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Republicans Set To Pick Next House Speaker Whether We Like It Or Not!
Speaker Jim Jordan? Dear God.
A full week has passed since Kevin McCarthy was ousted as speaker of the House, and there’s no more avoiding the sad fact that Republicans must eventually pick a replacement. Today’s the day (maybe)! And what we know for sure is they won’t have McCarthy to kick around anymore, as he officially withdrew himself from consideration for an encore performance no one really wanted.
“I know a lot of [Republican House members] want to nominate me,” he said, although a “lot” is not “enough.” That’s why he lost his job. “I told them, ‘Please do not nominate me.’”
At long last, Kevin McCarthy is finally tired of failing. It had gotten tedious to watch, even with my significant capacity for schadenfreude.
“There are two people running in there,” just regular, plain old Rep. McCarthy added. “I’m not one of them.”
That’s at least a slight improvement in his counting skills.
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The two contenders for Next Worst Republican Speaker Who’s Not Actually A Pedophile are House Majority Leader Steve Scalise and “Oh My God, Please Say This Isn’t Happening!” Jim Jordan. Considering he’s already in leadership, Scalise would seem a logical choice, but Republicans don’t make important decisions like Democrats who actually care about effective governance. MAGA prefers chaos and random idiocy. This would give the edge to Jordan, who’d combine the role of speaker with court jester.
Jordan and Scalise made their cases during a closed-door conference meeting Tuesday, but Jordan is already in a superior position. He boasts the support of Donald Trump, chief McCarthy deposer Matt Gaetz, and cynical opportunist Nancy Mace, who showed up at the conference wearing an “A” on her shirt. She told CNN’s Anna Grayer it’s her “scarlet letter,” and we can blame Grayer for asking.
“I’m wearing the scarlet letter after the week I had last week being a woman and being demonized for my vote and for my voice,” Mace said. It’s not clear if she understands that the “A” — which honestly looks much more like an Anarchy A than Hester Prynne’s — stands for “adulteress” and not “Abby” or something.
“I’m on the side of the people,” she went on. “I’m not on the side of the establishment”
The next speaker will need to swing the votes of at least four of the McCarthy booters. However, most of the caucus openly resents the hateful eight for “siding with Democrats” against McCarthy.
From Spectrum News:
“They don’t support the institution, they don’t support a party, in a sense it’s all about the media clicks,” said Nebraska Rep. Don Bacon, a centrist Republican in the House. “It’s all about social media and getting on certain segments of the cable news, but it hurt our country, it’s hurt Congress, it’s hurt our party.”
There’s talk of serious retaliation against specifically Gaetz and “Hester” Mace, but electing Jordan would seemingly give the nihilist wing exactly what it wants. Gaetz considers Jordan his “mentor” (in God knows what) and nominated him as speaker back in January. Jordan would likely protect Gaetz, who’d only become more powerful if his fellow fashion victim wields the gavel.
The 210 Republicans who voted to keep McCarthy as speaker could flat out refuse to elect anyone else, thus neutralizing the rebels rather than surrendering power to them. Of course, that would put them at odds with Trump, the party’s true leader. It’s revealing that neither McCarthy nor his allies could persuade Trump to stand by him.
After the terrorist attack against Israel, some Republicans seemed to appreciate that Jim Jordan is not the guy you want running anything during a crisis.
“Now more than ever we need stability,” said Rep. John Duarte from California, and he raved about McCarthy’s response to the attack. (He just sounded like an almost normal person, but that just shows how low the bar is for Republican leadership.)
Monday, McCarthy didn’t rule out returning as speaker.
“That’s a decision by the conference,” he said. “I’ll allow the conference to make whatever decision.”
As long as that decision is NOT IT.
McCarthy does have some advice for his potential replacement before the big vote.
“The one thing I see is, we went 15 rounds on the floor,” he said. “I think of where the world is today, they shouldn’t come out of there until they decide that they have enough votes for whoever they bring to the floor can become speaker.”
McCarthy’s right. Ritual humiliation is not a platform from which to launch a successful speakership. You should absolutely make sure you have the votes in advance before standing for speaker, or putting legislation on the floor, or holding off a motion to vacate. He served in the same House of Representatives as Nancy Pelosi, and he’s apparently only now learning to count the damn votes!
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