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House Speaker Race Descending Into 'Lord Of The Flies But Stupid'
Someone please nominate an inanimate carbon rod for House speaker.
The race to be the next speaker of the House is beginning to resemble Cemetery Hill after Pickett’s Charge. (In this simile, both the attackers and defenders are Confederates.)
The latest casualty in this battle to win the shittiest of all prizes is Louisiana congressman and drunk mink with a thyroid condition Steve Scalise, who on Thursday night dropped his bid to become the next guy to be driven out of the Speaker’s office by his feral caucus after a few months of ineffective leadership.
Scalise told his caucus in a meeting that he was withdrawing his name from consideration after a furious day of begging, pleading, favor-promising, and … blowies? Sure, let’s say innumerable blowies — it would be irresponsible not to speculate — failed to convince 217 Republicans to vote for him on the floor of the House. Likely because being the modern-day GOP, they prefer David Duke with the baggage. In fact, they’d like the baggage to be monogrammed and paraded through the airport by grimacing minority skycaps.
Scalise already had a big hill to climb. He had only narrowly earned the nomination during a caucus meeting on Wednesday, squeaking past Jim “Old Yeller” Jordan by a vote of 113 to 99. In a functioning political party, those 99 would then have congratulated the winner and united behind him, gone to the floor, voted, and let the House of Representatives get on with doing whatever the hell it does.
But the GOP is not a functioning political party so much as a collection of warlords constantly trying to conquer each other’s fiefdoms, so that didn’t happen.
Far-right Jordan backers went public with refusals to support Scalise. McCarthy allies plotted behind the scenes, whispering about the Majority Leader’s disloyalty. McCarthy himself publicly expressed doubts about whether Scalise could prevail.
CNN reported there were more than a dozen firm holdouts, which is three times as many as Scalise could afford to lose. And his rivals and their allies were not in a unifying mood.
Old Yeller immediately announced he would take another run at the speakership. This is hilarious because, as Josh Marshall observed, if Scalise couldn’t get from 113 to 217 votes, what on earth makes Jim Jordan think he can get from 99 to 217?
So the GOP is back to square one on electing a speaker, with the added bonus that some of the politicking the last few days seems to have hardened everyone’s hatred of each other.
For example, Ann Wagner, a Republican from Missouri, announced she is a firm “NO” on Old Yeller for reasons (the reasons are that Jordan is a ginormous dickhead):
"Yesterday in conference, he gave the most disgraceful, ungracious — I can’t call it a concession speech — of all time," the Scalise ally added. "There were gasps in the room.”
Then Wagner recalled another moment that lost Jordan her support. It took place during a private meeting between Scalise and Jordan, less than an hour after the majority leader won the House GOP's internal speaker ballot. Wagner wasn't in the room, but she remained outside in Scalise's office and took in the immediate aftermath.
Jim Jordan ungracious in defeat? Why, that’s…exactly what we would expect from that mouthy, shouty, screaming goat toy.
According to Wagner and other House Republicans briefed on the meeting, Jordan said to Scalise: “You get one ballot. And when you go down, you will nominate me.”
She said Scalise pushed back, arguing he had won by the conference rules, to which Jordan replied: “America wants me,” before storming out the door.
LOL, sure, the people are clamoring for Jim Jordan, who outside of his district and whatever nutty Fox grandpas love watching his hits on Hannity’s show, is about as popular as an eye infection.
(Although Old Yeller did win a Twitter poll by fellow nutter Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky with 93 percent of the vote, and who are we to argue with the careful science of a Twitter poll.)
For now, it’s hard to see how the Republicans get out of this giant flustercuck. The moderates don’t want to reward the Matt Gaetz wing of the caucus for its behavior in getting McCarthy booted in the first place by selecting a speaker they like. Gaetz’s band of rabid shitweasels have shown they will happily burn the entire House to the ground rather than give in. And McCarthy backers are circulating proposals to reinstall him in the speaker’s chair a bare week after he got kicked out of it, which seems about as likely a possibility right now as Donald Trump solving the Birch and Swinnterton-Dyer conjecture. (Or, to be fair, anything else requiring brain functions higher than breathing.)
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The Democrats would probably be perfectly happy with either peeling off half a dozen Republicans to join their entire caucus in voting for Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, or with striking some sort of power-sharing agreement with some less-insane Republican. But cooperating with Democrats is to Republicans what a Palestinian cooperating with Israel is to Hamas, and besides, why would the Democrats trust any Republican to honor a deal after the votes are counted?
Meanwhile Ukraine needs aid, the Middle East looks as if it could easily spin into a wider war at any moment, and oh yeah, the government runs out of money in five weeks and needs to pass yet another continuing resolution to keep functioning. And keep in mind that passing the last CR was what got Gaetz and company to defenestrate McCarthy in the first place, so whichever beauty queen is unlucky enough to win this pageant almost immediately has to walk the same plank.
Maybe Canada is accepting refugees? We can learn to like putting mayonnaise on our french fries.