Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, led a successful coup against Kevin McCarthy (now former House Speaker) on Tuesday. He was able to “win” after rallying eight Republicans and the entire Democratic Caucus to remove him. This is the first time in U.S. History that this has occurred.
It’s been a complete clown show.
It not only distracts from already-tense budget negotiations but also makes the GOP – and the U.S. – look ridiculous, giving Democrats more leverage to push their radical policies.
Gaetz got a win, but at what cost? Sure, he’ll raise a lot of campaign money from this—he’s already sending out emails and asking for money on Fox News— but is there a plan going forward? Of course not. The two congressmen whose names have been bandied about as potential House speakers—Jim Jordan (Ohio) and Steve Scalise (La.)—both spoke on behalf of McCarthy ahead of the vote and then voted to keep him as speaker. McCarthy announced tonight that he will not seek reelection as speaker. Gaetz stated emphatically that he didn’t want the job. At publishing time, Scalise had sort of thrown his hat into the ring, and some are floating Trump as the next speaker, but none of that will be sorted out quickly.
The budget negotiations between House Democrats and Republicans are at a standstill. The continuing resolution expires on November 17. As the country rushes towards the fiscal cliff, there will be a new showdown. A possible shutdown is also likely. Republicans will instead be fighting over the speakership, rather than working on this problem. What good does it do the country?
Gaetz has overplayed the hand, whether he did so intentionally or not. Some people hail him as the brave protector of all things good. But not everyone agrees.
Gaetz was unsure and hesitant when asked about former President Trump’s backing of his plan to remove McCarthy, whom Trump had supported and endorsed throughout his tenure.
Trump took to Truth Social and criticized Republicans for their lack of unity. He wrote, “Why are Republicans always fighting between themselves? Why aren’t the Radical Left Democrats destroying our country fighting them?”
Gaetz’s (if there was one) strategy is not a very convincing endorsement.
Sean Hannity, Fox News host, asked Jesse Watters, “Was today’s dog and pony show the best tactical and strategic approach at this time?”
He added, “Now uncertainty is the dominant force on Capitol Hill.” McCarthy acknowledged that Gaetz, the seven other Republicans, and Gaetz had valid concerns. However, he added, “Many measures could have been addressed” under McCarthy’s direction.
Was the nuclear option necessary? Was it worth it? Right now I’ll tell you that I don’t know. The time will tell if this was a wise or bad decision. “One thing will never change: Republicans are a tiny majority no matter who is the speaker.”
That’s the issue. The same problem will remain regardless of who becomes the next Speaker. The GOP is a small majority, which includes moderates and left-leaning Republicans from Democrat districts as well as the eight holdouts. Democrats still have the power to block any legislation that comes from the House.
Even Newt Gingrich – arguably the most successful Republican House leader in history – could not unify the Republican Caucus to 100%.
Speaking of Gingrich on “Hannity”, he lambasted Gaetz, his fellow Americans, and their supporters Tuesday night. He said, “It is a sad day.” Kevin McCarthy is among the most talented people I have ever worked with. I think he achieved an incredible amount while battling the Senate and White House with a small majority. He called the result “tragic.”
The University of Georgia Bulldogs are the top team in the nation right now. You would probably kick them off the pitch if four members of your offensive team decided that they were on the Alabama side, and began tackling their own players.
He continued, “Think of what we saw today.” “Four percent[of the Republican caucus] thought they were so superior morally, intellectually, and patriotically that they would join the Democrats.” “They did this to defeat the Republican House Caucus.” He called those eight Republicans who joined the Democrats “traitors,” who should be “driven from public life.”
The media will focus on Republican chaos for a week to ten days, instead of covering issues that are important to Americans. This is a shockingly destructive behavior from a few egocentric individuals who believe they are superior to 96%.
Gaetz was wrong to expect universal support for the nuclear option. Jim Jordan summarized the mess by saying: “I think today is a day when we can say ‘Look, this was not good. I think that what happened to Kevin McCarthy wasn’t fair. Let’s find out how to come together and focus on the agenda as a conference.
Gaetz’s merry band is a show-off, so that’s not realistic at this time.