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How Desperate Is McCarthy To Please The Freedom Caucus? Desperate Enough To Grow A Hitler Mustache?

Trump's Kevin (l) and GOP Roaring '20s Speaker Freddy Gillett (r)

Today, the anti-democratic House Democrats will sneak the most corrupt corporate leadership team into place, with no recorded vote. That way no one has to take the blame when Hakeem Jeffries, the biggest recipient of hedge fund bribes in Congress, is caught taking laundered contributions from the Likud or when Pete Aguilar ODs on coke. For Salon yesterday, Norman Solomon noted that in 2016 Jeffries “called Sen. Bernie Sanders a ‘gun-loving socialist with zero foreign-policy experience.’ A 2018 profile in The Economist— headlined ‘High Hopes for Hakeem Jeffries’— concluded that he ‘is nearly as moderate as a safe-seat Democrat gets.’ The article pointed out: ‘Though he supports the principle of universal healthcare coverage, he speaks of the importance of market forces and getting things done in a responsible fashion. Quoting Ronald Reagan approvingly, he suggests this means promoting a flourishing private sector outside the legitimate functions of government.’… Last year, the American Prospect reported, Jeffries was conspicuously absent from efforts to support public housing in his home city: ‘When all [other] New York City House Democrats sent a letter to Pelosi urging her to protect all $80 billion for public housing in the BBB [Build Back Better bill], Jeffries was the only member not to sign that missive, especially surprising given that New York Dems are known to act as a bloc.’” The conclusion is all fixed and wrapped in a bow, so very minimal drama, just the way the anti-democratic House Democrats want it. This is the final act in the Pelosi era.

The drama is all on the other side of the aisle, where McCarthy— despite all the help he’s getting from an utterly sold out Marjorie Traitor Greene— doesn’t have the votes to become speaker. Yesterday, Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan had a really good report on what’s happening over there, but it’s important to keep in mind that it isn’t only the 6 public no votes— Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Bob Good (R-VA), Ralph Norman (R-SC), Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Chip Roy (R-TX)— but 20 other “firm” anti-McCarthy votes, according to Biggs. 31 voted against him in the first round— and if 5 vote against him on the floor, he’s dead.

McCarthy’s got ’til the January 3 floor vote to straighten this out and he’s clearly panic-stricken and seeing his life’s goal slipping away. He’s vowing a floor fight which Greene is warning could result in the Democrats + less than a dozen Republicans picking a Speaker who vows to concentrate on governance insteps of the kind of performative nonsense the fascist wing of the GOP has demanded— and gotten— from McCarthy.

Sherman and Bresnahan wrote that their sources (from McCarthy allies) say that “McCarthy won’t drop out and plans to force a floor vote– or multiple floor votes– under any circumstances.” This would be the first time anything like that happened since 1923 when Massachusetts Republican Frederick Gillett needed several ballots before he was reelected. (A year later he decided he had had enough and ran for the Senate and won.)

In 2015, McCarthy dropped his bid to replace John Boehner as speaker before the conference vote, never coming close to forcing a roll call on the floor. This time around, McCarthy raised more than $500 million for House Republicans, spent months on the road, and brought the party to the majority – albeit by a small margin.
This aggressive strategy is aimed at trying to call the bluff of any GOP opponents and upping the pressure on them to relent. In McCarthy’s view, there’s only a handful of lawmakers saying they’ll oppose his candidacy. To the McCarthy camp, the decision on who will be the next speaker shouldn’t be dictated by the whims of a small group of lawmakers at the expense of the vast majority of the conference.
Furthermore, McCarthy allies say they have upwards of 150 lawmakers who won’t vote for anyone but the California Republican for speaker, making the dissenters task more daunting. It’s worth noting that McCarthy’s opponents haven’t rallied around another candidate for speaker. They just are opposed to McCarthy.
…McCarthy warned on Newsmax that if Republicans “play games” during a floor vote, the Democrats could end up picking who the speaker is.” McCarthy is alluding to the fact that 10 or so Republicans could band with Democrats to elect a speaker of the House.
So this is a staring contest at the moment between McCarthy and conservative hardliners. And it will all come to a head in a very public way.

And finally, Congressman Spineless (R-Bakersfield) came out against the Trump-Fuentes dinner. "I don’t think," said McCarthy, "anybody should be spending any time with Nick Fuentes. He has no place in this Republican Party." I wonder if he got permission from Trump to say that and if he forgot that his new chief advisor, Traitor Greene, is a Fuentes crony (as is Arizona Congresskook Paul Gosar).

Țara Palmeri speculated that “there is one wild card that McCarthy could play that might work with even Gaetz, Biggs or Good: a seat on the powerful Rules Committee, which is basically the final stamp of approval before a bill goes to the floor. Maybe they could get a seat on a prestigious select committee or on House Intel? This would give the Freedom Caucus an incredible amount of power.” She asked Gaetz and he said no.


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