House Democrats can subpoena President Trump or they can yield back the balance of their time to Speaker Trump. They can carry on about January 6, 2021, until the midterms on November 8, 2022, or they can hold out until January 3, 2023, when the 117th Congress ends. If they choose humiliation over honor, they may lose twice on Election Day: first, at the polls; then, with the election of Donald Trump as speaker of the House.
To be second in the presidential line of succession, and sit next to Vice President Harris while Joe Biden stands (unassisted) and speaks before Congress; to preside while Biden stammers and wince as the president struggles to speak; to watch Biden lose face while refusing to cover his own; to do these things would be a coup for Trump and a win for the Republican Party.
Because the Constitution does not require that the speaker be an incumbent member of the House, Trump can take Nancy Pelosi’s gavel with a simple majority of 218 votes. He does not have to run for anything to ruin everything for the White House and congressional Democrats. And should Liz Cheney win reelection, she can join “the squad” and be a moderate among extremists, or resign her seat and be George P. Bush’s running mate in 2036.
A Trump speakership would also save history from those who continue to attack and revise it; who sit (for now) in judgment, in spite of having judged Trump wanting; who sit as bipartisan and unanimous supporters of the second impeachment of President Trump.
Trump would have the power to call the roll, and have the House clerk read the names of Thompson, Lofgren, Murphy, Luria, Aguilar, Raskin, and Schiff. He would have the right to pause, and have the clerk finish with Kinzinger and Cheney.
He would be remiss if he did not make a show of the farce of a trial against him.
House Republicans would be remiss if they elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) instead, because he is a political minority—a red in a deep blue state—with none of the energy or influence of Trump.
If Republicans choose to repeat history and suffer the tragedy of McCarthyism, not the tragedy of censure and collapse but the shame of infamy and irrelevance, they will be a majority without a mission.
If they revert to the ways of their former colleague, and adopt the means of another Wisconsin politician, if they choose to repeat the mistakes of Paul Ryan, they will be a majority without a mandate.
Better therefore to have a president in the House than a House in which Republicans cannot check the policies of the White House.
Better to inaugurate the 118th Congress with pomp and circumstance, glorying in the pageantry of power, with the protection of the Secret Service and the presence of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Best to see the peaceful transfer of power, as Nancy Pelosi watches Speaker Trump exercise power.