How The GOP's Civil War Turned Hot
Everybody is shooting at everybody else in the largest Mexican standoff in modern Republican history!
In the last few weeks, Andy Biggs and a group of GOP conservative representatives (including Matt Gaetz, Bob Goode, Matt Rosendale and Ralph Norman) have been providing a master class in leverage.
In order to become House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy needs their votes — and so, by threatening to withhold their votes, they have managed to drag Kevin McCarthy to the right in previously unimaginable ways.
McCarthy has been forced to make at least 6 pledges so far — ranging from removing Democrats from committee assignments to rolling back IRS funding — that he had never previously supported.
Do I think Kevin McCarthy was going to keep these promises? I do not. There’s plenty of GOP politicians who share that skepticism. Getting McCarthy to make promises is one thing — getting him to keep those promises is another thing entirely. As Matt Gaetz has explained: “Kevin McCarthy knows he will end up failing Republicans and caving to liberals. That’s why he opposes reinstating the motion to vacate, which was in place from 1801 to 2018. He wants to make sure conservatives can’t fix the problem once it’s too late.” Gaetz has made the case for rejecting McCarthy out of hand better than anyone.
McCarthy probably made those promises to prevent the revolt of House Freedom Caucus members from growing bigger. Still it was good to see McCarthy being forced to promise conservative members some policy victories — in between his nursing visits to the Frank Luntz Day Camp for OxyContin Lobbyists. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for example, is now supporting McCarthy for House Speaker — which has required extensive explanations on Twitter for people who remember MTG’s previous thoughts on McCarthy.
When Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert declined to share MTG’s new enthusiasm for McCarthy — well, let’s just say the knives came out.
In fact, MTG is now such an enthusiastic McCarthy supporter that she’s told some whoppers that you could frame in the Louvre.
Kevin McCarthy’s bid for House Speaker was a tense situation, and volatile. What nobody managed to anticipate was that Mitch McConnell and GOP Senate leadership would help to rush through the Democrats’ omnibus bill in the middle of this tense and volatile situation.
The omnibus bill would ham-string the GOP House for more than a year — a political disaster that has now created a much bigger fight between GOP House members and GOP Senate members.
Chip Roy took the lead in threatening the GOP Senate with blanket opposition if they voted along with Democrats to pass the omnibus bill: “…we are obliged to inform you that if any omnibus passes in the remaining days of this Congress, we will oppose and whip opposition to any legislative priority of those senators who vote for this bill…”
Kevin McCarthy was forced to back Chip Roy’s move: “Agreed. Except no need to whip—when I’m Speaker, their bills will be dead on arrival in the House if this nearly $2T monstrosity is allowed to move forward over our objections and the will of the American people.”
So, then, a total war in Congress — if GOP Senate leadership passed the omnibus bill.
That was two days ago.
Yesterday, Mitch McConnell and 20 other GOP senators voted to move ahead with the omnibus anyway.
A few GOP senators are disgusted with the bill — too few, of course.
Now compare that level of honesty with this greasy response by Sen. Kevin Cramer of South Dakota.
You see how this works? When GOP House Republicans use “that kind of rhetoric” (i.e. point out correctly that GOP Senate Republicans are collaborating with Democrats to neuter the incoming GOP House majority) then “statements like that are the very reason that some Senate Republicans feel they should probably spare them from the burden of having to govern.” Our Republican senators are adults — don’t you know! — while our Republican congressmen are children. This is a politician’s version of “heads, we win and tails, you lose.”
Now you know why Kevin Cramer avoids doing TV interviews generally.
Where does the rest of the GOP stand in this civil war? Well, as far as I can tell, President Trump is still whipping votes for McCarthy. Donald Trump Jr. is still whipping votes for McCarthy. MTG is still whipping votes for McCarthy. Steve Bannon, meanwhile, is telling Trump to whip against the omnibus bill.
Everyone’s mad at Ronna McDaniel too — except RNC members, and they’re the only ones who get to vote in that election. Sure, the Florida GOP is holding a no-confidence vote on Ronna right now but, hey, who needs the grassroots? Sure, Ronna climbed onto Fox News and attacked Turning Point last night but, hey, who needs young conservative voters? Sure, Ronna took the job in 2017, and has lost every election cycle since 2017 — but who needs to win?
Everyone’s turned on Mitch McConnell as well — except the GOP senate which just voted for him to continue to lead them. He’s repaid that faith by tapping the 88 year old Richard Shelby to negotiate a spending bill with Democrats that delivers a hiking trail named after Michelle Obama as well as a federal building named after Nancy Pelosi. (Richard Shelby surrendered so much that he should legally change his name to Bruce Jenner-Kardashian.) Then McConnell wobbled out in front of the TV cameras, and told American voters that the omnibus bill was a great deal for the GOP because the top priority of Republicans was “funding Ukraine.”
So, the GOP gets to fund Ukraine as their “win” while the Democrats get $250,000 to support Wisconsin’s “First-In-The-Nation Gay Rights Law Book and Archive” and $663,250 for the New York Historical Society’s LGBTQ+ Museum Partnership Project and $523,345 for Compass LGBTQ Youth and Family Services in Lake Worth Beach, Florida and $1,200,000 for “centers to support LGBT students” in the San Diego Community College District and, well, I could go on and on and on.
In other words, Shelby and McConnell funded Ukraine — and the Democrats funded the transformation of America into Sodom and Gomorrah.
Well done, everybody.
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Seems like this is all part of the plan. Unfortunately they don’t need the voters any more. After Biden, Hobbs, Hochul and Fettetman no one has to worry about the voters again. Hell...they don’t even need to campaign anymore.
Emerald…thank you for all your work in 2022…God bless you in the New Year…Merry Christmas!