I remember the conservative lockstep

Keep smirking, bad boy. You’re next on the menu.

There was a time when Democrats were an anarchic mess and the Republicans seemed to be unified, often over even the most stupid issues, and it was like we were confronting a wall of stubborn ignorance. Democrats are still a mess, but it’s nice to see the Republicans crumbling, finally. And they’re doing it all to themselves! It’s not as if Democrats got their act together, it’s more that the other party has become too imbecilic to sustain themselves.

So they have control of the house, and they used that power to oust Kevin McCarthy, ex-speaker of the house, because he had dared to try and compromise and court Democratic votes to prevent a government shutdown. Cool.

The Democrats just stood back and watched the party self-destruct. Awesome.

In the end, Democrats went with the most satisfying option and refused to help McCarthy. Between a united Democratic front and the handful of Republicans who opposed him, McCarthy didn’t have enough votes to keep his position. His speakership is deader than Donald and Melania’s marital relations.

“This is what MAGA has done,” former Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia told MSNBC as the vote was happening. “Matt Gaetz and his merry band of misfits,” Comstock said, are “a destructive force” with no plan for what happens after this.

She then warned that, even if Gaetz is crowing about his victory, this would be “the demise of MAGA.”

What’s hard to believe is all of this is happening because of Matt Gaetz, party boy and accused sex trafficker and pedophile, a man even his own party hates.

By the time Gaetz (R-Fla.) finally made good on his long-standing threats to force a vote to topple McCarthy (R-Calif.), his Republican colleagues were so fed up with him that they wouldn’t let him debate from within their caucus, banishing him to the minority Democratic side of the room.

Gaetz’s successful fight to remove McCarthy from the speakership has cost him in his own conference, lawmakers say. The GOP on Tuesday was considering expelling Gaetz from its caucus. McCarthy, meanwhile, told Republicans he would not seek reelection as speaker after Gaetz pushed him out.

“I’d love to have him out of the conference,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told reporters Tuesday. “ … He shouldn’t be in the Republican Party.”

I, for one, am looking forward to the spectacle, although it is destructive to getting anything done. There is an end in sight, though.

The MAGA movement is simply unsustainable. It cannot help but destroy everything it touches. Right now, it’s the GOP they’re ripping apart. But eventually, this urge to ruin everything will take out their own movement. (Hopefully sooner rather than later!) Taking out McCarthy, even though he’s been an ass-kissing MAGA loyalist, illustrates this reality.

There are many flavors of fascism, and MAGA is an especially nihilistic one. The right-wing media ecosystem rewards trolling above all else — especially over intra-party unity. In a competition for attention, adoration, and donations from the MAGA base, the quickest and surest route is to become a Joker-like chaos agent. MAGA loves a bad guy because it lets them pretend they’re “rebels” who are “taking on the system.” In reality, they are locusts swarming a field until nothing is left.

When the bones have been picked clean, maybe then something constructive will emerge. Or more likely, Donald Trump will be rooting through the wreckage, scouring it all down to the ground.


  1. birgerjohansson says

    So Gaetz overturned McCarthy because he had worked with Democrats.
    And he overturned McCarthy by voting with Democrats.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    The next speaker can only get a stable position with the support of the Democrats.

    I recall the episode of The Simpsons where the cruel patrons of Moe’s Tavern made the penniless Homer imitate a dog before they gave him a beer.
    Now, substitute ‘beer’ with ‘speaker…

  3. robro says

    I haven’t seen the actual tally but I read Democrats weren’t going to vote for McCarthy, so he needed every Republican vote. Kind of pathetic when a handful of grifters and sex offenders can break an organization like the GOP. Very scary for the rest of us because the deal that cost McCarthy his leadership role is only good for 45 days. We’ll be right back where we started with no long term solution on this budget crap and no leadership in the “majority” party to wrangle yet another deal.

  4. hemidactylus says

    This was far more in the hands of Democrats as a mere 8 Repugs voted to oust. Democrats opted to pour accelerant on a dumpster fire which could become an own goal. Trump could assend as Speaker for instance. Our Orange Caesar.

  5. raven says

    Steve Bannon, Trump’s Top Guy, Told Me He Was ‘a Leninist’
    ‘MY GOAL’ The Breitbart executive director turned GOP leader boasted at a party about his goal of destroying the conservative establishment.

    Ronald Radosh Updated Apr. 13, 2017 The Daily Beast

    Then we had a long talk about his approach to politics. He never called himself a “populist” or an “American nationalist,” as so many think of him today. “I’m a Leninist,” Bannon proudly proclaimed.

    Shocked, I asked him what he meant.

    “Lenin,” he answered, “wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment.”

    The right wintnuts aren’t hiding anything.

    Bannon said in 2017 that he wanted to destroy the US government and was a top official in the Trump administration for a long time.
    He called himself a Leninist, and it didn’t bother him that Lenin was our enemy and created a monster called the USSR that eventually imploded from within and no one missed the Soviet Russians.

    The extremist wing of the GOP are American hating nihilists, anarchists, or whatever you call people who wnat to destroy everything for the sake of destroying everything.

    PS Bannon has been charged with domestic abuse and has been convicted of several crimes.
    I wouldn’t call him a good role model for anyone.

  6. jeanmeslier says

    @6 I beg to differ, actual anarchists are neither a bunch of right-wing chaos instigators nor “everything destroyers”. Anarchism is mostly the umbrella term for various clearly leftist anti-authoritarian, anti-capitalist and anti-theist ideas. and has nothing to do with the rigtoid “libertarianism” of the anti-choice, fascist MAGA- cancer.

  7. raven says

    The MAGA movement is simply unsustainable. It cannot help but destroy everything it touches. Right now, it’s the GOP they’re ripping apart.

    That is one thing I’ve noticed about the GOP in general and the right wingnut anarchists in particular.

    They don’t have any coherent policies for running the USA.

    .1. They deeply hate the current USA.
    Our diverse, multicultural progressive democracy is something they seriously hate for reasons that aren’t even all that clear.

    .2. Their plan for the USA is what?
    When Trump was in office, what did he accomplish anyway?

    Nothing really.
    His main accomplishment was cutting taxes for the wealthy and especially the corporations.
    His main failure was watching a novel virus, Covid-19 virus, start a pandemic and then doing nothing much to stop it.
    1.4 million American died from that virus and 20 million are still suffering from it as long haulers.

    Destroying the USA because you hate it is pretty dumb.
    This is our home, This is where we live.
    Destroying your home without any idea what to replace it with is dumb.

    This is what they did with the old USSR, Lebanon, Syria, Cambodia, etc..
    And how did that work out for them?

  8. wzrd1 says

    Aesop wisely suggested, “Be careful in what you wish for, lest it come to be”.
    A lesson that the GOP and by extension, this nation has repeatedly refused to learn. It happened at the inception of the Republican Party, when the Know Nothings tore down their own establishment and well, in the end, it only helped fuel the hot messes that fueled a civil war. This time, we don’t have slavery to push that great big red button, so they’ll shred their own party, raze it to the ground and incinerate what remains, leaving one party that’s normally in disarray to continue its chaotic existence.
    Although, I doubt we’ll have to put up with Trump for much longer. He’s got a damaging civil judgement against him, a royally pissed off judge, criminal charges that won’t be ignored, as the one area nobody gets off from is national security criminal cases and he’s been having an ever increasing number of “senior moments”. Complete with him proclaiming that he defeated Obama in an election.
    All, while attempting to use a Groucho Marx defense, “What are you going to believe, your own eyes or me?”.

    So, let them destroy their own party. Democrats need only ensure that they don’t allow both the fox and wolf to take up management of the hen house.

    Although, with Gaetz, I’m mildly surprised he hasn’t gotten squashed by the Mann Act. But then, given the prosecutorial history with that act, he is unlikely to get charged, as he’s far too light a shade for it to be applied to him. Historically, only Black men got charged under that act…

  9. microraptor says

    The real irony here is that if Kevin had actually shown a backbone and tried to be bipartisan, he’d still have a job. If he’d been willing to stand up to MAGA insanity, the House Democrats would probably have voted against removing him. But instead, he once again revealed that he has a spine made of jello and brought up a meritless impeachment inquiry against Biden in a foolish attempt to appease the chaos trolls of the far right. And now he’s out of the job that he was so desperate to get that he was willing to trade away all the power of it.

  10. leovigild says

    The Democrats don’t strike me as a mess at all — they are more unified and organized than I can ever remember them being and more than most parties throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.

  11. Doc Bill says

    The problem with MAGA is that they are kissing the wrong ass! Imagine if they were kissing up to Bill Buckley (being generous, hey, I’m old!) as a “conservative giant” when conservatism meant Udall, Goldwater conservatism: actually conserving things, rather than burning them down.

    My simple view is that McCarthy is just plain stupid. To quote Gump the Great, “he’s not a smart man.” I don’t know the psychological condition that prevents a person from anticipating future events based on current actions but McCarthy is the kind of guy who would knock the tray out of the hands of the biggest bully in the high school cafeteria not realizing that the bully was going to pound Kevin into mush in 10 seconds.

    So, Our Kevin went on TV Sunday morning, right after Gaetz threatened to fine a motion to vacate, and lied to the moderator that it was the Democrats who wanted the shutdown and that he, Kevin the Magnificent, was saving the Country. Of course, the opposite was so obviously that even the moderator laughed his face at the absurdity. Rumor has it that Hakeem Jeffries used that clip to rally Democrats sympathetic to helping McCarthy to demonstrate what an untrustworthy, lying, MAGA moron he truly was. All sympathy drained away and Kevin was toast.

    MAGA will destroy itself and the job of sane people is to contain the conflagration as much as possible. There are serious people absolutely terrified of MAGA taking power in 2024 and the prospect of an authoritarian government full of Stephen Millers. Don’t scoff. Vote!

  12. Reginald Selkirk says

    I am seeing many articles stating that various people(e.g. MTG) support Donald Trump to be the next Speaker of the House. There are several obstacles to this.

    Rule 26(a)

    Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.) gave his Republican colleagues a reminder of Rule 26, which was adopted in January and states that any GOP leader indicted of a felony with a potential prison sentence of two years or more needs to step aside:…

  13. Pierce R. Butler says

    hemidactylus @ # 5: Trump could assend as Speaker … (a glorious spello…)

    On one tentacle, the job involves a lot of work and people skills, neither of which Dolt 45 has any talent for.

    On another, he may see it as a possible legal shield against the multiple prosecutions he’s earned.

    On a third, consider the ironies entailed: Trump shattered the core of the Republicans’ success, Reagan’s “11th Commandment” (“Thou shalt not speak ill of thy fellow Republicans.”), which led to the ouster of three GOP Speakers in a row. For him to next climb to the peak of the rubble – and surely to fail and fall – would prove the gods have a wicked sense of humor.

  14. Akira MacKenzie says

    Wild Speculation: The goal of the MAGAts isn’t to create a national right-wing government, but to fuck up the federal government so badly they can’t deal with their actual goal: The creation of smaller fascist states like Florida, Texas, Idaho, etc.

  15. says

    Mmmm, I’m reminded of a song. “King Nothing” by Metallica. Lyrics below the vid-link.


    Wish I may
    Wish I might
    Have this I wish tonight
    Are you satisfied?
    Dig for gold
    Dig for fame
    You dig to make your name
    Are you pacified?

    All the wants you waste
    All the things you’ve chased

    And it all crashes down
    And you break your crown
    And you point your finger, but there’s no one around
    Just want one thing, just to play the king
    But the castle crumbled and you’re left with just a name
    Where’s your crown, King Nothing?

    Where’s your crown?

    Hard and cold
    Bought and sold
    A heart as hard as gold
    Yeah! Are you satisfied?
    Wish I might, wish I may
    You wish your life away
    Are you pacified?

    All the wants you waste
    All the things you’ve chased

    Then it all crashes down
    And you break your crown
    And you point your finger, but there’s no one around
    Just want one thing, just to play the king
    But the castle crumbled and you’re left with just a name
    Where’s your crown, King Nothing?

    Where’s your crown?


    Wish I may, wish I might
    Have this wish, I wish tonight
    I want that star, I want it now
    I want it all and I don’t care how

    Careful what you wish
    Careful what you say
    Careful what you wish you may regret it
    Careful what you wish you just might get it

    Then it all crashes down
    And you break your crown
    And you point your finger, but there’s no one around
    Just want one thing, just to play the king
    But the castle crumbled and you’re left with just a name
    Where’s your crown, King Nothing?
    Oh, you’re just nothing
    Where’s your crown King Nothing?
    Oh, you’re just nothing
    Absolutely nothing
    Off to never never land

  16. Jim Balter says

    This was far more in the hands of Democrats as a mere 8 Repugs voted to oust. Democrats opted to pour accelerant on a dumpster fire which could become an own goal.

    This is a common but profoundly stupid take in the MSM and among the pundit class. The Dems voted against McCarthy as Speaker 15 times; they weren’t about to vote for him this time, especially after all the garbage he said about them, his phony impeachment inquiry, etc.

    Trump could assend as Speaker for instance. Our Orange Caesar.

    No, stupid. He has 91 indictments, any one of which bars him from being Speaker by the House Republicans’ own rules. And with 208 relatively moderate Republicans voting to retain McCarthy, no way would there be a majority to support Trump … but it would be great if there were, because that would be an even greater disaster for the GOP … Trump lacks every possible attribute needed in being Speaker, which is actually a lot work, which gives him the hives.

  17. Jim Balter says

    P.S. The main reason cited by Dems for voting against McCarthy is that he is completely untrustworthy. Note that, if he had wanted to win that vote he could have at least tried to negotiate with the Dems, but a lot of them would have still voted against him because of rightful lack of trust.

  18. Jim Balter says

    Senator Markwayne Mullin (nutcase-Ok) told Anderson Cooper that Gaetz showed off on the floor of Congress pictures of underage girls he had slept with, and bragged about crushing and snorting Viagra with a chaser of Red Bull to last him through the night. Keep in mind that Mullin is generally a vile piece of lying shit so this isn’t all that credible, but it’s significant that they’re floating this story–a lot of people are talking about Gaetz being “Cawthorned”, in reference to Madison Cawthorn who royally pissed off Republicans for talking about Republican Congressional orgies.

  19. hemidactylus says

    @24- Jim Balter
    My @18 upthread.

    As for McCarthy what was he supposed to do, publicly thank the Dems before the ouster? Maybe, but it’s sheepdog and wolf on Bugs Bunny after they clock out. Dems maybe should have at least signaled a potential future ability to deal, with enough support to keep him in. Now things could get worse. I presented Trump as possible not inevitable. You’ll follow with more insults perhaps as is your nature.

  20. Jim Balter says

    As for McCarthy what was he supposed to do, publicly thank the Dems before the ouster?

    You are appalling ignorant and intellectually dishonest.

    You’ll follow with more insults perhaps as is your nature.

    Nothing you don’t richly deserve.

  21. Jim Balter says

    why didn’t the Democrats help us” is pretty fucking hilarious coming from the party that calls Democrats “communist groomers — Jeff Tiedrich


    The GOP blaming Democrats for their self-inflicted civil war is absurd, but not surprising. Reminder that not one single Democrat was given a voice in the debate yesterday, it was a sh*tshow of insults lobbed back & forth between one party. Stop voting for these clowns. — The Lincoln Project


    Contrary to how McCarthy’s defenders are behaving, men failing up is not a Constitutionally protected right.
    The man made risky decisions and faced the natural consequences of them. I am not his mom, and my job is not to put pool noodles around hard corners for Republicans. — AOC


    A really good thread explaining why it would have been nuts for the Democrats to “save” Kevin McCarthy–particularly because he had lied to them previously AND was refusing to offer them anything in return. — David Korn

    Here’s the thread, from Aaron Fritschner, Deputy Chief of Staff for Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia:


    Pretty evident people don’t understand a key piece of House Dems’ thinking on McCarthy and governance of the House. The idea that we acted out of schadenfreude or pique with no thought to the legislative outlook is, of course, silly nonsense. Here’s what the takes are missing-

    Read the whole thing. (Well, you won’t.)

    I have nothing but contempt for someone so clueless, ignorant, wrongheaded, and wrong-sided that they would say something so appallingly stupid as “As for McCarthy what was he supposed to do, publicly thank the Dems before the ouster?” which is, as Fermi would say, “not even wrong”. If you understand absolutely nothing about this, as that comment indicates, you should not comment about it.

  22. Jim Balter says

    Another thread, from Greg Sargent: https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1709259409099022535.html

    Here’s another reason Democrats can’t trust Kevin McCarthy: Incredibly, he’s demanding that Dems support the far right GOP border agenda as part of the next package of aid for Ukraine.

    I’m not sure people appreciate how extreme this demand truly is. 1/

    Kevin McCarthy is pushing Dems to include the House GOP border bill in the next Ukraine aid package.

    But that bill is wildly radical: It would gut asylum, roll back legal protections for migrant kids, and would probably end Biden’s parole programs. 2/



  23. nikolai says

    @14: Yes, you’re right, the Speakership involves a lot of work and people skills, which the Big Orange Head doesn’t have any aptitude for. So does the Presidency.

    It seems that all I see are various jokes about how Trump would never be Speaker because he would actually have to work for a change, or the party would get nothing done. (These jokesters seem to have missed that the Republicans want to do nothing — because the government that does as little as possible is, in their eyes, the best government. It’s a great gig if you can get it.)

    People made jokes like this about Trump becoming President, which he ended up doing even though sources close to him said that he claimed not to want the job after he was elected.

    The problem, as has been pointed out many times, is that if Trump gets the Speakership, he will be two heartbeats away from the Presidency. Some Republicans have been trying to figure out a way to install Trump ever since he was voted out, and this may be a gambit to do just that.

    No, they don’t have the Senate votes to remove Biden and Harris, but they don’t need to. We’ve seen that those who want to reinstate Trump have a penchant for political violence, just like all fascists do. They sent a violent mob after a sitting Vice President — what makes us think that they’re done trying that particular strategy, especially since, historically, this is how fascists gain power?

    I don’t think it would actually happen, but I can’t rule it out. That alone gives me pause, and forces me to consider how far we’ve fallen.

    If there’s a saving grace here, it’s that Trump appears to be at bad at fascism as he is at everything else. Sure, he makes sad-puppy faces at actual fascist dictators, but learning to become like those dictators would first require that he admit to himself that he is not the best there is right now, and that doesn’t seem to be in his character. (That, and he’d have to show some backbone, which also seems to be a character trait he lacks.) He could rouse his cult again, but they might pause this time; things didn’t work out as seamlessly as they’d hoped on January 6. Even considering all that, we should remember that he can still do a lot of damage; he did that even though a lot of people joked at his Presidential aspirations and how ill-suited he was for the work that office requires.

  24. hemidactylus says

    @30- nikolai
    It may have become less likely Trump would be in the running now, but who knows:

    As for the GOP “rules”:
    “Nehls said he even researched the question of whether Trump’s criminal indictments would be a problem and assured the former president that a potentially disqualifying internal House GOP rule could be easily smoothed over.”

    Also (link below): “Can Republicans vote to change it?
    A majority of the House conference can vote to change their own rules, but it is rare that they would do so in the middle of a session.
    Typically, rules are decided at the start of each session, which was in January.”


    “However, these rules are not statute and can be changed by the GOP. It would require the creation of an ad hoc committee, appointed by the speaker and chaired by a senior Republican member of the Committee on Rules of the House.

    Does this mean that Trump could qualify, as long as congressional Republicans changed their own guidelines?

    Politics professor Todd Landman, of the University of Nottingham, told Newsweek that while it’s possible to change the rules, this would not be without risk for the GOP…”