From the New Republic: Kevin McCarthy Has Lost Control of the House GOP

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125 Responses

  1. Philip H
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    says:

    He never had control. Once he started giving concessions, the MAGA’s decided he wasn’t manly enough to represent them. He lost 19, 19, and then 20 votes. Even if he pulls out a Speaker win at this point he’s neutered and won’t be able to lift a finger to stop them.Report

  2. Chip Daniels
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    says:

    Another data point demonstrating that the Trumpist Republicans have morphed into a revolutionary faction which rejects the legitimacy of their enemies.Report

  3. LeeEsq
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    says:

    Objection. Assumes facts not in evidence. McCarthy never had any control over the House GOP in the first place.Report

  4. Marchmaine
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    says:

    Mildly interesting that there isn’t a Democrat that would be acceptable to 6 Republicans in exchange for … well, that’s kinda the problem now isn’t it? All the power resides with the speaker and you have a hard time ‘trading’ with normies… not even Committee Chairs are worth all that much any more.

    We fixed Congress and broke it.Report

    • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      I assume any that might consider it are deterred by the knowledge that it would almost certainly be the last Congress they served in.Report

      • Philip H in reply to InMD
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        says:

        this is driving them above all else.Report

        • InMD in reply to Philip H
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          says:

          Yea. It’s also really not in the interest of the Democrats to rescue the GOP from this spectacle, at least not right now, and not for the prize of taking over what would be the most fragile leadership in modern history. When this will really get interesting is if the Republicans simply can’t elect a speaker by the 13th, which as I understand it has to happen for staffers to get paid.Report

          • Chris in reply to InMD
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            says:

            Coincidentally, a close friend of ours is now among the staff in question, and it sounds like really the only practical consequences of all this so far have been for staff (and, I guess, for the families who showed up for swearing in and just had to sit around all day).Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
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        says:

        Heh, oh, sure, there’s that of course. But one of the unique features/bugs of the American System is that all representatives win local elections, which gives them (historically) strong leverage against the party. It’s why our parties are generally weak (compared to other systems). And here, we’re talking about 3% of Republican Congressmen. In the past, I would’ve bet that 3% of congressmen would be in a position to make decisions that would benefit them and their districts such that they could broker a deal. Heck, we’ve got at least one living Icon of the phenomenon in Joe Manchin (and Sinema, if she wins re-election).

        But really, my observation is less that it isn’t happening (I get why), but to point out that we have changed Congress to make it even *more* Party and Speaker dependent with a system that has weak parties and a Speaker that is too important from a power perspective for individual Congressmen to strike out on their own (as the system is designed).

        Read my comment as another in a long list of why weak parties and a duopoly based on first past the post is a fixable thing that we could fix. The only thing standing between us and fixing it are weak parties and a duopoly.Report

        • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          Yea. I guess I’m never sure what the fix would look like in our system. I’m with you though that avenues for buying people off seems more in alignment with the spirit of our Constitution than the parties trying to behave like it’s Westminster once elected but not exercising remotely the same level of control out in the districts.Report

          • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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            says:

            I’m going to weigh in again that the problem, and thus the fix, lies with the faction of American people who vote Republican.

            They voted for this. The chaos, the incoherence, the idiotic rambling, these are the sorts of things that brought them to their feet in thunderous applause during the campaign season.

            Its not like Louie Gohmert and Chip Roy spoke like eloquent statesmen with cogent plans for the betterment of our governance and then suddenly changed the moment the votes were counted.

            They were the same gibbering lunatics during the campaigns, and the GOP voting base thrilled to it.

            The fix is for the American people to stop voting for gibbering lunatics.Report

            • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Sure, not voting for gibbering idiots would be good, though my assumption is that the gibbering idiots are at least minimally representative of their constituents. In a democracy there is really only so much one can do about that. And as I said to Philip, I see no urgency whatsoever for Democrats to try and jump in to save the GOP from the mess they created.

              However I am always interested in good, functioning government, and theories as to how we might achieve it.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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              says:

              Part of the problem with the weak party / independent rep / strong speaker is that everything becomes a national issue where being a gibbering idiot is a useful brand mechanic because there’s increasingly limited ways to demonstrate that you’ve done anything for your constituency – other than delivering the feels of gibbering idiotness.

              Ironically, there’s no cost to being an AOC, for example.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                AOC and the entire progressive caucus have been a consistently disciplined faction of the party.
                There isn’t any symmetry here.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                Right, their foofery is free because they have no influence or real ability to affect policy on behalf of their constituents and the Strong Speaker is free to ignore them.

                Personally I’m not willing to get in a car driven by the Freedom Caucus (much less MAGA), but if you get past the blind partisanship there are a few items that would be beneficial to the House with regards reducing the office of the Speaker.

                Not, I’ll reiterate, that I think this particular motely group of fools is capable of fully articulating a better way… but ignoring the institutional problems of the House just because you like it when you control the House is still bad partisanship, IMO.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                People on all sorts of political blogs love to gas on about the structure of government and ways to improve it- maybe a parliamentary system or abolishing the electoral College or Senate or whatever.

                While I’m ambivalent about any of these ideas, they mostly sound galaxy-brained because they imagine a different American electorate than what we have.

                We have an electorate in which almost half are in the grip of Khmer Rouge level madness, believing in all manner of bizarre conspiracies ranging from Qanon to election denying to drag queens grooming children.

                There is no system which can overcome this . What you are witnessing is representational democracy in action.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                You should be less ambivalent. The things we’re talking about here are not Regime or Constitution changing… these are the ordinary Rules adopted by the House.

                It’s literally *how* the House works. This isn’t pie in the sky, it’s pie on the table.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Marchmaine
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      says:

      Why not 6 Democrats asking for something in exchange for supporting McCarthy?Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        They have no incentive to do that. Letting the Republicans start in chaos and keep being in Chaos for 2 years hands the House back to them.Report

      • Marchmaine in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Fair question; I’m not sure McCarthy is as impressive as McCarthy thinks he is. Brokering a deal would likely mean someone other than McCarthy (likewise, someone other than Jeffries on the Dem side).

        Sort of by definition it means that both sides trade their #1 preference for a secondary choice in exchange for other real benefits. In that case the Dems would change the Agenda from McCarthy’s to something less good than their preferred agenda, but less bad than McCarthy’s. Plus, in the old days, actual Committee power to set their own mini-Agenda.

        Part of the problem with this is that there isn’t really a good way to insure the speaker doesn’t stab you in the back… we don’t really have institutional mechanisms for power sharing. But then we don’t have institutional controls for disciplining back benchers either.Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Marchmaine
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          says:

          Why would a deal involve changing the identity of the (eventual) Minority Leader?Report

          • Marchmaine in reply to CJColucci
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            says:

            The same reason that it would imply changing the Majority leader… the ‘compromise’ is the shift in agenda that the Speaker determines. Either could theoretically compromise, but the incentives are for them to maximize their Agenda. So, possible, but runs contrary to their interests in ways that it wouldn’t for someone making a play to replace Majority/Minority leaders in a brokered deal.Report

            • CJColucci in reply to Marchmaine
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              says:

              This is a Republican problem for Republicans to solve. The Democrats picked a leader of their caucus, whose actual title would depend on whether the House is Republican or Democratic. The Republicans, properly, did not weigh in on this. The Republicans can’t pick their caucus leader, for reasons that have nothing to do with the Democrats. The Democrats, so far, are staying out of this. If the Republicans can get their act together, the Democrats may point and laugh, and would be entitled to, but they wouldn’t claim any say in the process. If they can’t, and want to approach the Democrats on a brokered deal — presumably by floating a grown-up Republican and asking for a dozen or so Democrats to break the deadlock — what would be the Republican argument for also insisting on some say on the Democrats’ caucus leader? Why would they ask the Democrats to solve their problem by dumping their own, non-problematic, caucus leader? Why would the Democrats go along with it?Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                The Dems are welcome to keep their Caucus Leader and negotiate for 6 votes however they wish.

                I think the weird partisan position of: “we’re going to watch as they appoint a Republican speaker stupidly and laugh!” Is less meaningful than: “We’re going to see if we can capitalize on stupid Republican mistakes and steal a portion of Congressional power we won’t otherwise have.”

                But sure, it’s funny to watch. And heck, elections are only two years away anyway.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                Mighty white of you to let the Democrats make whatever deals they wish. The question on the floor, however, was why the identity of the leader of the caucus that has its house in order would or should be in play in such a deal. Maybe somebody else has an answer.Report

              • North in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                It’d be an odd kind of face saving maneuver got the GOP, but the Dems would pretty much never offer it. They simply don’t -need- a Speaker in place for the next four months or so.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                I try to engage fairly with everyone; you don’t.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                So answer the question. That would be fair engagement.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci
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                says:

                He did.

                You said that it was “white”.Report

      • North in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Because if the word got out that McCarthy was arranging to be elected using 6 Democratic votes then he’d end up needing 18; then 32; then 58; then all the Democratic votes- and might well still not get it.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to North
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          says:

          The only way McCarthy gets this from Democrats is by giving them massive concessions which basically turn the House into a coalition government. Democrats would need equal standing on committees and possibly committee co-chairs. They would also need an agreement against Hunter Biden “investigations” and possibly an agreement not to impeach Biden. McCarthy is too much of a Republican to agree to any of this.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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            says:

            A +4 congress pretty much has to be a coalition government.

            I mean, if you have 5 Republicans that actually believe things.Report

          • North in reply to Saul Degraw
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            says:

            Pfff, if I were the Dems I’d say let them investigate that idiot Hunter as much as they want and probably be lukewarm about having them rule out trying to Impeach Biden as well- both of those are Republican activities with pretty much zero policy impact or risk to the Dems and possible upsides. I’d pony up the six votes in exchange for a promise of putting a clean debt limit increase on the floor.Report

        • Marchmaine in reply to North
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          says:

          Fresh off the presses:

          “Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) on Wednesday said “preliminary talks” had begun with Democrats about supporting a “consensus candidate” for Speaker.”

          https://thehill.com/homenews/3798485-centrist-republican-says-preliminary-talks-with-democrats-underway-on-speaker-deal/

          Likely all posturing for something… not quite sure for whom or what yet.Report

          • InMD in reply to Marchmaine
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            says:

            Probably his constituency.

            It’s just hard for me to see any Democrat voting for McCarthy. I have to assume ‘someone else’ is a required portion (and I emphasize portion) of any remotely plausible opening bid.Report

            • Marchmaine in reply to InMD
              Ignored
              says:

              Forgot to add that the ‘leak’ also said it was McCarthy reaching out.

              But yeah, if we’re hearing about it, it’s posturing for public consumption.Report

              • Saul Degraw in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                The Hill had a tweet on this that may have been deleted. McCarthy allegedly is reaching out to Democrats to abstain (because this would give him a majority) and/or help pick a consensus candidate. As far as I can tell, there has been no mention about what concessions have been offered to Democrats.

                There is no reason for Democrats to pick a consensus candidate or abstain without major concessions. IIRC Dan Bacon is considered a relative moderate.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                Yeah, I think there are probably all sorts of ‘feelers’ out there for possible ways for McCarthy to close the deal – or prevent someone else from going around him.

                Very interested in the price; but have no idea what the ask or market value would be.

                But that’s part of my original point… The Dems have nothing to lose by buying/selling/trading/disrupting.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                Other than utterly torpedoing McCarthy if he is seen as participating in such a deal. But as you say, why would they need to do anything about that? The MAGAs are doing a fine job of torpedoing the entire GOP all on their own, right now, in real time, and McCarthy is the one getting stuck holding the bag.

                If McCarthy were to lure ~20 Democrats to vote for him, the proffer would have to be dear indeed. Maybe… the Voting Rights Act of 2023?Report

              • North in reply to Burt Likko
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                says:

                I’d ask for him to commit to putting a Debt ceiling increase on the floor with no nonsense attached. The GOP’s money men would love that too so it could actually potentially pass the Senate.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to North
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                says:

                That’s the spirit! How much does Kevin McCarthy want to be Speaker and what can you get for it?

                As you say, a Clean Debt ceiling bill might* just be the perfect scissors issue — blame it on the Backbenchers (who explicitly are calling for a promise to hold it hostage) for why they aren’t getting a Debt Ceiling crisis — while secretly being grateful he can move past the Debt Ceiling as his Donors want. Seems like a cheap win/win for McCarthy.

                *I say might because I’m not really wired into R/D hierarchies of needs.Report

              • North in reply to Marchmaine
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                says:

                That’s my line of thinking as well. The Dems would love it because the debt ceiling is the only genuine legal threat the GOP has in their quiver for the upcoming couple of years. Investigations and impeachments have a very feeble history of actually hurting a sitting President and budgets, interestingly, are very hard to go to war over because there’s something in them that absolutely every congresscritter wants passed. The debt ceiling, though, could actually blow the whole thing up- and easily by accident.Report

              • Marchmaine in reply to Burt Likko
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                says:

                Don’t think it can be specifically legislative because he can’t deliver the actual votes… would have to be more procedural. Committee chairs, changes to Rules, Agendas and bringing bills to the floor for vote, etc.Report

          • North in reply to Marchmaine
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            says:

            Trying to pressure the holdouts most likely which is a fools errand. They would like -nothing- better than for a Speaker to be elected using some Democratic votes and concessions to the Dems. Then they can bay to their constituents about “the Swamp” and point at that.Report

            • Pinky in reply to North
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              says:

              What they’d like the most is new leadership. Having McCarthy win with Democratic support isn’t what any of them would want.

              I notice in all this discussion no one’s making the counter-argument: that McCarthy is worth holding onto, that Republicans have been well led and someone from their top ranks deserves to be rewarded for the last cycle.Report

              • North in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                I sure as heck wouldn’t make that argument, McCarthy is a clown and richly deserves every turn of the screw he’s getting. Frankly my understanding of the GOP speakership history is that ever since Newt slithered into the office in the 90’s it’s been an increasingly impossible job.Report

              • Pinky in reply to North
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                says:

                It seems like you’re arguing against your own arguments. Does he deserve what’s happening or is the job impossible? The two aren’t completely contradictory, but there’s no narrative to this comment or the one previous.Report

              • North in reply to Pinky
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                says:

                The job isn’t impossible. I refer you to Nancy Pelosi who’s not only done the job but done it historically well.

                But since Newt pioneered the “war with the Democrats and play to the right wing fringes” strategy the job for a Republican Speaker has gotten increasingly difficult as the structure of the American system requires a significant degree of deal making across the aisles and all the advantage in intra Republican politics lies not in getting anything done but in screeching on Fox about evil deal makers selling out the Republican voters.

                As for Kevin, he’s stoked this phenomenon as badly as any would be speaker since Newt has and richly deserves the torment he’s suffering.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Pinky
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        says:

        Philip – Ineffective Congresses don’t get returned to office? There’s a bunch of counter-evidence to that theory.

        North – If he approached them for support in exchange for something, sure. But if they approached him it’d be different.

        All – The correct answer is that for all liberals’ lip service about agency, they assume that everyone else have to change to accommodate them. And we all realize that implicitly. It doesn’t even occur to us that Democrats would step up and support a Republican, even as we ponder why Republicans don’t step up and support a Democrat.Report

  5. Jaybird
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    says:

    An interesting tidbit:

    Report

    • Philip H in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Because he knows this is it for him. He’s not going to be a senator in California, and he’s never going to be on a Presidential ticket. This is as high as he ever goes.Report

      • Chip Daniels in reply to Philip H
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        says:

        Somewhere on his wall is a jumble of pictures with red yarn, and at the center –

        January, 2025:

        The House GOP majority refuses to certify the re-election of Pres. Biden and VP Harris;

        Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy becomes President.

        Muwahahahaha!Report

        • CJColucci in reply to Chip Daniels
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          says:

          Over on the tax return thread is a discussion of whether Congresscritters are officers of the United States. There is a very serious argument that the Speaker and other Congresscritters are not “officers of the united states” and that, therefore, the succession in office act is unconstitutional to the extent that it inserts the Speaker and President pro tem into the line of succession.
          I have not done the necessary work to have and express a definitive opinion on this, but I have seen enough to convince me that there is a serious issue here and to lead me to hope that we never have to test things.Report

  6. Philip H
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    says:

    McCarthy has lost the 4th vote. Its not gonna get better for him.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Philip H
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      says:

      One of the big criticisms of Congress I’ve seen is that they should put stuff like “private committee discussions” on youtube so that it’s transparent.

      The counter-argument to that was that there would be secret private committee discussions prior to the private committee discussions. You know, to hammer out what would be actually said on the record.

      This is what happens when you jump straight into public discussions before you have the private committee discussions.

      I am somewhat shocked that they were willing to do this without counting the votes first in some back room somewhere.Report

  7. Jaybird
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    says:

    Well, I was going to criticize the Republicans for being mindlessly in lockstep but I will instead mock them for disagreeing with each other.Report

  8. Chip Daniels
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    Courtesy LGM, Jonathan Chait has a good article describing the GOP caucus much the same way I did, as versions of revolutionaries whose goals grow ever the more grandiose and sweeping the further they get from actual power.

    …Democrats tend to splinter when they hold power but unify in opposition while the reverse holds true for Republicans. Democratic demands expand when the party holds full control of government and contract in opposition. Republican aspirations paradoxically become more grandiose during Democratic presidencies, which draw Republican minds deeper into the fever swamps of hysteria, making them more insistent on demands for maximal confrontation. These demands are inevitably impossible, causing Republicans to turn, again and again, against their own leaders.

    They speak like fringe Marxists, talking in terms of vast sweeping systemic change even though they can’t really enact even the simplest of things because, as Chait writes, ” the party, at its core, does not believe it should be forced to share power.”Report

  9. Saul Degraw
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    says:

    And McCarthy fails a fifth vote. Maybe a sixth vote now, I don’t know, I went and got some lunch.Report

  10. Burt Likko
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    says:

    I find it interesting that McCarthy in particular is inspiring this sort of behavior from the far-right wing of the GOP. History rhyming.

    Kevin McCarthy represents Bakersfield, California, and much area around it. Back in the 1980’s and 1990’s, that same area was represented by Bill Thomas, a Republican who was, in fact, plenty conservative by all standard measurements, and who had a very successful career in the House of Representatives, rising to become Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Nevertheless, Thomas who earned significant distrust from the right wing of the GOP, who called him a “squish,” which was 90’s-speak for what in the 10’s was a “RINO” and today is a member of the “establishment.”

    Once upon a time, Thomas found a former President of the California Young Republicans to become his legislative aide. This young man was elected to the Bakersfield seat of the California Assembly (the lower house of the state legislature) that Thomas had once held when he was coming up through the ranks, with help from Thomas’ impressive money-raising machine. Thomas’ fortunate young protégé is named… Kevin McCarthy.

    (Edited to add: before I moved to Oregon from California, McCarthy was my Congressman, because a little tendril of his district protruded down into my community. I… Well, let’s just leave it at “I dislike him,” and not just because of his political alignment.)Report

    • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko
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      I’m not sure why the insurrgent 20 have labeled McCarthy a wet. Though I suspect nearly everyone in McCarthy’s position would be considered a wet because the 20 are even more stark raving mad at this point. As far as I can tell, McCarthy still can’t bring himself to offer any meaningful concessions to Democrats to get enough of them to vote for him as a concession/coalition candidate. From what I have read, he is trying to get them to abstain or just vote for him without getting anything in return. He is doing this because he is a throughly radicalized Republican too.Report

      • Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
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        says:

        Was he the establishment consensus choice?

        Therefore: He is a wet.Report

        • Burt Likko in reply to Jaybird
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          Are they really using those terms? I had to look them up and found that “wet” and “dry” trace back to factional fissures in the British Conservative Party under Margaret Thatcher.

          Kevin McCarthy < Margaret Thatcher. I am quite confident that the Iron Lady would have put the 1981 equivalents of Matt Gaetz within the Conservative party's ranks firmly in their place up on the back benches where they could hoot and boo all they liked but safely away from anywhere they might do anything dangerous like interfere with the actual business of the House.Report

          • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko
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            Terms are mine.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Burt Likko
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            says:

            Hey, I was just running with Saul’s terms.

            As for the relationship between the reasonable moderate Republicans and the unreasonable extremist ones, I’m not sure that there’s a whole lot you can do with a +4 majority if you are unwilling to play harder ball than the nuts are willing to play. (And, unfortunately, one of the ways you can measure whether someone is a nut is by asking them about the preferred (insert bad wordplay here).)

            The speech from the Texas guy above seems to be representative of what their stated preferences are. Whether the speech represents anything FOR REAL is still up in the air, of course… but if you are willing to entertain that the speech is true enough from that side’s point of view, you’ve got a situation where a handful are saying “we aren’t willing to run with the old status quo”.

            And that will *ALWAYS* have admirers. I’m almost surprised that it doesn’t have more than it does right now.

            I suspect it will have more tomorrow than it does today, but I am someone who eats this stuff for breakfast. People in the real world are probably still talking about that football player.Report

          • Michael Cain in reply to Burt Likko
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            says:

            Under UK rules, Thatcher had the enormous stick of expelling troublemakers from the party. Gaetz and company would be much more subdued if McCarthy — who handily won the leadership election within his party — could say, “You’re no longer Republicans. You can’t run as a Republican next election. Good luck with that.”Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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              says:

              He’d only have to worry about getting Eric Cantored if he pulled something like that.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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                Almost certainly not in the UK where the party leadership has a lot more control over who can run. Boris Johnson might have had to worry about losing to a Labor candidate in his district. He had zero concerns about not being the Conservative candidate.

                I’m sure that most of the world finds the US very strange in the sense that in almost every state, you can declare your own membership in a party, and with a reasonably small effort, put your name on the primary ballot for a Congressional seat. This comes up in discussions about Sinema and whether the Democrats should run a candidate against her in the general in 2024. In AZ, you can register as a Democrat and collect <8,000 signatures to get on the primary ballot. Someone will do it; there will be a Democrat on the general election ballot no matter what the state party wants.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Michael Cain
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                I can already imagine the hue and cry when someone suggests that the party and its money back Sinema rather than an actual registered Democrat. Which some people will think is a good idea (she is the incumbent, after all, and she’s a damn sight better than the Republican) and others will think is terrible (but she’s not a Democrat and look we have a nominee!) and thus cause schism. Probably a schism that will heal only after Sinema is replaced by a Republican. (Unless she can somehow make nice with the progressives who have been criticizing her for so long and with such intensity that she defected out of the party altogether, and I for one will not be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.)

                FTR my personal sympathies would be with the pragmatists, but the idealists have a valid point in that argument.

                I guess schism could also be avoided or healed if Sinema opts to not run for re-election for some reason.Report

              • North in reply to Burt Likko
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                says:

                All well and good but labelling Sinema a pragmatist is, frankly, an insult to pragmatists everywhere. The Senator is either drunk on her own twee-ness or flat out bought and paid for by corporate interests.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
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                says:

                True, but we’re wandering into “if you had some bread, we could have ham sandwiches, if I had some ham” territory.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
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                Yes, as is any discussion comparing a UK PM to a US Speaker of the House in terms of the tools at their disposal for securing the position.

                To Burt’s original statement, Thatcher had both bread and ham. McCarthy has neither.Report

          • InMD in reply to Burt Likko
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            I think this gets to March’s point about our weaker parties. You probably wouldn’t see something quite like this in a Westminster system for several reasons, two big ones being the party is in control of nominating MPs and any comparables to the dissenters may well be in another party altogether.Report

            • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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              says:

              Plan For Strengthening The Party Structure:

              1.Party members select from among their number, a leader…Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
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                says:

                That’s not the distinction. The distinction is the party led by its own internal bureaucracy picks the candidates, and is pretty good about making sure only team players get the nod to run in the first place. There aren’t really primaries where potential defectors can catch lightning in a bottle. At least as I understand it.Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to InMD
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                says:

                Step 1:
                Party selects, from among their number, internal bureaucrats…Report

              • InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Those generally already exist. Step 1 would be the party halts the primary process altogether and decides who will run where.

                But look, it’s a totally different system with its own pros and cons. You couldn’t just import one part and fix everything anymore than you could with anything else. Doesn’t mean it might not be an interesting comparative exercise. If you aren’t interested in talking about it then that’s certainly fine. What I don’t get is why you keep jumping in among those who are, especially after you’ve already made your point about the electorate.Report

              • Michael Cain in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                Step 0:
                Party membership requires that you pay annual dues. How many people are going to lay out $150/year to be a Republican or Democrat?Report

              • Chip Daniels in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                We already know the answer.

                The people who are passionate enough to go to party caucuses and castigate people like Kevin McCarthy for allowing “incremental Marxism”, the people who show up at school board meetings screaming about groomers, the people who go to elections boards and demand to oversee the count which they are sure is rigged, the people who organize golf cart parades for Trump.
                These are the ordinary people, the common clay of the New West.
                Y’know, Republicans.

                See, the thing you guys are missing is that Lauren Boebert is a lot more representative of the GOP voting base than Kevin McCarthy.

                There is, like, this wish that somehow the Republican adults will rein in the gibbering loons and establish order.

                But, the gibbering loons voted all the adults like Kinsinger and Cheney out, and the gibbering loons are running the party and controlling the levers and buttons of the party machinery.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Chip Daniels
                Ignored
                says:

                The rich are using the gibberish loons to control the party.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        Whatever else, McCarthy is the only member of the GOP leadership to potentially gain something from the 2022 cycle, and thus the only person who can be denied something.Report

      • Burt Likko in reply to Saul Degraw
        Ignored
        says:

        You know, another reason I dislike McCarthy is that I get the impression he isn’t particularly sharp, intellectually. As in, I think nearly all the members of our commenting community here are probably smarter than him. It may genuinely not have occurred to him that he could cut a deal with Hakeem Jeffries and get the votes from across the aisle. And yeah, some members of his constituency wouldn’t like that. But not enough to pull off a primary challenge. What’s more, the example of Willie Brown taking an iron-clad grip of the California Legislature that way (cutting a deal with Paul Horcher and then screwing over Dick Mountjoy) is right there in front of him.Report

        • Saul Degraw in reply to Burt Likko
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t know if I would go that far but I think he is radicalized as a Republican (as are most Republicans at this point) that they can’t accept the concessions that would need to give to Democrats in order to achieve the goal of becoming speaker. The GOP has basically stopped being interested in governing outside of tax cuts and failed attempts to repeal the ACA. The only other thing they do is hold “hearings” on matters which often prove meritless. Democrats are not interested in the Hunter Biden show or debt ceiling hostage situations but that is all the GOP wants to do. Plus they are not necessarily proven on keeping their word.

          I liked this analogy from not me: “Basically, he’s the scrawny kid who’s been groveling to members of the football team and egging them on while they beat up unpopular kids. Now he’s running for class president and he can’t understand why the football players aren’t voting for him.”

          I would add that he can’t understand why the “unpopular kids” (in his mind Democrats) are not helping him either.Report

  11. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    And now the have adjourned until 8PM, perhaps in the hope that their next round of Trounce the Chump will not be carried on live TV.Report

  12. Philip H
    Ignored
    says:

    8 Ballots.
    No change on the numbers.
    So much winning.Report

  13. Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    Is it over?

    Twitter is, apparently, saying that it’s over. Enough of the extremists have voted “present” to allow everyone else to vote to change the temperature in the room.

    Report

    • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      Next up, rules and committee assignments. Already lots of interesting speculation showing up. Two of the early ones this morning are my favorites so far. (1) One of the less-extreme Republicans rumored to have said, “Kevin can promise the Freedom Caucus all the rules changes he wants. Actually delivering those is another thing entirely.” (2) Rumor that Gaetz’s price was the chair of the Armed Services Committee, and that the member who had to be restrained from attacking Gaetz is the guy who was previously in line for that position.Report

  14. Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    15 votes and after getting insulted once more by Gaetz for a good just because measure and McCarthy gets his prize which will soon be known as a “prize” probably. To get this McCarthy agreed to a 75 billion dollar defense cut which is a death blow of aid to Ukraine: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-01-06/mccarthy-s-emerging-speaker-deal-tees-up-75-billion-defense-cut

    The only problem is that he is going to discver that the Senate and Biden say no.Report

    • InMD in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      And now to see how long he lasts under these circumstances.Report

    • CJColucci in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      The cuts don’t have to come from Ukraine aid. I’m sure we can find $75 billion in wasteful defense spending in McCarthy’s district. Or Gaetz’s, or Boebert’s, or MTG’s.Report

    • Pinky in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      Why do you think he’d find it a problem if the Senate and Biden say no, if it were something he didn’t actually want?Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky
        Ignored
        says:

        Because with a single member motion to vacate, anyone not getting the result they want will gum up the works with said motions. It’s gonna because a regular and derailing occurrence.Report

        • Michael Cain in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          As always, the devil is in the details. There’s a rule that says a motion to vacate the chair is privileged and always in order. There’s another rule that says any single member may file a resolution to vacate the chair with the Clerk, that all such resolutions will be collected, and will go to the top of the list of regular business as a single item the next time the Committee of the Whole convenes. The former allows one person to bring things to a halt. The latter does not. The latter has a chance of being added to the rules. The former does not.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H
          Ignored
          says:

          I asked why McCarthy would consider it a problem if the Ukraine cut got blocked. Obviously, McCarthy can’t stop Biden or the Senate from blocking it, so he wouldn’t get punished for it, unless the member was planning on punishing him anyway, in which case, the spending cut wasn’t the problem.Report

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