Oh, just about exactly like a lot of us predicted it would. Thankfully, though, Matt Gaetz just won a small victory—not just for himself, but for us all.
Well good, I’m glad to see it. As much chaos as CongressCreatchters (appropriated from the great Ernest T Bass, look it up) have wreaked on America That Was, they deserve to share in the experience.
Kevin McCarthy made the wrong kind of history Tuesday — becoming the first speaker of the House of Representatives to be ousted by a floor vote driven by members of his own party.
Eight Republicans — Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Eli Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Nancy Mace of South Carolina, and Matt Rosendale of Montana — banded together with a united Democrat conference to declare the office of speaker vacant by a vote of 216-210, removing McCarthy (R-Calif.) from power and plunging the chamber into uncertainty as it faces a grinding process to pick his replacement.
McCarthy, who made no comment to reporters as he left the House chamber following the vote, was booted from his job three days shy of the nine-month anniversary of his election as speaker on the 15th ballot this past January.
Now, lawmakers face a rerun of that marathon process, with House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Majority Whip Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) considered the favorites to put themselves forward for the job — assuming McCarthy doesn’t want to try again.
Having proved out as just the kind of treacherous two-headed serpent we knew him to be, I can’t really see McCarthy trying again, and if he does I can’t see him regaining the position. But perhaps that’s naive of me; a few dirty, quiet deals, a little back-room conspiracizing, and some assiduous scratching of the right backs and hey presto! We’re saddled with Speaker McCarthy again.
Gaetz had dangled the prospect of a revolt against McCarthy almost from the moment the Californian took the gavel.
The 41-year-old finally went ahead with the motion to vacate Monday night, after a weekend of stewing over the now-former speaker’s decision to call up a stopgap spending bill to avoid a partial government shutdown — and rely on Democratic votes to get the measure through
“I’m confident I’ll hold on,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday morning, but his political demise became a matter of time when a motion to block Gaetz’s effort failed 218-208. Reps. Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), Cory Mills (R-Fla.) and Victoria Spartz (R-Ind.) voted against the motion to table, but to keep McCarthy in place.
With only 426 House members casting votes, however, McCarthy needed 214 supporters to keep his speakership.
“We need a speaker who will fight for something, anything besides staying or becoming speaker,” declared (Virginia Rep Bob) Good, who assailed McCarthy for both the debt limit deal he reached with the Biden administration earlier this year and the maneuvering to avoid a shutdown.
“We need a speaker — ideally somebody who doesn’t want to be speaker and hasn’t pursued that at all costs for his entire adult life — who will meet the moment, and do everything possible to fight for the country.”
Boy, did you ever say a mouthful there, sir. Bold mine, and quite heartening. Always nice to see a DC denizen who seems to really get it, y’know? As I said, it’s but one small victory, and certainly won’t solve everything for us. But in times like these, you takes your victories where you finds em, be they large or small. Those small victories should properly be thought of as stepping stones to more significant wins. Stack up a big enough pile of those, and you’re on your way to more serious and impactful wins—that’s taking the long view, one of the primary reasons the Left has been consistently our asses for so damned long.
This is a process, not an event, as I’m so fond of saying. Kudos to Matt Gaetz for outlasting and outmaneuvering the shifty, scheming Vichy GOPe shitweasels, and slam-dunking this one on them in the end. Many happy returns, Rep Gaetz. Bravo, and encore.
Update! Multifarious backup for my “treacherous two-headed serpent” slam against FORMER (a-HENH!) Speaker McCarthy.
Eight Republican representatives, led by Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), on Tuesday successfully carried a motion to vacate, meaning Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is no longer speaker of the House. Several of the representatives have spoken out to explain why they ousted McCarthy.
There was a running theme in the comments criticizing McCarthy, who cut deals on spending with Democrats despite the fact that America cannot afford continued high spending, for his financial irresponsibility.
Gaetz posted multiple videos of himself on X (Twitter), including a fiery denunciation of the corruption of our government. “I’ll make this argument at any desk in this building. I’ll make it on every street corner in this country, that Washington must change,” he said.
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) tweeted his opinion before the vote happened. “Speaker McCarthy has failed to demonstrate himself as an effective leader who will change the status quo,” he said. “He has gone against many of the promises he made in January and can no longer be trusted at the helm.” Biggs also posted a clip of himself on Steve Bannon’s “War Room,” highlighting McCarthy’s uninspiring record.
Rep. Eli Crane (R-AZ) posted after the vote that he wants to ensure “We the People” aren’t “steamrolled by the status quo.”
More at the link. I’ll leave you with Catherine Salgado’s summation:
Finally, I’d like to add my own personal opinion. “Infighting is bad for the GOP,” we are told, but spineless politicians who consistently cave to the Democrats are helping destroy our nation. The U.S. debt is “unsustainable,” according to experts, and yet McCarthy even reportedly made a deal with Joe Biden for Ukraine funding we can’t afford! We need people in charge who work for American citizens, not people who assist our disastrous careen toward national bankruptcy and collapse. Republicans lose partly because we have a defeatist mentality; we assume we’re going to lose before we even start fighting, and we choose to act based on how we think Democrats will respond. That’s unacceptable. Thank God the Founders didn’t think the same way. The Democrats sure as heck don’t, which is probably how they took over all our institutions and normalized ideologies that a few decades ago were considered blatant insanity.
I must beg to differ, Cath: Republicans “lose” mainly because that’s their assigned role in this elaborate kabuki production currently misnomered as *gag choke puke spit* “democracy.” Although your point about the debilitating plague of “defeatist” malaise afflicting the hoodwinked Republican Party rank and file is certainly well-taken. The sad fact is that, for far too many years now, conservatives have been content to play defense only, when every winning coach would tell you that the time-tested path to victory is offense.
In military terms, although it’s eminently possible to forestall defeat via a tenacious, determined defense of a position or region, wars aren’t usually won that way. In warfare, the initiative is everything; forever responding to enemy actions is folly, a sure-fire recipe for defeat. Forcing the enemy to respond to you—bringing him to battle on ground of your choosing, not his; forcing his soldiers to cower in hastily-dug foxholes and improvised entrenchments under an aggressive artillery barrage; neutering his own artillery with counterbattery fire; leaving his aircraft aflame in their revetments, the pilots and ground crews fleeing for their lives to the shelters, instead of taking to the air to attack your planes and airfields—is always the way to go, if you can manage it.