1Watching the election for speaker of the House unfold on Tuesday was like watching a particularly gruesome Kurosawa film.
Twenty members of the Republican Party are running a political sword through the bowels of their own party and it’s being televised to the horror of Republicans and the delight of Democrats. And what’s more, they might get away with it.
Like Willard in Apocalypse Now, every ballot McCarthy doesn’t win makes him weaker and the populist Charlies stronger. The delegation of party poobahs to McCarthy’s office, asking him to stand down, cannot be far away. As for the rebels, like for the Viet Cong, it’s a war of attrition.
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Matt Gaetz of Florida leads Charlie, “Maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who wants it so bad,” Gaetz said. “Maybe the right person for the job of speaker of the House isn’t someone who has sold shares of himself for more than a decade to get it.”
Byron Donalds of Florida switched from McCarthy to rebel choice Jim Jordan, though Jordan supports McCarthy, “The reality is Rep. Kevin McCarthy doesn’t have the votes. I committed my support to him publicly and for two votes on the House floor. Two hundred and eighteen is the number, and currently, no one is there. Our conference needs to recess and huddle and find someone or work out the next steps.”
Lauren Boebert of Colorado went on Fox and expressed her frustration with McCarthy, “We have been in negotiations with Kevin McCarthy since the summer. Unfortunately, in the summer when those negotiations began, we were not taken seriously because our votes didn’t seem to matter as much as they do in this slim majority now. It was very common sense things like putting forward a border security bill, putting forward a term limits bill. Having a measure in place to where any member of Congress who offers an amendment to reduce the federal debt – well, that’s made in order,” she added.
Trump has endorsed McCarthy. McCarthy supporter Elise Stefanik has also offered this stale endorsement, “Under Kevin McCarthy’s leadership, House Republicans crafted a bold vision to put America back on track,” Stefanik said. “No one in this body has worked harder for this Republican majority than Kevin McCarthy.”
That may be true. But either the Republican House doesn’t care or there is an animus towards McCarthy, political and possibly personal, that has brought about this fiasco.
And fiasco, debacle, seppuku, it is. The American people are wondering just why they put the GOP in charge of the House in the first place. Plus the political grudges solidified here, no matter who wins, will play out for years. Not a great first impression made by the new Republican House.