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Republicans Humiliating Kevin McCarthy Some More, But It's Okay, He Likes It!
Seven years ago, Rep. Kevin McCarthy abruptly withdrew from his bid to succeed John Boehner as House Speaker after failing to unite the warring factions of his own party behind him.
“I am not that guy,” the California Republican told his caucus, bowing out of the race after receiving the most support but failing to get the necessary 218 votes thanks to a stubborn core of about 40 "never Kevin" conservative hardliners who were drunk on power after having forced Boehner out.
In 2015, the GOP pulled its shit together and coalesced around Paul Ryan, after he secured promises from them to quit slap- fighting each other for a hot second, and also to let him go home on weekends instead of spending all his time fundraising. But politics in America is an eternal hell loop, so here we are again. Only this time, McCarthy's Republican majority is razor-thin, so he can only afford to lose a handful of votes. This means that every individual member of the caucus can extract a pound of flesh as the price for their support, something Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who just announced that she'll be on the Oversight Committee come January, has figured out.
And unlike in 2015, McCarthy appears willing to put up with a lot more pain to get what he wants. Last time he dropped out rather than face a humiliating first-round defeat in the floor vote. This time, he's betting that letting the weirdos in his caucus do their interpretive dance around Andy Biggs, that loon from Arizona who just announced a bid for speaker, can't make him look any weaker. Shit, when you've kissed the wrinkled ass of the man who sent a mob to overturn an election and also kill you , then pushed out the highest ranking woman in your caucus to appease the same mob, there's precious little dignity left to protect.
"I'll get 218," McCarthy vowed to CNN , although he knows he doesn't have the votes on the first round.
“Our initial plan is vote for Kevin and let him fight this out repeatedly. … But if they think they’re going to use this to infinity to drive him out, well, we’re not going to bend to their will,” Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon said, while threatening that “If a small group refuses to play ball and be part of the team, then we’ll work across the aisle to find an agreeable Republican.”
This was a veiled threat to round up a handful of Democrats to support McCarthy if he can't get over the hump with his own caucus.
Meanwhile, the defectors are demanding a return to the rule that dogged Boehner, allowing any single member of the caucus to demand a floor vote to oust the speaker, something McCarthy has so far refused. And yesterday a group of seven hardliners, including Reps. Scott Perry, Chip Roy, Dan Bishop, Andrew Clyde, Paul Gosar, and Eli Crane, plus Rep.-elect Andy Ogles of Tennessee, put out a letter yesterday demanding radical changes to the way the House is run.
“There are very significant rules, changes being discussed that would open the House up, that would be transformative, that would give us the ability to actually legislate and represent our constituents, and whoever is speaker is going to have to agree to those rules, I think. And I don’t think that person will be Kevin McCarthy because Kevin McCarthy won’t have 218 votes," Rep. Matt Gaetz told CNN, adding later, “I think the person who is ultimately going to be the speaker isn’t even the candidate yet.”
This would appear to be a reference to Whip Steve Scalise, who would be less unpalatable to the wingy-est wingers in the winger caucus. Or perhaps they're planning to pull someone totally surprising out of their asses after McCarthy is good and humiliated.
“Rep. Ralph Norman, who opposes McCarthy for Speaker, says the renegade Republicans have a secret candidate to run against him who is not a House member: “It will be apparent in the coming weeks who that person will be. I will tell you, it will be interesting.””
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦) 1669935162
Ayyyyyy, Paul Ryan, you up?
[ CNN ]
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