Somewhere, Aaron Sorkin is Smiling (K-Mac is really bad at his job, cont.)

K-Mac’s Political Machine Hard At Work

Here’s something that isn’t going to happen: a unity Speaker of the House. West Wing fetishists really need to sit the eff  down and shut the eff up.

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie gets to brass tacks:

1. You would need to convince nearly every Democrat to vote for a Republican speaker. We could only find one instance in recent history where a lawmaker backed a leader from the opposite party: In 2001, the late Rep. JAMES TRAFICANT (D-Ohio) voted for Rep. DENNIS HASTERT (R-Ill.). Democrats immediately stripped Traficant of his committees in what would be the beginning of a parade of horribles for the colorful Youngstowner, culminating in his conviction on federal corruption charges and his expulsion from the House in 2002.

These days, the partisan divide on the Hill is even more pronounced.And for many Democrats, a newly muscular left could make it hard to justify voting for any Republican to lead the House. “It’s primary bait,” one senior Democratic aide told us Sunday night.

Incoming Minority Leader HAKEEM JEFFRIES dismissed the idea in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” last weekend, and most Democrats we spoke to are refusing to even weigh in on this idea on record. If they won’t even talk about this speculatively, how can you expect them to call out a Republican’s name during the Jan. 3 roll call?

2. There’s no real back channel trying to make this happen. Moderate Republicans needed to be laying the groundwork yesterday to convince like-minded Democrats that the political risk is worth taking. But we hear from lawmakers that those conversations aren’t happening.

One Democrat told us they approached Problem Solvers Caucus leader JOSH GOTTHEIMER to gauge how serious that chatter was, and the New Jersey Democrat downplayed the idea right away. Upton, we’re told, has also panned this notion privately. If that group of centrist members isn’t engaging, it’s hard to imagine other Democrats following suit.

3. Democrats would want something in return for electing a GOP speaker. Rep. RO KHANNA (D-Calif.), for instance, told Fox News last weekthat he’d want Democrats to have equal subpoena authority. Other Democrats could reasonably demand committee chairmanships, promises not to impeach Biden or other administration officials or other plums.

4. Centrist Republicans would also be at political risk. Working with Democrats to elect a speaker chosen mostly by the other party is a surefire recipe for a primary challenge — even if the deal didn’t come with the kinds of governing concessions that Khanna and others are discussing.

“Look, Don Bacon is not going to go back to Nebraska and explain why he was only one of fewer than 10 Republicans to vote for a Democrat-majority-chosen speaker,” one conservative aide told Playbook. “I’ll eat my hat.” And finally …

5. Democrats want to see the GOP squirm. As one Democratic lawmaker gleefully told us last week, “Get the popcorn ready on Jan. 3.” The party abhors McCarthy and can’t wait to see him and House Republicans flounder, arguing that they are reaping what they’ve long sown. No Democrat is leaping at the opportunity to short-circuit what could be days, if not weeks of GOP drama.

NOW THAT’S NOT TO SAY all this “unity speaker” talk is pointless. There’s a reason why McCarthy allies have been promoting it as though it were a real possibility; the thinking is that such a threat could scare conservatives who oppose McCarthy into submission by threatening them with the possibility of a Democrat-blessed, even-less-palatable leader. But conservatives we’ve spoken to say they’re not buying it.

To be sure, crazier things have happened in Washington, and, as one lawmaker said to us, if McCarthy still can’t get the gavel after multiple votes on Jan. 3, all bets are off. But at this point the idea of a “unity speaker” seems no more realistic than a Speaker ANDY BIGGS (R-Ariz.).

Republicans gotta dance with them whut brung them, and their crazy caucus is their own problem to solve. Quit asking Democrats to rescue you!

But this is even more proof for our pudding: K-Mac is really bad at his job.

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5 Responses to Somewhere, Aaron Sorkin is Smiling (K-Mac is really bad at his job, cont.)

  1. RevZafod says:

    $till, McCarthy could likely $wing a vote from $enator $inema in return for the right incentive$.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. roket says:

    Please define Unity Speaker. Is that similar to a Shroedingers cat?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. w3ski4me says:

    Someone once proposed The Cheetolini as speaker. Except that he should be in Prison soon, that would be a real laugh. He doesn’t have any idea of the processes and only wants money in his palm. They deserve a party leader like him. Take a number and have payment ready. And then, constantly whining about how his precious was stolen. Just a thought.
    w3ski

    Liked by 1 person

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