Kevin Can Wait (Rudderless Republicans, Day 4)

K-Mac’s Political Machine Hard At Work

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

We begin today’s festivities with the defining quote from the world’s greatest public humiliation fetishist man hisself, K-Mac:

Insight!

As we all know by now, K-Mac is very bad at his job, and if he is looking for a side hustle as a hostage negotiator, well…

Today is the second anniversary of the insurrection of the Capitol and many of K-Mac’s MAGA detractors also played a role that day.

Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!):

“A handful of Republicans who remained in the Jan. 6 committee’s sights throughout its investigation are now leading the effort to deny Kevin McCarthy the speakership — using their power to bring the House to a standstill.”

It’s a cliché that leaving the insurrectionists unpunished only means that they will try it again, and yet we can submit this Speaker debacle into evidence. I think that this insurrection vote is the other bookend to the other insurrection.

From TBotP morning email thingie:

Yesterday, as McCarthy continued to try to land a deal with his critics, we spoke to a bunch of Republicans on background in the Capitol. We consistently heard four main issues fueling the growing frustration among McCarthy’s supporters:

1. Changes to rules and policy:Some members are privately angry that McCarthy is empowering hard-liners with rules changes to the point that they worry it will be difficult, if not impossible, to govern. There’s also concern about policy commitments he’s considering for the far right, including a vote on steep budget cuts that defense hawks will never swallow.

2. Committee deal-sweeteners:Many Republicans are fed up with his apparent willingness to hand plum committee posts to his detractors — especially, talk of possibly awarding them gavels. Some senior members have “forcefully” warned McCarthy not to go there, as our colleague Sarah Ferris scooped on Thursday evening. In fact, late last night, we heard a group of Appropriations cardinals huddled in a room off the House floor with panel Chair KAY GRANGER (R-Texas), pressing her about whether McCarthy would truly allow someone like Rep. ANDY HARRIS (R-Md.) to lead the Labor-HHS subcommittee.

“That’s not going to happen,” Granger assured them, arguing that Harris, a McCarthy foe, would need to earn his way up the ladder, just as they all had. We’re told McCarthy’s staff later assured some of these folks that he won’t be handing out gavels to his detractors. But whether that’s enough to hold his coalition intact for much longer is yet to be determined.

3. The lack of a clear path to victory: A third group just wants to know whether there is still a path for McCarthy to succeed, because after three long days, hours of negotiations and round after round of failed votes, they don’t see it.

4. The human factor: Some, like the members mentioned above, are facing personal and familial struggles as they’re trapped in Washington indefinitely since McCarthy needs every last one of their votes due to the GOP’s narrow majority.

The WaPo:

At some point, McCarthy’s GOP backers need to ask themselves how much they’re willing to entertain this strategy before it goes too far for them. That’s because McCarthy’s concessions could not just negatively impact them and their vision for the House, but it makes it more likely that even a speaker not named McCarthy would have to match them.

The ghost of ¡JEB! was a highlight for me:

We will close out with an observation from the comedy duo of President Handsome Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris:

[Updates and observations as they come in, below. The Death March begins at 9AM Pacific. ]


UPDATE 1: Twelfth Vote: Good lord, K-Mac is getting closer—he only lost by 3 votes! What did he trade away?

Tiger Beat:

McCarthy flipped 14 votes: Reps. DAN BISHOP (R-N.C.), MICHAEL CLOUD (R-Texas), ANDREW CLYDE (R-Ga.), BYRON DONALDS (R-Fla.), PAUL GOSAR (R-Ariz.), MARY MILLER (R-Ill.), RALPH NORMAN (R-S.C.), SCOTT PERRY (R-Pa.), CHIP ROY (R-Texas) and VICTORIA SPARTZ (R-Ind.) and Reps.-elect JOSH BRECHEEN (R-Okla.), ANNA PAULINA LUNA (R-Fla.), ANDY OGLES (R-Tenn.) and KEITH SELF (R-Texas) all voted for him. Seven Republican dissenters still voted against McCarthy. But that’s major progress for the man already occupying the speaker’s suite. Norman and Perry were considered some of the hardest nuts to crack.

Several  Republicans are not in the Capitol for family emergency reasons, they might return later?

  • Rep.-elect WESLEY HUNT (R-Texas), who’s voted for McCarthy, is returning home after his wife, who just gave birth, went back to the hospital with non-life-threatening complications.
  • Rep. KEN BUCK (R-Colo.), another McCarthy backer, is expected to get back to D.C. today.
  • Rep. DAVID TRONE (D-Md.) is out today for surgery, but he’s returning later?

Anyway, K-Mac needs only 216 while they are gone, per C-Span.

Official numbers in a moment.

  • K-Mac: 213
  • Jeffries: 211
  • Hern: 3
  • Jordan: 4
  • Others: 0
  • Present: 0

The remaining Republican holdouts: Biggs, Boebert, Crane, Gaetz, Good, Harris and Rosendale. (H/T James and the Awful Truth on Mastodon)

The 13th Vote ensues.

UPDATE: 2 Looks like K-Mac has lost the Lucky 13 already if all he needs is 3 more votes:

He’s now lost 5 votes, so 13 is not his lucky number.

Trone just returned and voted for Jeffries.

Unofficial numbers:

The Never Kevins lost Scott Perry, leader of the Freedom Caucus, and a literal insurrection planner who had his phone taken by the FBI. And Chip Roy.

While we are waiting for official numbers, some excellent commentary from The Bulwark:

And here is the essential, foundational problem: This fight over the speaker’s gavel is exactly what every important vote in the House over the next two years is going to look like. The speaker’s fight is the debt ceiling fight is the budget fight is the Ukraine aid fight.

Meaning: One half of the federal legislature will be mostly non-functional for the next two years.

The numbers above are confirmed.

UPDATE 3: There is a motion to adjourn until 10PM Eastern tonight, presumably because K-Mac’s supporters Buck and Hunt will return to DC. It looks like it will pass.

Motion passes 220 — 212.

That’s a wrap until tonight. Ugh.

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12 Responses to Kevin Can Wait (Rudderless Republicans, Day 4)

  1. skinnydennis says:

    RE: Wasson tweet.
    K-Mac, example of self-inflicted Peter Principle victim.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. At this point, it will be soooo satisfying and karmic for the Insane Republiclown Posse to finally get to ‘Aye’ on McCarthy, only to have the necessary number of the Slightly Less Insane Republiclown Majority vote ‘Present’ and the Dems vote in Jeffries as Speaker.

    And then they get this:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ali redford says:

    Something tells me that this show could be more apropo for Kevin than the one in the title .. Kevin Can F*** Himself didn’t seem to last as long as this session of the US House seems to be lasting, even though the show was more entertaining (if one is into dark humor.)
    https://www.amc.com/shows/kevin-can-fk-himself–1010185

    Liked by 3 people

  4. purplehead says:

    13th vote ensues. Who there is triskaidekaphobic, I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gruaud says:

    Adjournment vote underway.

    Not too late for McCarthy to open up a concession stand in the House!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Mike B. says:

    I don’t see the logic of the Bulwark’s comment, but I’m not going to pay to watch the podcast. On raising the debt ceiling, the Democrats will be in favor, so it’ll only take a few Republicans for it to pass. Did K-Mac agree not to allow votes without a majority of the GOP in favor? If so, he should break his promise (and a lot of his other promises). It’s not like a Republican lying is unheard of.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Redhand says:

    What a bad joke the GQP is. I do harbor some hope that certain members of the Sedition Caucus get indicted. That really should happen, IMO. They add an extra element of illegitimacy to the GQP “majority” there now.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gruaud says:

    Ok, now the House can get down to the really important business: defaulting on the debt ceiling.

    Like

  9. Richard says:

    It is because they just love being republican politicians in washington dc. It takes a special kind of young man to do this. The time they finally get there, they are not young anymore. They look like Kevin McCarthy or even worse, the rest of them. They are always looking in the mirror. Why didn’t they learn anything? We have a lot to learn! They are aware of their difficiencies, but they don’t want to recognise them. Dangerous christo-republican neo-con dangerous idiots is what i call them. In my other language, they are idiots, and we just do the best we can.

    Like

  10. Richard says:

    They are such liars! Everysingle fuckingday i wake up to more news from these privileged republican children.
    Let me tell you about how we used to wipe our ass, back in the old days, back when we saved certain corncobs. They were saved for softness and absorvency.
    Some smart-ass suggested- why don’t we just take a bunch of republican scalps and why dont we just use that?

    We talked about it. It was a funny thought . Of course we would never do that. But it was funny. Laughter turns to tears. No way could that work. I will not wipe my ass with a republican. They are too greasy, and i would never feel clean.

    Like

  11. Richard says:

    Oh good news. Heard that they got their shit together and settled on Kevin McCarthy. Fuck these people. Where do you want to live?

    Like

  12. Pingback: Why the Shambolic Mess of a McCarthy’s Speaker Debacle is Good News for our Democracy – The Psy of Life

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