The Republican Party appears to be hell bent on confirming all of the worst speculation that the American people had about how a GOP majority would govern if they were given the opportunity. The very first and most basic task of a new session in the House of Representatives is to elect the Speaker. But Republicans are predictably failing that test miserably.
On Tuesday, after three attempts, Kevin McCarthy fell short of the majority of votes needed to become Speaker of the House. Then on Wednesday he lost again on the fourth, fifth, and sixth votes. However, there was one difference that some members of the Republican Party may have thought would help McCarthy get over the finish line.
Prior to the votes on Tuesday, Donald Trump had said nothing about the Speaker’s race. In fact, he spent his day disgorging outrage over his having lost the the 2020 presidential election, and repeating his tedious and fallacious allegations of election fraud.
On Wednesday morning, however, Trump finally addressed the Speaker’s election and pleaded with his fellow Republicans to vote for McCarthy. But true to form, his endorsement was a madcap mess of all-caps blather that didn’t cite a single reason why McCarthy should be Speaker. Trump wrote that…
“Some really good conversations took place last night, and it’s now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT’S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB – JUST WATCH!”
Apparently those “really good conversations” had zero effect on the GOP House members who have been voting against McCarthy. He didn’t sway a single vote. This is more evidence that Trump’s influence as a Republican leader and wannabe kingmaker has devolved into his being an impotent figurehead who no one is listening to.
What’s more, Trump’s endorsement is, as usual, a feast of lies and petty partisanship. To begin with, a McCarthy victory wouldn’t result in Nancy Pelosi being sent “BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA.” She remains a revered and historically significant member of Congress. And she is serving a state with a strong economy (the fifth largest in the world if it were a country), a budget surplus, and a popular governor, Gavin Newsom, who just won reelection in a landslide.
Also, Trump’s history is typically mangled. Pelosi was not “THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE ‘HOUSE’ TWICE.” Sam Rayburn did so in the 1940’s and 1950’s. What Trump neglects to mention is that Pelosi also gained the House and the Speaker’s post twice. And she never lost a vote for Speaker by her caucus, which McCarthy has now done six times.
Trump is also warning Republicans against turning a “GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT.” But the current GOP majority is one of the smallest ever. And that was after Republicans had promised a massive “red wave” in the November 2022 election. In other words, contrary to being a triumph, it was an epic embarrassment for the GOP, who even lost a seat in the Senate. And that was mostly due to Trump himself.
The chaos unfolding in the House at the hands of the new Republican majority is pretty much what everyone expected. They are a party that brags about how much they hate government. Then, when they have some measure of authority, they screw things up just to prove their point.
As for Trump, the reputed leader of the GOP, and prospective nominee for president in 2024, he is proving just how inconsequential he really is by not being able to move a single vote for his candidate for Speaker. Just as he was unable to produce votes back in November. The question is: When will the rest of Republican Party recognize that Trump is dead weight and let him drift off? If they were smart they would help to advance his prosecution for the many crimes he has committed and be rid of him. That’s a big “if.”
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