The House of Representatives still does not have a speaker. The 20 or so Freedom Caucus members holding up the proceedings realize that they, like the Republican Party itself, don’t believe in majority rule. The fact that the Republican establishment has kowtowed to them for the past decade or more has only emboldened their position.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that the craven establishment leaders don’t want to remain in power—or at least seem to remain in power. On Friday, Florida man Rep. Matt Gaetz stood up to nominate—wait for it … wait for it—well, before he named his nominee for the speakership, Gaetz made a long speech attacking Kevin McCarthy, calling him the “LeBron James of special interest fundraising in this town.”
It’s Jim Jordan! Sorry, I couldn’t wait. He named the guy who stayed silent while young man after young man allegedly told him they were being sexual assaulted and abused by a wrestling team doctor. That Jim Jordan. However, at least half of the people on Gaetz’s side of the aisle were not simply unhappy about the nomination but clearly could not stand to sit through the more-than-five-minute cringeworthy speech Gaetz subjected everyone to—and they left!
After saying Jordan’s name, Gaetz decided to attack reports that his crew of freedomers were too obstinate to make any deal with the 200 or so McCarthy backers. “Let's start with purity. Many of you have seen the reports that there are negotiations to determine whether or not on this side of the aisle there can be a deal, a meeting of the minds, a grand bargain that would allow us to proceed with the speakership. And I want all of my colleagues to know, regardless of your perspective on me, how impure some of those negotiations have gone.”
“Impure!” Matt Gaetz! Somewhere just shy of the four-minute mark where Gaetz began airing out his point of view on the dirty laundry exchanges behind closed doors, Republican members of the House began standing up, looking at their phones and walking out of the chambers.
Best part? Jordan continues to vote for McCarthy.
What a way to start the new year! On the first episode of season two of The Downballot, we're talking with Sara Garcia, the strategy and outreach manager at Crooked Media—home of Pod Save America—about everything her organization does to mobilize progressives and kick GOP ass. Sara tells us how Crooked arose to fill a void in the media landscape, how it not only informs listeners but also gives them tools to take action, and some of her favorite shows that she loves to recommend to folks.
Co-hosts David Nir and David Beard also discuss the Republican shitshow currently unfolding in Congress—and starkly different outcomes in two state legislatures that just elected new House speakers via bipartisan coalitions; the landslide win for the good guys in a special election primary in Virginia; why George Santos faces serious legal trouble that will very likely end with his resignation; and the massive pushback from progressive groups and labor unions against Kathy Hochul's conservative pick to be New York's top judge.