Editorial 10 May 2024

Editorial 10 May 2024

Title: Bipartisan rescue: On the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. politics

In a rare display of camaraderie across the political divide, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives rushed to the aid of Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson and, alongside others from his party, saved his speakership from termination, by a vote of 359-43 in support of his continuance in that capacity. The threat to his role as the functional head of the lower chamber of the U.S. Congress came from far-right Republican lawmaker and unabashed supporter of former President Donald Trump, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, whose grouse with Mr. Johnson was that he had shepherded and seen through a bill to provide a $95 billion national security aid package to Israel, Ukraine and other U.S. allies in Asia, with the bill for military support to Kyiv coming in at $61 billion. “By passing the Democrats’ agenda and handcuffing the Republicans’ ability and influence legislation, our elected Republican Speaker Mike Johnson has aided and abetted the Democrats and the Biden administration in destroying our country,” Ms. Greene said, in a speech on the floor of the house that was booed by her fellow Congressmen. In March, Ms. Greene had filed a motion that would trigger a vote to remove Mr. Johnson, and earlier this week she had warned that she would be bringing that motion to a vote. While Mr. Trump is said to have complimented Ms. Greene in a post on the Truth Social platform, even he said that he believed that Republicans were “not in a position” to be voting Mr. Johnson out.

To a significant extent, the House has become the testing ground for factional supremacy within the ranks of the Republican Party, a simmering conflict that has intensified as the presidential election of November 2024 has drawn closer. The lower house witnessed a similar pattern of turmoil during the election of Mr. Johnson’s immediate predecessor, California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, who had to engineer no fewer than 15 rounds of voting to finally secure the Speaker’s chair. Ultimately Mr. McCarthy was dismissed from the role in late October 2023 when his tenure was abruptly ended by a motion to vacate foisted by members of the House Freedom Caucus. This ultra-conservative group has broadly backed the political agenda of Mr. Trump and routinely attacked ‘mainstream’ Republican lawmakers who have relied on bipartisan cooperation to get bills passed, including critical funding for U.S. allies. Even as Voting Day approaches fast from the horizon, moderate congressional Republicans are faced with the festering dilemma that to win their re-election bids they cannot be seen as spoilers who made it harder for Congress to forge critical bipartisan legislation, yet the popularity of Mr. Trump and the stubbornness of his House ideologues make it difficult for them to repudiate a more combative approach to politics.

Meaning of the word:

WordMeaningSynonymsAntonyms
CamaraderieCamaraderie refers to a sense of mutual trust and friendship among a group of people who are working together towards a common goal or who share a similar experience.brotherhood.
community.
friendship.
comradeship.
fellowship.  
Alienation Estrangement Hostility Enmity Discord  
Continuancetypically refers to the act or state of continuing or persisting, especially in the context of legal proceedings or the duration of something.constancy
endurance
extension
guts
longevity  
arrest
end
ending
finish
hindrance
Unabasheddescribes someone who is not embarrassed, ashamed, or inhibited by their actions, words, or behavior, even if it goes against social norms or expectations.Bold
Shameless
Brazen
Confident
Audacious  
Bashful
Shy
Timid
Reserved Modest  
Shepherdedis the past tense form of the verb “shepherd.” To shepherd means to guide, protect, or oversee a group of people or things, often with care and responsibility.Guided
Directed
Led
Supervised
Managed  
Abandoned Neglected Deserted Ignored Forsaken  
Abettedis the past tense form of the verb “abet.” To abet means to encourage, support, or assist someone in committing a crime, wrongdoing, or questionable act.Supported
Encouraged
Assisted
Facilitated
Promoted  
Deterred
Discouraged Hindered
Prevented
Obstructed  
Simmeringtypically refers to the cooking technique of keeping a liquid just below boiling point, where tiny bubbles form slowly and gently on the surface.Brewing
Smoldering
Boiling
Seething
Fuming  
Calm
Cool
Settled
Quenched
Relaxed  
Predecessorrefers to someone or something that came before another person, thing, or event, especially in a particular role, position, or sequence.Forerunner
Ancestor
Antecedent
Precursor
Prototype  
Successor Descendant
Follower
Heir Offspring  
Foistedis the past tense of the verb “foist.” To “foist” means to impose something (often something unwanted or burdensome) upon someone else, usually by deceit or force.Imposed
Forced
Impelled
Pressed
Thrust  
Offered
Presented Suggested Recommended Volunteered  
Bipartisanrefers to situations or actions that involve members of two opposing political parties or factions working together to achieve a common goal or reach a consensus on an issue.Cross-party Nonpartisan Unbiased Cooperative Collaborative  Partisan
Divisive
Sectarian
Factional
One-sided  
Festeringtypically describes a situation or condition that is worsening or becoming increasingly problematic over time.Putrefying
Decaying
Rotting
Decomposing Suppurating  
Healing
Recovering
Mending
Improving
Resolving  

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