Amongst an explosion of royal gossip, the American House of Representatives has descended into utter shambles. For two days in a row, the House has tried and failed to elect a Speaker. This means an entire branch of government is incapable of moving on with the people’s business. They can’t even begin to swear in members or make committee assignments until they elect a speaker! What’s remarkable is that the Democrats have been in lockstep, and minority leader Hakeem Jeffries has won more votes for the speakership than Kevin McCarthy in EVERY vote. All SIX votes. Because yes, House members came back on Wednesday and tried to vote for Speaker again, only to watch McCarthy lose a few more votes. This is what a razor-thin Republican House majority looks like: chaos.
So, clearly, McCarthy is a total dumbass who is too incompetent to actually do a whip count, and he’s also incapable of working out a real deal with members of his own caucus OR with Democrats. Apparently, McCarthy went back to the drawing board and now he’s trying to make “concessions” to the Insurrectionist Caucus. From the NYT:
Representative Kevin McCarthy of California offered fresh concessions to a hard-right band of rebels in a desperate effort to lock down the votes to become speaker, as a historic Republican deadlock that has paralyzed Congress entered its third day on Thursday with no resolution.
After losing a half-dozen consecutive votes for the post over two humiliating days, Mr. McCarthy privately agreed to more demands from the right-wing rebels that he had previously refused to countenance, including allowing a single lawmaker to force a snap vote at any time to oust him from the speakership, according to three people familiar with the negotiations who described them on the condition of anonymity, noting that they were ongoing and that no final deal had been reached.
I honestly don’t think it even matters what “concessions” McCarthy is really offering? It’s not like the Insurrectionist Caucus has a real plan or a set of goals they’re trying to achieve here. The chaos is the whole point. They’re showing their power – they can hijack the Republican Party (their own party) whenever they want. They can make McCarthy’s life a living hell. What’s especially crazy is that Trump endorsed McCarthy and Trump has been trying to make this happen, and the Insurrectionist Caucus isn’t even listening to Trump!! You know who they are listening to? Rapey McForehead, Matt Gaetz.
You ever leave a job and secretly hope everything will fall apart once you're gone?
Nancy Pelosi is living your dream.
— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) January 4, 2023
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.
I wonder if he will finally get the votes. I hope he doesn’t but the republicans love power and having the speaker be a republican is most important to them.
The 20 or so holdouts are just doing this to prove they have the power to grind government to a halt and to get concessions from someone they despise as weak. They don’t care. Either McCarthy will have to go or they get a ton of evil perks. Other than McCarthy’s public humiliation, this is a disaster. Right now it looks like McCarthy’s KKKhristian buddy, Steve Scalise, would be the most likely candidate for the speakership. That’s actually worse than McCarthy! These next 2 years will be awful.
I don’t think he will ever get the votes. Maybe I’m wrong but I’m thinking they strait up hate Kevin and won’t vote for him no matter what.
So keep feeding positive reinforcement for bad behavior. They let the insurrectionist into the party and did not care about ethics or morals or whatever you want to call it because they cared about power and money – and so these are the results. You reap what you sow. And yet, the power is still what they are hungry for. The virus within their own party is what is killing them. If anyone had half a brain they would split with a third party. But that takes integrity and fortitude – of which they have none.
Yeah, after Newt Gingrich, the Tea Party, Trump…who would have thought it would come to this? (Sarcasm!) The Republicans did this to themselves.
When your own hateful buddies don’t like you enough to vote for you…6 different times. And how awful do you have to be to actually LOSE votes in a couple of days from the same group voting? Its funny as hell but also humiliating… Oh well!
He’s an idiot for agreeing to any of this. It’s just going to be 2 years of nothing coming out of the House.
@Chilling – House Republicans haven’t introduced a significant piece of legislation in over six years. I don’t think they are concerned with getting things done…
I don’t know that not having the whip count is the issue. The vote has to happen now, he doesn’t have the option of waiting until he has the votes. (Did a Capitol Hill internship.)
@ConcernFae – But he can withdraw, right?
He can, and should, withdraw – but his ego simply won’t allow it. A television commentator remarked that his lack of intelligence is only matched by his lack of shame.
Well, it is a disgrace. However, all the republicans plan to do is investigate the president’s son for the next 2 years. You know the one with a drug history who does not in any way work for the White House, not the ex-president’s daughter and son-in-law who were given security clearance against all advice and who went on to make a fortune while working in the White House.
Not an American here. Is there a limit to how many votes can be taken before a candidate is forced to withdraw? Is this another “Unprecedented” situation? Everyone hoped that in 2023 there would be fewer of those? At what point does the candidate have to withdraw and they have to nominate someone else?
There’s no formal rule about it, and since there’s no current set of rules for the House (they expired at midnight on the first day of this debacle. Which means there’s no process for anything other than this vote) this has to go on until someone is chosen. This last happened in 1923, and before that in 1856 and 60(?not sure on the second one) where it took months.
This is super wild, and there doesn’t seem to be another candidate stepping up, probably because everyone can see how terrible trying to manage these guys will be.
I think the R are honestly hoping to hold a vote when democrats are out to lunch or something similar, where the number of people in the chamber and voting lowers the required number enough for him to get the votes. It could work the other way too, if these 20 hold outs decide to walk out before a vote, suddenly the Democrats guy would be the winner. He’s gotten the most votes through this whole thing (more than Kevin), just not enough to clear the threshold of half the votes.
Some of them want him to agree to not increase the debt ceiling this year. That’s an impossible ask. This is only as funny as it is horrifying.
“The debt ceiling does not constrain federal spending or the amount we need to borrow; it simply restricts the Treasury Department’s ability to honor financial commitments previously made by Congress and the President. Failure to set the debt ceiling at the level necessary to meet borrowing needs could jeopardize the full faith and credit of the United States by preventing the Treasury from paying the government’s bills.”
I wish it were the other way around, that people were holding his feet to the fire for NOT kicking out the insurrectionists, instead of him trying to appease said wackadoos.
I don’t see this working. There’s clearly a lot of ego as well as personal animosity involved at this point. Marge Green is f*cking furious & Kevin looks weaker with every vote. The GOP Senators aren’t happy about this at all. I’m really curious about how things fractured so spectacularly. It’s amazing to witness.
Because these hold outs were elected to “drain the swamp” and f*@k things up, so that’s what they’re doing. They hate government and don’t care if anything gets done.
Republicans have had this problem since the Tea Party stuff. It’s reactionaries coming in and getting famous for being ass holes and the party tries to embrace them and treat them like they’re legitimate. The appeased those folks, and that’s how we got trump and this bs. Boehner, who I haven’t thought of in years, quit his job as speaker in 2015 because people like this were impossible to work with. Paul Ryan, the same, as well as dealing with trump.
Exactly. It’s a problem of their own making. If you look at the fates of the GOP Speakers since the 90’s – it’s a train wreck of frustration, failure and felons.
Newt Gingrich – lost support and resigned amid ethics scandals
Dennis Hastert – he lasted the longest as Speaker, but still resigned after losing majority and later went to prison
Boehner – resigned in frustration
Ryan – retired from Congress after losing majority
None of their egos could handle losing the Speakership and they left Congress rather than face it.
On the Democratic side you have the GOAT, Madam Speaker herself, Nancy Pelosi, who not only survived all those SOB’s, but is happily still in Congress, sitting in the back benches enjoying the hell out of just being simply Representative Pelosi. To quote Barack Obama, God I love that woman.
I remember what a headache the Tea Party folks gave Boehner! I’m not surprised they’re throwing a wrench into things. I *have* been surprised at how badly Kevin has fumbled the bag here as well as by the (seemingly sudden?) rift between Marge & Gaetz.
From a supposed Red Wave to worst performance for a candidate for speaker in a century is wild.
Thank you for that recent history, Dara. On GOP list, Paul Ryan was the closest thing they had to a normal person.
I am living for all the pictures of Democrats posting pictures of themselves with popcorn as they sit back and watch the show.
Either McCarthy gets the votes after gutting the position so much in his “compromises” that it’s all but worthless, or they end up nominating and electing someone worse, as impossible as that sounds, like Steve Scalise, or moderate Republicans come up with a compromise candidate and form a coalition government with moderate dems, which is what a functional democracy would do but will only happen when hell freezes over because this is America, dammit.
The only funny thing about this is McCarthy assumed he had the job since midterms. He’s been making threats, plans for being Speaker only for it to blow up in his face. Amusing to see him begging.
He has just lost the 8th vote
And he’s currently on track to lose the 9th vote as well. He certainly has a higher tolerance for humiliation than I had expected.
Are they nominating anyone else, or is this guy just losing vote after vote while running unopposed?
The dim bulbs are nominating Donald Trump sigh but he is only getting 15 votes thank heavens….meanwhile Kevin has lost a 10th vote