Republicans are very busy claiming all is well, this is just part of the normal process and it should be celebrated!
But in reality, the last time a Speaker election took more than one ballot was in 1923 and the last time there were this many ballots for Speaker happened was in 1856.
Yes, the year back to which Republicans want to take women. Perhaps not an accident.
Lest we give McCarthy any ideas, please whisper this: Republican Representative Nathaniel Banks’ 1856 speakership election took 2 months and 133 tries. It was a “ contentious” election, which as you must know by now, is a specialty within the far-Right of the Republicans in the House.
Jared Rizzi noted dryly, “We’re now solidly in pre-Civil War territory in terms of pure dysfunction.”
Meanwhile, Republicans are desperately blaming Democrats and the media for their own failures. (This is baked in, now.)
“One of McCarthy’s hold-outs Rep. Dan Bishop just told reporters that our questions are building ‘the anxiety of the American people that something’s wrong. Instead, he said the lengthy process ‘ought to celebrated,'” Politico reporter Sarah Ferris wrote.
Yes, we should all be celebrating this dysfunction! What is wrong with you people? I mean, sure, there are national security issues, but Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), who is challenging Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for the gavel, claims these concerns are “overblown.”
Donalds told reporters that Americans need not be concerned about a national security crisis looming from the Republican failure to nominate a Speaker for three days now, because…
President Biden will fix it.
It might be fair to ask if President Biden is expected to babysit this House and do their work for them, why are they being paid? Oh, that’s right, they’re not. They can’t get paid until they pick a Speaker.
The New York Times pointed out this mess has “broader implications for the country, raising questions about what happens when one chamber of the legislative branch ceases to function.”
You all knew this was going to be bad, but ceasing to function before they ever started? This is a new low for Republicans.
“Without a speaker, the United States House of Representatives essentially becomes a useless entity. Because none of its members can be sworn in until a speaker is chosen, there are no lawmakers to respond to an emergency or a crisis, only representatives-elect.”
Because there is so much at stake, including trying rather hopelessly to prove that there is any point to a Republican-led House other than chaos and undermining of western democracy, Republicans continue claiming they are doing all of this… for the people.
“Matt Rosendale (R-MT) just said every member of the House is representing the United States of America. Uh…not those who conspired and abetted a violent insurrection against the Capitol and the United States. Not those who are Putin appeasers. Nor those who are election deniers,” Norm Ornstein wrote.
This is patently obscene claim, especially in light of the fact that many of the 20 who are refusing to back Kevin McCarthy voted to steal votes from millions of Americans in an effort to legitimize Donald Trump stealing an election he lost.
None of this is normal. For more on that, we did a deeper dive on the Politicus Pod.
Kevin McCarthy should have had his votes lined up before he ever got near the floor, and he might want to try not threatening his members as people who live to rebel against authority like the Freedom Caucus don’t seem likely to respond well to being pushed around by someone like McCarthy. Although to be fair to McCarthy, even Donald Trump has tried to whip his election deniers into McCarthy’s camp and they are not having it. Elon took his turn at bat to no avail as well. The billionaires, millionaires, and fake richie riches are not having a great few days.
Our country is in peril right now. Again. Due to choices and actions of irresponsible and extremist Republicans. Again.
President Biden can’t actually do the job of oversight and more that the House is charged with executing. That is their job, the legislative and executive branches are separate for a reason.
There are a few solid folks on that side of the aisle, like Republican Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. Just imagine for a moment a House ran by someone like him instead of the Jim Jordan, Steve Scalise, Kevin McCarthy types. Someone like Fitzpatrick could keep the House from falling into the pit of conspiracy-laden investigations and petty abuses the MAGA types are pushing.
A move to a moderate like Fitzpatrick could even save the Republican Party from itself, which is how we know it’s very unlikely to happen. After all, they kicked Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger out of the party for being patriots.
One hundred and thirty three votes and 2 months. That’s the record. Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Listen to Sarah on the PoliticusUSA Pod on The Daily newsletter podcast here.
Sarah has been credentialed to cover President Barack Obama, then VP Joe Biden, 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and exclusively interviewed Speaker Nancy Pelosi multiple times and exclusively covered her first home appearance after the first impeachment of then President Donald Trump.
Sarah is two-time Telly award winning video producer and a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.