The Circus Starts, Gaetz Vows To ‘Rip Off Band Aide’ Oust McCarthy


Imagine if High Noon had been a student film with amateur actors and that’s what you’re about to see play out in Washington. Matt Gaetz is determined to make a morality play about Kevin McCarthy. Maybe they’ll stand in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and shoot it out with squirt guns. It would be a fitting spectacle, illustrating the dysfunctionality and immaturity of this sitting House. Washington Post:

Gaetz said Sunday that he plans to introduce a motion to remove McCarthy from his leadership position, marking a dramatic escalation of the long-simmering tensions between the men. Once Gaetz does so, the House would have 48 hours to vote on the matter. The Florida Republican did not say when he would introduce the motion.

“I think we need to rip off the Band-Aid. I think we need to move on with new leadership that can be trustworthy,” Gaetz said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” […]

Hard-right obstructionists in the House GOP have made clear for weeks that McCarthy would be removed if he relied on Democrats to pass any funding legislation. The introduction of the measure, called a motion to vacate, requires only one person to force the House to consider removing the speaker, a move that has never succeeded before. […]

“Look, the one thing everybody has in common is that nobody trusts Kevin McCarthy,” Gaetz said. “He lied to Biden, he lied to House conservatives. He had appropriators marking to a different number altogether.”

McCarthy, Gaetz said, broke a promise made to hard-right conservatives during the speakership fight that the chamber would move to single spending bills. Gaetz also said McCarthy promised the conference 72 hours to read the bill, and that the budget would return to pre-covid spending levels. Neither of those things happened.

“There is almost no promise he hasn’t violated,” Gaetz told ABC News’s “This Week.”

It’s hard to guess the “thinking” of Matt Gaetz, but the plain fact is, if McCarthy’s handful of hardcore holdouts decide to vote with Gaetz to remove him, McCarthy can only survive with the help of the Democrats. That help will be given, I daresay, but not without a price tag attached. Then Gaetz will take that scenario, one that he clearly engineered, and use it to criticize McCarthy and say he’s a “Democrat tool.” I can hear it now.

Multiple people familiar with the private conversations have said that no plan is final and that McCarthy’s own last-minute scramble to force consideration of a clean short-term spending bill that averted a government shutdown has angered many Democrats.

“If at this time next week, Kevin McCarthy is still speaker of the House, it will because be because the Democrats bailed them out and he can be their speaker, not mine,” Gaetz said.

Some Democrats on Sunday welcomed the idea of removing McCarthy. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said she would “absolutely” vote to end his speakership.

“I think Kevin McCarthy is a very weak speaker,” she told CNN. “He clearly has lost control of his caucus … It’s not up to Democrats to save Republicans from themselves.”

Separately, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — McCarthy’s predecessor as House speaker — said Gaetz’s move against McCarthy “is just not about the budget, it’s about a values debate.”

“You’re wasting your time on that guy because he has no sway in the House of Representatives except to get on TV and to raise money on the internet,” Pelosi said Sunday.

Pelosi sees McCarthy for the strawman, scarecrow, figurehead that he is, in lieu of being an actual leader. This session of Congress has been embarrassing to watch and it’s only going to get worse. Ousting McCarthy is a waste of time and a side show, but unless I miss my guess, that’s where things are going starting on Monday. Looks like Halloween is going to begin early and last all month.

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  1. The Democrats only need to sway five or six republicans (out of the 18-20 who currently occupy Biden won seats) to install Hakeem Jeffries as the new Speaker. He can afford to offer them some considerations, such as chairmanships (not of the important committees). That’s the only scenario where this House is able to produce anything for the American people. As long as McCarthy holds the gavel, nothing important is getting done.

    I actually believe Gaetz is hoping for some version of this scenario wherein the republicans become the minority again. He has no desire to govern or legislate. He gets more airtime as the loudmouth raging against the system. In the majority they are actually expected to produce results, something they are constitutionally incapable of doing.

    • “The Democrats only need to sway five or six republicans (out of the 18-20 who currently occupy Biden won seats) to install Hakeem Jeffries as the new Speaker.”

      Yeah, that could happen. And every single one of them would face primary challenges (especially after Trump calls them all out by name and describes them as “weak” and “RINO”–and remember that primary voters tend to be the most ardent party supporters) and if there’s one thing we’ve learned about GOPers, it’s that they’re all cowards at heart who won’t risk their political futures. I mean, hell, Mitt Romney decided not to run for reelection and THEN he called out his fellow GOPers for being beholden to Trump first.

      Now, whether they could survive their primary and move on to the general election is one thing but there’s also a reason they won their House races even as Biden won the Presidential contest: The voters weren’t happy with Trump but they were still willing to keep their “local” GOPer. If they weren’t happy with the way the GOP as a whole was going, they would’ve dumped their representative as well as Trump.


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