The Night Light with Joshua Johnson
The Night Light with Joshua Johnson
Episode 16: House "Leadership" in the Search for a Speaker

Episode 16: House "Leadership" in the Search for a Speaker

What is Congress getting wrong about leading a legislature?

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brown and white dome ceiling
“Apotheosis of Washington” by Constantino Brumidi, 1865. Fresco inside the dome of the US Capitol depicts George Washington ascending into the heavens. Photo by Yael Clusman on Unsplash

Congress’s deadlock is broken… for now.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) failed three times to become House Speaker. Republicans finally found someone they could unanimously support: Mike Johnson (R-LA). If you’re not familiar with him… you’re not alone. Here’s a good AP report that’ll bring you up to speed. In this episode I’ll share my thoughts on this saga, starting with my answer to a listener’s question from this week’s “Ask Me Anything!” YouTube live stream.

Also, former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) gave the nominating speech for Cong. Jordan’s third try. McCarthy quoted a renowned expert on leadership in a way that I found very interesting: mainly because, he used it wrong. Then again, I’m not sure the rest of us understand it as well as we should, either. No wonder this is the level of leadership we have in Congress.

If you had to write a job description for House Speaker – the kind of Speaker we need and deserve – what would you ask for? Email me your job description:

Also, thanks to those of you who took part in this week’s “Ask Me Anything!” live stream on YouTube. If you missed it, click here to watch on demand.

This week’s episode was taped as part of a spur-of-the-moment live stream I did Friday night, instead of my usual audio-only taping. There will definitely be more live programming coming very soon: frankly, I just enjoy it more, and working silently by myself has gotten pretty lonely. More details on that coming soon. In the meantime, keep an eye on my social media accounts for spontaneous streams: I’m @JoshuaListening on Facebook, Instagram, Threads and (the app I refuse to call X, formerly known as) Twitter.

The Night Light with Joshua Johnson
The Night Light with Joshua Johnson
Bright, nonpartisan insights on news & culture from former NPR & MSNBC host Joshua Johnson.