By Frank Miele for RealClearWire
“Be careful what you wish for; you might get it.”
That should be the mantra spoken by Democrats in the wake of their weeks-long complaint about the GOP’s inability to elect a new speaker of the House in the wake of the ouster of Rep. Kevin McCarthy on Oct. 3.
With every failed attempt to install a new speaker, Democrats and their fellow travelers in the media lambasted the Republicans and painted them as incapable of governing. When the Hamas slaughter of innocents happened in Israel on Oct. 7, the Democrats seized on it for political purposes and lamented that the House could not pass a resolution condemning the attack.
After three weeks without a speaker, the rhetoric had risen to the level of pure propaganda. Democrats and their allies in the media demanded to know why 217 Republicans could not agree on a speaker, pretending that the narrow five-vote GOP majority was somehow easy to overcome.
“I’m covering life and death issues, serious tragedies, serious momentous occurrences here in Israel,” Jake Tapper said on Oct. 24 while broadcasting from Tel Aviv, Israel. “And of course, we have to interrupt this for one moment to cover the complete and utter clown car that is the House Republican speaker’s race back in Washington, D.C.”
Just one day later Rep. Mike Johnson of Louisiana was elected on a unanimous vote, giving the Democrats exactly what they were demanding – a united Republican Party ready to do the business of the people.
Oops! Maybe that wasn’t what GOP critics wanted after all. Because as soon as Johnson started his job as speaker, the liberal media, the White House, and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries started attacking him as a MAGA extremist and started wishing for the good old days under Speaker Kevin McCarthy, whom they implied had been running a well-oiled machine that was already getting the people’s business done.
Absurd! How can you explain the fact that McCarthy’s deal with President Biden suspended the debt ceiling until Jan. 1, 2025, when the greatest danger facing the United States today is a national debt quickly approaching $34 trillion? How can you explain the open border? How can you explain the lack of transparency and accountability in the billions of dollars of military and other aid sent to Ukraine?
The only way to explain those failures is that McCarthy was serving the Democrat agenda, either by promoting legislation that benefited Democrats or by stalling activity that might benefit Republicans, such as releasing the thousands of hours of Jan. 6 surveillance video or authorizing subpoenas for Hunter Biden and his associates.
I can’t pretend I was supportive of the coup against McCarthy. Although I typically side with the MAGA crowd over mainline Republicans, I had a bad feeling about what would come next when Rep. Matt Gaetz moved to vacate the chair of the speaker and was joined by seven other Republicans – and every House Democrat – to oust McCarthy.
My fear was that another go-along-to-get along Republican would replace McCarthy, possibly with Democratic support. My best hope was that Rep. Jim Jordan would somehow convince enough moderate Republicans to support him so that he could replace McCarthy. That was not to be, and yet I was not panicking. While the Democrats and mainstream media worried about the inability of Congress to move legislation forward while there was no speaker, I started to wonder whether we might be witnessing one of those focal points in history when against all odds, and against their own expectations, mere mortals became the vessel of divine providence.
That’s certainly the way it looks now. The election of Mike Johnson as speaker is nothing short of a miracle – not just because he is a lesser-known congressman with little leadership experience, but because he is a man of faith who promises to govern based on biblical principles. It’s almost like he wants to make America great again, following the lead not of Donald Trump, but of George Washington.
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Rep. Tom Emmer, who withdrew his own candidacy for speaker to make way for Johnson, summed up my own thoughts in a speech on the Capitol steps after the new speaker was sworn in.
“From an outside point of view these last few weeks probably looked like total chaos, confusion, no end in sight, but from my perspective this is one of the greatest experiences in the recent history of our republic,” Emmer said. “Mike is a strong man of faith, a constitutional conservative and a fierce fighter for our Republican common sense agenda.”
Likewise, Johnson in his first speech as speaker suggested that divine providence had been driving the “clown car” that Jake Tapper was so quick to see fall off a cliff.
“I don’t believe there are any coincidences in a matter like this,” Johnson said. “I believe Scripture, the Bible, is very clear, that God is the one that raises up those in authority. He raised up each of you, all of us, and I believe that God has ordained and allowed each one of us to be brought here for this specific moment and this time. This is my belief.”
Johnson also talked about our national motto, “In God We Trust,” and though he did not cite George Washington, he might well have. It was President Washington, in his “Farewell Address” to the nation at the end of his second term, who wrote, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens.”
As we watch the nation sink into a pit of moral ambiguity and chaos, it is certainly time that we heed the warning of Washington against those who would try to govern without a firm faith in God: “Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”
In other words, without a firm religious foundation, there is no hope for a moral nation, and morality is what binds us together as a nation of laws. We know that Johnson believes the same, and that is why he has become a favorite target of the left, especially when he told Sean Hannity that if people wanted to know his worldview, they should “go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it.”
Bill Press in a column for The Hill called that declaration “the most terrifying words in the 21st century.” Perhaps so, for anyone who actually contends that the secularization of American governance has been a good thing. Ask law-abiding black citizens of New York or Chicago whether a government without morality is a good thing, and you will be greeted with either stunned silence or a hearty guffaw. No one wants to live in the Wild West except outlaws.
Yet the Wild West is just what we have become. Flash mob gangsters have taken control of our cities. Illegal immigrants flood across our border in complete disdain for the rule of law. Mass shootings like the one in Maine last month have become commonplace. And Democrats look everywhere for an explanation except the obvious place – the failure to heed George Washington’s warning.
When Johnson told Sean Hannity, “At the end of the day, the problem is the human heart. It’s not guns. It’s not the weapons,” he was confirming what our Founding Fathers all knew. That’s why we have a Second Amendment to guarantee our right to firearms rather than a ban on them: because the human heart is just as fallible today as it was when the book of Genesis was written. Christians call that propensity for evil “original sin,” and they can show its continuity from Adam and Eve down to the latest mass shooting or the latest threat of violence against Jews.
For leftists, who by and large have rejected God and religion, this is foolishness, much like the way St. Paul described the inability of the intellectual and philosophy-driven Greeks to accept the Bible’s message of salvation. Leftists believe they can solve every problem with legislation, and they close their eyes to any proof otherwise.
We hope that Mike Johnson, as speaker, will pass legislation that is wise and prudent, but we can be sure that he knows that the success of that legislation to cure our woes will depend entirely on how much our nation repents from our selfishness and follows the advice of President Washington in his 1789 Thanksgiving proclamation:
“It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.”
That happening today would be a true miracle.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
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