Steve, we hardly knew ye

It appears that winning the majority of votes for speaker within the Republican conference by a margin of 113-99 and then being endorsed by his rival Jim Jordan was not enough for Steve Scalise to get 217 votes (from the total of 221 Republicans) to enable him to become speaker. There were enough hard ‘no’s to force him to withdraw his name from further consideration. The House adjourned last evening and it is not clear when it will meet again to try and get this essential piece of business done.

Here are some of the people who are opposed to Scalise.

Notice that fabulist George Santos is listed under the Scalise opponents who is also ‘big mad’ and would not vote for Scalise. What is he mad about?

Rep. George Santos threw a temper tantrum and vowed not to support Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise for speaker of the House because the fellow Republican failed to call and ask for his support.

With two criminal cases filed and an expulsion effort looming, Santos opted to go on the offensive by warning he won’t back Scalise unless the GOP nominee for speaker kisses his ring.

The embattled Long Island Republican said he was irked that Scalise did not make a personal pitch for his support in the speaker fight and hasn’t reached out at all since he took office.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that my VOTE doesn’t matter to him,” Santos said late Wednesday.

“I’m now declaring I’m an ANYONE but Scalise, and come hell or high water I won’t change my mind,” Santos added.

Unlike other Republican holdouts, Santos didn’t make any political or policy demands.

I think that Santos was hoping to make a deal with Scalise, that he would vote for him if Scalise would protect him from moves to expel him from Congress. A handful of Republican congresspersons from New York have vowed to introduce a resolution to expel Santos once the House gets back to business. That requires, of course, for a speaker to be elected and so it is in Santos’s interest to make sure that does not happen.

Jim Jordan is now considering re-entering the race. Kevin McCarthy might even be re-nominated by his die-hard supporters who are still livid over his ouster. And, God help us, some people are once again floating the idea of nominating serial sex abuser Donald Trump (SSAT) for the position.When SSAT’s name was floated earlier, he initially seemed receptive but then changed his mind. It is suggested that that reversal may be because he learned that while the vote would be by secret ballot, the results would be public, and he feared that he would be humiliated if he not only lost but got just a handful of votes.

This is the kind of situation where one hopes that at some point, people realize that they have to put aside their petty grievances and get behind some person whom they trust at least somewhat to lead them. The problem is that petty grievances are precisely what drives some of these people. You can hope to negotiate over policy differences. It is hard to negotiate with someone whose main position is “I hate you! I hate you! And I want to bring the whole system crashing down!”


  1. sonofrojblake says

    I may be being naive or ignorant -- but is it beyond the Dems to turn just a handful of Reps and get a Dem elected speaker?

  2. Bruce says

    Santos is the one Representative who most doesn’t want anyone for Speaker. So of course, the Republicans should elect HIM as Speaker.
    Otherwise, a Speaker can only be elected by Dems who vote for a Republican who isn’t running for reelection.

  3. says

    @2 sonofrojblake
    Yes, it is “beyond the Dems to turn just a handful of Repubs…” But this not the fault of the Dems, per se. You have to understand that, in today’s political climate, asking a Repub politician to vote for a Dem would be like me asking you to jam large knitting needles into both of your eyes. Many Repubs believe that Dems literally are demons. Heck, it’s the first three letters. What more proof do you need?

  4. ardipithecus says

    Why does everyone go on as if the MAGA crowd in Congress is failing. They are getting exactly what they wanted -- the paralyzation of government.

  5. JM says
    Jim Jordan gets the second shot at winning the speaker position. Not a surprise but the vote was contested and it is by no means clear the Jordan can win either.
    Jordan gave a pep talk like it was a done deal but even among the Maga Republicans he isn’t really popular. The amazingly bad job he has done running the Biden investigation has to make all of the Republicans worry about his ability to manage the job.
    A group of Democratic centrists have put forth a proposal that gives more power to the temporary speaker so that basic functions can move. Primarily aimed at getting the budget bills moving and aid to Ukraine and Israel passed. If Jordan can’t secure the position of speaker this may get some consideration. It doesn’t require as much compromise by either side and a very short duration can be written into it. There will be some complex back room dealings over this because the Democrats will have to get something out of it to secure enough votes.

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