I’m enjoying watching the House Republicans running amok and stabbing each other in the back as much as the next person. Like many of you, I’m amazed at the seemingly endless supply of awful white men who actually think they are somehow different from any other right wing loser in the caucus.
One of the funniest sets of Speaker-election-related memes right now are people riffing on Elise Stefanik’s monomaniacal quest to endorse every candidate with a tweet that contains a photo of her with the candidate, and culminating with this:
I will say that with Tom Emmer’s bowing out on Tuesday evening this whole thing is becoming less amusing and more alarming. Not only is the nation careening toward a government shutdown, but the US is providing support to 2 ongoing wars. I had a hope that Emmer might make it work, maybe even make a deal with the Democrats so this national nightmare could end, but he was out after a nano-Scaramucci when TFG buried him after he emerged as the candidate:
Just hours after Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) won the Republican Conference’s nomination to be Speaker on Tuesday, former President Donald Trump took to Truth Social to deride the congressman as “totally out-of-touch with Republican Voters” and a “Globalist RINO.”
He then got on the phone with members to express his aversion for Emmer and his bid for Speaker.
By Tuesday afternoon Trump called one person close to him with the message, “He’s done. It’s over. I killed him.”
Just minutes later, Emmer officially dropped out of the race.
And because it’s Politico, we got the requisite taking TFG’s statements at face value:
“He’s my biggest fan because he called me yesterday and told me, ‘I’m your biggest fan,’” Trump replied. “We’re looking at a lot of people and I’m trying to stay out of that as much as possible. But they’ll get it straightened out. No, I’ve always gotten along with him and I get along with all of them. A lot of good people.”
Yeah, TFG was just going to sit this one out. Mmmhmm. Good work, Politico.
TFG sunk Emmer because although Emmer did sign on to some of the election overturning litigation at the state level, he voted to certify the 2020 election. Perhaps he thought it’d be a prescient move, banking on TFG’s legal woes hamstringing him in 2024. Or maybe he thought it was the right thing to do and trusted the voters in his district to reward him for doing what was right. But as TFG finds himself in a deeper and deeper hole, Emmer’s election certification vote is all the disqualification he needs.
House Republicans met one more time on Tuesday night to try again, and this time settled on Mike Johnson who was an architect of the election denial project and is opposed to same sex marriage. Oh, and he wants to ban abortion. House Republicans gathered late Tuesday night to celebrate and predict that since Johnson had received everyone’s vote that evening during the roll call, he was set for the Speaker election.
Well, except for one thing: 3 members voted present and 22 members were absent on Tuesday night. So who knows what happens once the full House convenes? All things remaining the same, there is no viable road to another TFG presidency. And after this Speaker fiasco, which has played out in full view of the electorate is over, it’s most likely going to cost the GOP the House.
TFG’s only hope of staying out of jail is becoming president again and stopping all the litigation against him, so he needs to put a Speaker in place now to handle that in January 2025. The Seditionist Caucus even made that clear for all of us late Tuesday night:
Reporter: You help lead the effort to overturn the 2020 election results, do you—
Republicans: *boo* shut up pic.twitter.com/L7R5fwhpIi
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 25, 2023
It’s a Hail Mary strategy, complicated by the reality that it is likely that the rest of this Congress will be dominated by a revolving Speaker door, so today’s election denier may have to give up the gavel tomorrow. But it’s the only option he has and it’s a dangerous one.
UPDATE: Johnson is the new Speaker–an architect of the House’s election-denying strategy, a virulent opponent of LGBTQ rights, and ultra-obsessed with forcing women to have children. The Democrats had better go after every Biden district GOP rep with hammer and tongs for the next year. UGH.
That reminds me of a song: