Maybe the United States House of Representatives doesn’t really need a Speaker of the House.
Maybe the members all know something that the rest of us don’t because we are now into the second week of a speakerless house, and there seems to be no rush to get somebody the gavel to replace Kevin McCarthy.
Speaking of Kevin, if you turn your head and face the east you can hear in the wind his soft laughing that it wasn’t really him after all was it?
When Speaker Pro tem Patrick Henry moments ago slammed down the gavel in frustration to end the second attempt to install Jim Jordan of Ohio as Speaker, it signaled the beginning of a full-fledged Grudge Match among House Republicans.
My colleague Teri Christoph may have had a crystal ball earlier when she wrote this piece Jim Jordan May Not Become the Next Speaker, So What’s Next?
From that article…
There doesn’t seem to be a lot of “Jim-mentum” going into today’s second vote for Speaker of the House.
As we reported yesterday, Jim Jordan fell short of the 217 votes needed to secure the speaker’s gavel, with twenty members of the GOP conference peeling off and casting their votes for other Republicans. Former speaker Kevin McCarthy received a few votes, as did Steve Scalise, who dropped out of the speaker’s race last week, but now doesn’t seem inclined to help Jordan get the votes needed to win.
Some of the anti-Jordan faction of the House GOP made their feelings abundantly clear following yesterday’s vote. Rep. Victoria Spartz (R-IN), who is not running for reelection and is perhaps feeling free to stir up some chaos, tweeted this after casting her vote for Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY):
Jordan has to be held to the same standard as McCarthy and Scalise were – we cannot be hypocrites and allow tyranny.— Rep. Victoria Spartz (@RepSpartz) October 17, 2023
It was disrespectful of Jim to force members to a floor vote leading to attacks by our base without conference deliberation first and also not wise in a tight…
Maybe calling for a vote to vacate the Speaker Chair without a clear-cut plan was not as smooth a move as taking Ex-Lax when you’re constipated as some thought. Because now it seems that a personality conflict between Kevin McCarthy and Matt Gaetz has spilled out into a bunch of simmering conflicts that the vast majority of us who are political junkies did not know about.
How else do you explain that Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan both received fewer votes from their own caucus than Kevin McCarthy did when he was booted two weeks ago?
Hell of a time for some ax-grinding, I got to tell you that.
Inherently I have no issue with what is being done right now in the House of Representatives and, furthermore, how Kevin McCarthy was originally picked as Speaker back in January with 15 ballots to finally get him the gavel. Gridlock and angst were part of the Founders’ plan for all three branches of the United States government. Going a bit further, the House and the Senate were always supposed to be at each other’s throats, neither allowing one to be more powerful than the other.
We are actually watching right now the Founders’ dream come true.
Yet there is a hitch, being there is always a bit of a hitch.
As I wrote here last week (Get Ready to Hate Whoever the Next Speaker Is);
Let me start this post by asking people to start working on two things as we move forward through these, shall I say, interesting times.
We all need to become better students of history and become rigorous critical thinkers. Set aside the tribal emotional vapid arguments that so many people get sucked into and actually question people and their actions vigorously. If it sounds too good to be true and it rolls off the tongue too easily, lean into your questioning of it even harder than you previously had been.
I start my post off with that because I’m going to bring up some things here that I want you, the reader, to question what I’m saying with that type of curious and enlivened passion.
I don’t have any problem at all with the House of Representatives or the Senate removing or adding somebody from leadership in their individual bodies. That happens in the private sector all the time, and at one time or another, we have all bemoan the fact that government does not work as efficiently as the private sector.
The one thing I question, though is the timing.
The same people could have prevented Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker back in January. Setting the tone at the beginning of a 2-year cycle is different than changing horses in the middle of the stream with 13 months to go until a national election.
The fight is not the issue to me, but the timing of the fight, which might not be as ideal as some had hoped.
Part of the stated issue for the jettison of Kevin McCarthy was that he capitulated to some stuff (that the next Speaker will be forced to do also) to get a temporary spending bill passed. Well, now that the November 17th deadline is only 30 days away and we still have no leader of the House to start negotiations, you can hopefully see my point about timing.
Sure seems to me that the people who have the original problem with McCarthy and could be considered a minority of the majority are now being out-maneuvered by a larger minority of the majority.
Do some people find this embarrassing? I’m sure they do.
However, I’m going to revel in the moment that the Article One, bicameral side, elected-every-two-years branch of the United States government is actually throwing wrenches in their own system that, if successful, could help the United States long term.
Now, of course, I could go all contrarian and actually make the argument that the time for this to happen was long past and the country hopelessly screwed, but I’m trying to look on the sunny side of things. We have wars raging all over the world, and this is just West Wing or House of Cards drama in real life for we American people to enjoy.
However this grudge match ends up, I hope the (newish) Speaker of the House enjoys his/her time in the chair and enjoys the view.
They most likely won’t be there long with this rowdy, roddy caucus.
Let me know what you think by clicking on my BIO right here or scrolling down a bit and letting me know what you think in the Comments. You can reach me on Facebook, X (The Platform Formerly Known as Twitter), or my email address. I have no fear of listening and or reading people with whom I do not see eye to eye.