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Republicans Gonna Keep Holding Speaker Elections Until We’re All Dead, Buried, Risen As Zombies
Compromise is for RINOs.
Republicans ended last week without a speaker, and there’s seemingly no end in sight to this mess. Friday afternoon, CNN’s Jake Tapper unloaded on Rep. Steve Womack: “We need a speaker! The country needs a speaker! This isn’t about prom king!” Or is it? “We need a functioning legislative branch.”
Tapper generously assumes that if Republicans successfully picked a Head Idiot, this would make Congress function normally again. That will never happen as long as Republicans retain the majority.
Anyway, a despondent Womack agreed, “Well, that’s obvious, and we’d like to be able to deliver on that.” Womp. Womp.
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New contestants on the Supermarket Speakerstakes did emerge on Friday. The first was Rep. Jack Bergman, who declared, “My hat is in the ring, and I feel confident I can win the votes where others could not. I have no special interests to serve; I’m only in this to do what’s best for our Nation and to steady the ship for the 118th Congress.”
Bergman might present as normal, which is easy when compared to Jim Jordan, but he also voted to overturn the 2020 election. Majority Whip Tom Emmer does clear that very low bar — despite his own set of problems — and that probably explains why Donald Trump came out against his speaker bid.
While Emmer privately worked the phones Friday night, Trump’s goons were already circulating opposition research. Politico reported that top Trump adviser Boris Epshteyn turned up Steve Bannon’s podcast to bash Emmer and complain that he hadn’t endorsed Trump’s third horrible presidential run.
“If somebody is so out of step with where the Republican electorate is, where the MAGA movement is, how can they even be in the conversation?” Epshteyn said. “We need a MAGA speaker. That’s what it comes down to. Because if you look at the numbers, if you look at the energy, if you look at the heat, this is the Trump party, this is the MAGA party. It is no longer the old-school khaki establishment Republican Party.”
Steve Bannon, a former Trump White House adviser and the “War Room” host, chimed in to call Emmer a “Trump hater.”
Emmer might make sense in a saner Republican Party that valued leadership experience or effective pants-wearing ability, but the MAGA cult has already stamped him with the dread mark of the RINO. Carolin Wren, senior adviser for lunatic Kari Lake, told Bannon’s drooling audience that a vote for Emmer as speaker of the House “is a vote for Special Counsel Jack Smith’s investigation of President Trump. Emmer had a hand in raising the debt ceiling, funding Ukraine, and not funding the border …” This has become boilerplate criticism for anyone who might actually govern responsibly. Real America’s Voice went so far as to describe Emmer as “Nancy Pelosi in a suit.” First place, Pelosi herself usually wears suits — there’s actual video footage — and more to the point, Emmer and Pelosi have little in common politically.
Republicans are obviously nowhere near resolving the internal divisions that prevent them from electing a speaker or keeping one in power for a full year. The House remains paralyzed as the establishment and the nihilist wing struggle for dominance. Anyone who’s paid attention for the past few weeks knows Emmer was a long shot. As Tim Miller said, he’s “Kevin McCarthy with less personality.” Maybe the faux normal Republicans would just concede defeat and back a full-on MAGA speaker, but the current option is ridiculous: Bryon Donalds announced his bid for the gavel Friday, and the freshman representative has yet to serve a full term. He is in no way qualified for the job, which is actually pretty important — at least when Pelosi was doing it.
“I am running to become the next Speaker of the House,” he declared on social media. “We need to: Secure our border. Fund our government responsibly. Advance our conservative agenda. Expand our Republican majority.”
Donalds has no realistic plan to achieve any of these goals. It’s not as if he has an Infinity Gauntlet. He’s achieved very little during his first term, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that his “most recent work involved submitting falsified evidence in an impeachment investigation.” No wonder Jordan boosters are supporting his absurd run.
Predictably, Donalds leaned into the so-called “identity politics” that Republicans revile, noting that he’d be the first Black speaker in history. Hooray!
Republicans need to coalesce around a single candidate who can secure 218 votes on the floor. Instead, they’ve only splintered further with more speaker wannabes coming in waves of nausea. Rep. Mike Johnson announced his bid on Saturday morning, when I was trying to watch “Superfriends” reruns with my son. By Sunday morning, when I was watching fifth season “Angel” — I lead an exciting life — the number had reached nine and now included Republican Study Committee Chair Kevin Hern, Austin Scott, Pete Sessions, Gary Palmer, and Dan Meuser.
They expect to have another conference meeting on Monday and another speaker vote on Tuesday. Then we’ll start the whole thing all over again.
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