Updated: Rudderless Republicans: Day 3

Ready… Aim… Fire!

[We’re going to keep this on top and update it throughout the day —we did that yesterday and it seemed popular with the community. Fresher posts —if any!— will be below. —The Management]

The only thing humilation-fetishist K-Mac has won over the past three days was the motion to adjourn last night, and he only barely won that. Wouldn’t it be easier and cheaper for him to hire a good dom dungeon master like the rest of the GOP?

We still wonder why this singular, untalented hack wants this job. Vanity Fair:

Why does McCarthy keep losing his bid for the top job, over and over and over again, in a scene the writers of VEEP probably tossed around and then scrapped for being too absurd? It’s thanks to a group of GOP holdouts known as the House Freedom Caucus, which wants more power for the ultra-right and less power for the Speaker, who they want make it easier to fire. This might lead you to believe that, unappealing as he may be, McCarthy—who lied about January 6 to help Trump, has allowed GOP lawmakers to get away with disgraceful behavior, and is generally a shameless hack—is the least bad candidate for the job. But as New York’s Ed Kilgore notes, McCarthy “is only barely better than his GOP enemies…Yes, the rebels’ demands to change the House rules to give them more of a grip on the wheel might have consequences down the road for governance of the people’s chamber. But it won’t have much real-life significance.” The one exception re: both sides being basically equally terrible might be the Freedom Caucus’s willingness to play chicken with the debt limit and potentially plunge the economy into depression for political theater. But when it comes down to it, we’re effectively looking at a choice between loathsome and a tad more loathsome.

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie) email thingie says that K-Mac has capitulated to ALL of the MAGA caucus demands:

NEW CONCESSIONS ON THE TABLE: Here’s what’s being discussed, according to one well-placed source familiar with these talks. And, keep in mind, negotiations are ongoing and fluid:

  • A one-member “motion to vacate”: The GOP leader appears to have finally acquiesced to a demand to lower the threshold needed to force a vote ousting a speaker to just one member. While McCarthy originally indicated that restoring the one-member “motion to vacate” was a red line, his allies now argue that there’s not a huge practical difference between this and his previous offer of requiring five members to trigger the vote.
  • Rules Committee seats for the Freedom Caucus: McCarthy is prepared to give the House Freedom Caucus two seats on the powerful House Rules Committee, which oversees the amendment process for the floor. (Some conservatives are still holding out for four seats on the panel.) There are also talks about giving a third seat to a conservative close to the Freedom Caucus but not in it — someone like Reps. THOMAS MASSIE (R-Ky.). Who will pick those members? We’re told there is ongoing haggling. Typically, it’s the speaker’s prerogative, but conservatives want to choose their own members for these jobs.
  • A vote on term limits: This is a key demand of Rep. RALPH NORMAN(R-S.C.), who has proposed a constitutional amendment limiting lawmakers to three terms in the House.
  • Major changes to the appropriations process: Fears of another trillion-plus-dollar omnibus spending bill have been a major driver of the conservative backlash to McCarthy. The brewing deal includes a promise for standalone votes on each of the 12 yearly appropriations bills, which would be considered under what is known as an “open rule,” allowing floor amendments to be offered by any lawmaker. Conservatives also won a concession to carve out any earmarks included in those packages for separate votes, though it’s unclear if they’d be voted on as one package or separately.

And then this:

Rep. Warren Davidson (OH), one of the six tools who nominated K-Mac over the past days:

“The reality is, there are some people who, in their estimation, there’s no way they’re going to be able to support Kevin McCarthy,” he said, adding that some others who could be persuaded also “hardened up” to oppose.

“I think the number that will never vote for Kevin McCarthy is more than four,” he added.

Fun fact: that K-Mac’s political action committee has bribed put more than $300,000 Ameros into the pockets of 17 of the 20 members of his caucus who are now blocking him. Twelve of those members received money from his PAC last year. I remember the good old days when politicians stayed bought. Whatever happened to professional courtesy?

Chris Krueger of Cowen Washington Research Group points out that picking a speaker “is arguably the easiest vote of the Congress; it only gets harder from here.”

The antics of the Rudderless Republican is a gift to Democrats, who can sit back with popcorn and watch the GQP caucus expose the entire Republican Party as unconcerned with Americans, unserious about governing, and in thrall to a dangerous fascist movement.

We’ll pick up later when the Rudderless Republicans continue negotiating their hostage crisis.

UPDATE 1: K-Mac speaks! “Keep your expectations tiny and you won’t go through life being so whiny” —Life in Hell.

UPDATE 2: K-Mac has lost vote #7.  The final numbers in a moment, but they are heading to vote #8. I wonder if they are tired of so much winning yet? Oh, BTW Matt Gaetz voted for Hair Füror to be Speaker.

Preliminary numbers:

Update 3: they’ve gone into the 8th round of voting. So far nothing looks different, except I’m losing my will to live. K-Mac has already lost #8.

UPDATE 4: I ran errands returned and it looks like K-Mac (who is very bad at his job) has now lost Vote #10.

The observant amongst us will note that K-Mac’s vote totals are going down.

Hakeem Jeffries – 212
Kevin McCarthy – 200
Byron Donalds – 13
Kevin Hern – 7
Other – 0
Present – 1

And yes, K-Mac just got nominated for the 11th round.

What will get us out of this terrible remake of Groundhog day?

K-Mac can:

  • offer deals to try to flip the 21 holdouts. Haha, I jest. He’s been trying: the holdouts ain’t dealing.
  • offer a deal to Democrats to get their votes (or abstentions) to give him the majority.
  • change the House rules to allow for a plurality vote. Fun Fact: this could elect Rep. Jeffries to become speaker.
  • drop out of the race.

If there’s another option, I don’t know what it is.

UPDATE 5: Kevin-11 loses again. Final numbers in a bit.

We don’t know yet if there will be a 12th vote, but we do know that the Dems could block the House from going into recess.

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35 Responses to Updated: Rudderless Republicans: Day 3

  1. roket says:

    This is what happens when you negotiate with terrorists.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Annnd twitter is filling up with the likes of these tweets. Murc’s law remains a harsh and unforgiving mistress:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jimmy T says:

    The Dems should keep their powder dry, but the irony is that Hakeem Jeffries gets a higher vote total than K-Mac every time. Maybe the Dems could negotiate with the saner Republicans to make Hakeem Jeffries the Speaker of the House…

    Liked by 2 people

    • MDavis says:

      He needs just five votes to take it. Don’t the democrats have a whip? Can’t they convince just five Republicans that it would be better for their party to end this cluster?


      • Katherine Clark (D-MA) is the Dem whip. It’s not for the Dems to convince any R’s to do anything. The ball is totally in the Rs’ court.


      • MDavis says:

        Come on, no poaching? Really?
        If the gavel was on the other foot, Repubs would try to whip D votes in a heartbeat. Or at least by, say, vote number four.

        Those Dems in Disarray wouldn’t be facing this, though. This one is the new Republicans all the way.


  4. gruaud says:

    As long as we’re wishing, someone should nominate Michelle Obama as Speaker.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Mike B. says:

    Gaetz voted for Trump for speaker.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. So when K-Mac promises the entire store to the 9% of crazies, shackling 91% of the caucus (and Congress and the rest of the country ) to the nihilist MAGA suicide bomber agenda against their will….what do they do?

    Meekly go along and strap on the explosive vests like good little nazis?

    1000 quatloos they do…

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Maggie Haberman’s take: Kevin McCarthy does not meet the 218 vote threshold for the 8th time – how this hurts the Democrats and Biden in 2024

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jimmy T says:

    Found this on twitter seems apropos…

    Liked by 3 people

  9. glitterbug says:

    I read somewhere I forget:

    “So the Republicans finally have an election they can run over and over and over again and they still can’t win it” Ha!

    Liked by 6 people

  10. ming says:

    Alexandria Petri of the Washington Post has the perfect take on this shitshow. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2023/01/04/kevin-mccarthy-house-speaker-election-satire/. Digby reposted it at https://digbysblog.net/2023/01/05/still-waiting/ if you can’t read it behind the paywall.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gift link to it…(I get the .edu discount for Wapo…)


      Liked by 2 people

    • Redhand says:

      Petri’s article reminds me of a great Chris Rock joke from years ago (before the slap heard round the world). It went like something like this:

      “I saw on the TV that this black brother down in South Carolina was suing his employer, Cracker Barrel Restaurant, for racial discrimination. All I could think of was, ‘Well, what do you expect from a place called CRACKER Barrel?'”

      Liked by 1 person

    • MDavis says:

      Digby touches on the notorious habit Repubs have of negotiating in bad faith. KMac should know who he’s dealing with, I am surprised to read that he is reportedly cutting deals with a bunch of deal breakers. He really should know better.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. gruaud says:

    Kevin McCarthy is so stupid that he thinks Fleetwood Mac is a sandwich at McDonalds.

    Liked by 4 people

  12. Mike B. says:

    He’s lost round 10 and we’re only in the Cs. I started watching this out of boredom, but this is so boring I’m going to have to find something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. purplehead says:

    Really something to see the Dems holding together for so long. Makes me nervous, though, that someone will cave.

    Liked by 1 person

    • MDavis says:

      Come on, no poaching? Really?
      If the gavel was on the other foot, Repubs would try to whip D votes in a heartbeat. Or at least by, say, vote number four.

      Those Dems in Disarray wouldn’t be facing this, though. This one is the new Republicans all the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. gruaud says:

    I wonder what is left for Neville McCarthy to concede at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Punctuated_Equilibrium says:

    I’ll take “Einsteinian Wisdom” for 200 please, Alex.
    Answer: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

    Liked by 1 person

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