McCarthy loyalist Republicans lash out

After the drama over Kevin McCarthy’s ouster as speaker, the House has adjourned and will meet next Tuesday where the Republicans will meet for a candidate forum and begin voting for the next speaker on Wednesday. This Republican debacle is going to have ripple effects for some time. As is often the case after a humiliating experience like this, the people who come out of it looking bad try to pin the blame on others for their own mistakes and faults. In this case, the reason for the chaos is that the Republican party has ceased to be a party in the traditional sense but is now dominated by angry, unprincipled, attention-craving egomaniacs who have sworn their allegiance to an increasingly deranged cult leader.

For example, we have McCarthy blaming Democrats and former speaker Nancy Pelosi for his downfall, saying that they should have supported him “for institutional reasons”.

McCarthy blamed Democrats for his ouster as speaker — arguing that they should have supported his remaining in the top role for institutional reasons.

McCarthy said he had a discussion with former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the days he was trying to wrangle enough votes to get elected speaker. McCarthy claimed that Pelosi promised to support him if he faced a challenge.

McCarthy then argued that by joining Gaetz and other Republicans, Democrats picked politics over the institution.

He also criticized the small-mindedness of the eight Republicans who voted to oust him.

The ousted speaker briefly referred to the eight hard-right Republicans who joined 208 Democrats to remove him from his post, saying: “This country is too great for small visions of those eight.”

“I’m not quite sure those individuals are looking to be productive,” he said, and also: “They don’t get to say they’re conservative because they’re angry and chaotic.”

But he saved his harshest criticism for the Democrats, who he blamed for the day’s events. “I think today was a political decision by the Democrats. And I think the things they have done in the past hurt the institution,” he said.

This lofty rhetoric of protecting the institution is really rich since McCarthy went eagerly along with serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT), the MAGA cult, and the extremist Republicans in Congress to trash as many institutions as they could in their efforts to hold on to power and promote all SSAT’s lies.

After his ouster, McCarthy said that he will not try to regain his speakership, no doubt not wishing to once again go through the 15 rounds of voting it took to win the position last time. That leaves an opening for MAGA cultist Texas congressman Troy E. Nehls to announce that he is going to nominate SSAT for speaker. (Oddly, the rules do not specify that the speaker has to be an elected member of the House.) That will be fun. If he does nominate him, and SSAT accepts the nomination, he will likely win and the House will become even more of a circus than it is currently, if you can imagine it.

SSAT has not said anything yet about McCarthy’s ouster, maybe because he has his own problems with the fraud case that he and his sons are on trial for in New York.

As a result of this humiliation, Republicans are lashing out in pique. Patrick McHenry, the pro tempore speaker who took over from McCarthy and who looks like he wants to be George Will when he grows up, ordered Nancy Pelosi to immediately remove, her belongings from the courtesy office that she was given as a former speaker.

As one of his first acts as the acting speaker, Rep. Patrick McHenry ordered former Speaker Nancy Pelosi to vacate her Capitol hideaway office by Wednesday, according to an email sent to her office viewed by POLITICO.

“Please vacate the space tomorrow, the room will be re-keyed,” wrote a top aide on the Republican-controlled House Administration Committee. The room was being reassigned by the acting speaker “for speaker office use,” the email said.

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ staff helped Pelosi’s office make the move, according to a spokesperson for the former speaker. Here’s an image from outside the office at around 8 p.m. as staff were spotted packing up:

The former speaker blasted the eviction in a statement as “a sharp departure from tradition,” adding that she had given former Speaker Dennis Hastert “a significantly larger suite of offices for as long as he wished” during her tenure.

What makes McHenry’s actions even more churlish is that he knew Pelosi was in San Francisco for the funeral of Diane Feinstein and was not present for the votes, so that she could not supervise the moving of her office effects.

On the positive side, there is the collateral damage to the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus that consists of conservative Democrats and Republicans. The Republicans in that group are angry that the Democrats did not vote to save McCarthy and are threatening to leave the group. I will shed no tears over this breakup since this group is like the ‘No Labels’ movement that talks a high-minded language of being beyond partisan politics but actually seeks to move the Democratic party more to the right.

What’s not clear is what the GOP is going to do about Matt Gaetz. They clearly hate him for his grandstanding and publicity-seeking and for what he has done to McCarthy and there are rumblings that they may seek to expel him from Congress.

The House GOP will move to expel Gaetz if the Ethics Committee finds him guilty, Fox News reported Sunday. Earlier this year, committee investigators reopened a probe into the Florida Republican for allegations of sexual misconduct, illegal drug use, and other wrongdoings.

Gaetz’s repeated threats to move to vacate McCarthy are apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back. “No one can stand him at this point,” a House Republican, speaking anonymously, told Fox. “A smart guy without morals.”

There seems to be bipartisan dislike of Gaetz.

Meanwhile, while all this is going on, it should not be forgotten that the next budget deadline is coming up on November 17 and whoever is the new speaker will have to deal with it. I expect that the Republicans will be so enmeshed in intra-party wrangling that they will do absolutely nothing about the budget until about a week before the deadline.


  1. says

    “No one can stand him (Gaetz) at this point,” a House Republican, speaking anonymously, told Fox.

    This reminds me of what Senator Franken said about Ted Cruz (paraphrasing):

    “Here’s the thing you have to understand about Ted: I like Ted Cruz more than most of my Senate colleagues like Ted Cruz…and I hate Ted Cruz.”

  2. says

    While one does not need to be a member of the House to be the Speaker, House Rules require that members of the leadership not be under felony indictment.

  3. mnb0 says

    “but is now dominated by …..”
    In a healthy political system the “normal” Republicans would have found a compromise with enough Democrats. That they voted with the Republican extremists confirms what I already wrote several years ago: the political system in the USA is bankrupt.

  4. jenorafeuer says

    Honestly, the fact that there are McCarthy ‘loyalists’ at all is a rather damning indictment of them, because McCarthy has long since demonstrated that he has no loyalty to anything other than staying in power, and he isn’t really all that good with the details of doing it. And it’s not as if this is news: back when McCarthy was putting himself forward for the job the first time people were commenting on how much work McCarthy was doing to get this position, and how obviously fragile it was because people like Gaetz think all collaboration is weakness.

    I said years ago back in University (after serving with the student Engineering Society and other internal political groups for a bit) that some people were obviously just looking for a small enough pond that they could be a big fish in it, and that they’d then defend their position all out of proportion to its actual value. (I’d later discover that I’d pretty much independently come up with something very similar to Sayre’s Law.)

    McCarthy reminds me of that sort of attitude on a larger scale. He’d decided that ‘Speaker of the House’ was the highest position he was ever going to be able to achieve, and spent pretty much all of the goodwill he might have had to make it happen for as long as he could.

    And he primarily got the job because it was an impossible job, what with the bomb-throwing parts of the Republican party effectively holding a veto, and nobody that might have been capable of pulling it off was stupid enough to want it.

  5. says

    McCarthy blamed Democrats for his ouster as speaker — arguing that they should have supported his remaining in the top role for institutional reasons.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA yeah right. I could just as plausibly argue that, when Republicans could no longer muster enough votes to support one of their own, they should have supported a Democratic alternative for “institutional reasons.” That would have at least kept the institution functioning. That’s the “institutional reasons” they’re talking about, right?

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Ragibg Bee @ 5
    You expect them to comprehend reciprocal altruism? Or have a time horizon beyond the next meal?

  7. says

    I said yesterday that SSAT’s legal problems might give him the willingness to become speaker, It seems Sean Hannity brought the idea up to Gym Jordan and per Hannity’s sources, SSAT is open to the idea (something Jordan didn’t want to hear because it seems like he wants the job himself).

  8. DonDueed says

    No doubt the Democrats will all vote for Jeffries, as they did during the McCarthy voting. If the Republicans stick to their own rules about no leadership position going to an indicted person, it’s hard to see how any Republican could win the Speakership.

    It would only take five R votes for Jeffries…

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