Weekend thread: What's going on?
McCarthy becomes speaker after caving to extremists. Violence almost breaks out in Capitol, two years after insurrection. Will other Republicans now revolt, join Democrats?
Early this morning, just after midnight, Rep. Kevin McCarthy was elected House Speaker.
But he didn’t win. The insurrectionists won, exactly two years after the attack on the Capitol.
All six of the last holdouts were election deniers who’ve defended the January 6th insurrectionists as Donald Trump has said he would pardon them. And McCarthy bowed to each of them.
McCarthy’s pyrrhic victory came after cringeworthy humiliation, losing 14 times — including the 14th ballot late last night in which he was supposed to have nailed down the six holdout extremists. But they double-crossed him.
That led to a heated exchange on the floor between McCarthy and Rep. Matt Gaetz, who basically said "Fuck you.” Other members grew angry, and one, Mike Rogers of Alabama, lunged at Gaetz, the last of the holdouts to vote, whose vote sunk that 14th ballot for McCarthy. Rogers had to be restrained. Violence was in the air in the Capitol, two years to the day after the January 6th insurrection in the same building.
On the 15th vote — which happened only after a motion to adjourn was reversed by Republicans after they initiated it, as a deal was clearly quickly struck — McCarthy was elected, as the 6 holdouts voted “present.”
But what was the cost? We will find out for sure when the rules package is unveiled on Monday and voted on. But already some Republicans are saying they will work with Democrats to vote against the rules package if the concessions are as radical as is being reported. At least one Republican has already publicly stated he’s voting against it.