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McCarthyism 2: At Mutiny's Gaetz
It's your chaotic filled Sunday show rundown!
It was a tough week for ole’ Kev McCarthy.
After McCarthy humiliated himself for 15 Speakership ballots, he surrendered his dignity in January 2023. Part of the price he paid was the ability to oust him from the speakership at any time.
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Matt Gaetz’s Coup De Grâce
But that’s over now.
On ABC’s “This Week,” Gaetz was asked McCarthy calling his bluff on his threat to remove him.
GAETZ: Kevin McCarthy is going to get his wish. […] In January, to get the speakership, Kevin had to agree to certain guardrails on spending. […] So, he made that commitment. He broke it. And if, at this time next week Kevin McCarthy is still speaker of the House, it will be because the Democrats bailed him out and he can be their speaker, not mine.
Gaetz feigned concern about debt and spending, but his true motive seems to be showing McCarthy who rules the GOP Bartertown. When host Jonathan Karl tried to show a clip of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries celebrating their victory in averting a government shutdown, Gaetz couldn’t help getting a jab in.
GAETZ: Ah, Kevin's new boss. Let's hear from him.
Gaetz then took umbrage to his MAGA coalition being seen as surrendering to Democrats while further elaborating on his insinuation that McCarthy is a puppet …for Democrats. (LOL)
GAETZ: No, it wasn't a surrender by the MAGA wing. We lost. A defeat is not a surrender. There were 90 Republicans who voted against this bad deal, and we did not prevail because — here’s what I've observed in the 118th Congress. On matters of frivolity, or messaging bills, Kevin McCarthy is fine partnering with House conservatives. But whenever it comes to the money, right, the debt limit, the budget process, Kevin McCarthy’s true coalition partner is Hakeem Jeffries.
On CNN’s “State Of The Union,” Gaetz tried a similar arguments but was met with some pushback from Jake Tapper.
When Gaetz tried to characterize his vendetta as “breaking the fever” on spending and deficits, Tapper pointed out the most recent factors of it and Gaetz’s complicity in it.
TAPPER: Yes, and you have voted for a continuing resolution in the past.
GAETZ: Well, I’m five years sober voting for continuing resolutions. And I should note that, during those years, President Trump was growing the economy. But January marked a difference.
TAPPER: And the deficit.
GAETZ: Yes. And you know what?
TAPPER: Growing the deficits as well.
GAETZ: I regret ...
TAPPER: Growing the deficits as well.
GAETZ: But we were growing the economy. And, look — look, you’re talking about the national debt.
TAPPER: You were growing — what did he add, $7 trillion, $8 trillion dollars to the national debt?
GAETZ: And, by the way, I voted against 10 continuing resolutions under Donald Trump. I did not stand with Donald Trump on all of his spending priorities. I voted against it way more than I voted for it.
TAPPER: My point is, I don't know what this shutdown did to help the cause.
GAETZ: What shut — what shutdown?
TAPPER: The shutdown that almost happened.
GAETZ: OK, so there wasn’t a shutdown.
GAETZ: ... do anything.
TAPPER: The threat of shutdown that you created.
GAETZ: We have to break the fever. We have to move to single-subject spending bills.
TAPPER: So you broke a fever?
GAETZ: No, we didn’t, unfortunately.
Gaetz tried to sound like more than just an ineffective and petty narcissist but was also called out on it.
GAETZ: […] I understand that, in divided government, that means that you have to take into account the views of Senate Democrats, the views of the White House. But what I want to ...
TAPPER: You do?
GAETZ: Of course.
TAPPER: You understand that?
GAETZ: Of course.
TAPPER: Because you’re on the floor of the House talking about what Kevin McCarthy needs to do is to allow line-item vetoes by people like you ...
GAETZ: That’s not true.
TAPPER: Line-item votes against the salaries of people who are investigating Donald Trump, the salaries of individuals who are offering sweetheart deals to Hunter Biden. That, to me, is not the language of somebody who understands the balance of power [in the] House and Senate and how it — all legislation actually functions.
TAPPER: That, to me, is the language of somebody who is looking for clicks ...
GAETZ: Well, Jake, let me explain to you ...
TAPPER: .. and likes and FOX hits, not somebody who actually is trying to reduce the debt.
GAETZ: Well, I — you might want to check FOX. I haven’t been hitting there as much recently. […]
The idea that a rightwing troll like Matt Gaetz is now trying to pretend he’s a measured lawmaker is hilarious. It’s about as funny as pretending he doesn’t get invited on Fox News after we wrote about his appearance last week on Maria Bartiromo’s show.
Democratic representatives, for their part, are just grabbing snacks and enjoying the conservative clusterfuck.
House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, when asked on CNN what Democrats should do, gave a very simple answer.
PELOSI: My advice to my fellow Democrats is simple. Follow the leader. Hakeem Jeffries has done a great job.
Also on CNN, New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a similar sentiment.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, my vote beginning this term for speaker of the House was for Hakeem Jeffries. And I do not intend on voting for a Republican speaker of the House, but I believe that it's up to the Republican Conference to determine their own leadership and deal with their own problems. But it’s not up to Democrats to save Republicans, from themselves, especially.
Have a week.