Some House Republicans appear to be making a semi-serious effort to make Trump the next Speaker. This is mostly about burnishing MAGA bona fides, I’m sure. Observers point out that (a) between Trump’s many trials and his campaign, he’d never have time for the job, which he wouldn’t know how to do anyway; and (b) there’s a GOP conference rule that says any leadership member indicted for a felony that carries a sentence of at least two years “shall step aside.” And nobody knows if Trump would accept the position, anyway. If he did, though, President Biden and Vice President Harris would need double security. The Speaker is next in line, you know.
Plus there is always the possibility that if a Trump speakership came up to a vote, Trump would lose. There must be a few Republicans in swing seats whose re-election chances require not being tied to Trump.
The eight Republicans who voted with the Democrats to oust McCarthy are pretty much all hard-right wackadoos from safe districts, I understand.
I have learned that everybody hates Matt Gaetz. There are headlines declaring such. And yesterday so many Republicans were fed up with Gaetz and his grandstanding they wouldn’t let him use the microphones on the Republican side of the room. Newt Gingrich, of all people, is calling for Gaetz to be expelled. Gingrich is from a time when the power of movement conservatism came from all Republicans dutifully marching in lockstep reciting the party’s approved talking points. Those days are mostly gone, although not quite gone enough for my taste.
Josh Marshall writes that Republicans in Congress are livid with Democrats for ousting McCarthy. So sure McCarthy went back on his word who knows how many times, allowed a bogus impeachment inquiry to go forward against President Biden, and lied in a Face the Nation interview that it was Democrats who were trying to shut down the government. The Dems shoulda helped out and voted to keep McCarthy so Republicans wouldn’t look bad, or something. Right. “McCarthy sought Democratic votes to save him from his own refractory members, and in return he offered nothing. Not even politeness,” David Frum writes at The Atlantic. Frum continued,
The only way to produce a stable majority in the House is for the next Republican leader to reach a working agreement with the Democrats to bypass the nihilists in the GOP caucus. But that agreement will have to be unspoken and even denied—because making agreements that show any respect for the other side will be seen by Republican partisans as betrayal. The price of GOP leadership is delivering delusions and fantasies: the delusion and fantasy that Trump won in 2020, the delusion and fantasy that the Republicans did not lose in 2022.
The bottom line is that neither party has a working majority. The Republicans could have such a majority with effective leadership and responsible members. Ain’t gonna happen.
Republicans are so angry about McCarthy that the little neofascist pissant acting as temp speaker, Patrick McHenry, ordered Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi to give up her current hideaway office by today. Even though she’s been in San Francisco attending Dianne Feinstein’s funeral and didn’t have anything to do with yesterday’s vote.
Whoever they end up with won’t be an improvement, of course. Right now I understand the most serious contenders are Gym Jordan and Steve Scalise. Barf.
The best analysis I’ve seen about yesterday’s fiasco is by David Kurtz at TPM. Recommended.
In other news: I doubt you will be surprised to learn that Trump is fundraising off his gag order.