Republicans suck so bad, some mainstream media outlets are even getting McCarthy’s ouster right

In a refreshing turn of events, House Republicans are putting on such a dazzling display of self-immolation that many mainstream media outlets have been forced to accurately portray the level of pandemonium these so-called lawmakers have unleashed on the institution they supposedly govern and the country they purportedly serve.

A Wednesday morning Politico piece opened with, “There’s no House speaker, Republicans are tearing each other to shreds over Kevin McCarthy’s ouster and another shutdown deadline is less than six weeks away — with no leader in a strong enough position to guide the party through.”

While the reports, analyses, and opinion pieces almost always note that a small band of Republicans "voted with Democrats" to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy from his post, they still deride Republicans and McCarthy as the root of the problem. After all, it's on the majority party to elect a speaker of the House, not the minority party.  

As The Washington Post’s Paul Kane quipped about McCarthy, “There’s a price to pay for helping set fire to an institution and then asking the fire department to come save your office.”

In a piece satisfyingly titled, "Republicans cut off their own heads," The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote that the eight rogue Republicans led by Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida toppled McCarthy "without a plan, a replacement, or even a policy goal in mind."

[T]he House is essentially frozen. The putative GOP majority is weaker, and its ability to gain any policy victories has been undermined. Oversight of the Biden Administration will slow or stop. Republicans in swing districts who are vulnerable in 2024 will be especially wary of trusting the Gaetz faction, and regaining any unity of purpose will be that much harder.

A Politico Magazine piece by editor John Harris declared, "The House GOP is a failed State."

McCarthy’s ouster is dramatic evidence, if redundant, about the state of the modern GOP. A party that used to have an instinctual orientation toward authority and order — Democrats fall in love, went the old chestnut, while Republicans fall in line — is now animated by something akin to nihilism. The politics of contempt so skillfully exploited by Donald Trump is turned inward on hapless would-be leaders like McCarthy with no less ferocity than it is turned outward on liberals and the media.

In a Washington Post analysis titled, "McCarthy ouster exposes the Republican Party's destructive tendencies," Dan Balz wrote that Republicans had "brought the legislative body to a halt" and "now risk being returned to minority status by voters in next year’s election."

And NBC News' First Read cut to the chase in a report titled, "Republicans struggle to govern—and McCarthy paid the price."

It all underscores a fundamental point about today’s political dysfunction in Washington: Republicans have had a difficult — if not impossible — time governing, especially when they control at least one legislative chamber but not the White House. And that difficulty has only gotten worse.

Arguably, Republicans have had a tough time governing recently, even when they had unified control of government. For instance, starting in late 2018, then-President Donald Trump presided over the longest government shutdown in history.

But quibbles aside, by and large, these mainstream pieces got it right: Republicans are a menace to good governance and should never be in charge.

Sign the petition: No to shutdowns, no to Biden impeachment, no to Republicans

Trump expected splashy Wall Street Journal coverage of Hunter Biden’s emails. He was disappointed

Rudy Giuliani’s ridiculous waterlogged laptop story wasn’t supposed to be the way the public learned about an alleged trove of Hunter Biden emails. It was supposed to come from a much more reputable Rupert Murdoch-owned publication. Not even Fox News, which passed. No, some ostensibly more reputable Trumpsters were trying to sell the email story—minus the laptop angle—to The Wall Street Journal. 

Eric Herschmann, the former Trump impeachment lawyer turned White House adviser, former deputy White House counsel Stefan Passantino, and a public relations person who’s buddies with Don Jr. met with WSJ reporter Michael Bender in early October, The New York Times’ Ben Smith reports. At that meeting, they handed over Hunter Biden emails—including some of the same ones Giuliani supposedly got from the laptop—and put his former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, on speaker phone to make allegations that Joe Biden had profited from Hunter’s corrupt use of the family name. That effort to sell the story ran into one big problem: The Wall Street Journal took its time investigating and decided there wasn’t a lot of there there.

While that investigation was ongoing, Giuliani got the New York Post to run his laptop story, which quickly came under question. (Questions like “Are you f’ing kidding me?” and “So Rudy’s basically a Russian asset now, right?)

But Donald Trump knew that The Wall Street Journal was supposedly going to be doing a story on the emails, and he was excited, telling aides that an “important piece” was coming in the paper. While “The editors didn’t like Trump’s insinuation that we were being teed up to do this hit job,” a reporter told Smith, the investigation into the emails continued. But it didn't go on Team Trump’s schedule, which called for a major, splashy article before last week’s debate. Instead, the eventual WSJ article came after Bobulinski went to the press himself, and Trump tried to make him an issue in the debate. The headline of the short article eventually published? “Hunter Biden’s Ex-Business Partner Alleges Father Knew About Venture.”

That’s not exactly what the White House lawyer and former White House lawyer were looking for—they wanted the New York Post insinuations laundered through the respectability of the WSJ. And of course the whole story is further discredited by having multiple overlapping sets of Hunter Biden emails being pushed around by different parts of Team Trump. The laptop story is dubious enough on its own—man from California delivers laptop to Delaware repair shop where blind Trump-supporting owner can’t identify him as Hunter Biden but figures it out from Biden-related sticker on the laptop, etc etc etc, improbability stacking upon improbability—but when you know that that wasn't the only set of supposed Hunter Biden emails, well, it really screams Russian influence campaign. And it screams Trump desperation for any game-changer in the campaign, however illegitimate.