Well, as could be expected butt-hurt George Santos doesn’t want to go quietly into that good night. With constant refrains of folks singing a variation of Bye Bye Birdie (Bye Bye, Georgie; We’re glad to see you go!) ringing in his ears it was a safe bet he’s dumb enought to waste time lashing out instead of focusing full time on his defense on criminal charges up in NY.
Santos threatened to drop dimes on fellow House GOPers and seems to be carrying through on his threat. Of course given everything about his election to and “service” in the House has been one lie after another he’s going to have to have some serious actual “receipts” for any claims he makes to the Ethics Committee. It’s safe to say they aren’t inclined to take anything he says at face value. So it could be interesting and even entertaining to be sure. However, there’s another pissed off Republican to keep an eye on and this one actually can do real damage.
Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Sure, he’s been going after Gaetz and that’s to be expected. Gaetz put him though hell and crippled his tenure from the start. Gaetz also regularly let America know he was ready to get McCarthy kicked out as Speaker, adding to the latter’s humiliation. And ineffectiveness in getting anything substantive passed. Well, there was that debt limit thing but McCarthy couldn’t have done it without Jeffries and Democrats and everyone knew it. Yet for all his “McCarthy is MY bitch” crap Gaetz expected ole Kevin to pull his nuts out of his own Ethics Committee investigation fire. Let’s just say their feud is personal and a steel cage “death match.” However, Gaetz isn’t the only Republican McCarthy is mad at. And reportedly he’s not just mad at those who voted to oust him. He doesn’t seem to think enough of the rest (most of the caucus) fought hard enough on his behalf.
Also, lest we forget during those three weeks of House GOP “what the hell do we do now?” McCarthy saw an opening to make a comeback. And it got shut down. He really thought the bulk of the caucus would rally to him and the whole thing fizzled out, adding to his humiliation. The upshot is that McCarthy feels scorned. And like other Speakers who’ve been forced out may resign. In fact, McCarthy said he was going to be spending a week talking to family and close friends/advisors about whether to stay or leave. There’s been talk he’ll resign after the first of the year but keep an eye out for what happens next week.
December 8 is the filing deadline in CA for him to run in the GOP primary. Of course, even if he files the paperwork to run he can resign whenever he wants. Still, we might know sooner rather than later and if he chooses not to run for re-election odds are he won’t stay in Congress much longer. Now you might be saying so what? No big deal. However it could be a very, VERY big deal and the matter came up after the House voted to remove him as Speaker.
Money. As in fundraising!
McCarthy was never much of a legislator and frankly not effective in the various leadership roles he managed to get before becoming Speaker. He was the political equivalent of a nouveau riche social climber. He wanted to be Speaker and had two skills that got him their. Awesome suck-up skills, and being a prodigious fundraiser. THAT is what got Republicans worrying during those three weeks it took to name a new Speaker, and frankly ever since. As Speaker his fundraising clout was enormous. Now that he’s out not nearly as much although he COULD still get out there and hustle. Work the donors both in support of Johnson and also teaching him the ropes.
The other option is that he could choose to be the rich kid who brings the ball to the game so everyone can play and when he feels mistreated and/or not appreciated says “Fine, I’m taking MY ball and going home”, leaving everyone else with no ability to continue the game. That my friends could turn out to be huge. The days of McCarthy being able to raise tens of millions at a gulp and actually writing checks to the RCCC and candidates is over. Johnson has other priorities like imposing his effed up version of Christianity on the country. And keeping the gavel and the extra salary that does with it.
If McCarthy actually is pissed enough and decides to both resign and limit his efforts to raise money to help the House GOP retain its majority House GOPers are well and truly screwed. So keep an eye on this. Trump is sucking up most of the small donor money and while fat-cat donors are trying to pick various candidates to support it doesn’t carry the same effect as a coordinated strategy that has an actual machine in place to use that money where it can do the most good.
Santos’ revenge antics might be fun to watch, but the real action that actually matters will be what McCarthy does or does not do when it comes to fundraising.