I’m starting to get a twitch in my whiskers. There’s no way that current House Speaker Mike Johnson has the nickname of MAGA Mike. But as other MAGAts have already shown, being a Trump supporter doesn’t necessarily make him a brain dead Trombie. See Trump supporter Colorado congressman Ken Buck, who is leaving congress nine months early, and forgoing his pay, and trashing the Freedom Caucus on the way out.

From the start of the congressional term in January of 2023, the position of House Speaker was always engineered by the Freedom Caucus to hold the position of a sacrificial lamb. That’s why Sugar Daddy Matt Gaetz personally added a rule allowing any single House member to put forth a motion to vacate the Chair.

The rule was intentionally self destructive. The brain dead twits in the Freedom caucus already knew that they didn’t have the numbers to stop legislation if it was universally popular, and the Democrats threw their support behind it, so they made sure they could sooth their savaged feelings by hammering somebody else.

As nihilistic as the Freedom caucus is, they instinctively knew that being responsible for shutting down the government would be a bad thing going into an election year. And so they, after 15 rounds of humiliation, let Cave-In McCarthy become Speaker for the express purpose of dealing with the Biden government on the budget, with the intention of axing him after he did the dirty.

But then McCarthy got a big head. He actually started dealing with Biden, to the point that he actually negotiated away the debt ceiling as part of the budget extension. He had to go. But they still had to let him pass the the continuing resolution to keep the government open, and then Matt Gaetz got his petty revenge.

MAGA Mike Johnson became Speaker under the same restrictions. The Freedom caucus knew they had no choice but to pass a budget, so they’d let Johnson do the dirty work, and then put him under the hammer. And just to make their position clear, after Johnson presided over passing a $1.3 trillion budget deal with heavy Democratic support, Machine Gun Marjie immediately filed a motion to vacate the Chair, bit without a 48 hour time limit for the vote. The proverbial Sword of Damocles now hangs over his head.

But it’s starting to seem as though MAGA Mike might not be quite the compliant stooge that Fratty Matty and  Machine Gun Marjie thought they had. His job was to take a ration of sh*t for passing a budget bill, and then gridlock the congress for the rest of the year.

But it’s starting to look like Mike Johnson may have a little more spine that the MAGA crowd thought he did. In negotiations with Biden, he indicated his strong desire for the passage of the Ukraine aid deal, and his desire to get the bill to the floor for passage. And Johnson also expressed a desire to bring the Lankford backed immigration bill that passed the senate.

Johnson is already a dead man walking. But he has proven that unlike the Freedom caucus, Johnson has shown a desire to actually do the peoples business in the House on critical issues. And there are no more critical issues than Ukraine support and immigration reform.

I wrote the day after the budget passed through the House that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jefferies was now the shadow Speaker of the House. For the simple reason that if the price was right, Jefferies could deliver a largely unified Democratic caucus to pass legislation. His only rule was that Johnson provide a minimum half of his GOP caucus to avoid making it look like the Democrats were the deciding factor.

Mike Johnson is a man on an island. Reporting is showing that most senior GOP operatives and analysts are already conceding that the House will change in November. Johnson, an at least moderately serious legislator knows that he won’t remain House Speaker in January, even if the GOP retains the House.

But if Johnson has his eye on his legislative legacy, he still has the chance to place his stamp on this congress. The motion to vacate the Chair that Greene filed was not privileged, meaning that there is no time limit to bring the motion to the floor. If she makes the move to make the motion privileged, it kicks off a 48 hour window until a floor vote must be called.

Here’s where Jeffries power as the shadow Speaker comes in. Johnson is a lame duck, and he knows it. But once elevated to the Speaker’s chair, he wants to leave a lasting impression .But if Johnson brings the Ukraine aid bill and the Lankford negotiated immigration bills to the floor, Jefferies can  offer him the two most important things in the world.

First, as long as Johnson can provide something at least resembling a majority of the GOP House caucus, Jefferies can provide more than enough votes to ensure that the bills pass. In the case of the Ukraine funding bill, it would send it to a receptive Senate. And since the immigration bill has already passed the Senate, it would send the bill to President Biden’s desk for signing.

The second thing that Jeffries can offer Johnson is his tenure as House Speaker lasting through the rest of the term. Let’s just say that Johnson calls the Ukraine bill to the floor, and Greene immediately puts a privilege tag on her motion to vacate the Chair. That kicks off a 48 jour window to call the motion to the floor for a vote.

But if Johnson calls the Ukraine bill to the floor for a vote, it triggers a mandatory 2-4 hour floor debate before a final vote on the bill. Johnson can call the bill to the floor, hold the mandatory debate, and pass the bill with Democratic majority support the same day. And he can call the immigration bill to the floor for a vote the next day, and pass it the same day, before the 48 hour time limit on Greene’s privilege motion expires.

The Democrats get two legislative accomplishments going into November, and Johnson gets a legislative immigration achievement for his caucus to run on in November. And then the Democrats provide a unified majority to quell Greene’s motion to vacate the Chair, ensuring that Johnson remains House Speaker for the remainder n. of the term, with no necessary major legislation to have to pass until the general election. And MAGA Mike gets to put his stamp on a congress that has accomplished basically nothing.

Here’s the point. The GOP f*cked up in elevating Johnson to the chair. Johnson was a loyal Trump supporter, but as a career politician, he also had a vested self interest. And once elevated to the Speakership, Johnson has the chance to put his imprint on history. His seat is safe, regardless of what he does. I believe that Mike Johnson is going to be a part of the solution, and not the problem.

I thank you for the privilege of your time.

Help keep the site running, consider supporting.


  1. A self serving politician and deluded christo-fascist doing something good? As grandma used to say…even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while.

    • Obviously this is based on the supposition (which I don’t think they just pulled out of thin air) that at least one half + one of the GOP members are tired of this MAGA clown show, will support Johnson, and will be backed up by Jeffries. By doing this they will avert yet another embarrassing Speaker scrimmage, hold their majority for the rest of the term, and end this pathetic session in a blaze of glory — well, if not glory, at least having done SOMETHING worthwhile. If they follow this path, they can better their chances for reelection; if not, there is less of a chance. I hope the Murfster is right.

  2. It’s already happening. The magats can’t stand hi because he acted fairly and wouldn’t let the kindergarten class shut down the county. 10% of the government cannot be allowed to run the show from the ass end.

  3. I don’t see the reason for Jefferies requiring 1/2 of the republican house to be on board to pass bills. Should the Ukraine funding and Lankford bills be brought to the floor, even if the only way they get passed and moved to the Senate is with mostly Democrat votes, the votes will make the dems look good and the ‘pubes not voting for the bills, especially the immigration reform one, look very, very bad. You can’t be a party constantly squawking about border problems and then vote against an immigration reform bill that gives said party pretty much everything they wanted. Right now, withholding a vote on the immigration legislation doesn’t hurt the ‘pubes much (although I do think it will be fodder for dem campaign ads and rightly so). Allowing it to be voted on and then watching the magats/freedumb caucus try to tank it will put feces all over ‘their faces. Add to it that when it is brought to the floor, and hopefully the dems vote for it, it’ll piss mango man off to no end. That in and of itself is worth the dems voting for the bill (s). Watching him shriek like a little baby when the house does its JOB will be worth it and those campaign ads for Biden will pretty much write themselves.

    So, yeah, Jefferies needs to get his poop in a scoop and get behind Johnson should those bills come to the floor-the R.O.I. will be worth it.

    • In my opinion (writing from outside the US), the other thing that Mr Jefferies needs to do is make sure that all the Democratic Party’s Representatives know that he will be complying with any agreement made with Speaker Johnson.

      It is absolutely critical going forward that Republicans feel their opponents can be trusted, even if disagreed with.

      I actually think it’s a great pity that Congressman Buck has resigned, although it’s always possible he knows something the rest of us don’t about his re-election chances. I hate a lot of Mr Buck’s political positions with the heat of 1,000 suns, BUT, he appears from afar to be a man of his word who has the interests of the US in mind within those positions.

      This means he’s a man who can be negotiated with, which the Democrats are going to need going forward regardless of the results in November. Same, same Senator Lankford.

  4. Very good read Murph on the situation but missing one major piece. All the GOP House bills must be run through an elite group of GOP millionaires and billionaires associated with Leonard Leo, the Heritage Foundation, and Charles Koch. This same group owns and controls SCOTUS Judges appointed under Trump and also decides how they must vote on important SCOTUS legislation. They also occasionally order their owned SCOTUS Judges them to vote a surprise ruling which favors progressives to make it less obvious they are 100% owned.

    While this elite group still supports the election of Trump over Biden, they will not allow the Freedom Caucus to let the US default on it budget completely, mainly because the recession that the US defaulting on its loans and the layoffs triggered by it will hurt their own blossoming corporate profits.

    Maga Mike does side with the Freedom Caucus GOP House members & kowtow’s to Trump’s wishes whenever possible, but only when allowed to by the elite group of GOP millionaires and billionaires. Don the Con and the Freedom Caucus are owned and controlled by Putin’s $. These are the two main factions in the GOP overall house majority that continue to fight for control of the GOP House Speaker Maga Mike and the majority of the GOP House votes – not counting the very few remaining moderate independent GOP congresspersons remaining who at times are fearless enough to stick their necks out and vote with Dems on bills.

    As for the U.S. House flipping back to a D majority making Jeffries the Speaker, that could happen sooner than November but would require at least 3 more new GOP congressional resignations (or deaths) causing 3 more vacant seats with no new Dem resignations (or deaths) during the same period.

    The above 3 GOP resignations w/o any new Dem resignations is based on the following expected results in 3 remaining Special elections scheduled in April, May and June: Add +1 to the Dem voting total members of the U.S. House in May with Tim Kennedy expected to win a Special Election scheduled for April 30th to refill a currently vacant solid blue district in the Buffalo, NY area (U.S. House District NY-26).

    Add +2 to the GOP total after California’s 20th Congressional District Special Election on May 21, 2024, and Ohio’s 6th Congressional District Special Election on June 11, 2024 – both of which are heavily GOP favored voting districts and expected to replace currently vacant former GOP seats with new GOP House members.

    Any new resignations or deaths of House members from this point are expected to be scheduled as Special Elections during the November 5 general election or afterward. So any newly vacant seats that occur from now to the end of the year will likely remain vacant until January 2025 or later.

    This week’s lower Court Ruling in North Carolina, locking in an extremely gerrymandered new U.S. House boundaries favoring the GOP for the Nov. 5 election will likely cause the loss/flipping of up to 4 more Dem seats in NC based upon the November 5 vote. Seems it will take a massive Dem turnout Nov. 5 across the country to flip at least 4 other seats from GOP to Dem to cancel these expected losses in Nov. so as to retain any Dem majority that has Jeffries as Speaker that might occur on or before November through January 2025 & beyond after the 119th Congress gets sworn in from the Nov. 5 elections.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The maximum upload file size: 128 MB. You can upload: image, audio, video, document, spreadsheet, interactive, text, archive, code, other. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here