If it wasn’t for the fact that the shenanigans of the dumpster diver day care center called the Freedom Caucus could literally shut down the United States government, causing untold economic damage, this would be hysterical. I still think it’s hysterical because it’s doomed to short term failure.
To be honest, I don’t know if Sugar Daddy Matt Gaetz is a master con man, or if Kevin McCarthy is by far and away the dumbest mofo ever to serve in congress. Maybe, like so many things, it’s a combination of both. But whatever else it is, it’s a recipe for disaster.
When the GOP took control of the House in January, Gaetz already knew that with his piddly ass caucus of about 30 members, he didn’t have a viable alternative to McCarthy for Speaker, or he would have put him up! And so instead he went with the obstruction route, nominate a place keeper, and humiliate McCarthy with a humiliating string of losses until McCarthy buckled and gave Gaetz what he most wanted.
Which makes Kevin McCarthy dumber than dirt. After all, he managed to get elected to congress. How can he look at the chess board and not know that Gaetz has a King and two pawns. All he had to do was to do what he started doing, sit back, and wait out the never ending losses until the Freedom caucus finally got bored and submitted to the inevitable. But McCarthy is nothing if not inferior and insecure, he went chicken and gave Gaetz everything he wanted to stop the humiliation.
It has worked out about as well as you would imagine any shotgun wedding. McCarthy let the Freedom caucus get away with stupid sh*t while he tried to get something done, which didn’t work very well. Then McCarthy jumped the shark by cutting the Freedom caucus out of the loop, and using Democratic support along with a moderate GOP majority to take Goetz’s favorite toy, the debt ceiling off of the table for two years. Which led to dire threats of giving McCarthy the Denver boot.
But Gaetz has a problem. And that problem is that in the last eight months, nothing has changed! Gaetz keeps pulling out his hole card, threatening to file a motion to vacate the Chair, but unfortunately for him, he still doesn’t have anybody that can garner 218 votes to turf out McCarthy. And worse yet, McCarthy has been in the Chair long enough to know it.
In a closed door meeting earlier this week, apparently McCarthy angrily threw down the gauntlet. He told Gaetz, You want to file a motion to Vacate the Chair? Then do it! And when it fails, we’ll get back to work at passing a budget! Frat Boy Matty isn’t used to getting challenged like that.
According to reporting today, the GOP House is getting ready to hold an arcane House rule called King of the Hill. Since the GOP can’t pass a single, stand alone budget bill that will get 218 votes, they’re going to vote on all of the budget bills they have on the floor, and the one who gets the highest majority, even if it’s less than 218 votes, it goes on to the Senate.
Which is useless. When it gets to the Senate, the unified Democratic/GOP Senate is going to gut the bill put forth a clean continuing resolution, and then blow town, telling McCarthy to let them know when he passes it. Which puts the ball right back in McCarthy’s court, with Gaetz smiling and licking his chops.
But there are already cracks in the GOP caucus. McCarthy said to the media today that the GOP is very close to an agreement on a continuing resolution to continue to fund the government. Gaetz then went in front of the cameras and stated that if McCarthy used majority Democratic support to pass a budget bill, They may as well back up the Capitol moving truck to the Speakers office. Which is the political equivalent of a 4 yo holding his breath. The Democrats may be available, but they ain’t cheap. They’ll demand that McCarthy drag along at least a majority of his moderate base before chipping in. Just like the debt ceiling vote.
There are two ways I see this ending, neither one of them satisfactory for Gaetz. First, the GOP led House passes a clean enough continuing resolution for the Senate to pass, kicking the can down the road 45-60 days. More likely, the GOP House will pass some cheesedick spending bill filled with far right cuts. The unified Senate will gut it, pass it with complete funding for the government, including support for Ukraine, and no social spending cuts, and send it back to the House.
Which puts the ball in McCarthy’s court. He either rejects the bill, and shuts down the government, or he finds a way to drag at least 120 moderate GOP votes with him, lets the Democrats haul it over the finish line, and once again slaps Gaetz in the chops. My money is on McCarthy passing the Senate bill.
Which will have Gaetz baying at the moon for McCarthy’s scalp. But for what purpose? He still neither has the votes to bojo McCarthy, but what’s the point? Even if he manages to cobble up enough vengeful GOP moderates to vote McCarthy out, he still doesn’t have a replacement who can garner 218 purely GOP votes. And since the debt ceiling is off the table, and the budget will be done, what does the Democrats care how long it takes the House GOP to finish pissing all over each other? It’s all fodder for the 2024 campaign in the House.