Republicans Aren't Sending Their Best
The three Republicans being talked about for Speaker of the House are total clowns unfit to lead
The race for Speaker of the House (assuming one exists and that Republicans do win a narrow majority), so much as it is one, makes one thing obvious. When the modern GOP sends their people, they're not sending their best.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has long had a reputation as a careerist, a spineless weasel who will do anything or say anything to move up the career ladder. This is not something that is new to him in Congress; this reputation in political circles predates even his election as Young Republican National Chairman in 1999. One need only look at his private words with President Donald Trump compared to his public position as Trump’s Chief Congressional Bootlicker to see that.
McCarthy is what you think of when you think of a Washington politician; go along to get along, but accomplishes nothing of real value.
Ironically, McCarthy isn’t enough of a Trump Bootlicker for sum, because he has a challenger running against him for Speaker.
As Republicans begin grappling with the reality of a much smaller majority next year than they’d hoped, the GOP leader’s once-clear ascent to the top House gavel is now under threat from the right — an echo of the circumstances that helped derail his 2015 bid for the spot. And a full picture of his problems could emerge as soon as Tuesday, when McCarthy is slated to be nominated as the GOP conference’s pick for speaker.
That nomination should prove easy for McCarthy to snag, given that it only requires a majority of House Republicans to agree on supporting him. But it comes as some members of the pro-Trump Freedom Caucus weigh a two-step plan that’s designed to topple him. Conservatives want Tuesday’s scheduled leadership elections postponed until control of the House is certain. If McCarthy doesn’t agree, they plan to nominate Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) as an internal pick for speaker to demonstrate that the Californian doesn’t have the 218 GOP votes he needs when the full chamber votes on Jan. 3, according to a Republican with knowledge of the plan who spoke candidly on condition of anonymity.
Biggs, of course, still thinks that we don’t know who won the 2020 Presidential Election. The idea of members of Congress nominating Biggs is completely absurd considering “Stop the Steal” candidates got pounded across the country on Election Day and is one reason the “Red Wave” was barely a ripple.
Yet this plot to topple McCarthy gets even dumber:
Depending on how that first step plays out, more conservatives would then embrace an alternative pick to put forward as a consensus candidate, added this Republican — who said some signs are pointing to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) as the Freedom Caucus’ consensus choice.
This has to be a joke, right? Jordan as a “compromise candidate” when he is complicit in Donald Trump’s rise within the Republican Party and the “Stop the Steal” nonsense as anybody? And that’s before we even address Jordan’s involvement in the sexual abuse scandal at Ohio State. Do they not remember that Dennis Hastert’s sexual molestation scandal happened?
The worst part about all this is how few and far between sane members of Congress are these days within the House Republican Caucus. Most of those with any spine or principles left among them. Almost all of them are people who are like McCarthy but younger (looking at you Elise Stefanik) or even bigger conspiracy goobers than Biggs (looking at you, Paul Gosar). In the rush for National Republicans to see how much they can deep throat Trump, they pushed all of the ones with a conscience overboard.
In a hilarious twist, all of this infighting may ensure that none of these folks become Speaker. If the House ends up with 218 or 218 Republican members, it will only take one or two members of the House Republican Caucus to defect and join the Democrats in electing a compromise candidate. It is certainly something I can see the now ironically named Freedom Caucus doing in order to punish Kevin McCarthy for offenses both real and imaginary.
Combine that with the near certainty that House vacancies will crop up from time to time, and we could be careening toward a House crisis similar to that of the New York State Senate Crisis of 2009, just with more at stake.
If Republicans were serious about governing (and recent history shows that they are not) they would coalesce around a serious and credible candidate for Speaker who could both fill the role and not be a national embarrassment. And neither Biggs, Jordan, or McCarthy are that person.