A rundown of the bizarre Republican responses to Kevin McCarthy’s ouster

The House of Representatives is without an active speaker after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from that position on Tuesday—by his fellow Republicans. Petty interim gavel-banger Rep. Patrick McHenry tried to set the tone by blaming Democrats for not fixing the Republican Party’s dysfunction.

McCarthy, for his part, held a press conference after his public humiliation and blamed former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was away at Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s funeral, for his abject failure. Now conservatives everywhere are pointing fingers and spinning the news, alternating between blaming the Democratic Party for McCarthy’s failed tenure as speaker and saying it's super fantastic that McCarthy is no longer speaker and everything is going to be A-okay.

Go figure.

First things first. Traditional media outlets have been giving a lot of credence to the idea that somehow, McCarthy’s terrible track record as speaker isn’t to blame for his inability to retain his position.

Just a little journalism note: Look at the people trying to turn the "Kevin McCarthy refused to make a deal with the only people who could help him, the Democrats" story into a "Democrats screwed up by not saving the guy who lied to them" story. Those are the bad people.

— Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC) October 4, 2023

Moderate Republican” Rep. Nancy Mace, along with Rep. Matt Gaetz, ran to Steve Bannon’s radio show thingy to talk about how great they were and how without McCarthy as speaker, they can really begin doing more oversight of Hunter Biden’s penis pictures.

Steve Bannon tells Nancy Mace that the only clip that Jack Posobiec and Charlie Kirk played from the impeachment inquiry hearing was hers. Mace: "I'm gonna take that as a compliment." She then starts talking about going after Hunter Biden for sex trafficking. pic.twitter.com/Na6lHbVUaM

— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 4, 2023

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene wants Trump to become the next speaker of the House because he’s doing well in the polls and “he has a proven four-year record as president,” which is … true? I mean, he was technically president (if twice-impeached) for four whole years.

I’m supporting President Donald J. Trump to be the next Speaker of the House! He has a proven four year record of putting America First and implementing the policies the American people want. President Trump is the man for the job! pic.twitter.com/KFOIb64XMe

— Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene🇺🇸 (@RepMTG) October 4, 2023

What does the vice chair of the Republican National Committee believe?

You’ve got to start to wonder out loud if George Soros or some other liberal dark money is behind the idiotic move to derail the House Republican Majority and this pathetic Motion to Vacate effort.

— Nick Langworthy (@NickLangworthy) October 3, 2023

Wowsers. Didn’t see that one coming. Here’s a solid response summing up the theory:


— memes (@OrganizerMemes) October 3, 2023

Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade wasn’t happy and had a fight with Rep. Tim Burchett of Tennessee about praying.

A little while later, Burchett went on CNN and claimed he had a recording of his conversation with McCarthy—a conversation that “went on in a belittling tone.”

We have two summations of the Republican Party’s talking points the last couple of days.

GOP (Sunday): “Dems are pedophiles!” GOP (Monday): “Dems are Communists!” GOP (Tuesday): “Dems are fascists!” GOP (Today): “Why didn’t Dems help us?”

— Tea Pain (@TeaPainUSA) October 4, 2023

Kevin McCarthy: *agrees to far-right Speaker demands* *gives January 6 footage to Tucker Carlson* *holds debt ceiling hostage* *blocks Ukraine $ for border wishlist* *launches impeachment of Biden* *blames govt shutdown drama on Dems* Media: “Why won’t Democrats save McCarthy?!”

— Sawyer Hackett (@SawyerHackett) October 4, 2023

After wringing his hands about how badly McCarthy was being treated, Politico reports that Rep. Jim Jordan has thrown his name into the ring to become the next speaker.

Jim Jordan's detractors say his involvement with a sex abuse scandal at Ohio State should disqualify the Congressman from holding GOP leadership positions. His supporters say he could be a fine Speaker in the mold of Dennis Hastert.

— New York Times Pitchbot (@DougJBalloon) October 4, 2023

C'est la vie!

The “Speaker Kevin McCarthy” sign above the Capitol Speaker office is being removed now 👀 ⁦@CNNpic.twitter.com/omRFncVfnE

— Haley Talbot (@haleytalbotcnn) October 4, 2023

Enough with the weak leadership and MAGA circus. Sign the petition: Hakeem Jeffries for speaker!

Watch AOC let loose on Clarence Thomas on ‘The Daily Show’

This week, longtime “The Daily Show” correspondent Jordan Klepper is taking his turn in the guest host seat. He kicked the week off with a bang, scoring an interview with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on her home turf of New York City.

And while the interview began as a conversation about violence and social services in America, it ended up touching on Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ ethics failures, the fight for reproductive rights, and Donald Trump being the only person who is crying for Donald Trump.

RELATED STORY: Supreme Court Justice Thomas' Republican donor buddy also collects Nazi trinkets

After Klepper joked about a theoretical Beyonce Knowles collecting Third Reich memorabilia, Ocasio-Cortez brought the interview back on track and succinctly drilled down to the bottom line:

“Supreme Court justices are required, if they are receiving money from people—they shouldn't even be receiving money from people. This is why we pay salaries to public servants. And if they want to live that kind of lifestyle, then they can resign from the court. They can retire.

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Before Klepper ended the interview, he brought up the orange elephant in the room. Did Ocasio-Cortez think people “were crying,” as Trump claimed, during his recent arraignment on charges of falsifying business records?

“Maybe George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene were, but not me,” Ocasio-Cortez said. She went on to say that Trump’s indictment is a symbol of the deep inequalities in our justice system, as she watches “people get treated far worse for doing far less” than Trump. “If you hurt one person, you get ten years in prison. But if you hurt millions of people, you get your name on a building.”

You can watch the whole interview below, as well as read a transcript of the interview.


Witness calls ‘b-------’ on Trump’s claims people were ‘crying’ at arraignment

The Clarence Thomas scandal keeps growing

Clarence Thomas’ lavish vacation getaways are so corrupt, even Republicans think they're bogus

Justice Clarence Thomas has reported up to $750,000 in income from a company that doesn't exist


Jordan Klepper: I considered going into the medical profession. I thought I could play a handsome doctor on TV. Didn't pan out. While we were on the subject of national embarrassment, I had to ask the congresswoman about Clarence Thomas and his BFF Nazi, swag collector, Harlan Crow. I want to talk a little bit about Clarence Thomas. You've said you would even draft articles of impeachment for the things that he's done. Has there been any quid pro quo? And I said quid pro quo, partially because it took all that effort to learn what quid pro quo meant back in the Ukraine days, and it feels apropos of now. And I don't think I used apropos correctly.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: I think that quid pro quo is this bar that doesn't even need to be met. The justice is required by law to disclose something like that. And he hasn't been.

Jordan Klepper: Can you empathize, though? If Beyoncé came through here, wanted to take you on a sweet vacation, wouldn't you say, “Yes.” And let her show you her Nazi memorabilia.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Tell someone about it. But hey, don't! Don't put Bey's name on that.

Jordan Klepper: I'm not saying she has. I'm saying if she invested in Nazi memorabilia to show that she hates Nazi memorabilia, she'd want to show it off.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: And that whole thing is just, I mean, bizarre. You also don't keep the linens around …

Jordan Klepper:--All the Nazi linens?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Yeah. Who does that?

Jordan Klepper: Don't you think if you had $1,000,000,000 and you bought everything, you'd probably eventually get to Nazi linens?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: This is the distraction of that whole issue.

Jordan Klepper: You're right. We're just focused on that as opposed to all the money that's going over to Clarence Thomas. Although if you're a billionaire, can't billionaires have friends?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: They can. Supreme Court justices are required, if they are receiving money from people—they shouldn't even be receiving money from people. This is why we pay salaries to public servants. And if they want to live that kind of lifestyle, then they can resign from the court. They can retire.

Jordan Klepper: Now I want to talk about the court. It's looking as if the Supreme Court is going to rule on some of the conflicting rulings around mifepristone. Who do you think is going to write the final decision that takes away these vital rights from women? Is it going to be the guy who cried over beer or was it going to be the buddy with the Nazi memorabilia guy?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: You know, my hope is that they—we do not get to that point. But we also have to face the reality that the Supreme Court has chosen to give up huge swaths of their own legitimacy. Chief Justice Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, the Republican Party: In them giving up trying to take seriously the legitimacy, the standards, the integrity of the court, they have given up a very large degree of their authority.

Jordan Klepper: The new news in Florida this week is the six-week abortion ban. How do women approach that or fight back against something like that that's happening in Florida?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Of course, there's the standard, like, vote and mobilize. But I'm going to put that aside for a second. We do not have to accept tyranny, and this is a form of tyranny. It is a form of violence. Women will die. People will die because of this decision. And it will be, by and large, the men who signed these laws that are killing the women that will die by them.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: And we have a responsibility to help one another, whether that is supporting organizations that mail mifepristone, which has significantly reduced risk, certainly safer than medications like Viagra. But ultimately, we cannot continue to accept people in power who will abuse others for their own gain.

Jordan Klepper: Indictment week was last week. It might also be a month from now, too. We could have a lot of indictment weeks. How do you think New Yorkers treated former President Donald Trump?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: I think they treated him like a Florida man. He don't belong to us no mo’, okay? You're not from Queens anymore. He's a citizen of Mar-a-Lago at this point.

Jordan Klepper: And you said New Yorkers treated him as such?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Yeah. Why wouldn't we?

Jordan Klepper: Do you think people were weeping when he was booked, as he claims?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Maybe George Santos and Marjorie Taylor Greene were, but not me. Take it back to LaGuardia.

Jordan Klepper: Take it back to LaGuardia, which is in your district?

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Yes, it's in my district. And so is Rikers. And so we have, I have to go in every single day watching people get treated far worse for doing far less and then, you know, it's like this red carpet that gets rolled out. I mean, if you hurt one person, you get ten years in prison. But if you hurt millions of people, you get your name on a building.

Jordan Klepper: Congresswoman, thanks for talking with us.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Thanks for having me.

On today’s episode, Markos and Kerry are joined by a friend of the podcast, Democratic political strategist Simon Rosenberg. Rosenberg was one of the few outsiders who, like Daily Kos, kept telling the world that nothing supported the idea of a red wave. Simon and the crew break down his strategy for Democratic candidates to achieve a 55% popular vote in all elections—a number that a few years ago would have seemed unattainable, but now feels within reach.