The Corner

Politics & Policy

The Wheels Begin to Come Off in the House

The Republican House has never been particularly functional, but Ryan has managed to hold it together admirably — until now. The Freedom Caucus took down the farm bill last week to pressure for a vote on a hawkish immigration bill, while a discharge petition is gaining ground with the support of Republican moderates who want a DACA vote. The discharge petition, if it were to succeed, would remind me a little of the rule on the crime bill going down in the Democratic House in the summer of 1994: a majority on its last legs losing control of the floor.

One strange aspect of our politics lately has been how you can look at the polling — the generic ballot’s tightening, Trump’s numbers improving, the right track going up — and conclude that the worm has turned and Republicans may not be heading for a wipe-out in the fall. At the same time, every other indication — special-election results, retirements, Ryan announcing he’s not running for reelection — says, indeed, that a wipe-out is coming.

It may be that, whether or not Republicans lose the House in November, they are almost certainly going to lose their governing majority, and the dysfunction that we’ve seen over the last week is the best case going forward.


Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

Most Popular


Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More

The Democrats Made Two Joe Biden Miscalculations

I think it's safe to say that there are many, many progressive Democrats who are more than a little surprised -- and a lot chagrined -- at Joe Biden's polling dominance. Look at FiveThirtyEight's polling roundup. Aside from a few high and low outliers, he leads the race by a solid 20 points (at least). Even ... Read More