The collapse of the Freedom caucus in this argle-bargle over the firing of Squeaker Cave-In McCarthy is stunning, simply because it’s so unexpected. The resistance is coming from the most unlikely place, the moderates in the party. Normally as docile as a herd of polled Herefords, suddenly the cows are kicking the farmer’s ass. Somebody put something in the water?

It’s not like the Freedom caucus strategy has changed, because it hasn’t The caucus had its salad days in the reign of Emperor Numbus Nuttus. The accepted form of discipline has always been threats. Threats of a primary from the far right, and if necessary, threats of personal physical violence. But this time, not only didn’t the intimidation have the desired effects, the victims went public with the threats, and told Jordan and the Freedom caucus to pound sand. What changed?

Here’s what. The Freedom caucus preceded Traitor Tot, but their reputation and strategy were the same. Never more than 40 members, one of the smallest caucuses in congress, they used obstinance, they mostly used delaying and obstruction tactics to f*ck up the flow of legislation, using threats and intimidation of purity tests to force their own caucus to negotiate with them for their votes. They were responsible for the early departures of Speakers Boehner and Ryan, but were largely ineffective because those leaders understood the math. 40 < 218. They were little more than an irritating pain in the ass, because bipartisanship, then not a dirty word was the tie-breaker.

Then came El Pendejo Presidente. And the ascension of the Freedom caucus n the House. The Freedom caucus had been using threats and intimidation for years, but were largely unsuccessful because they were so small and outcast. But His Lowness made their leaders his Praetorian Guard in the House. And their words were empowered with his crest of authority.

Think about for a minute. It was Trump who has the rabid base that could spring a primary challenge from the far right if they stepped out of line. It was Trump who indirectly controlled a loosely knit coalition of bedsheet banditos, bucket heads, and other far right losers and mouth breathers. And he never ceased to mention them to remind everybody they were there. And it was Trump who had the bully pulpit and the social media reach to make it happen. Any member who gave a ration of sh*t to Jordan, Gaetz, Gosar or Machine Gun Margie knew all they had to do was snap a finer, make a phone call to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, and their careers were likely over, and they may even need to go into the Witness Protection Program.

And then came January 20th, 2021, and The Cheeto Prophet was history. He could no longer command the national media with a snap of his fingers. Worse yet, his January 6th antics had gotten him booted from every major social media platform, choking him off from his millions of online followers. And the cherry on top, within months The Orange Sh*tgibbon was embroiled in a multitude of civil and criminal investigations, and no longer had the free time to d*ck around with the House.

Still they tried. Jordan and Gaetz threatened recalcitrant opponents with dark threats of facing the wrath of true conservative voters, and personal threats against both the members as well as their families. But who cares? Matt Gaetz can’t leave the house in the morning without his fiance slapping an ankle monitor on him to keep an eye on the sneaky little sh*t. And Jordan can’t go to an Ohio State wrestling match without running the risk of ending up in a chokehold. And why would MAGA voters in districts in GA, TN, or TX, or Loud Toys and Oath Kreepers take orders from schmucks like Jordan and Gaetz? They want those orders from Hair Twitler directly.

Here’s the clincher. After Gaetz soiled himself dumping McCarthy, The Mango Messiah first threatened to come to the Capitol to broker the negotiations, then settled for backing Jordan’s nomination from the 12th green on Bullsh*t Social. And the end results? Jordan lost to Steve Scalise, won against a no name contender after Scalise dropped out, but only by 31 votes, nd then lost three consecutive floor ballots for Speaker, losing votes on every ballot. But there is no credible reporting that Trump lifted a finger to work the phones for Jordan.

Why? Because nobody cares anymore. Once Trump got booted in 2020, and lost his social media presence in 2021, first in the Senate, and then in the House, more and more incumbents started successfully beating back MAGA challenges. And MAGA survivors tend to get their clocks cleaned in the general election. The bloom is off of the Trump rose.

It was great for the Freedom caucus, as well as The Tiny Thumbs Dictator while it lasted, but sooner or later any con comes to an end. And in the House, the marks are finally realizing that the dice are shaved, and the pea ends up under the con man’s fingernail before he lifts the shell. The only remaining question is how much longer the moderate caucus is going to let the farce go on before they finally pull the plug and cut a deal with the Democrats. Because the Freedom caucus is going to keep trying to rig the game. It’s all they have left.

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  1. The cheaper the crook…the guadier the banter.
    Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon
    That’s our House of Representatives under Republicans. A phucking ship of fools, and as Dylan said in Idiot Wind, “their minds are full of ideas, images, and distorted facts”.

  2. Great article. You put it better than I did for damned sure. Except for his initial endorsement of Jordan for Speaker Trump has stayed the hell away. I’m still of the mind that it was the whole secret ballot thing in that first House GOPer conference that stunned Trump into silence. Jordan lost. While he didn’t get the ass-whupping he so richly deserved Scalise’s margin of victory meant it was no fluke. House Republicans, free to vote how they wanted without fear of retribution pretty much told Trump to go perform a quaint anatomical impossibility on himself.

    With everything else he’s got going on and his troubles are mounting daily Trump couldn’t risk more public humiliation. What amazed me is that Jordan didn’t pick up on the fact that after losing to Scalise that Trump wasn’t out there making a push for him. That after than initial endorsement he was on his own and “his own” wasn’t enough. I can see him going through one, even two rounds of voting but the third one was just rank stupidity having lost even more ground, and with PUBLIC defiance by House GOPers growing. Maybe he likes sticking his “junk” into a meat grinder and cranking the handle.

    We’ll see if the Free-Dumb KKKaucus decides to back off, let some normalcy return and next year sometime go back to their usual antics. Let some dealmaking take place and they’ll have all manner of stuff to complain about. And, more importantly to them fundraise with. The House will still suck with the GOP in charge, but not as much as it would have. You’ve already posted about keeping an eye out for retirements next year. It will be interesting to see if there’s a wave of GOPers, that includes even some Free-Dumb caucus members. I’m sure you’ll be keeping us posted on that score.

    For the moment, I’m enjoying the fact of what you’ve so brilliantly pointed out – that MAGAs in the House are suddenly finding no Trump to help them put fear into the hearts of plain old hard-core (NONE of them are moderate btw) conservatives. Like King Agamanmon in the movie Troy when he calls out Achilles for Single Combat – and no Achilles comes forward. Unlike in the movie, it looks like Achilles is going to stay in his tent. Or in this case on his golf course. And the “kings” will stand there with nothing but their dicks in their hands.

  3. Yeah, fear and threats only work for so long if you can’t ratchet up the terror. Once you’ve punched the bully in the mouth and he backs off or goes on to beat up on somebody else (like judges and court workers and witnesses) the threats become empty.

    One thing we should remember: GOP “moderates” is an oxymoron. They may be moderate compared to the knuckledraggers, but they are still insane, batshit RWNJs. We should stop calling them moderates. Take any one of them, examine their “records” and you’ll find just as much pond scum and Jordan’s crap.


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