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No, It Wasn't AOC’s Job To Put A Pool Noodle Around Kevin McCarthy To Keep His Speakership Afloat
Sorry, Republicans, you’re not too big to fail.
Matt Gaetz and seven other Republicans — including faux “moderate” Nancy Mace! — ousted Kevin McCarthy as House speaker Tuesday, but it wasn’t long before Republicans and right-wing media insisted this was all Democrats’ fault. They are obviously bad at math … and governance … and anything decent.
Democrats never voted to elect McCarthy as speaker, and they had ample opportunity over four days and 15 ballots. It’s absurd to expect that Democrats would keep McCarthy as speaker after he spent the past nine months catering to far-right extremists and otherwise stabbing Democrats in the back.
The entire House votes for speaker, but the speaker is almost always elected with votes from their own party. Even when 15 Democrats declined to vote for Nancy Pelosi in 2019, they didn’t choose Kevin McCarthy. Republicans have a narrow four-seat majority. If McCarthy couldn’t maintain the bare-ass minimum support of 218 Republicans, that’s his problem, not the Democrats’.
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Supposed Adults Matt Gaetz, Kevin McCarthy Reenact The Sillier Parts Of Every Teen Movie You've Seen
Oh, but what about the institution? Shouldn’t Democrats have put aside their petty differences with McCarthy and saved his sorry ass for the sake of that noble House itself?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put it best Wednesday when she wrote, “Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right. The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans.”
Your editrix put it second-best when she wrote, “it's because Democrats (including our men) are coded as women. And women have to manage the bad behavior of their men including like ‘don't rape me’ and shit.”
McCarthy, as Republican leader, signed onto Ken Paxton’s bogus Texas suit intended to disenfranchise millions of US voters and declare Trump the winner of states he’d clearly lost. McCarthy would later shamelessly whip votes to overturn President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory just hours after Donald Trump’s mob stormed the Capitol. He tried to sabotage the House January 6 Select Committee. McCarthy has never cared about the House as an “institution” and instead used it to further his own shabby ambitions.
But somehow it was very important for Democrats to save Republicans from the monster they’d created … even after they’d fed other Democrats to this same monster and would’ve continued doing so. McCarthy unjustly tossed Democrats off key committees and appeased the far Right with a BS impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden without a formal House vote.
Conservative writer Matt Lewis at The Daily Beast insists that “Democrats Blew a Huge Political Win By Not Saving Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker.” What the fuck were Democrats supposed to win here? Kevin McCarthy is no prize, as either the House speaker or a man.
Lewis whined that Democrats “could have been leaders who rose above culture war partisan rancor and put the country first. Instead, they voted for chaos and craziness.”
If there is “chaos and craziness” in the Republican-controlled House, it’s because Republicans are chaotic and crazy. Democrats only voted the same way that Republicans would’ve voted if centrist Democrat Kathleen Rice had tried to oust Nancy Pelosi in 2017. (Rice was literally quoted as saying “We need leadership change … It’s time for Nancy Pelosi to go.”)
No serious person in full possession of their faculties would’ve expected Republicans to defend Pelosi from an internal coup. The “moderate” Republicans would’ve happily Hammer danced on Pelosi’s political grave and relished the opportunity to install a more right-leaning Democrat as speaker. Liberal writers would’ve been too embarrassed to suggest that Republicans “put the country first” and support a Democratic leader they openly loathed. Conservatives are apparently immune to shame.
Never Trump writer Max Boot warned, “This is why I think Dems, because of their understandable and justifiable anger at McCarthy, made a serious mistake in letting a handful of right-wing crazies take him down. The dysfunction is now worse than it was last week.”
McCarthy’s entire pathetic tenure was dysfunctional. It would’ve only gotten worse. The extremists didn’t fully trust him, so he constantly hurled policy and people under the nearest speeding bus. A desperate, weak leader is an ongoing threat, and if Democrats had saved him, he only would’ve become more beholden to the far Right.
Boot is very worried about Ukraine. He said, “By not keeping McCarthy in office, Democrats may have just dealt a heavy blow to Ukraine’s defense. This is a potential disaster.”
Some rando on AOC’s timeline also tried lecturing her about Ukraine: “Your job is to secure the best outcome for your constituents, you are their representative. McCarthy passed Ukraine aid several times over the course of the past year including last Thursday. Jim Jordan has said he will not. What is better for your voters?”
Maybe Boot and whatshisface have an extensive personal collection of magic beans so they genuinely believe McCarthy would’ve delivered on US aid for Ukraine. However, Democrats have repeatedly stated that McCarthy is “a man without principle who cannot be trusted.” McCarthy grudgingly made deals with Democrats when the alternative would’ve been immediately catastrophic, such as preventing a default on US debt or avoiding a government shutdown. Surrendering Ukraine to Putin is (unfortunately) an easy way to pacify the MAGA base. McCarthy always made the easiest political choice.
Predictably, Republicans are now vowing revenge against Democrats for “siding with Gaetz.” If these cowards actually put forward a vote to expel that sleaze ball, they would see how many Democrats are truly on his side.
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer wrote, “Unmentioned in the vote to dump the Speaker is the role of the Ds in the so-called Problem Solver caucus. Yesterday could have been their big moment and they were useless. They didn’t solve a problem — they were mere partisans. There are no Problem Solvers in Congress.”
Republican “problem solvers” are apparently quitting the caucus en masse because Democrats didn’t defend McCarthy, yet these same “problem solvers” aren’t united against Donald Trump — a serious problem that needs solving. They have repeatedly enabled the far-right beast that slayed McCarthy.
Ocasio-Cortez correctly observes that Republicans’ current roaring rampage of revenge against Democrats is guaranteed to backfire: “Reminder that a major reason McCarthy lost his speakership and didn’t get any help in the first place is because of his unwillingness to cooperate, pettiness, and publicly insulting Dems when they did help him out. So of course they’re going to repeat that winning strategy.”
Democrats aren’t to blame for why Republicans suck so bad but that won’t stop Republicans from trying. They are far better at petty vengeance than simple self-reflection.
Here’s AOC with an accessible and informative breakdown of the Republican House Speaker Follies.
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