Betrayal - The Pennsylvania GOP Installs a Democrat As House Speaker
The base of the Republican Party in Pennsylvania feels largely unrepresented. It looks to Harrisburg, and it sees GOP legislators who seem devoid of the conservative principles voters want to be represented. The state is awash in fentanyl, trust in the electoral system has boiled away, critical race theory and gender fluidity are being forced on Pennsylvania’s children in its schools, and the GOP representatives and senators in the state capital seem blissfully ignorant of any of these issues.
The America First base of the GOP in Pennsylvania feels betrayed and with good reason. Never has that been more on display than yesterday when the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives voted to install a Democratic Speaker of the House.
Democrats do not currently hold the majority in the House. They are the minority party. While they won 102 votes in the last election, enough to give them a majority, three ensuing vacancies amongst Democrats left the Republicans with a 101-99 majority. Pending the outcome of a number of special elections, the Republicans will remain for the time being the majority party.
And, yet, the GOP handed the Speaker’s gavel to the Democrats. In fact, Mark Rozzi, a Democrat from Berks County, who is the new Speaker was nominated by Jim Gregory a Republican lawmaker from Blair County. Another Republican representative, Tim O’Neal of Washington County, then seconded that nomination.
After the vote, Gregory said he’d been speaking with Rozzi for months about becoming Speaker. Gregory said he was motivated by a fear that the House had become dysfunctional, which seems to mean too partisan. Gregory thought it was time to change that and adopt a more bipartisan direction.
“This is politics in Pennsylvania and we just saw something that doesn’t happen very often,” Gregory said. “We must have a Speaker that reflects the realities that we have here before us,” Gregory added.
Immediately following the vote, Bryan Cutler the GOP House leader said the choice of Rozzi was “good news for the voters because he pledged to work with both sides.”
“I would expect him to be the Speaker for the entirety of the term just as I was last term,” Cutler said. “I think that this provides a level of stability that an on-again, off-again, different party switching, would not have been as functional.”
In fact, Cutler was one of the 16 Republican House members who voted to install Rozzi as Speaker. So, did Seth Grove, the current chair of the State Government Committee. Grove is perhaps best known as the guy who famously announced that the only evidence of electoral fraud he had seen in Pennsylvania was amongst Republicans.
So, if you’re keeping score at home, Bryan Cutler, who in fact is the majority leader in the House right now, led a group of 16 Republicans to vote against the GOP lawmaker, Carl Metzgar of Somerset County, who was also running for Speaker, to install a Democrat as Speaker of the House in Pennsylvania. All this, let’s keep in mind, with a newly elected Democrat, Josh Shapiro, as the Governor of Pennsylvania.
Following his election, Rozzi announced he would no longer caucus with the Democrats and ‘would act as an independent’ as Speaker. When asked if that meant he was leaving the Democratic Party formally he declined to give a clear answer. Shortly thereafter he was seen walking into the Speaker’s Office in company with Governor Shapiro’s chief of staff.
To the average Republican in Pennsylvania, Harrisburg appears completely detached from reality. Lawmakers, no matter what they say when campaigning, appear to join some kind of club once they take office. They are more concerned with backroom deals, getting committee assignments, and taking money from lobbyists than they are with actually representing their constituents.
The mantra seems to be “don’t rock the boat.”
Out in the hinterlands rocking the boat seems long overdue:
When teachers are telling your kids they were “assigned” the wrong sex at birth and helping them “transition” behind your back that seems like something worth making some noise about.
When parts of Philadelphia look like scenes from “The Walking Dead” that seems like something your representative ought to be willing to fight about.
When the Governor thinks he can shutter small businesses, close churches, and order your kids to wear a mask eight hours a day, that feels like the kind of thing somebody ought to raise their voice over.
When faith in the electoral system has plummeted amongst voters and no one believes the results reported on Election Day, that seems like something that needs to be fixed right now.
The base of the Republican Party doesn’t think we need more bipartisanship in Harrisburg. It thinks we are under attack on all fronts by people who are taking away our civil liberties, crushing our standard of living, and pushing unwanted social change. The base doesn’t want more people who will go to Harrisburg, join the club and ‘go with the flow.’
The base wants people who will stand up and fight. It wants people who will go to the mat over matters of principle. It wants men and women who take their jobs seriously.
No matter. Bryan Cutler, Seth Grove, and their running buddies think differently.
In Harrisburg, it’s business as usual, and that means betrayal.
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Absolute traitors. You don’t voluntarily relinquish power that you were just granted. That purpose is solely to say “We can’t change what the Speaker is bringing to the floor.” Lookout for more self-dealing and activity so far left that Steve Carlton’s slider couldn’t bring it back over the center of the plate.