I know that there are some who clicked on this article absolutely infuriated at the idea that Kevin McCarthy, who was booted from the Speaker’s chair over three weeks ago, could end up back in the Speaker’s chair after all of this — or that it could be even a possibility.
I would tend to agree that it would be a wasted three-week exercise if McCarthy were firmly planted back in that chair.
However, that would back up my contention that, once again, this maneuver should have been done in January as opposed to the beginning of October, just a mere 13 months away from a Presidential election.
As I wrote when this all started (Get Ready to Hate Whoever the Next Speaker Is):
I don’t have any problem at all with the House of Representatives or the Senate removing or adding somebody from leadership in their individual bodies. That happens in the private sector all the time, and at one time or another, we have all bemoan the fact that government does not work as efficiently as the private sector.
The one thing I question, though is the timing.
The same people could have prevented Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker back in January. Setting the tone at the beginning of a 2-year cycle is different than changing horses in the middle of the stream with 13 months to go until a national election.
A grudge match has developed that I don’t think anyone observing this from the outside — and definitely not Matt Gaetz, who was the one that initiated McCarthy being removed — anticipated. I think this is a fair analysis because there was seemingly no plan for who to replace McCarthy other than the current system of throwing a name up on a wall and seeing if it sticks.
So far, it has been an interesting exercise in how to achieve the magic number of 217 and what happens when you don’t.
Now, the reason I even DARE to bring this scenario up is that Fox News Senior Congressional Correspondent Chad Pergram dropped this little nugget late last night when it was determined that Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA) would be the Speaker Desgnee trying to win the chair sometime Wednesday.
From colleague Kelly Phares. GOP LA Rep Johnson gets 128 votes in latest nominating bid for Speaker. He is the new Speaker designee. Donalds got 29. There were 44 ballots cast for "other." 43 of those went to McCarthy— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) October 25, 2023
Out of 44 votes cast for others, McCarthy got 43 of those.
Now, that is a bit interesting.
As you go down further on that Twitter thread there are some interesting points being made when you brush aside the comments that McCarthy will never become Speaker (he did the first time) or fake news (that’s how many votes he received) that should be considered.
One of the more interesting points is that the total is given by Pergram. The total added up is 201 votes, which means there are at least 20 people in the GOP who did not vote at all.
Seems some folk’s noses are out of joint, and that falls directly back on the lack of a plan.
As my colleague Nick Arama covered in this piece — Matt Gaetz Made an Offer to Help Jordan, the Response From CA Rep. Is Something Else:
McClintock addressed the letter to “My Wayward Colleagues.”
Your letter of October 20, in which you graciously offer to martyr yourselves as long as you can get your way, is perhaps the most selfless act in American history. I was certain that our Republican colleagues “who refuse to vote” with the Republican majority would have been inspired by your stirring example of party discipline and loyalty to “vote with the team,” as you so eloquently phrased it.
I was frankly stunned when they did not. I do not understand why a handful of our fellow Republicans couldn’t see the simple fairness of the principle to which you have been so unswerving in your devotion: “heads-I-win-tails-you-lose.”
We should have been moved by your willingness to suffer “censure, suspension, or removal from the conference” to enforce your personal preferences on the overwhelming majority of your unenlightened colleagues. We should have appreciated how you (and 206 House Democrats) saved us from a Republican Speaker.
We truly don’t deserve you.
But your sacrifice is not in vain. You have succeeded in replacing the outdated concept of majority rule with an exciting new standard that a Speaker must be elected by 98.2 percent of the Republican conference. Someday, a messiah will be born unto us who can achieve this miraculous threshold, and on that day your judgment will be vindicated and you will be hailed as the geniuses that you are.
I think we were all truly humbled to learn that your “fidelity to Republican virtues and principles remains unwavering.” Who could not be moved to tears to read that you offer your self-sacrifice “sincerely and with the hope of unity with purpose?”
With this in mind, I modestly suggest that you plan your martyrdom in the only way that truly matters: to have the wisdom to see the damage you have done to our country and to have the courage to set things right before it is too late.
I enclose a proposed resolution that perhaps one of you can offer as we begin the fourth week of national paralysis and as the world burns around us.
Not pithy at all.
Was Representative Tom McClintock one of those who did not vote for Johnson Tuesday night? The ballot was held in secret, so I’m not sure.
However, enough decided to skip the vote, which is their right — just like it was Matt Gaetz’s right to pull the rip cord on the McCarthy Speakership and offer a motion to vacate the chair earlier this month — to raise a question as to how this will ultimately shake out.
How absolutely crazy, though, would it be if somehow the ultimate political insider, Kevin McCarthy, were able to gain the gavel again by even one vote and make this whole ordeal just something, in retrospect, I wish would have been covered by Schoolhouse Rock when I was growing up.
As Hannibal Smith, the leader of the fictional A-Team, was often fond of saying: “I love it when a plan comes together.” Maybe in the future, any Republican majority with a small faction of dissenters should think about what the plan is and how it will come together before they blow everything up.
Either way, I’m fine with it and actually much more content with one side of our bi-caramel chamber of the legislature not able to pass a thing.
If they can’t pass anything, they really can’t mess anything up, is the way I view it.