Will Mainstream Conservatives Kill McCarthy's Deal With The Fascist Fringe Today?
There’s been one swing district in the entire state of South Carolina, SC-01, which includes much of Charleston. On Friday, a panel of 3 federal judges concluded that the way the legislature gerrymandered the district discriminates against Black voters and they ordered the district redrawn by the end of March so that it can be used in the 2024 election. The latest lines that they found illegal moved more than 30,000 Black Charleston County residents out of the district and into SC-06, the Black ghetto represented by Jim Clyburn.
On Friday, the Post and Courier reported that “the judges concluded that ‘reducing the overall Black percentage in Congressional District No. 1 down to the 17 percent target was no easy task and was effectively impossible without the gerrymandering of the African American population of Charleston County.’ The judges also wrote in their ruling that Will Roberts, who drew the maps, used race to achieve the partisan goal of making the 1st District safer for Republicans, a practice that is not allowed under federal law."
In 2020 Republican state Rep Nancy Mace beat Blue Dog incumbent Joe Cunningham 216,042 (50.6%) to 210,627 (49.3%). This past November, with the new district lines having kicked in, it wasn’t a very close race:
Mace, a mainstream conservative, was on Face the Nation yesterday where she told Margaret Brennan that she represents “a purple district, I have to represent Republicans, Democrats and Independents… [I represent] a lot of centrists, a lot of Independents. I have as many Independents and Democrats as I have Republicans in my district. I have to represent everybody.”
But it wasn’t for a discussion of the district make-up that Brennan had asked her to come on the show. It was for a discussion of what McCarthy had given away to the fascist fringe in return for their votes last week. One mainstream conservative, Tony Gonzalez (R-TX), has already announced he’s voting against the new rules package. If 4 other mainstream conservatives do, it’ll be defeated. James Comer (R-KY) was on Meet the Press and he said he isn’t convinced yet that the rules McCarthy agreed to is the way to move forward. Ohio fascist Gym Jordan announced on Fox News Sunday yesterday that he’s confident that the package will pass.
Brennan asked Mace about the concessions. She said that what she “saw last week was a small faction of the 20, who were acting just like the old Nancy, trying to cut back room deals in private, in secret without anyone knowing what else was going on. And when they did the rules package. At the end of the day, there was only one point that was changed. That was on the motion to vacate. That was the only difference in the package that we're going to be voting on tomorrow that was different from the original package that was proposed. So my question really is today is what back room deals were cut— did they try to cut? And did they get those because we shouldn't be operating like Nancy Pelosi, this small faction. They're the ones that are saying they were, quote, fighting the swamp, but then yet went and tried to act like you know, like, they actually are the swamp by trying to do these back room deals. And we don't know what they got, or didn't get. We haven't seen it. We don't have any idea what promises were made or what gentleman's handshakes were made. We just, we just have no idea at this point. And it does give me quite a bit of heartburn, because that's not what we ran on… It’s quite ironic.”
Brennan asked her if she’s considering voting against the rules package. She said she is. “I am considering that as an option right now… what I don't support is a small number of people trying to get a deal done or deals done for themselves in private, in secret to get a vote or vote present. I don't support that. That is just what Nancy Pelosi does. And that's not what they should be doing. And so I am on the fence right now about the rules package vote tomorrow for that reason… I want to see it in writing. I want to see what promises were made. And what we are being told is that— that these handshakes, what's going on these promises will go through regular order and go through the regular appropriations process. I don't want to see defense cuts. I— again, we don't, we don't know what deals were made. And that's something that we should be transparent about. Sunshine is the best medicine. That's what we've always said. So what, what are we guaranteeing or what promises were made? We should know.”
Brennan: The speaker has reportedly given the Freedom Caucus, that ultra-conservative faction, a third of the seats on the powerful Rules Committee which controls which bills make it to the floor. You've called Matt Gaetz, one of its members, a political D-Lister and a fraud. You've sparred with Marjorie Taylor Greene, I'll show our viewers part of that and let them interpret your meaning. How are you going to work with these folks to get anything done for the American people?
Mace: It's going to be very difficult. Matt Gaetz is a fraud. Every time he voted against Kevin McCarthy last week he sent out a fundraising email. What you saw last week was a constitutional process diminished by those kinds of political actions. I don't support that kind of behavior…I am concerned that common sense legislation will not get through to get a vote on the floor. And I, for example, we have 12 bills that we're supposedly going to be voting on in our first week in office.
Three of them are abortion- abortion bills and pro-life bills. I am pro-life. But I have many exceptions. But they are not legislation, pieces of legislation, that can pass the Senate and get onto the desk for the president to sign into law. And so if we're going to be serious about protecting life, for example, maybe we should look at more centrist views, like ensuring every woman has access to birth control, because if you can reduce pregnancies, you can reduce the need or want for women to have abortions, for example, a very common sense pragmatic point of view. But that's not what we're going to be voting on this week. And I am concerned I want to see pragmatic— pragmatics at work, common sense, fiscal, conservative issues at work that represent all views.
Yesterday Byron Donalds, the Florida token who had his 5 minutes of fame last week, was on Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo. where he admitted that he had traded his vote for McCarthy for a place on the Republican Steering Committee. Tonight McCarthy will try to pass the whole package of rules he negotiated with the fascist fringe. According to PunchBowl News this morning, "The 55-page document lays out the GOP priorities for the next two years and the procedures Republicans will use to run the chamber. However, there’s also a secret three-page addendum that McCarthy and his allies hashed out during several days of grueling negotiations with the House Freedom Caucus. This pact includes the most controversial concessions McCarthy made in order to become speaker-- three seats on the Rules Committee for conservatives, freezing spending at FY2022 levels, a debt-ceiling strategy, coveted committee assignments and more."
So far, it's just Gonzalez and Mace who have been public in their opposition to the package. PunchBowl noted that among the complaints of mainstream conservatives is that McCarthy gave up too much to the fascist fringe to get the speakership for himself. Some-- we'll see how many tonight-- mainstream conservatives "feel like they need to stand up to GOP leadership’s catering to [fascists] now or else they’ll get steamrolled for the next two years." These mainstream conservatives "also point to the fact that three of the first 12 bills that the House will vote on are designed to tighten abortion restrictions. All three were put on the floor schedule without consultation from the middle of the Republican Conference... Furthermore, there are potential cuts to defense spending as part of the deal with McCarthy’s opponents, which rankles hawks. And social programs will get slashed by an ever bigger margin, maybe $100 billion or more. Vulnerable Republicans will have to vote for these cuts knowing they won’t go anywhere in the Senate."
PunchBowl also reported this morning that Adrian Smith's bill to rescind $80 billion in IRS funding will be voted on today, Republicans having vowed during the election that defunding the IRS would be the first measure they take up if they won the majority."