The multi-day debate and voting over electing a Speaker of the House could be destined for failure for Kevin McCarthy no matter how many days he delays pulling out of the election.
The nuttiest right-wingest folks, who number five, don’t seem to want him under any conditions. Yet, the House remains in session heading into even more unsuccessful votes today.
Those people who really oppose McCarthy do not want a solution. They just want to “make a point,” and, more importantly, appeal to their supporters and raise money. They don’t really care if there is a functioning House. They don’t even care about governing. Their aim is the most limited government possible.
So, whether it’s McCarthy or someone else, who isn’t one of them, they aren’t likely to vote in favor of anyone.
Already, they apparently have negotiated McCarthy down to a place he claimed he wouldn’t go --- that it will take only one person to make a motion to vacate. They already have apparently won at least two seats on the all-powerful Rules Committee but they are holding out for more.
That motion to vacate has been used once in history, in 1910. when it failed. If such a motion - which is a vote to fire the Speaker - is made it would take, if all members are present, 218 votes to pass. If this should happen, crazily (but we’re in crazy territory already), and if it passed, it would put us right back where we are now. Where are we?
Constituents are not being served as they should be and what’s at stake may be their Social Security checks and other matters that literally are key to their survival. I haven’t heard a word mentioned about that on the floor so far, though maybe I missed it.
Also, there is one Republican member whose mother passed away and the funeral is Saturday. Another GOP member's wife gave birth and he hasn’t been home to visit. And, already, there is at least one GOP member who will be going home to Colorado after today for a non-emergency medical procedure, which will lower the majority vote needed to elect a Speaker.
Any way – McCarthy doesn’t have the votes. Five in his party say they will never vote for him and it only takes five to stop him. The media makes a lot over the fact that he has lost nine times in votes this week. Temper that by the fact that for a while they didn’t even have the votes to adjourn and the only business the House can take up is electing a Speaker. They can do nothing else until that is resolved. So, they keep doing it.
My guess is they won’t elect him today either, unless lightning strikes somewhere or someone. The deal being discussed reportedly will not satisfy the five, so they need to be dealt with.
This is the ugly part of politics. Members operating for only personal, not substantive reasons. McCarthy has never been the ideological type. He has been easily swayed when it’s in his personal interest to sway.
Interestingly, one might argue that he may be the “best” among the GOP to be speaker for that reason. Maybe a President can sway him too? Doubtful if it's not in his personal interest to be swayed. And I mean personal interest.
If for some reason McCarthy can’t nail down the votes really soon – and that seems unlikely – and he pulls out, those five will still need to be dealt with. And while McCarthy’s number two -- Steve Scalise – reportedly is liked by the various factions in his party, it’s hard to imagine we won’t be in the same predicament again.
Those five still will want rules changes that make them more powerful.
There is another way – that will never be taken – and that’s for moderate Republicans to join with Democrats to elect a compromise candidate. And that candidate can be someone not in the Congress to take (some) of the politics out of it.
Let’s believe that can happen for a second. Wow! That simple act might possibly be the one to end the ugly partisanship and the Congress can return to doing the people’s business, not their selfish business.
Okay, second's up.