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Tipsheet

Here's to Another Day of Genocidal Republican Politics...And I'm Okay With That

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Spencer covered the House speakership vote yesterday, which mirrored the Zapruder film. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) thinks he’ll be the next House speaker—he’s working in that office as we speak. There was one massive problem: he didn’t have the votes. The first ballot was a shot through the neck, and then the second and third ballots delivered headshots to the California Republican’s hopes of a smooth ascension to the speaker’s office from the Grassy Knoll—back and to the left. Both sides eventually recessed until noon today, the motion to adjourn being one of mercy for Mr. McCarthy, who was losing his support base.

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At least 20 anti-McCarthy rebels are gumming up the works by backing one man with zero chance of being speaker: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH). Jordan doesn’t want the job, but these members hold a deep personal animus towards McCarthy. They don’t have a secondary protocol, as explained by former Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), who spoke with this group. Mulvaney is no fan of McCarthy but doesn’t see anyone else who could fill that position. It’s operation chaos, which he conceded is a messy way to hold a speaker’s vote. 

What’s even more reckless is that McCarthy went into this thing, apparently knowing he didn’t have the votes, and this wasn’t a day-of situation. He probably knew for weeks, but also knew Democrats didn’t have the votes to get their guy—Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)—the gavel, either. Alas, this brutal iceberg collision that we all deserve. Jeffries is too liberal to siphon any GOP support, so we’re at an impasse.

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Unlike Boehner’s speakership, the weeks of discontent among conservatives were venting exercises—but this was different heading into yesterday’s bedlam. One of the easiest votes for the incoming House Republican majority was bungled, much like how the party botched the 2022 midterm election results. The House GOP majority is beyond razor-thin, so just a handful of defectors could have created the circus we saw last afternoon.

And heading into today’s fourth ballot, the situation hasn’t changed. It’s become more of a shambles, with McCarthy’s camp now insinuating that they can clinch the speakership with less than 218 votes. It’s not unprecedented, but it’s getting there; given the intensity of the internal opposition he faces, that’s peculiar. We have reports that some GOP members aren’t even sure if the standoff can be resolved. 

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Spencer will have the vote count later today. Start drinking.   

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