House of Cards,” and “Seinfeld”-worthy fights about nothing – even periodic cameos by a congressman-elect who looked like he was straight out of “The Talented Mr. Ripley.”
However, regardless of how the Republicans’ battle for the speakership ends, the intraparty trench warfare will have an impact on both the GOP and the new Congress.
Inside a party where personalities have held a stronger magnetism than policy in recent years, the stalemate is more of a symptom than a cause. Furthermore, the machinations forced by the prolonged standoff are more likely to worsen the outlook for chaos in this new era of divided government, especially once the substantive work of Congress can finally begin.
Freshman Rep.-elect John James, R-Mich., warned on the House floor during the speaker votes that Republicans were already failing on two counts: working governance and not embarrassing the people who elected them.