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October 03, 2023 02:35 PM UTC

Kevin McCarthy Removed as Speaker of the House

  • 46 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE #4: The destruction wrought by Matt Gaetz today is just the Colorado Republican Party’s style:

Smugness over cash flow is how Dave Williams runs his shop too.

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UPDATE #3: Here’s the moment for posterity — the first time in history that a Speaker of the House has been removed by a vote of his/her colleagues:

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UPDATE #2: Eight Republicans including Colorado’s Rep. Ken Buck seal now-ex Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy’s fate, ending the shortest speakership since some guy in the 1870s died of tuberculosis.

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UPDATE: The vote on the motion to vacate the Speaker’s position is underway, and already producing some surprises: Rep. Ken Buck votes to remove Speaker Kevin McCarthy, while Rep. Lauren Boebert votes “no for now,” meaning no with…extra attitude or something.

Final result coming, stay tuned.

—–

Kevin McCarthy’s last stand?

As Politico reports, Tuesday October 3, 2023 will most likely go down in history as GOP House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s day of reckoning, with the leopards McCarthy always knew–or should have known–would turn someday and eat his allegorical face circling for the feast:

Speaker Kevin McCarthy told his GOP conference he plans to bring up a vote that could oust him from the speakership Tuesday afternoon, a person in the closed-door meeting told POLITICO.

Four GOP members have publicly committed to voting to boot McCarthy, while a handful of others say they are leaning that way. Given the House GOP’s slim margins, McCarthy can only afford to lose five Republicans if all Democrats vote against him.

As of now, it does appear that McCarthy has five Republicans, and possibly quite a few more, ready to vote him out: and that’s without the help of Colorado’s conservative Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck, who are still as of this writing playing coy with how they intend to vote:

However Buck and Boebert decide to vote, as long as those five “decided” members hold, only intervention by House Democrats can save McCarthy. And despite McCarthy blinking this weekend, bypassing Republicans to keep the government open with Democratic support, it doesn’t appear that Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries has any interest in saving McCarthy from the retaliation guaranteed by that decision:

McCarthy’s unsuccessful attempts to appease his right flank by allowing the half-baked impeachment inquiry to backfire spectacularly proceed, and paying lip service to their nonstarter appropriations bills instead of making a deal weeks earlier to prevent a shutdown, leave him with no real Democratic allies–and Democrats generally don’t trust McCarthy any more than the Freedom Caucus does at this point:

And with that, the stage is set for a dramatic vote this afternoon that will either save McCarthy’s speakership or ignominiously end it. The smart money as of this morning is on the latter, after which we’ll have to see which poor sap survives the gauntlet to “win” the job of herding the most fractious herd of far-right congresscritters in modern American history.

No one will miss McCarthy when he’s gone, but you may well like his successor even less.

Comments

46 thoughts on “Kevin McCarthy Removed as Speaker of the House

      1. I think he is posturing to let the crazies know that he sympathizes with them. (Fear of a primary, perhaps.)  When push comes to shove, he'll vote to keep MyKevin.

      1. We do, but I have a thought that hasn't been discussed seemingly at all in the media. Can we get the 18 Republicans in Biden seats (or even 8-10 of them) to join Democrats to elect someone like Valadao or, hopefully, Fitzpatrick from suburban Philly. I think he'd be a pretty moderate Speaker beholden to Democrats. I suspect getting a Dem would be a bridge too far, but a unity Republican might be doable.

          1. Why dip our hands in the blood? Partial power-sharing and avoiding Speaker Jordan or Speaker Gaetz. It's a short term solution until we get rid of the majority of the 18 in '24 (but probably not all 18).

    1. Actual, he has not been the worst.

      Since 1954, we’ve had Newt “the Megalomaniac” Gingrich who lost his speakership after making a third-rate blow job the defining issue of the 1998 election.

      Then we had Dennis “the Molester” Hastert until the GOP had its day of reckoning in 2006.

      Then we had the original tan man, John Boner, who was actually my favorite of the bunch. Once, when asked about unifying the Tea Partiers, he started reciting the Serenity Prayer. He was pressured to resign as speaker thanks to accused felon Mark Meadows.

      Then there was Paul “Eddie Munster” Ryan. He was the ideas guy who wanted to do policy. He, too, was shown the door.

      And finally, the arrival of My Kevin. Notice nobody phoned in from the NY courtroom to try to save McCarthy’? (But he did have time to X/Tweet about the judge, the law clerk, and Chuck Schumer.)

      No, Kevin McCarthy wasn’t the worst, but he wasn’t the best either.

    2. Going to be interesting.  Only 8 Republicans voted to vacate — showing few were against McCarthy.

      Rep. Patrick McHenry being named the temporary leader of a chamber thrown into chaos.

      Under House rules, McCarthy was required to provide the House clerk in January a then-secret list of members that temporarily serve as Speaker of the House if the office became vacant. McHenry, a nine-term North Carolina Republican, was revealed to be the first name on McCarthy's list.

      This has never happened, so the rules aren't overwhelmingly specific:

      When the Office of Speaker is vacant, the Member acting as Speaker pro tempore under rule I section 8(b) may exercise such authorities of the Office as may be necessary and appropriate pending the election of a Speaker or Speaker pro tempore.

      Going to be interesting to learn what McHenry and the Republican Conference consider "necessary and appropriate."

  1. "The motion [to vacate / MTV] can be triggered by one House member, but it must be passed by a majority of the chamber." 

    The House of Representatives has a few arcane options that would buy time.  But if most believe in the Shakespearean maxim 'If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well / It were done quickly': those temporizing options won't work. 

    Going to be interesting to see the Republicans balance their distrust and dislike of Kevin, Matt Gaetz, and the unknown of who would be willing to try for the job and what they are willing to offer to get it.

     

     

     

     

  2. McCarthy has said he's not interested in a new deal with Democrats, and Democrats in response have said they're not interested in propping him up. I expect that he's out come Tuesday, and I have no idea where it goes from there. It sounds like the Republicans For Modest Amounts Of Sanity coalition is fed up with Gaetz and his friends, so unless they're willing to cave again for some other Freedumb supporting tool, the only possible majority vote is going to have to be a bipartisan coalition.

    1. Can we get the 18 Republicans in Biden seats (or even 8-10 of them) to join Democrats to elect someone like Valadao or, hopefully, Fitzpatrick from suburban Philly. I think he'd be a pretty moderate Speaker beholden to Democrats. I suspect getting a Dem would be a bridge too far, but a unity Republican might be doable.

      1. The idea of working with the "Republicans in seats Joe Biden would have won" has been bandied about.

         * from the Democratic side of the aisle, why would making those Republicans look good and moderate be a good idea? 

         * from the Republicans in the 18 seats … if they took the deal, they would be primaried and campaign money & services from national Republicans would almost certainly dry up.  They would not win Democratic support.

         * from the Republican side of the aisle, if someone sells out the Republican Conference on such an important matter, who would be willing to be tainted by working with them?  Cheney and Kinzinger were censured by the Republican National Committee, Cheney was kicked out of her leadership position.  Similar things would be in store for defectors.

        1. I'd argue it's good for Dems, because barring getting a majority, we're not getting a speakership this time, and I'd damn well rather have a Speaker Fitzpatrick than a Speaker Jordan. Does it make the 18 look good. It might…or it might trigger a primary making those seats easier wins. It's not good for Republicans writ large but for a few of them we might not defeat in '24? I'll take their power, especially if it means a backroom deal that gives us partial control. They'll know where their bread was buttered.

  3. I don't know when it exactly started, maybe with the tea party, but punishing Republicans for doing the right thing is next level fucked up dysfunctionality. I really hope Gaetz gets some blowback for this chaos. That is a man who is absolutely begging for a swift kick in the balls… 

    1. "I don't know when it exactly started, maybe with the tea party, but punishing Republicans for doing the right thing is next level fucked up dysfunctionality."

      It started with Gingrich.

  4. He went on Face the Nation yesterday and tried to blame the fiasco of the last few weeks on the Democrats, which seems to have destroyed any latent support that he might have gotten from them in a speakership vote.

  5. My bet is McCarthy survives, not because he's the best option, but because he's a better option than the bloodbath that ensues from considering other options. Gaetz hasn't thought this through.

    Besides, wouldn't the GOP want the most unprincipled person in this position? I mean, that's who they're backing for President.

  6. Here are the crazy eight Republicans.  It’s likely the only time the Democrats in our delegation will ever vote with Gaetz. 

    The eight Republicans who voted to remove Kevin McCarthy as speaker were Andy Biggs of Arizona, Ken Buck of Colorado, Tim Burchett of Tennessee, Eli Crane of Arizona, Matt Gaetz of Florida, Bob Good of Virginia, Nancy Mace of South Carolina and Matt Rosendale of Montana.

  7. So McCarthy won't run again, won't endorse a successor, and won't comment on whether he'll even keep his seat.

    If I understand correctly, next week they'll hold the election(s), and they will need a majority of just their members.  If/when that occurs, then it goes to the full house.  If the choice is unpalatable to Dems (e.g. Gym Jordan), then we could be without a speaker for a very long time.

    All the while the clock is ticking on the continuing resolution to avert a shutdown.

    Definitely a shit show coming our way.

    Maybe, just maybe a centralist bipartisan coalition will step up and get behind anyone that will not let the tail wag the dog any longer.  We just can't afford that anymore.

    1. He can really give the House GOP the middle finger by resigning. Wonder how long Gavin Newsom can delay calling the special election.

      Less is more, especially when it comes to the GOP House Conference.

    2. "Maybe, just maybe a centralist bipartisan coalition will step up and get behind anyone that will not let the tail wag the dog any longer.  We just can't afford that anymore."

      Apparently, the Republican members of the House Problem Solvers Caucus are pissed off at their Democratic counterparts for not saving McCarthy.

       

      1. I expect the Freedom Caucus to behave like all bullies when their victim finally reaches a limit and punches them in the mouth. Gaetz has made a fundamental error. Convinced he is the smartest guy in the room, I think he is about to get his pee pee whacked. The boat he is trying to rock is a big boat and his fucking around is going to cost a lot of very powerful people a lot of money.

        He may be the next one overboard. 

         

      2. Yes! Can we get the 18 Republicans in Biden seats (or even 8-10 of them) to join Democrats to elect someone like Valadao or, hopefully, Fitzpatrick from suburban Philly. I think he'd be a pretty moderate Speaker beholden to Democrats. I suspect getting a Dem would be a bridge too far, but a unity Republican might be doable.

  8. OMG, I just heard someone throw out the possibility of Trump becoming the House Speaker.   Theoretically possible, extremely improbable, but today’s GOP might just be that batshit crazy.  

    1.  Akin to them all gathering in a circle, pouring gas on themselves, and lighting up. Speakership doesn’t have the power of the pardon, which is tRumps Holy Grail, and the only thing that is going to save his sorry, ever widening, felonious ass.

    2. Well, sure. Especially if he can use that to argue for trial delays. Except (1) the trial judges have all told him that his daily life comes in second to his potential felon future and (2) his indictments mean that he can't hold GOP leadership positions by their own rules.

      But I'm sure someone will suggest it if he expresses an interest.

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