Who Will Drive the Clown Car?
Kev’s self-destruction was pretty awesome
Bryan Zepp Jamieson
October 4th, 2023
In the wake of the breakthrough on the budget impasse just last Saturday, I entertained the thought that the agreement might have created enough goodwill between then-Speaker McCarthy and the Democratic caucus that they might save him from the inevitable motion to vacate. The Dems were considering telling McCarthy, “Just negotiate with us openly and in good faith, and work to avoid the next budget crisis in mid-November, and we’ll provide enough votes to negate the MAGA caucus.”
In a sane era, that would have been a pretty good bet.
But Kevin McCarthy is almost fantastically stupid. Instead of building bridges, he went on “Meet the Press” (a former news show that now seems to serve only as a way for right wingers to take enough rope to hang themselves) and blamed the Democrats for the impasse leading to the budget crisis. It was, as so many things McCarthy says, deeply dishonest, and any support Dems may have had to save him from his own lunatic fringe evaporated. A politician who doesn’t keep his word is of little value in the House, and McCarthy had burned his last bridge. Furious Dems openly called him a snake who couldn’t be trusted, and they were right.
They voted unanimously for the motion to vacate, grinning and remembering the line from “The Art of War”: When your foe is making a mistake, let him.
So Matt Gaetz and his scummy crew joined with the Democrats and voted Kevin out of office, the first time in American history that a Speaker had been fired. (A lot of Speakers, always Republican, end up quitting rather than answering for major personal scandals up to and including child sexual abuse. The only recent exception to that was Paul Ryan, who realized what a confederacy of dunces his party had become and quit in disgust.)
With nobody driving the clown car that is the House, Patrick McHenry (R-NC) became a straw speaker, with the title “Speaker Pro Tempore” which loosely translates to “Christ, can we find anyone stupid enough to take this impossible job?” Patty immediately proved that he is, in fact, like so many Republicans these days, a massive cunt. With the House grippled in crisis, his first order was to tell Nancy Pelosi (who didn’t vote on the motion to vacate because she was attending Diane Feinstein’s funeral) that she had “to vacate her Capitol Hill offices by tomorrow.” The missive, which Patty didn’t have the guts to sign, continued, “Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed.” It was petty, it was vicious, and it proves that, as I said, McHenry is a cunt.
That’s probably about as close to any constructive activity we’re going to see from the GOP’s self-decapitated caucus.
There are rumors that enough mainstream Republicans are so fed up with the MAGA caucus that they may move to expel Matt Gaetz from their caucus. They probably could team up with Democrats and expel him from the House, but it wouldn’t really solve the problem.
The GOP are hagridden with nasty anti-American nuts, and getting rid of the most visible dirtbag won’t solve the problem.
There are now three leading candidates for the Speaker of the House. Jim Jordan, one of the most loathsome creatures in the House, a vicious and loud bully with a dark cloud over him of a history of at best turning a blind eye to sexual abuse in the phys-ed department of the college he ran. Steve Scalise is also running, and has described himself as “David Duke without the baggage.” That’s a bit like self-describing as “Charlie Manson without the notoriety.” Even if it didn’t suggest unspeakable vileness about Scalise’s attitudes towards African-Americans (Duke was a KKK Grand Wizard), it’s not a link most people would welcome. Scalise’s main redeeming feature is that somebody shot him.
The third possible candidate is none other than Donald J. Trump. Several Republicans are promoting him. The supporters are, as you might expect, utterly servile and cringing, as befits lackeys of the Trumpster. Even as he was disgracing himself in court, shouting that he had a right to a jury trial that his lawyers had waived on his behalf, and threatening officers of the court, his sad little supporters agreed he was “America’s finest president” and deserved to be Speaker. Just two bullets and he would be back in the White House, right?
But the Republicans have a little problem there: Rule 26. It’s a Republican rule (which means a rule they can ignore unless someone notices) that states that anyone with indictments and facing more than two years in jail cannot serve as Speaker. Ooops. Republicans really are masters at passing rules that are meant to limit everyone else that end up with them clotheslining themselves. It’s a talent.
Meanwhile, the House opened today and immediately adjourned, because…the Speaker wasn’t there. Until the Republicans figure out something they (and perhaps enough Democrats) can agree on, the House is paralyzed.
But no worries: I’m sure Kevin will find a way to blame Pelosi for that.