Republican leader Kevin McCarthy still not Speaker
January 4, 2023 4:31 PM   Subscribe

For the second day, the US House of Representatives has no speaker. A new session can't start until a speaker is elected. McCarthy has lost six rounds of votes.

This may mean a "tumultuous two years of moderate and right-wing Republicans at war with each other". Unfortunately, it also prevents the House from passing spending bills, setting up constituent services, and raising the debt ceiling.
posted by joannemerriam (858 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
Total. Dumpster. Fire.

Thoughts and prayers, Kevin.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:38 PM on January 4 [22 favorites]


I'm dying laughing at this WaPo article:
But if the House of Representatives has no members who have taken the oath of office, does it exist?
“I know our capacity to do basic legislation doesn’t really exist,” said Rep.-elect Derek Kilmer, continuing up the stairs, then turning around to ask a reporter: “Do you exist?”

Greg Pence, the brother of the former vice president, walked into the House chamber before the start of a second day of voting for speaker, passing a sign that says “Members Only.” Though reelected in November and wearing an official congressional pin, Pence was not technically a member of Congress, because he had not been sworn in again.
“I’m a member-elect,” Pence (R-Ind.) explained.
But if there are no actual members, who is in charge on this side of the Capitol?
Pence pointed to the ceiling and said, “God.” (God could not be reached for comment.)

Just before the session commenced, Rep.-elect Troy E. Nehls (R-Tex.), a Freedom Caucus guy who is nevertheless voting for Rep.-elect Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), was smoking a nubby Ashton cigar outdoors. He had two more in his jacket pocket, either to celebrate or to pass the time.'
“They’re mild-to-moderate,” Nehls said about the cigars, “which is good, because they won’t make you s--- your pants.” That is an important feature, here in purgatory, where members-elect have been changing the diapers of their visiting infants in the cloak rooms.
“This baby was born on the first round of votes,” tweeted Rep.-elect Tony Cárdenas (D-Calif.) on Tuesday, while holding the child of colleague Jimmy Gomez. “He’s now 4 months old.”

Nearby, Rep.-elect Ken Buck (R-Colo.) explained that he believed the House existed, but in a state of “disarray.” The proof: People had been elected, and had pins, and could go on the floor to vote for the speaker. So what needs to happen to get a speaker?
Buck suggested that Republicans adjourn and go downstairs to meet in private. “I don’t know if alcohol will help,” Buck said, “or if we need to bring in a plate of Colorado brownies.”

Democrats “want us to fight each other,” Cammack said to the chamber. “That much has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol” on the Democratic side.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:39 PM on January 4 [76 favorites]




All Jeffries needs are six non-traitorous Republicans of conscience to put a stop to this nonsense.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:41 PM on January 4 [39 favorites]


May favorite comment so far on this mess: even when the Republicans repeat the voting, they still manage to lose.
posted by coberh at 4:43 PM on January 4 [43 favorites]


Alexandra Petri in The Washington Post: “The House speaker election is so embarrassing (for you)” (free)
Hits classic notes, but they are true notes.
posted by Going To Maine at 4:44 PM on January 4 [25 favorites]


"….tumultuous two years of moderate and right-wing Republicans at war with each other"

Point of order: there are currently no moderate Republicans.
posted by Silvery Fish at 4:51 PM on January 4 [89 favorites]


Change the system. Whoever gets the most votes wins.
posted by swift at 4:51 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Yeah, Jeffries should just take charge...
posted by kaibutsu at 4:52 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Pride goeth before a fall losing a vote six times in a row.
posted by orange swan at 4:54 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


More WaPo: House member cites Leeroy Jenkins meme during speaker vote
At the 118th Congress to determine the next speaker of the house on Wednesday, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) voted for Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) enthusiastically, shouting, “Hakeeeeeem Jeffries!”
Huffman’s vote had a distinct delivery reminiscent of Leeroy Jenkins, a viral internet character who has been a popular meme in video games for nearly 20 years. The meme was invoked again when Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa) voted for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), according to journalist Grace Segers of the New Republic.
On Twitter, Huffman confirmed the reference. “Yup, I said what I said,” he tweeted. “If Republicans are going to make us sit through this repeated self-flagellation, we might as well make it memorable.”
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:54 PM on January 4 [54 favorites]


What? No seventh Kevin?
posted by jonp72 at 4:55 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


If you live in Ted Lieu's district, please ask him to play Yaketty Sax on his phone as circumstances warrant.
posted by ocschwar at 4:55 PM on January 4 [25 favorites]


I imagine a floor vote to elect by plurality followed by another vote for speaker would put McCarthy in place, as the defectors would be forced to support McCarthy or cede the house to the Dems...
posted by kaibutsu at 4:56 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Okay, now I gotta quote Alexandra Petri so everyone can know:
Honestly, we are a little confused you are taking this so poorly. This is like electing a bunch of clowns to office and being disappointed when they put on a magnificent clown show for you. Here is precisely the clown show you ordered! You shouldn’t be ashamed. You should be applauding. It is like ordering a decorative salad made entirely from Legos and being mad that you can’t eat it. It is like voting for Lauren Boebert and then becoming upset that a legislature that contains her is not productively working for the American people.
I feel like "LEGO decorative salad" needs to become A Thing now.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:56 PM on January 4 [132 favorites]


On the one hand, I am having a great time watching McCarthy be humiliated in public. He is a shitweasel and deserves to be given a swirly in public.

But on the other hand, so far the only people who seem to be coming out even slightly ahead from this are the far right whackjobs, who deserve the same humiliation they are dishing out to McCarthy.

It's sad that there isn't a realistic chance of some kind of consensus candidate who would get a modicum of Dem support, plus most of the GOP, leaving the far right cluster isolated and without a voice.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:57 PM on January 4 [31 favorites]


Electing by secret ballot would resolve this standoff.

Or locking them in the chamber like it's a papal conclave. (Although I bet that would result in Boebert and Greene getting into an all out hair pulling brawl.)
posted by ocschwar at 4:58 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Spotted on Twitter by @jacksonboaz_

McCarthy doesn’t have the votes.
Scalise doesn’t have the votes.
Biggs doesn’t have the votes.

There’s only one man who can truly unite the Republican Party…

Neurosurgeon, Nobel Prize winner, and WWII hero GEORGE SANTOS.

posted by ActionPopulated at 4:59 PM on January 4 [109 favorites]


So, who, exactly, authorized the removal of the metal detectors in all this dumpster fire?
posted by eviemath at 5:00 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


Hakeem Jeffries is a centrist. That's exactly how he got to where he is. You don't get to be the speaker nominee on the Democratic side by being a socialist. Republicans like to pretend he's not a centrist, but he really, really is. He is the compromise consensus candidate people say they want. But he's also, you know, a Black man from New York, so we have to pretend like he's some wacky left winger.
posted by hydropsyche at 5:02 PM on January 4 [72 favorites]


They are so opposed to governance, all they can or want to do is obstruct it. So much so that they're obstructing themselves from governing and one of their chief demands is being able to obstruct governance even more. Seriously. They asked that a single house member be able to trigger exactly this kind of vote at any time.
posted by Garm at 5:03 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


What? No seventh Kevin?
posted by jonp72

Kevin can wait. 🤣
posted by zaixfeep at 5:04 PM on January 4 [21 favorites]


On the one hand, empowering fascists, shitshow government, disintegrating republic

On the other

posted by lalochezia at 5:05 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Neurosurgeon, Nobel Prize winner, and WWII hero GEORGE SANTOS.

I just hope when the roll call swings around his way on the 48th ballot that this time he's paying attention enough to vote
posted by mcstayinskool at 5:09 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Oh someone posted this subject! I'd seen this thread earlier today (it's from yesterday morning) and was saving it to share. Not generally much of a fan of humor-based political stunts on the House floor, but honestly, Democratic MOCs arriving with vats of popcorn is a solid bit. -Emily Hauser (Followed by a long list of photos of members of congress with popcorn.)
posted by hippybear at 5:10 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


I’m somewhat amused that Democrats are fairly enthusiastic about Mr. Jeffries, but the Republicans all seem to be a bit grumpy about all of their candidates., whether it’s McCarthy or Donalds or Jordan or …
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 5:10 PM on January 4


And the popcorn is Garretts! Now that's going to be a thing
posted by mmmbacon at 5:15 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


I just hope when the roll call swings around his way on the 48th ballot that this time he's paying attention enough to vote

He just forgot that Santos was the name he was using this time around.
posted by dannyboybell at 5:21 PM on January 4 [34 favorites]


What? No seventh Kevin?

Kevin can wait. 🤣


Surely the sitcom reference should be Kevin Can Fuck Himself.
posted by Superilla at 5:22 PM on January 4 [23 favorites]


Total. Dumpster. Fire.

...And
posted by y2karl at 5:23 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


AOC on Twitter this afternoon, addressing a rumor that congressional Democrats were drinking during the speaker vote:
If only! If Dems took a shot every time McCarthy lost a Republican, we'd all be unconscious by now
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:23 PM on January 4 [49 favorites]



All Jeffries needs are six non-traitorous Republicans of conscience to put a stop to this nonsense.
Or McCarthy coming to him and saying "Let's negotiate a coalition government." But both incredibly sensible ideas are very unlikely to happen.
posted by dannyboybell at 5:28 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Hmmm... Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes) to beat McCarthy?
posted by zaixfeep at 5:32 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


This will end in a gunfight on the floor, mark my words.
posted by nickggully at 5:37 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


Has anybody picked up haskevinmccarthybeenelectedspeaker.com?
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 5:43 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


ah, and the house chaplain: "...deliver us from intransigence and impudence..."
posted by Clowder of bats at 5:46 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


Hmmm... Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes) to beat McCarthy?

I'm sure they'd gamed this out and decided it was impossible. The Democrats are known for pointlessly trying to seek consensus, but that's because they've been burned by mainstream press expecting Democrats and only Democrats to be bipartisan. That doesn't mean they wouldn't prefer their own Speaker if they could make it happen. If your opposition is fucking up this badly, you take the shot.

I can see them trying to convince some Republicans to just... not go in tomorrow.
posted by Merus at 5:47 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Democrats “want us to fight each other,” Cammack said to the chamber. “That much has been made clear by the popcorn and blankets and alcohol” on the Democratic side.


Those dastardly Democrats! It’s almost as if they don’t actually want the GOP to destroy the country!
posted by darkstar at 5:48 PM on January 4 [39 favorites]


> zaixfeep: "Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies"

I don't believe the current numbers can support such a scenario without at least some Republican defections and/or "present" votes. The Republican vote counts for today were 201 for McCarthy, 20 for Donalds, and 1 "present" (by Rep. Spartz of IN-5). The Democratic count has been solid at 212. In order for the Dem count to exceed McCarthy's count, it couldn't dip below 202 (e.g.: if 10 Dems vote present), but that still doesn't put it over 50% if the 20 never-Kevins keep up their resistance.

More generally, I'm not sure such a tactic (i.e.: a candidate being able to game the system by inducing "present" votes and/or abstentions on their side to turn their minority vote share into a majority) can actually work. When you take one of your votes out of play by abstention or "present", you're taking a vote in your favor out of both the numerator and the denominator of the fraction representing your share. When you subtract the same amount from the numerator and denominator from a fraction, you make the fraction smaller (e.g.: 3/4 -> 2/3 -> 1/2). So, if you started with <50%, this tactic alone can't actually put you over 50%.
posted by mhum at 5:51 PM on January 4 [17 favorites]


[a series of Nelson laughing gifs, all the way down]
posted by The Power Nap at 5:51 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Hmmm... Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes) to beat McCarthy?

That would simultaneously bring down the Jefferies vote count.

OTOH, If Dems somehow came to a deal with McCarty, that's probably how they'd get him over the line without actually voting for him.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:52 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


At three votes a day, they could be there another month and a half!

Is McCarthy another Nathaniel Banks?

We're going to need more than popcorn, folks.

The last multiple ballots for speaker were in 1923 when Frederick Gillett finally was elected after nine votes.

One meet of Congress runs at least 20 million a day. Quit wasting my tax money, you contemptable two-bit miserable bastard!
posted by BlueHorse at 5:54 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


that would result in Boebert and Greene getting into an all out hair pulling brawl.

I would pay good money to -see- be informed that that happened.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:54 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


This will end in a gunfight on the floor, mark my words.

If it does, it will be because Republicans removed the metal detectors put in after their violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:55 PM on January 4 [29 favorites]


I imagine John Boehner is enjoying a few nice cocktails while watching this all go down.
posted by darkstar at 5:55 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


Hmmm... Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes) to beat McCarthy?

The last vote was 201 McCarthy / 20 Donalds / 212 Jeffries / 1 present. If 10 Dems had walked out, Jeffries has a bare plurality, but not a majority. If more Dems than that walk out, Jeffries loses his plurality, and so couldn't possibly get a majority. Enough Dems walk out, McCarthy gets a majority and wins.
posted by BungaDunga at 5:55 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Even if Kevin gets in (especially if by lowering the bar), he’ll have zero authority to lead. He’s damaged goods. Any sensible person would have stepped aside.

But, well, there’s the problem.
posted by Capt. Renault at 5:56 PM on January 4 [19 favorites]


how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes

There's the additional logistic complexity that the House Reps vote one by one in alphabetical order, so it's not just how many Dems vote present but who and when. Too many D "present" votes too early and the more savvy R's will figure out what's going on and come up with a way to block it.

Which in practice would probably mean McCarthy utterly & immediately capitulating to the hard right holdouts for their votes. At least now we get to watch him slowly get squeezed into a corner with lots of media coverage.

If Dems somehow came to a deal with McCarty, that's probably how they'd get him over the line without actually voting for him.

McCarthy is an insurrectionist, a MAGAhat, and a slimy untrustworthy son of a bitch. No deal with McCarthy is worth spit. They'd better not.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:03 PM on January 4 [43 favorites]


BTW PBS NewsHour reported that the 'Speaker' signage has been taken down from McCarthy's (Speaker) office. So Evil Donny Osmond got what he wanted, but in the most wonderfully passive-agressive way the building staff could manage. Kudos to them.
posted by zaixfeep at 6:05 PM on January 4 [18 favorites]


I loved watching republicans lose elections last year. Then Kevin McCarthy comes in - Happy New Year! - I lost seven elections in two days!
posted by adept256 at 6:08 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


I see the Miss Havisham of mar-a-lago has twatted to support Kevin. He was never your benefactor Pip.

If he gets the gavel, I'm going to buy a head of lettuce.
posted by adept256 at 6:10 PM on January 4 [24 favorites]


Our local paper had a headline today that read something like "Republicans Fail to Elect Speaker, Biden Agenda Stalled." So the bullshit train keeps chugging on.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:17 PM on January 4 [24 favorites]


Jesus. I miss Veep. Oh no, hang on, this is Veep irl.
posted by Keith Talent at 6:17 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


If it does, it will be because Republicans removed the metal detectors put in after their violent insurrection on January 6, 2021.

And here I always thought the Democrats were the party of the "circular firing squad".
posted by Kadin2048 at 6:17 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Speaker of the House is third in the presidential line of succession. Currently, everybody's a declared Democrat save Secretary of Defense Austin (affiliation unknown) and AG Garland (affiliation unknown).

Even that wondrously snarky WaPo Style article Does the House Even Exist Right Now (original, archived) notes, "The House, unable to organize itself, can’t participate in the sharing of national security intelligence with the White House."
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:23 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


If only someone could place a light grenade for the Freedom Caucus to find...
posted by zaixfeep at 6:27 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


lego decorative salad (stablediffusion)
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 6:28 PM on January 4 [28 favorites]


I imagine there's a point at which, after having shown unity for seven votes, one dem about halfway down the alphabet can vote present. Just hurl a bomb of uncertainty into the republican side and see who frantically recalculates their vote.

Cause enough panic and confusion and we may get the extra five GOP "Present" votes required to have Jeffries as Speaker.

Like, these are not smart people in the opposition.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:28 PM on January 4 [21 favorites]


Oh, hey, Representative Mfume Kweisi from the Maryland 7th comes before 10 republicans. 10 GOP folks that have to vote before any other dem vote gives them a clue as to what's going on.
posted by Slackermagee at 6:37 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


This will end in a gunfight on the floor, mark my words.

House GOP ditches metal detectors 3 days before Capitol riot anniversary(Axios)

The incoming Republican majority in the House of Representatives removed metal detectors outside of the chamber floor on Tuesday, just three days before the second anniversary of the deadly Jan. 6 riot.


It's coup denialism behind it. I'm kind enough to suppose you haven't heard about this. Like many people I was complacent about the possibility of political violence. But the coup changed that - let's not even speculate.
posted by adept256 at 6:44 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


Welcome to the House of Pain
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:00 PM on January 4 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately, it also prevents the House from passing spending bills, setting up constituent services, and raising the debt ceiling.

Which, when you think about it, no spending bills and not raising the debt ceiling are firmly in-line with what the far-right wackdoodles believe in. So, extending this nonsense out indefinitely would be an absolute win for them. And, by doing so, they effectively freeze the Senate’s law-making power, too. They really have no reason not to just sit there and keep voting ‘no’.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:01 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


I guess back in the mid-1800s there was one Speaker vote that took over 2 months to be resolved.
posted by hippybear at 7:04 PM on January 4




"Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies"

The R's are the ones that have to vote 'present' or defect. Don't look likely
posted by eustatic at 7:09 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


Oh look, it's your country's turn to have a shitshow. Is this where I'm supposed to come in and explain how this relates to my country's politics, ask whether the Queen is going to intervene, and what if Sinn Fein take their seats?

Sending love and popcorn from across the pond. I hope we can both have functioning governments one day.
posted by automatronic at 7:11 PM on January 4 [75 favorites]


As long as they don't nominate Liz Truss for Speaker, I think we'll do okay overall.
posted by hippybear at 7:13 PM on January 4 [16 favorites]


ask whether the Queen is going to intervene

We'll update when Beyonce says something about it.
posted by LionIndex at 7:13 PM on January 4 [76 favorites]


Which, when you think about it, no spending bills and not raising the debt ceiling are firmly in-line with what the far-right wackdoodles believe in. So, extending this nonsense out indefinitely would be an absolute win for them.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy would have to commit to shut down the government rather than raise the debt ceiling in order to win the support of his opponents, Rep. Ralph Norman, a Republican from South Carolina, told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

(And even that probably woudn't be enough. Five hard nos out of the Grunty Twenty still knock McCarthy out, without further intervention.)

McCarthy himself has threatened to use the debt ceiling as leverage during Congressional warfare, but there's a difference -- and it's the same difference that has Freedom Kooks vowing to take Mitch McConnell down, despite McConnell being the architect of pretty much all Republican gains over the last couple of decades. When it comes down to brass tacks, Republican leadership does generally understand how the Congressional sausage is made, as well as what parts of it absolutely have to be made to avoid catastrophe, and sets their sights on making it happen on the best possible terms for their side.

The Freedom Kooks literally don't want the sausage to be made at all.
posted by delfin at 7:14 PM on January 4 [23 favorites]




Rep. Kevin McCarthy would have to commit to shut down the government rather than raise the debt ceiling in order to win the support of his opponents

All my grumbles about Biden would go away if he just made that trillion-dollar coin like I always wanted Obama to do. Congress passed a budget, the President signed a budget, now you fund the budget. Brush these fuckers off like dirt on the soles of your shoes.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 7:21 PM on January 4 [7 favorites]


Remarkable.

Still the good thing is that the debt ceiling does not come for review until September, as a result of the careful politics of the Democrats and Biden.

Any bets that the Speaker -"ship?"/"dom?" is still in contention at that time?
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 7:27 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Do they get paid if they are not sworn in?
posted by Billiken at 7:28 PM on January 4 [12 favorites]


We'll have Speaker Air Bud by September.
posted by adept256 at 7:30 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


I feel like "LEGO decorative salad" needs to become A Thing now.

Well, we are getting a dried flower centerpiece set, does that count?
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:32 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]




Do they get paid if they are not sworn in?

I shouldn't think so. Apparently their their staffs don't.
posted by BWA at 7:46 PM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Can we take a moment to acknowledge what a player Pelosi was? She's like the swan gliding across the lake, you don't see the work going on under the water. Maybe this was Kevin's mistake - she made it look easy. He never saw her on phone behind closed doors, counting votes. Just the end result - the ayes have it, bang bang goes the gavel.

Because it's plain that he hasn't done any of the work. You had two months to get the votes! We don't even know what the recalcitrants want. A pony? Someone on the TV remarked what do you do when you ask the hostage takers what they want and they say 'hostages'?

The very fact that he didn't count the votes this time disqualifies him. It's not a great start when that's the whole fucking job. Pelosi didn't call votes that she didn't know the outcome of. Kevin is doing that in the job interview.
posted by adept256 at 8:03 PM on January 4 [120 favorites]


"The fundamental article of my political creed is that despotism, or unlimited sovereignty, or absolute power, is the same in a majority of a popular assembly, an aristocratical council, an oligarchical junto, and a single emperor. Equally arbitrary, cruel, bloody, and in every respect diabolical."

-John Adams.
posted by clavdivs at 8:20 PM on January 4 [12 favorites]


Nice analysis at Vanity Fair: Congressional Kardashians.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:22 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Can we take a moment to acknowledge what a player Pelosi was? She's like the swan gliding across the lake, you don't see the work going on under the water.

Amen. She never got even half the credit she deserved.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:23 PM on January 4 [26 favorites]


Pelosi didn't call votes that she didn't know the outcome of. Kevin is doing that in the job interview.

In fairness, the Democrats are effectively forcing him to call votes, because any adjournment longer than "until the next day" needs their assent and they're not giving it because they don't want to give McCarthy the opportunity to negotiate privately for any extended period of time. But really - any marginally competent leader would have, you know, figured all of this out already.
posted by mightygodking at 8:27 PM on January 4 [29 favorites]


Whereas at the rate we're going, we're liable to somehow end up with Liz Truss as the Speaker by February.

As a nation, we might almost deserve that.
posted by delfin at 8:27 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


Was anyone else watching this live? I nearly died laughing at the multiple attempts to call the House to order and the cross yelling you could hear in the background. I’m hoping the next day will be even more of a train wreck than the last.
posted by corb at 8:30 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


It was my maybe wrong understanding that the total (434, one vacancy) is determined when the take roll in the morning so voting present doesn't lower the threshold (218). So to throw the vote, a number of members would have to not show up in the morning.

I would think the democrats should offer to do that, bailing McCarthy out, in exchange for getting rid of the debt ceiling. It's a moot point though because he would instantly lose 100 Republican votes for even negotiating with Democrats.
posted by being_quiet at 8:33 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


As a nation, we might almost deserve that.

Well, Boris Johnson was born in America, it seems only fitting.
posted by pwnguin at 8:55 PM on January 4 [5 favorites]


I hearby nominate that head of lettuce the Daily Star mocked Liz Truss with (in whatever its current state of decay is) for Speaker of the House.

Do I have a second?
posted by mmcg at 9:21 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


I feel like the debt ceiling ought to be only the appetizer for the banquet of concessions the Dems should try and crank out of McCarthy. L

At what point do people get tired of failing to own the Libs and decide maybe it might be fun to own the fash?
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:23 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


banquet of concessions

You trust these people? Lucy/football.
posted by adept256 at 9:38 PM on January 4 [30 favorites]


The obvious solution is to get a banquet of concessions from him and then all vote for Jeffries anyways, just like the fascists are doing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:48 PM on January 4 [19 favorites]


Republicans (and their supports abroad) have two agendas: their privledged class/race/male agenda and the second one is to demonstrate that our government does not work, can not be trusted/relied upon in its debts, its alliances, its functions.

how many times in the last 15 years has congress been able to pass a new budget not just a contining funding resolution?

Having a prolonged mess with the speakership doesn't help them with their fight against the wrong sex, taxes etc, but it surely helps them recruit more folks to the "the system has failed , kick the chair" stage of govt overthrow.
posted by anecdotal_grand_theory at 10:04 PM on January 4 [11 favorites]


What's the vegas odds on No Speaker for next week look like? For next month? Scalise?
posted by anecdotal_grand_theory at 10:07 PM on January 4


When do they nominate Boehner as the unity candidate?
posted by riverlife at 10:17 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


But seriously, the fascism is coming from inside the House. They are cannibalizing their own with glee. It is all-at-once the inevitable endgame, schaudenfuckingtastic, tragic, terrible for the nation, and a Wednesday.

Despite the gallows humor, letting the sentient cancerous mass continue to run our governments at any level has got to stop.
posted by riverlife at 10:39 PM on January 4 [22 favorites]


what do you do when you ask the hostage takers what they want and they say 'hostages'?

This really is an extraordinary line.
posted by gwint at 10:55 PM on January 4 [80 favorites]


House Reps vote one by one in alphabetical order

I am surprised we have not yet seen an arms race of legal name changes:
John Zzzwsmith
Sarah Zzzzzzzcortez
Biff Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzlastvoteme.com

etc., etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:25 PM on January 4 [8 favorites]


what do you do when you ask the hostage takers what they want and they say 'hostages'?

Peak Republican't
posted by Calvin and the Duplicators at 11:30 PM on January 4 [10 favorites]


There's a whole lot of steps in the Stairway to Kevin.
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 11:32 PM on January 4 [6 favorites]


I need more Republican tears to salt my meat.
posted by jadepearl at 11:50 PM on January 4 [4 favorites]


Can we take a moment to acknowledge what a player Pelosi was?

Heather Cox Richardson quotes Josh Marshall:
One story here is about competence. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo points out that Pelosi ran the House with virtually the same margin the Republicans have now [emphasis mine] and yet managed to hold her caucus together tightly enough to pass a slate of legislation that rivaled those of the Great Society and the New Deal. McCarthy can’t even organize the House, leaving the United States without a functioning Congress for the first time in a hundred years.
Way back in June, I bookmarked a CNN analysis about the stunning unity of Democrats, thinking I might post it to MetaFilter:
House Democrats have achieved a modern milestone in this legislative session that crystallizes a fundamental transformation in how Congress operates.

Working with a razor-thin majority, House Democrats have recorded the highest level of party unity in floor votes that either party has reached in at least 50 years, according to the authoritative statistics kept by Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call. House Democrats have passed legislation on virtually every element of their party’s priority list – from the sweeping Build Back Better investment and social welfare package to bills setting a national floor for voting and abortion rights to major gun control proposals, legalization for big groups of undocumented immigrants and ambitious police reform – with dissenting votes from no more than two of their members and often opposition from only one or none.

...

The increased unity, many observers agree, is a testament not only to the skill of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in wrangling her caucus; it also reflects a succession of tectonic shifts in the electoral and legislative landscape ...
Congresswoman Pelosi has been an extraordinarily skillful leader, and her decades of public service have resulted in immense good for the people of the United States.

Because I enjoy entertaining improbable fantasies, I like to imagine what could happen if the Republican stalemate in the House ended up with a handful of less radical Republicans supporting Jeffries for Speaker. I suspect Jeffries will be a terrific Minority Leader.

But I will always have enormous admiration for Pelosi, and gratitude for everything she's made happen, from health care to the recent climate bill. She has worked impossibly hard and maneuvered phenomenally well to get important legislation passed, and I hope I never forget all the good she's done.
posted by kristi at 11:58 PM on January 4 [62 favorites]


Whatever happened to Paul Ryan?
posted by tzikeh at 12:54 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


People have predicted the Republican party would splinter for over a decade now. I had naively assumed it would present as party members running as independent and splitting the vote, but this is far more catastrophic.
posted by pwnguin at 12:57 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


All my grumbles about Biden would go away if he just made that trillion-dollar coin like I always wanted Obama to do.

They started talking about that idea back in 2011. How have we not had any heist movies yet about President Smith minting a trillion dollar coin and somebody stealing it?
posted by straight at 1:25 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


I'm a little confused why Democrats are enjoying this. Is there any likely resolution that is not 1) the Craziest People in the Republican Party get powerful committee assignments and a bunch of other terrible concessions, or 2) the House can't pass a budget and the Federal Government goes into default?
posted by straight at 1:28 AM on January 5 [13 favorites]


What's not to enjoy? The GOP has wasted two days doing nothing, showing its basic incompetence in the face of Democratic unity, and not getting to its obstructive agenda.

McCarthy was already going to play games with the debt limit when it comes due, probably in the fall of 2023. If it's not one MAGAhead it'll be another.
posted by zompist at 2:23 AM on January 5 [13 favorites]


How have we not had any heist movies yet about President Smith minting a trillion dollar coin and somebody stealing it?

Paging Nicolas Cage to the thread...
posted by DreamerFi at 2:37 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


The analysis that I've read suggests that the only thing that would please the holdouts is if McCarthy withdraws from the Speakership. That they don't really care about practical concessions but just want to make headlines. This sounds eminently plausible to me.
posted by plonkee at 2:46 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


No but seriously, I keep seeing news articles that say or heavily imply that the “House GOP” had the metal detectors removed (and now, I guess, have set up a web page for one of their dumb conspiracy inquiries), but also that there is no House yet, because Representatives-Elect haven’t been seated yet because no Speaker has been elected yet. So who is authorizing things?
posted by eviemath at 3:07 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


Cheryl Johnson, who is Clerk of the House. Her role I believe is to be a record keeper. She's the one you've seen holding the gavel. I believe during the interim period she may have some de facto authority, but not independent authority.

I don't understand it myself. From what I can tell, she's strictly a bureaucrat doing robotic work.
posted by adept256 at 3:23 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


It sucks that Boebert managed to win her election, but it is kinda funny to watch her being a thorn in the side of mainstream republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

As much as it will still suck, I presume a republican party that is bitterly divided on how to not govern effectively is better than one that is united about how to not govern effectively.
posted by snofoam at 4:16 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


The fun bit is that this shitshow actually has a subplot - Tuesday was Representative-Elect George Santos' first day in Congress ever, or at least it was supposed to be. George Santos, the Rep-elect from New York's 3rd district (covering parts of Nassau County in Long Island and a tiny bit of northeastern Queens), made many claims about his background, ethnicity, and skills during his campaign - such as:

* His family owned several rental properties in New York City.
* He ran an animal shelter and charity called "Friends of Pets United".
* He had been an investor at both Citigroup and Goldman Sachs.
* He had also been a journalist in Brazil.
* He was working in Florida at one point, and later claimed that some of his staff had been killed in the Pulse night club shooting.
* His family background was not Brazilian, they were actually Ukranian Jews who'd emigrated to Brazil.

A local Long Island paper started checking up on him and found that a number of his claims were not true:

* The claims about rental properties came when he was working in a call center for Dish network and bragging to co-workers. His financials say oherwise.
* The IRS has no record of "Friends of Pets United".
* The Citigroup division he said he worked at didn't exist, and his claimed tenure there overlapped with his work at Dish network - and his claimed employment with Goldman Sachs overlapped with his claims about Citigroup.
* There's no record of him working for the company in Brazil he says he did.
* No one affected by the Pulse night club event ever heard of him.
* His ancestors have appeared to have always lived in Brazil, and there is no record of Ukranian Jews on his family tree at any point.

He got elected anyway. And on his first day, he was sitting alone with none of his new colleagues really talking to him. And the major news outlets are starting to ask questions about whether he actually should be removed from office because of the fraud - especially since they're now turning up the fact that he still has some active financial suits against him, including him being in arrears for unpaid rent and Brazil still having an active case against him for passing a bad check.

All of which may explain why he was apparently so distracted yesterday that he missed one of the votes for McCarthy because he didn't realize they were calling his name.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:17 AM on January 5 [25 favorites]


Hmmm... Anybody figured out how many Dems could vote Present and bring the magic majority number down enough for Jefferies (with 100% of remaining D votes) to beat McCarthy?

This doesn't work -- the number of Democratic votes goes down faster than the required majority. Right now you need 434/2+1, or 218, votes to become Speaker and there are 212 Democratic voters. If 2 Democrats vote present, you need 217 votes but there are only 210 Democrats left so the Dems are down by 7 instead of down by 6.

I'm a little confused why Democrats are enjoying this.

I think everyone expects that this is just some temporary pain they're enduring before they we arrive at the same situation everyone expected by mid November, so they're enjoying the bad people's pain before we get back to expectations. But there is a slim chance that most Republicans will get sick enough of the 20 people's bullshit that they elect a Speaker, whether McCarthy or someone else, with direct or indirect help from Democrats leaving the 20 magahats as turbofucked as it's possible to be while still members. A slim chance that those loudmouths, having come at the king, will turn out to have missed.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:26 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


George Santos, the Rep-elect from New York's 3rd district (covering parts of Nassau County in Long Island and a tiny bit of northeastern Queens), made many claims about his background, ethnicity, and skills during his campaign

Come join us in the George Santos thread for more Santos fun!
posted by uncleozzy at 4:28 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I'm a little confused why Democrats are enjoying this. Is there any likely resolution that is not 1) the Craziest People in the Republican Party get powerful committee assignments and a bunch of other terrible concessions, or 2) the House can't pass a budget and the Federal Government goes into default?

Yes. It feels funny now, and I too am enjoying Kevin McCarthy's Humiliation Conga Line, but it is going to feel a lot less funny when we figure out why Putin is paying these people to do this.
posted by gauche at 4:39 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


Oh, I missed there was a Santos thread, thanks!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:44 AM on January 5


We don't even know what the recalcitrants want.

The press has not done a good job in covering this, preferring outrage to data. No surprise there. Those who are member of the Freedom Caucus laid out their agenda some time ago. Much is procedural and dull for normal human beings, but a unsettling for status quo political animals. Power lies in small details.

Not all involved are Freedom Caucus members, however. Other desiderata include term limits, a balanced budget, and a guarantee of committee assignments. Those are big asks, and to get them, they are dickering hardball, and I'm going to guess have been doing so for weeks.

But as you say, getting a plain list of demands laid out in one place is unusually difficult.
posted by BWA at 4:48 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


One thing I'm enjoying about this: yesterday, Trump got on Truth Social with the not-at-all desperate-sounding:
Some really good conversations took place last night, and it's now time for all of our GREAT Republican House Members to VOTE FOR KEVIN, CLOSE THE DEAL, TAKE THE VICTORY, & WATCH CRAZY NANCY PELOSI FLY BACK HOME TO A VERY BROKEN CALIFORNIA,THE ONLY SPEAKER IN U.S. HISTORY TO HAVE LOST THE "HOUSE" TWICE! REPUBLICANS, DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT & EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB - JUST WATCH!
McCarthy went on to lose in a fourth, fifth, and sixth round of votes that same day.
posted by box at 4:54 AM on January 5 [33 favorites]


I believe during the interim period she may have some de facto authority, but not independent authority. I don't understand it myself. From what I can tell, she's strictly a bureaucrat doing robotic work.

The little bit that I watched live, there was someone feeding her lines that she repeated exactly during procedural parts. So I assume she is just proyxying for the incoming party.
posted by fleacircus at 5:02 AM on January 5


How many degrees are we removed till Kevin's Bacon is cooked?
posted by mightshould at 5:03 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


For the moment Democrats are enjoying this for two reasons. First it dominates the news cycle with headlines that make Republicans look bad. Second it disrupts and delays any schemes the House GOP planned for their opening salvo against the Biden administration. The congressional calendar is like a race and the Republicans tripped at the start. It will take them a while to catch up from this.
posted by interogative mood at 5:27 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


~I believe during the interim period she may have some de facto authority, but not independent authority. I don't understand it myself. From what I can tell, she's strictly a bureaucrat doing robotic work.

~The little bit that I watched live, there was someone feeding her lines that she repeated exactly during procedural parts. So I assume she is just proyxying for the incoming party.


Serious question...Conceivably, could the republicans simply govern by proxy via the clerk? At least for a couple of weeks or months?

And, given the divide within the republican caucus, who is feeding the clerk instructions?
posted by Thorzdad at 5:28 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The impression I get is that the only things the clerk can do are: open the meeting, adjourn or recess the meeting, and hold a vote for Speaker. Happy to be corrected if there are other details.
posted by gimonca at 5:34 AM on January 5


The Clerk, Chaplian and staff are all Pelosi appointees. Republicans are seething about this. It isn’t that they don’t like any of those people; it is just that they want to give out those jobs to their people instead
posted by interogative mood at 5:40 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


(And I'd assume those would be motions from the floor, not things the clerk would initiate themselves. Assuming there is a floor.)
posted by gimonca at 5:41 AM on January 5


I can confirm that there is a floor; it's the surface under their feet holding the walls up.
posted by Molesome at 5:44 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


The rumor mill is saying that Scalise would refuse a nomination for Speaker if they tried it. because he’s seen what has happened and is happening and wants absolutely no part of it. Which if anything shows marked intelligence.

I don’t think the Dems will do any negotiating, because the Rs are going to be so captured by the Freedumb Caucus that they won’t live up to any promise up they make. They’re going to be fawning over the Freedumb Sicks in the hopes that someone coughing at a bad moment doesn’t make them call for a new Speaker vote.
posted by mephron at 5:59 AM on January 5


a little background on kevin which helps explain this debacle: he’s just a very stupid guy. the real mystery here to me is how he managed to become the minority whip in the first place.
posted by dis_integration at 6:01 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


McCarthy debacle comes with a lesson: There's a downside to being a party of fascist trolls:
There's no real daylight between the foaming-at-the-mouth fascists and McCarthy, much less other GOP leaders... Recognizing this, some political observers have started describing the fight as "personal," as if the anti-Kevins just don't like the guy. But that's not plausible either, since the common factor uniting the 20 or 21 holdouts is not personality type but the fact that they come from safe seats in deep-red districts...

After Trump's coup failed and the red wave of the midterms didn't materialize, Republicans are turning on each other. Even healthy political parties tend to have periods of recrimination after suffering bitter defeats. For the dysfunctional Republicans, however, this anger is being refracted through their increasingly fascist worldview, which is paranoid, irrational and hostile to democracy. That's why the demands made by the anti-McCarthy faction are incomprehensible and seem to change by the hour. The mentality that "life is permanent warfare" leads to the party's desire to constantly purify itself of the enemy within, in this case the despised "RINOs." But as more and more RINOs get purged, the definition becomes more expansive and maintaining party purity becomes almost impossible. Eventually, craven sycophants like McCarthy are rechristened as RINOs and thrown overboard. There is no endpoint where the party has finally cleansed itself. 
posted by TheophileEscargot at 6:20 AM on January 5 [29 favorites]


Come join us in the George Santos thread for more Santos fun!

I was not really conscious of George Santos until yesterday when I read a quip online about voting him for speaker. Unfortunately I read this when I was up way too early and kind of sleep-deprived, so I construed his name as George Soros and thought, “Well, there’s a long shot.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:32 AM on January 5 [13 favorites]


The only real schadenfreude I feel is for Fox News, which has spent the last thirty years creating the current environment and now doesn't seem to understand why it's broken.
posted by Slothrup at 6:32 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


One thing I've read which makes sense for me is that for the election-denying, q-anoning, deep-red whackos, the chaos is the point, and what they reasonably expect to be able to spin into talk-show gigs, book deals and appeasing their even-more-rabid supporters.
posted by signal at 6:36 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


I’ve seen reports floating Fred Upton as a compromise candidate palatable to a minority Republican faction and the Democrat bloc. He quit to not be party to the Republican shitshow.

I think it unlikely, but also, I don’t see how Republicans govern.
posted by Merus at 6:36 AM on January 5


How about they just make Cheryl Johnson speaker and call it a day? She's the only person in the room who seems to command universal respect, and she'd probably do a better job than any of the current candidates.
posted by phooky at 6:44 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


The little bit that I watched live, there was someone feeding her lines that she repeated exactly during procedural parts.

And, given the divide within the republican caucus, who is feeding the clerk instructions?

I believe that's the (or an assistant) House parliamentarian
posted by look upon my works progress administration at 6:53 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Ok, so none of this detail about the clerk indicates that she would have the power or inclination to order the removal of the metal detectors or direct that web pages be created for new Congressional inquiries into the Biden administration. So the question of who is making these decisions (and whether they actually have the authority to do so) seems to still be open?
posted by eviemath at 6:58 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Hakeem Jeffries is a centrist. That's exactly how he got to where he is. You don't get to be the speaker nominee on the Democratic side by being a socialist. Republicans like to pretend he's not a centrist, but he really, really is. He is the compromise consensus candidate people say they want. But he's also, you know, a Black man from New York a Democrat, so we have to pretend like he's some wacky left winger.

Fixed. Republicans will call any Democrat a Commie if it fires up their base.

Speaking of Jeffries, props to the Democrats for remaining united in their votes for him every. single. time. while the Republicans keep tripping over their own feet.
posted by Gelatin at 7:01 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


I saw it reported somewhere yesterday that Jeffries has received more votes for Speaker in his life than John Boehner has.
posted by gauche at 7:03 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


The analysis that I've read suggests that the only thing that would please the holdouts is if McCarthy withdraws from the Speakership. That they don't really care about practical concessions but just want to make headlines. This sounds eminently plausible to me.

There's a mix and match to this. The Chip Roy types in the Kookus actually have a hitlist of demands, most of which would break the House processes and procedures and prevent anything useful from ever happening there. There are reasons, for example, that every House member can't bring everything to a screeching halt any time they don't like something, or wedge "and also we will declare war on Ukraine and bomb it flat" amendments to bills, or force every bill to be 14 words long and spend only money that Chip Roy personally approves of being spent. Mostly because the House contains a substantial percentage of idiots and cranks and dingbats at any given time, and things actually need to get done there once in a while. Otherwise, it turns into one big elementary school playground.

But the Gaetz types know that they're there because of the hard-right media engine that rants about the Uniparty, that calls everyone left of themselves RINOs and traitors and WEF operatives and Soros plants and as much of an enemy as any Democrat. McConnell and McCarthy get ravaged daily in those worlds because they could simply turn the crank and impose their wills and turn America over to hardline ultraconservative control in a heartbeat [citation needed] and they haven't done that, so OBVIOUSLY they're enemies and have to go, right?

The outcome won't change with a different Speaker. Nothing will get done. No laws will pass. We'll still get to the next debt milestone and threaten the nation and the world's economic security. But Gaetz and Boebert will get to bray that they slew a Swamp Monster, they took down a Phony Republican, and that'll get them support and fundraising.

a little background on kevin which helps explain this debacle: he’s just a very stupid guy. the real mystery here to me is how he managed to become the minority whip in the first place.

He wanted the job, and the power that comes with it.

Think of McCarthy as the House's Ted Cruz, a pile of runny ambition in a skinsuit wearing wingtips. No sane person would want to herd Tea Party cats and deal with all that the job entails unless they were getting something substantial out of it, and that's what McCarthy wants -- to be at the top, by any means necessary.

The problem is when he asks himself "the top of what."
posted by delfin at 7:10 AM on January 5 [13 favorites]


I'm a little confused why Democrats are enjoying this.

It's easy to forget that the Republican party has been verging on death throes for the better part of a decade now. They have minority rule thanks to a series of un-Democratic institutions, from the electoral vote to the Senate to the Supreme Court, but support for them has diminished steadily, they haven't won a single popular vote in 18 years, and there aren't a lot of new directions for them to go.

The alt-right and MAGA and even the Tea Party have all been a protruded Hail Mary. The Republicans haven't gotten here because it's good politics: they've gotten here because they're out of other options. The savviest political operators in their party have angrily protested every new push into Crazytown, for all they get back in lockstep when the nutjobs win. And their protest isn't strictly ideological—it's strategic. It rallies the base, but it shrinks the base at the same time.

The scary question has been (and remains) whether or not Republicans can erode the state of American democracy more quickly than they lose support for, well, eroding the state of American democracy. That remains a giant terrifying question mark, but also, they keep losing. The last election that went well for them was literally in 2016; they lost the presidency, they fucked up their "red wave," and—moreover—it seems like the further they went into alt-right pro-Trump bigoted territory, the worse they fared compared to expectations. Not everywhere, but in an overwhelming number of places.

What's more, the alt-right dipshits that they've allowed into office simply aren't good at their jobs. We're at the point where Marjorie Taylor Greene technically falls on the "more disciplined" side of their party. This bullshit that they're pulling doesn't help the party, and doesn't even help their agenda. They don't know how to form coalitions, they don't know how to move political levers, and they're highly volatile. A lot of folks thought, well, Trump pulled it off, so maybe I can pull it off too! But Trump succeeded because the entire party got on board with him—and now that Republicans are mixed on him, even his political clout is rapidly diminishing.

Kevin McCarthy is a piece of shit, but he's a piece of shit who's spent a lifetime trying to get to exactly where he's failing to get. He is, technically speaking, a politician. And in order to get to even his present failed state, he's had to toss a lot of attention to people who are literally too vile and stupid to understand how dependent they are on the machine that he still nominally operates. The party's in gridlock, everybody's miserable, and, after the last two election cycles, Republicans really can't afford to fuck up. This debacle doesn't mean that America is "on the right path" or "hunky-dory" or even "functional," but it's very bad for people who suck and it's so so very funny.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 7:14 AM on January 5 [77 favorites]


This reminds me of that beautiful clip of the cat running full tilt boogie into a glass door, except Kevin McCarthy keeps doing it expecting a different result.
posted by Kitteh at 7:30 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


There is no bottom, people.
posted by SoberHighland at 7:30 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


it's my understanding that the freedom caucus and the alt-right in general is real pissed at mccarthy for allowing the last big omnibus bill to be passed and the debt ceiling lifted - they KNOW that mccarthy will do this again and so they've figured out the best way to obstruct the next debt ceiling from being passed is not to have a functioning house

eventually the republicans can split the party by compromising with the democrats or they can be blamed for a governmental melt down

they've spent years cooking up this mess - now they're going to have to eat it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I can confirm that there is a floor; it's the surface under their feet holding the walls up.
I hereby make the following concession to Molesome: "Surely, you can't be serious!"
posted by dannyboybell at 7:36 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Robert Reich: House Democrats should unite with moderate Republicans to elect a speaker. While I think all of us would prefer to see Speaker Jeffries, getting 5 Republicans to cross the aisle and elect him may be impossible. But getting the majority of Democrats in line along with at least a handful of moderate (relatively speaking of course) Republicans behind a non-MAGA Republican could be possible, guaranteeing the next two years aren't spent on bullshit "investigations" of Hunter Biden's laptop or whatever. It would be a crushing blow to the fascist wing of the Republicans, including both McCarthy and his detractors.

OTOH, if 5 moderate Republicans were willing to cross the aisle, they could spend the next two years as 5 of the most powerful members of Congress. Of course after that they'd probably get thrown out on their ears by their constituents as well as party.
posted by biogeo at 7:41 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Removed the detectors noon Monday, and: tourists will be allowed into the House gallery, and unescorted visitors on official business will be able to enter House office buildings. [Including lobbyists, who have been lobbying for resumed access.] Reopening the campus has been substantially hampered because of staffing shortages plaguing the Capitol Police.

McCarthy's Nov. 10 letter to legislative officials on the reopening:
It has been 2 years, 7 months, and 29 days since the People's House closed. That means for 973 days, the American People have been restricted from exercising their constitutional right to petition the first branch of government. 973 days without being able to freely visit their Member of Congress at the Capitol Complex. 973 without being able to access the House gallery and watch their representatives vote on legislation in person. [...]

Reopening the House is more than just a symbolic measure - government of the people, by the people, and for the people requires interaction with the people. It is for this reason that we must welcome Americans from across the nation back to the Halls of Congress.
Police shortage prompts Capitol to begin using security contractors (Roll Call, April 29, 2022). Union leader called hiring contractors 'a recipe for disaster'
Aug. 30 Politico interview: The force still needs to hire about 200 employees just to reach authorized staffing levels, and Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said it’s still “at least 300 short of where I would like us to be ultimately.” It's a "2,600-strong department;" a little over 50 private security officers are now working around the Capitol complex, Manger said, where they perform jobs such as ID checks — on people who had already gone through a security screening.
Axios, Dec. 12, 2022: U.S. Capitol Police recorded more than 9,000 threats against members of Congress this past year, Chief of Police Thomas Manger said Monday during a Senate Rules Committee hearing.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:42 AM on January 5 [17 favorites]


And this would be a government melt down that will be hard to spin as a failure of Democrats.

Democrats are enjoying this because for decades the GOP has been making them the victim of a twisted Stop Hitting Yourself session and finally the bully is the one hitting themselves.

" But as more and more RINOs get purged, the definition becomes more expansive and maintaining party purity becomes almost impossible. Eventually, craven sycophants like McCarthy are rechristened as RINOs and thrown overboard.

It's weird for the facists to be the next "First they came for the ..." group.
posted by Mitheral at 7:46 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


973 days without being able to stand at the podium in a buffalo hat and bellow
posted by pyramid termite at 7:47 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


I'm a little confused why Democrats are enjoying this.

About 60% Schaudenfreude, 40% "watching what happens after giving them enough rope".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 AM on January 5 [20 favorites]


The analysis that I've read suggests that the only thing that would please the holdouts is if McCarthy withdraws from the Speakership. That they don't really care about practical concessions but just want to make headlines.

So I think, when I put my serious hat on, that it's actually more complicated than that and plays in a bit into the ongoing war within the Republican party that's been happening in slow motion since 2016 at the very least.

First: it's important to note that a big portion of this fight is about the rules that the House follows, and it's worth noting that this fight over rules, which rules the Republican Party will follow, is an old fight. Essentially, the rules of the Republican (and Democratic, really, though that's less relevant) party have been largely designed to support the status quo and to prevent internal insurgencies. We saw that in the 2016 Rules Committee fight and we're seeing it now. The insurgents in this case wanted, among other things, the power to remove the Speaker if they don't like him, as well as a few other things. (McCarthy has recently caved on this I believe). This makes the speakership less powerful and also allows individuals to place a halt to proceedings when they feel like it.

And I think it's also interesting to see that at least some of the support for this insurgency is still coming specifically from the remnants of the conservative wing of the old NeverTrump crew who turned their coats and supported Trump but never really lost their anger at what they perceived to be the moderate Republicans who they felt betrayed them in order to prevent chaos in the party.

I don't think they see a down side to the bomb throwing - from their perspective, what could Congress give them anyway? And so I really think that this may continue on for some time.
posted by corb at 7:54 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


It's weird for the facists to be the next "First they came for the ..." group.

"Wow, that leopard is hungry. Look at him eating those faces! But why does he keep moving closer to ME?"
posted by delfin at 7:56 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


All of which may explain why he was apparently so distracted yesterday that he missed one of the votes for McCarthy because he didn't realize they were calling his name.

I think at this point the question needs to be asked, is George Santos his real name at all? I mean, it seems equally likely that he was born Dick Whitman.
posted by bonehead at 7:59 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

P. J. O'Rourke
posted by kirkaracha at 8:00 AM on January 5 [22 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats are considering picking the least offensive Republican representative and voting en masse for that person? (I have no idea who that would be). But it seems to me that while it's incredibly unlike that Jeffries could get the Speakership, if all 212 Dem votes go to Representative Least Bad Option, then Rep. Option would be sorely tempted to talk six friends into supporting their candidacy and seizing the reins of power. At the very least, it might make things even more divided and chaotic on the Republican side, while the Democrats can plausibly claim to be backing a consensus candidate in the name of bipartisan cooperation.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:06 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


this would be a government melt down that will be hard to spin as a failure of Democrats

Not for lack of trying. I also would love to see five or six of the most fed-up moderate country-club-and-chamber-of-commerce type Rs (if such a thing can even exist in Congress any longer) cross over and vote for Jefferies simply because they're fed up with the clown show. And I encourage the Dem leadership to encourage them to do that. "Come sit with us. We're professionals and also we have popcorn."

But make no mistake that time someone says "oh the Dems could resolve this by settling on a compromise candidate" that is an attempt to spin this exactly as a failure of the Democrats.

This is not the Dems mess to clean up. The R's wanted a majority in the house, and they got that. Now, like a dog who has successfully stolen a bowl of peanut butter, they need to figure out how to deal with it.
posted by anastasiav at 8:07 AM on January 5 [39 favorites]


Robert Reich: House Democrats should unite with moderate Republicans to elect a speaker. While I think all of us would prefer to see Speaker Jeffries, getting 5 Republicans to cross the aisle and elect him may be impossible. But getting the majority of Democrats in line along with at least a handful of moderate (relatively speaking of course) Republicans behind a non-MAGA Republican could be possible, guaranteeing the next two years aren't spent on bullshit "investigations" of Hunter Biden's laptop or whatever. It would be a crushing blow to the fascist wing of the Republicans, including both McCarthy and his detractors.

Counterpoint:

Name those five moderate Republicans, who have no fear of the consequences of doing so, and are still there after the nth wave of purity purges amongst the GOP..

Name what would prevent said 'moderate' Speaker from allowing all of those investigations, debt ceiling showdowns and similar nutballery once installed.
posted by delfin at 8:07 AM on January 5 [18 favorites]


eventually the republicans can split the party by compromising with the democrats or they can be blamed for a governmental melt down

By who? The mainstream media? Future historians writing the definitive history of the early 21st Century? The Office Of Congressional Scorekeeping? The Senate Umpire?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:12 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Counterpoint:

Name those five moderate Republicans, who have no fear of the consequences of doing so, and are still there after the nth wave of purity purges amongst the GOP..


Especially since one of the concessions that McCarthy is considering in an effort to woo the holdouts to his side is: a rules change that would allow just one member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:12 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats are considering picking the least offensive Republican representative and voting en masse for that person?

Like, say, Liz Cheney.
posted by Mchelly at 8:12 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Name what would prevent said 'moderate' Speaker from allowing all of those investigations, debt ceiling showdowns and similar nutballery once installed.

Presumably part of the deal would be a rules change making it possible for the Democrats to call for a vote on a new Speaker. That would help hold them to the deal.

In my opinion what the Democrats should hold out for is for committees in the House to be organized the way they are in a divided Senate. A 4-seat majority in the House is less than 1%. It's practically the same situation as a 50/50 Senate.
posted by jedicus at 8:13 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Name those five moderate Republicans, who have no fear of the consequences of doing so, and are still there after the nth wave of purity purges amongst the GOP..

Who would cross the aisle to vote for Jeffries? I doubt there are any, let alone 5, though it's absolutely worth trying anyway. Who would join with Democrats to vote for a Republican like Upton or Joyce? There were 35 Republicans who voted for establishing the Jan 6 Commission, probably a few of those would do that.

Name what would prevent said 'moderate' Speaker from allowing all of those investigations, debt ceiling showdowns and similar nutballery once installed.

Upton has been opposed to those kinds of shenanigans in the past, not sure about Joyce. All Republicans are bastards, but they're not all the same: some of them actually want the government to do things. That part of the party has been increasingly marginalized by the MAGA faction over the last decades (since before the MAGA faction latched onto MAGA) and they're not exactly happy about it, I can't see why they'd suddenly join with the people they hate if given an opportunity to not have to.
posted by biogeo at 8:20 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


All Jeffries needs are six non-traitorous Republicans of conscience to put a stop to this nonsense.

You're assuming that there are some Republicans whose conscience is telling them to vote with the Dems but are not doing so out because of cowardice, greed, or some other factor that pushes them to act in conflict with their principles. Possible, but they could just be voting their (incredibly misguided) conscience.

To get any Rs to cross over, I think a practical appeal is needed: We strongly disagree on many policies, but your party is so messed up that it's worth joining with us just to get the place functioning, and we'll guarantee in some way that we won't take advantage of you.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 8:20 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The Democrats could also demand a rules change along the lines of letting them put a debt ceiling increase to a vote whenever they want, whether the Speaker agrees or not.

You still need a majority to pass it, obviously. Can't get around that. But finding half a dozen Republicans to vote for a debt ceiling increase shouldn't be that bad... if the Speaker can't prevent you from putting it to a vote.
posted by BungaDunga at 8:22 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


If this goes on long enough, there might be six Republicans who say "fuck it", and simply switch parties.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 8:24 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


> Has anybody picked up haskevinmccarthybeenelectedspeaker.com?

Looks like it, yep!
posted by merzy at 8:28 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


I like the name "Taliban 20" for the holdouts, as some have dubbed them in media. Most Americans still don't even know what kind of influences have taken over the right-wing, or that they desperately want the government to collapse. Anything they say or do to get attention or harm their political enemies is not chaos to them, but advancement.

Some Dominionist groups definitely want a theocratic form of government, others want to transform democracy but not do away with it all together, Riccardi-Swartz says. At the more extreme end, “there would be no more public schools,” she says. “The family would educate their children. There would be no social welfare endeavors because the church would take care of all the needs of the poor.”
posted by Brian B. at 8:36 AM on January 5 [6 favorites]


"Secretly"?
posted by biogeo at 8:38 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


To get any Rs to cross over, I think a practical appeal is needed: We strongly disagree on many policies, but your party is so messed up that it's worth joining with us just to get the place functioning, and we'll guarantee in some way that we won't take advantage of you.

"And we'll do our best to make sure that no one physically shoots you, though this is America, so that's never a gimme. For all we know, with the magnetometers gone, you might not be safe on the House floor. Boebert's right over there."
posted by delfin at 8:40 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Boebert's happy, and feeling generous:

“I think they [the metal detectors] should be removed from the Capitol, filled with Tannerite and blown up,” Boebert told a New York Post reporter. Boebert wouldn’t answer one way or another when asked if she intended to bring her firearm into work. “They [other lawmakers] should not feel unsafe,” Boebert added. “If they do, they should come see me for a concealed carry weapons permit and I can make sure they are locked and loaded in Washington, DC, legally.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:51 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


from a non-USian, this looks really awful

the world holds its breath to see if the US of A will re-elect a criminal, the world holds its breath to see if an armed insurrection will prevail, the world holds its breath to see if those who orchestrated and executed the attempted insurrection will be held accountable

so the "bad guys" (kind of) lost and this is what we get

this looks hopelessly broken.. just lurching from one distraction to another and any semblance of a federal gov't just seems diminished with each passing day. I certainly don't see how anyone can take any pleasure in this farce.
posted by elkevelvet at 8:55 AM on January 5 [25 favorites]


it'll never happen but it'd be such a thing if during the next vote the very first democrat voted for mccarthy. just to see the looks
posted by logicpunk at 8:55 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


To get any Rs to cross over, I think a practical appeal is needed:

First six Rs to vote for Jefferies get a committee chair.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:57 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


this looks hopelessly broken.. just lurching from one distraction to another and any semblance of a federal gov't just seems diminished with each passing day. I certainly don't see how anyone can take any pleasure in this farce.

In fairness, some of us have been saying this since at least the early 1980s.
posted by delfin at 8:58 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


Man what the fuck is this “moderate republican” bullshit?

There are no “moderate” Republicans.

Republicans want to kill black, brown, queer, trans, and poor people, and women, and any man that does not perform their kind of toxic masculinity, anyone who even knows the word “union” and continue not only the modern-day slavery we still have but to bring back the out-in-the-open slavery too. This is how they vote. This is how they take over school boards and city councils and states and ram through laws without even bothering with the vote. This is what they do when a VC developer wants to bulldoze more forest or marshland and put up overpriced apartments that sit empty and fall down after a few years.

These are the people who are working as hard as they can to destroy the biosphere to such an extent that humanity goes extinct.

Republicans are bad people who do bad things. Do not vote for Republicans. Do not associate with Republicans. They are an actual enemy of our species, and every other living thing on the planet. It does not matter that you “know some good ones” because they keep fucking voting for the people who JUST TRIED TO OVERTHROW THE GOVERNMENT.

Say it with me: there are no moderate Republicans. There are no good Republicans.
posted by curious nu at 9:02 AM on January 5 [62 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats are considering picking the least offensive Republican representative and voting en masse for that person?

why would they literally ever do this? the speakership is a powerful thing and you just don't give it away. If some republicans want to elect a democrat speaker because they can't get their own house in order, go for it. but in the meantime, this is really a "not my problem" situation for the minority
posted by dis_integration at 9:04 AM on January 5 [9 favorites]


this is really a "not my problem" situation for the minority

how is this not everyone's problem?

yet another example of bad-faith actors zeroing in on weaknesses in a system, to destroy it from the inside and outside, and an entire nation held in thrall. just another circus.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:07 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats are considering picking the least offensive Republican representative and voting en masse for that person?

When the farmers can't get their house in order, the turkeys really should take advantage - they can pick out the sharpest axe themselves!
posted by Garm at 9:09 AM on January 5 [19 favorites]


Even if the requisite number of Republicans crossed over to vote for Jeffries, the Democrats would be appallingly naive to think that those same Republicans wouldn't immediately and repeatedly try to fuck them over. It is pure idiocy to cut any kind of deal with the party of open Nazi sympathizers. I don't know how this impasse gets broken.
posted by heteronym at 9:10 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


“I think they [the metal detectors] should be removed from the Capitol, filled with Tannerite and blown up,” Boebert told a New York Post reporter. Boebert wouldn’t answer one way or another when asked if she intended to bring her firearm into work. “They [other lawmakers] should not feel unsafe,” Boebert added. “If they do, they should come see me for a concealed carry weapons permit and I can make sure they are locked and loaded in Washington, DC, legally.”

Apropos, perhaps, of the ongoing domestic terror threat that Republicans pose in the workplace (and country) they share with others: FBI raises reward for information about Jan 6 DC pipe bombs to $500,000
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:13 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


My R rep, Newhouse, survived voting to impeach Trump and was reelected this year. I have written to him today, as I did back then, appealing to his sense of duty, patriotism, and country over party. Who he'd rope in to voting with him is anyone's guess.
posted by St. Oops at 9:15 AM on January 5 [17 favorites]


to think that those same Republicans wouldn't immediately and repeatedly try to fuck them over

Of course they'd try, but considering they can't even get their acts together to pick a speaker, a fractious coalition like this is going to struggle to undo any sort of power-sharing deal. The House has to be marginally functional to increase the debt limit and fund the government; might as well try to make a deal that makes it harder for the Republicans to fuck that up.

The worst case scenario is that the House is run like every other Republican-run House, which is bad but is sort of what you expect when the Republicans are in the majority.
posted by BungaDunga at 9:23 AM on January 5


why would they literally ever do this? the speakership is a powerful thing and you just don't give it away.

There is no path towards a D speaker. The Rs know that if they play long enough there will be compromise within their caucus. The likely compromise is very hard right; there are very few R house members in competitive districts who are hurt by having an MTG style raving idiot in the speaker chair. There is no path towards significant legislation given the chamber split, so the only thing the house can do for 2 years is pointless committee investigations. An ineffective speaker is irrelevant.

D's voting for the least-crazy R would mean that the speaker wasn't beholden to the nuttiest R needed to make 218. They might get very weak concessions like a straight vote on debt ceiling or funding CR.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 9:29 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Make it 7 L’s for McCarthy
posted by Fritzle at 9:40 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Count me as another one saying "don't make deals with fascists and face-eating leopards." There are no honorable Republicans or they would have stopped being a Republican. Does no one remember January 6? Anyone with an R after their name at the very least looked the other way while their own were openly supporting a coup and attempted assassination.
posted by rikschell at 9:41 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Where I come from, if you open the season 0-7 you start to think about firing your coach.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:45 AM on January 5 [20 favorites]


they haven't won a single popular vote in 18 years

If you refer to presidential elections, this is a political me way to phrase it. The election I gather you refer to is Dubya in 2004, not long after The Tragic Events Of, and his 90% approval ratings in the rah-rah aftermath.

Aside from this, it was a ways before that, and for another President Bush, in 1988.

Yes, one popular vote victory in 35 years. That’s a healthy party.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:49 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Matt Gaetz just voted for Donald Trump. He's probably going to be nominated officially the next round of balloting, if they don't adjourn.
posted by interogative mood at 9:50 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


how is this not everyone's problem?

it's everyone's problem but it's not everyone's responsibility - the r's have the majority, it's their responsibility to get a speaker elected - the d's cannot stop them from getting 218 votes, only they can

and who's going to hold them responsible? the voters - not all of them, but enough of them to throw the next election to the d's
posted by pyramid termite at 9:52 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


oh, god, no, not fucking donald trump
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Watching this feels a lot like when the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal: yeah, it's awful and it will ultimately be bad for everyone, but there's nothing I am able to do about it, so might as well enjoy the laughs.
posted by meese at 9:54 AM on January 5 [35 favorites]


It gives me pleasure to imagine Kevin McCarthy's blood pressure graph this week
posted by saturday_morning at 9:55 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Gaetz is just showing his desire to be No. 1 Suckup.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 9:55 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Boebert is kicking herself for not thinking of it first.
posted by saturday_morning at 9:58 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


It's weird for the facists to be the next "First they came for the ..." group.

Not at all. It's an ancient fascist custom.
posted by Ashenmote at 9:58 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Watching this feels a lot like when the Ever Given got stuck in the Suez Canal

This pic, but shopped to say EVER KEVIN
posted by oulipian at 9:58 AM on January 5 [18 favorites]


This isn’t going to be bad for anyone but Republicans for a few weeks. There will be some issues with the constituent services stuff where people want their member of Congress to help with their problems involving the federal government; but it is unclear how much impact that will have for anyone.

If we get into a place where we need Congress to act (e.g. declare war or pass some emergency legislation) then things get interesting. Unless there is some massive change there won’t be any must pass legislation until September when we hit the debt ceiling.
posted by interogative mood at 10:03 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I'm mentally picturing Trump's response after he watches himself nominated for a job that he doesn't want and outvoted by a tremendous margin for it, with the only people voting for him being those who are directly defying him by not voting for whom he told them to.
posted by delfin at 10:10 AM on January 5 [17 favorites]


Can you imagine DJT as Speaker? The House would be in session, what 3 times until 2024's election?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 10:10 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


If your response to all of this is simply to assert that all Republicans are the same, rather than seeing that they have exposed a massive crack in their ranks and there's an opportunity to drive a wedge right into it, I don't know what to tell you. The strategic advantage of hamstringing the most fascist wing of the party seems obvious to me. You don't have to like or trust someone to work with them.
posted by biogeo at 10:10 AM on January 5 [22 favorites]


This pic, but shopped to say EVER KEVIN

It's a slow day, why not
posted by May Kasahara at 10:14 AM on January 5 [47 favorites]


Under no circumstances should the Democrats do anything other than keep showing up and voting for Jeffries. Voting for a "moderate" Republican? Something something frog scorpion. It's not the Dems' job to be the adults in the room and make a "moderate" Speaker possible. The popcorn is chef's kiss perfect.
posted by outgrown_hobnail at 10:18 AM on January 5 [19 favorites]


It's not the Dems' job to be the adults in the room

I would argue they are being the adults in the room by voting for the person they believe best suited for the job...
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:21 AM on January 5 [29 favorites]


They can make Trump Speaker and then Trump can delegate all the work to the Majority Leader while he hits the campaign trail. The constitution doesn't carry a job description, that all comes with the rules packages they pass after the Speaker is chosen.
posted by interogative mood at 10:26 AM on January 5


You don't have to like or trust someone to work with them.

They do, however, have to consent to work with you.

And I assure you that, in these circumstances, none of them will.
posted by delfin at 10:26 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


D's voting for the least-crazy R would mean that the speaker wasn't beholden to the nuttiest R needed to make 218. They might get very weak concessions like a straight vote on debt ceiling or funding CR.

This compromise would be great for the country and good governance which is why Republicans will never let it happen. Similar power sharing shenanigans have happened before in state houses[1][2]. However, on a national scale I think its impossible. The Republicans have so thoroughly demonized national Democrats that any Republican working with them could never be elected again. They would face an incredibly well funded primary challenge, not to mention constant death threats.

It also assumes there are still 5 sane Republicans left in the house that would even consider working with Democrats. Maybe Newhouse mentioned above is one. The only other Republican that both voted to impeach and managed to be reelected is Valadao. So, maybe 2? Getting to 5 would be a stretch.

I would be very surprised if Democrats have not already made this kind of offer to "moderate" Republicans in private, Nancy is still there and she is not dumb. We won't hear about it unless they get 5 takers for it though.
posted by being_quiet at 10:31 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


when Gaetz voted for Trump I made a noise that made my spouse rush in from the other room to check on me
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 10:33 AM on January 5 [18 favorites]


And this would be a government melt down that will be hard to spin as a failure of Democrats.

Pfft. Child’s play.

“If the DNC had gotten their shit together and actually supported strong, viable candidates back in November, the country wouldn’t be in this mess!”

See? Nothin’ to it!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:37 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


There will be some issues with the constituent services stuff where people want their member of Congress to help with their problems involving the federal government

Everyone with travel plans, check your passports now to make sure they haven't expired without your realizing yet.
posted by hwyengr at 10:38 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


If your response to all of this is simply to assert that all Republicans are the same, rather than seeing that they have exposed a massive crack in their ranks and there's an opportunity to drive a wedge right into it, I don't know what to tell you. The strategic advantage of hamstringing the most fascist wing


The "reasonable Republicans" are still the most fascist. The obstructionists here are not more fascist, just more nutball.
posted by rikschell at 10:38 AM on January 5 [17 favorites]


I wonder if the Democrats are considering picking the least offensive Republican representative and voting en masse for that person?

why would they literally ever do this? the speakership is a powerful thing and you just don't give it away. If some republicans want to elect a democrat speaker because they can't get their own house in order, go for it. but in the meantime, this is really a "not my problem" situation for the minority


Absolutely. It's clear that the Republicans won't solve this problem without Democratic help, and the Democrats -- who, again, have held their coalition together 100% of the time with not a single defection -- must extract the maximum possible concessions from Republicans for eventually agreeing to bail them out of their own mess. Taking the debt ceiling off the table entirely is a good starting point, but there should be much, much more. I like the above idea of co-chairing committees like the Republicans did for the past two years in the Senate, which means a veto on any shenanigans.
posted by Gelatin at 10:44 AM on January 5 [12 favorites]


The options that are conceivably on the table are:
  1. The anti-McCarthy wing gives up and lets McCarthy become Speaker
  2. McCarthy gives up and lets someone who would actually give the anti-McCarthy wing what they want become Speaker
  3. McCarthy negotiates some deal with the anti-McCarthy wing to bring them on board, probably an agreement that lets them shut down the government in order to force a debt default
  4. A handful of moderate Republicans (it's a relative scale, obviously, I think everyone here understands that) suddenly grow a spine and decide to vote for Jeffries (and/or abstain to bring the needed vote total down to a level that will let the Democrats win outright) in exchange for nothing
  5. The Democrats negotiate some deal with a handful of moderate Republicans to get them to vote for Jeffries (and/or abstain)
  6. The Democrats negotiate some deal with a larger number of Republicans to elect a "unity candidate," probably a Republican who voted for Trump's impeachment and/or for the January 6 Commission.
  7. Nobody gives up or negotiates a deal and this continues indefinitely, during which time we don't have a functioning Congress
(4) would be great but it's pretty hard to imagine a scenario in which that many Republicans do what's best for the country out of their own free choice; maybe it's worth holding out a bit longer in the off chance that it happens, but don't bet anything you don't care to lose on it.

From the anti-McCarthy Republican perspective, options (2), (3), and (7) all represent victories. All they want is to be able to shut the government down, and they're already achieving that goal right now. So as far as I can tell there's no reason that (1) would happen unless something changes.

So which of those is the best achievable option? In my opinion any option that involves either McCarthy or a candidate acceptable to the anti-McCarthy wing becoming Speaker is not the best option, nor is having no functioning Congress. That leaves (4), (5), and (6). I don't believe (4) is achievable, though I hope I'm wrong. That leaves (5) and (6), both of which involve negotiating with some Republicans.

If anyone else has an analysis that yields an option for something that is a good outcome, achievable, and doesn't involve negotiating with Republicans, I'd be interested to hear it. But the Democrats just don't have the seats, that's the political reality. If you want to get things done as the minority party (or even as the majority party) you have to negotiate. The far-right fringe can succeed without negotiating because they don't actually have to get anything done: obstruction is the point for them.

Let's be clear: the responsibility for this mess and everything that follows is firmly in the Republicans' lap. But just giving up and letting them control everything that happens for the next two years isn't a great choice, either. If there's any chance of getting a better outcome than McCarthy or a "Freedom Caucus" candidate as Speaker, the Democrats ought to be working towards it, and they probably are.
posted by biogeo at 10:44 AM on January 5 [23 favorites]


I also agree that any appeal to so-called "moderate Republicans" needs to name them. They don't exist.

The one way the Republicans seems to be benefiting from this situation is that the lazy, stupid so-called "liberal media" is framing the Republican snafu as a battle between "moderate" and "conservative" Republicans, rather than "conservative" and "radical."
posted by Gelatin at 10:46 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


rikschell, you're the first person in the thread to use the phrase "reasonable Republicans." Who are you quoting?
posted by biogeo at 10:46 AM on January 5


oh, god, no, not fucking donald trump

On the other hand, his name getting mentioned does kind of underscore the Republican philosophy of whining at losing an election, and redoing the vote count, over and over, until you get the answer you want.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:50 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Usually when there's something happening like this, there is a lot of wild speculation about what could happen, but always still a strong "but probably what will happen is..." And that's what happens: the most probable and foreseeable result.

But... There is no probable and foreseeable result for this, is there? The idea of any one of these factions stepping down at this point feels really unlikely. How is this possibly ever going to actually end!?
posted by meese at 10:53 AM on January 5


6. The Democrats negotiate some deal with a larger number of Republicans to elect a "unity candidate," probably a Republican who voted for Trump's impeachment and/or for the January 6 Commission.

It occurred to me that option 6 here would represent the first opportunity for a Republican to increase their personal power by doing something that promotes centrism and good governance rather than promoting frothing fascist lunacy in... how many years? 10? More?
posted by Superilla at 10:57 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


If anyone else has an analysis that yields an option for something that is a good outcome, achievable, and doesn't involve negotiating with Republicans, I'd be interested to hear it. But the Democrats just don't have the seats, that's the political reality. If you want to get things done as the minority party (or even as the majority party) you have to negotiate. The far-right fringe can succeed without negotiating because they don't actually have to get anything done: obstruction is the point for them.

I agree with your analysis, which means the Democrats are eventually going to be part of the solution. As such, the only responsibility the Democrats have is to extract the maximum possible concessions from the Republicans.

The chickens that are coming home to roost right now, though, are the Republicans' constant demonization of Democrats, as someone pointed out upthread. In order to keep their fear-and-anger-junkie constituents motivated, they have to portray Democrats as hating America and wanting to destroy it. That stance doesn't offer a lot of room for compromise, and Republicans have defined compromising with the Democrats at all, for any reason, as unforgivable for decades now.
posted by Gelatin at 10:57 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Biogeo, you’re giving away the game if you’re admitting that all Republicans are unreasonable (as I posit they are). Why would you negotiate with unreasonable people who cannot negotiate in good faith because they have none?
posted by rikschell at 10:58 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I think the probable and foreseeable result is McCarthy is eventually elected because enough of the anti-McCarthyites wander off in pursuit of something shiny, or maybe even enough Democrats leave to go do something productive that the majority requirement drops below the level McCarthy can achieve.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 10:58 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


For what it's worth, I think the most probable result is my option (3) above: McCarthy caves in a way that still has people calling him Mr. Speaker (people other than the ones he directly pays, anyway) but effectively gives the extreme fringe everything they want. I think the only way to get a better result is to peel off some Republicans who would rather work with Democrats than see that outcome, if it can be done.
posted by biogeo at 11:01 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


A Democrat should make a motion to elect the speaker by plurality instead of majority. Time to play the card and see where the votes really are.
posted by interogative mood at 11:03 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Why would you negotiate with unreasonable people who cannot negotiate in good faith because they have none?

If these negotiations somehow ended up with Jefferies being elected speaker (probably through 6 or so Rs agreeing to just ... not show up), why would you not try to do that? What bigger victory could the Ds win at this point than having a D as speaker?
posted by anastasiav at 11:04 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Can someone explain how the votes keep starting? Does someone have to officially request another vote start? I'm just wondering why they keep having votes when it doesn't seem like there's any reason to expect a different result. I know they can't adjourn without a vote, and there's no other business they can run... But it still seems like continuing to have these votes does nothing but continue emailing the Republicans.
posted by meese at 11:05 AM on January 5


Why would you negotiate with unreasonable people who cannot negotiate in good faith because they have none?

So, your options are you have Kevin McCarthy as speaker without your negotiations and you get screwed by Republicans; or you have someone else as speaker with your negotiations and you get screwed by Republicans. Why not just take getting someone else as speaker that you actually have a say in?
posted by LionIndex at 11:08 AM on January 5


The options that are conceivably on the table are:

08. the repubs bite each others dicks off. they rip into one another like sharks in a frenzy of chum and it's live on c-span.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:08 AM on January 5 [24 favorites]


Can you imagine DJT as Speaker? The House would be in session, what 3 times until 2024's election?

Counterpoint: whenever the House is in session, Donald Trump is on television, and in a role where he can basically talk over people as much as he wants and insult Democrats and women as much as he wants.
posted by mightygodking at 11:09 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I also agree that any appeal to so-called "moderate Republicans" needs to name them. They don't exist.

To quote from the Robert Reich article I linked above:
Joyce is the new chairman of the Republican Conference Group, a group you’ve probably never heard of (years ago it was called the “Tuesday Group”) because it flies under the radar. It’s a collection of the remaining 40 or so Republican moderates.

I say “moderate” only in comparison to the rest of the Republican House. The Conference Group at least wants the government to function.

Joyce is hardly a progressive. During Trump’s presidency, he voted in line with Trump’s stated position 91.8% of the time. And he voted against impeaching Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection.

But Joyce is not a Maga Republican. He refused to sign the Texas amicus brief that tried to overturn the results of the presidential election. He was also one of the few Republican House members who did not object to the counting of electoral college votes on January 6, 2021.

Since Biden became president, Joyce has voted in line with Biden’s positions over 30% of the time.

He was one of 35 Republicans who joined all Democrats in approving legislation to establish the January 6 commission to investigate the storming of the US Capitol. He and 46 other Republicans voted for the Respect for Marriage Act, codifying the right to same-sex marriage in federal law.

Overall, Joyce’s politics are similar to the Democratic senator Joe Manchin’s. “Everybody’s a Joe Manchin,” Joyce said a few weeks ago.
I don't love any of these Republican Conference Group members. I doubt anyone here would, either. But they have some priorities that align with ours, more closely than they align with the "Freedom Caucus" fascists, and that represents an opportunity. Just as Joe Manchin is a terrible Senator who's nevertheless better than the alternatives, so too is negotiating with some of the RCG Republicans a terrible option that's nevertheless better than the alternative.

If we want better options, we have to win elections. If we want to win elections, we need to show that the magahat fascists are weak and ineffectual, which is the only thing that will turn their supporters against them. And if we want to render the fascists weak and ineffectual, we have to do what's necessary, such as working with the few Republicans who occasionally buck their party's line.
posted by biogeo at 11:10 AM on January 5 [14 favorites]


08. the repubs bite each others dicks off. they rip into one another like sharks in a frenzy of chum and it's live on c-span.

Years ago, at a former job (it was in the mid-90s), a co-worker was discussing politics or the news with another colleague and summed up the situation as "so, the Republicans are eating their young".

Every so often I am reminded of that. Today this is what did it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:10 AM on January 5 [4 favorites]


meese, they literally have no other option but to start voting again unless another motion is made between vote cycles. No one moves to vote again; it begins anew unless/until someone says "hey, I move to adjourn for the day" and that succeeds.

The clerks may not be happy about it, but the last line of the code is GOTO 10 for as long as this program runs.
posted by delfin at 11:12 AM on January 5 [18 favorites]


Okay, option (8) might be the best option, how do we go about achieving it?
posted by biogeo at 11:13 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Assuming no one changes their vote, he just lost #8
posted by hwyengr at 11:14 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


This group had been called the “Never Kevin” faction, and Lauren Boebert and Brecheen have now made it clear that there is at least one Kevin they’d support.

Looks like the "No Homers" club has moved to the Capitol.
posted by hwyengr at 11:17 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


they literally have no other option but to start voting again unless another motion is made between vote cycles

Paging Signore Alighieri, Signore Alighieri to the white courtesy telephone please.
posted by uncleozzy at 11:20 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


According to this graph at 538, there are at least a few Republicans who've voted with Biden on occasion. Some of those might be likely candidates for the Democrats to approach.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:21 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I am doubtful about any negotiations with the few not-completely-fascist-but-eager-to-appear-fully-fascist-in-order-to-not-get-primaried-from-the-right Republicans, but I have faith that this party led by so-old-he-still-sees-bipartisanship-as-a-good-thing Biden is already on top of it.
posted by rikschell at 11:25 AM on January 5 [8 favorites]


I don't love any of these Republican Conference Group members. I doubt anyone here would, either. But they have some priorities that align with ours, more closely than they align with the "Freedom Caucus" fascists, and that represents an opportunity. Just as Joe Manchin is a terrible Senator who's nevertheless better than the alternatives, so too is negotiating with some of the RCG Republicans a terrible option that's nevertheless better than the alternative.

If we want better options, we have to win elections. If we want to win elections, we need to show that the magahat fascists are weak and ineffectual, which is the only thing that will turn their supporters against them. And if we want to render the fascists weak and ineffectual, we have to do what's necessary, such as working with the few Republicans who occasionally buck their party's line.


Let's thought-exercise this, while Boebert votes for Kevin Hern of Oklahoma for no apparent reason.

Dems reach out to members of the RCG and say, "Look, we need responsible leadership. We need a bloc of Republicans who will tell the Trumpoids that they've had enough, that the nuts have gone too far, and that there is room for bipartisan negotiation in the middle. We need you to break this stalemate by working with us."

RCG: "Okay. We're already voting for the non-Freedom Caucus guy. How many of you will vote "Present" in order to get McCarthy over the hump?"

DEMS: "Nnnnnnno. We're not interested in putting our own necks on the line to install an election-denier Speaker who'll use the debt ceiling as a weapon against us, call for investigations of Hunter's laptop and the J6 committee, and allow rule changes that'll let the Freedom Caucus control him."

RCG: "That's as moderate as we can go. Sorry. We'll get shot if we endorse Jeffries."

Unless things reach a point that is SO dire that members of the RCG or those like them approach the Democrats FIRST, seeking relief and offering deals and being willing to sacrifice their own seats for the greater good, I submit that the above conversation is painfully likely.

"What about Fred Upton?" some will ask. Well, what about him? That's not just asking for ~40 Republicans to switch their allegiance to Upton or someone like him. That's asking many, many Democrats to do the same, away from the perfectly acceptable alternative candidate who's had the most votes in seven cycles in a row so far.
posted by delfin at 11:28 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Welp, he’s going to lose round 8.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 11:32 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Without a speaker, and without anyone sworn in, is there any rule against playing music during the vote? Because this begs to have the Peanuts piano theme playing.
posted by ocschwar at 11:32 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


According to this graph at 538, there are at least a few Republicans who've voted with Biden on occasion. Some of those might be likely candidates for the Democrats to approach.

It's very unlikely at this point that the Democrats haven't told all of even the most slightly sorta-reasonable Republicans their terms for support for Speaker, which will probably be something along the lines of no debt limit fucking-around (just a clean debt limit increase), a guarantee that funding resolutions will pass (IE no government shutdowns) and bipartisan agreement on Congressional subpoenas (to prevent GOP harassment of, well, anybody really).

That's all the Dems really realistically need to happen and the GOP knows it. The fact that a small group of Republicans haven't reached out to make the deal is entirely on the Republicans.
posted by mightygodking at 11:34 AM on January 5 [19 favorites]


Take a page from our British friends and go with either Yakety Sax or the Muppet Show theme.
posted by delfin at 11:34 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


Some of those might be likely candidates for the Democrats to approach.

Why should Democrats approach moderate Republicans?

It's one thing if so-called moderate Republicans come to Jeffries hat in hand, ready to give whatever it takes in exchange for getting the chamber going again, but Democrats didn't create this mess. They shouldn't be the ones that have to find ways to fix it. This is not the time for Democrats to seek compromise--it's the time for moderate Republicans to either live up to being a "moderate", or get out of the way.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:35 AM on January 5 [15 favorites]


I don't love any of these Republican Conference Group members. I doubt anyone here would, either. But they have some priorities that align with ours, more closely than they align with the "Freedom Caucus" fascists, and that represents an opportunity.

biogeo, they are all fascists. There are not "better" fascists, because fascism makes steps until it makes leaps. Oklahoma Republicans just introduced a bill to ban trans care for people under 26. Which started when some states passed bills for people under 18. Which started when some states passed bills for younger than that. The "moderate" fascists are going to say, "Hang on, 26 is too old, so uh.. what about 21?" That's just an example from TODAY, and it builds on all the racist, misogynistic shit that they've been passing for years now. One of the primary characteristics of the Republican party is that they all vote in a bloc. There are no good Republicans. There aren't even okay Republicans.

Fuck this noise.

If any of the Rs still have a conscience, they can vote for Jeffries. That's the only way this is even remotely a positive outcome.
posted by curious nu at 11:37 AM on January 5 [31 favorites]


We'll get shot if we endorse Jeffries

They don't have to actively endorse Jeffries, though. Literally all they have to do is not attend the session. They can even issue a statement to say "none of these candidates are acceptable to us, and we're tired of this clown show, so we choose not to vote" (a statement, which, by the way, should resonate pretty well with a big segment of their home district voters).

If, by failing to vote, another candidate wins, well ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
posted by anastasiav at 11:40 AM on January 5 [11 favorites]


curious nu, what is your alternative suggestion? Just run out the clock until either McCarthy or someone worse than McCarthy becomes Speaker and spends the next 2 years defaulting on debts, investigating Hunter Biden's laptop, impeaching Joe Biden every week, dissolving the ethics committee investigating wrongdoing by Republican House members, and all the other terrible shit they've promised?
posted by biogeo at 11:41 AM on January 5 [5 favorites]


The "reasonable Republicans" are still the most fascist.

Mitt Romney: Ultra Fascist!!!
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:41 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Why should Democrats approach moderate Republicans?

One alternative from doing nothing is that someone even further financially and ideologically beholden to Russian interests is installed by extremist Republicans, who have already acted upon their desire to destroy the country and wish to repeat until they succeed.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 11:41 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


> Yes. It feels funny now, and I too am enjoying Kevin McCarthy's Humiliation Conga Line, but it is going to feel a lot less funny when we figure out why Putin is paying these people to do this.

Is it a realistic possibility that these people are just going to keep voting no forever in order to ensure that the United States has no sitting Congress?
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:42 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Thanks for that source biogeo. Looks like there are enough of the 35 Republicans who voted in favor creating the Jan 6th committee and are still in office to effect a compromise. Only time will tell if enough are willing to trade their political future in exchange for 2 years as speaker/committee chair.

I don't think it's likely as it would be putting an actual real life target on their backs and cut off any access to sweet post congress rightwing thinktank/lobbying jobs.
posted by being_quiet at 11:42 AM on January 5


This is not the time for Democrats to seek compromise

The idea is not to seek "compromise". It's to seek opportunity. If they can leverage the GOP's inability to fill the speaker's chair into something they would never otherwise have gotten (defanging the debt ceiling, equal memberships on committees including the inevitable Special Committee on Hunter Biden's Laptop) then that's a win. It's something from nothing. It's a gift landing in their laps because of GOP incompetence. It's Democrats getting to be the sharks in the water for once.
posted by saturday_morning at 11:42 AM on January 5 [28 favorites]


biogeo, they're going to do that anyway. It doesn't matter which R gets Speaker. Believing that anything else might happen with a different R is folly.
posted by curious nu at 11:45 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


WaPo: lost the 8th vote.

On a third day of voting, 20 Republicans remained unified in their opposition to McCarthy and sided with other candidates, denying McCarthy the speakership. One GOP member, Victoria Spartz (Ind.), voted present.
"We aren’t gaining any momentum with Donalds,” Colorado Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert told The Washington Post of her switch to vote for Kevin Hern (Okla.) instead of Byron Donalds (Fla.).
Republicans Lauren Boebert (Colo.) and Josh Brecheen (Okla.) cast ballots for Oklahoma Republican Kevin Hern, chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Hern — who was not nominated for the speaker job — appeared surprised by their votes and laughed along with others.
Donalds himself did not cast a vote when his name was called during the roll.
Florida Republican Matt Gaetz voted for former president Donald Trump for a second time.

posted by jenfullmoon at 11:50 AM on January 5 [3 favorites]


curious nu, there are about 2-3 dozen Republicans who already have a voting record of going against their own party on exactly these issues. Why do you think that would change if one of them no longer even had to worry about going against the party whip?
posted by biogeo at 11:50 AM on January 5


Letting the Republicans be a "majority in name only" where they technically hold the speakership but don't actually get to control all the committees and make all the rules would be an incredible win.

biogeo, they're going to do that anyway. It doesn't matter which R gets Speaker. Believing that anything else might happen with a different R is folly.

What people are arguing for is a negotiation where the Democrats get to set some of the House rules, control some committees, and bring some bills to the floor without the Speaker's say-so. This would be so much better than the normal set of rules the Republican House would enforce.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:52 AM on January 5 [28 favorites]


Believing that anything else might happen with a different R is folly.

This is so unbelievably and tragically fatalist. You're basically saying "its going to be awful anyway, so don't even try to do anything to change the outcome, because doing so would mean trying to work with terrible people" -- but if the choices are "don't try" or "try" why dismiss "try"?
posted by anastasiav at 11:54 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Republicans want to kill black, brown, queer, trans, and poor people, and women, and any man that does not perform their kind of toxic masculinity.

they are all fascists

There are no good Republicans. There aren't even okay Republicans.

Republicans are bad people who do bad things. Do not vote for Republicans. Do not associate with Republicans. They are an actual enemy of our species, and every other living thing on the planet.

You really believe this of roughly half the people in the USA?
posted by OneGearIsEnough at 11:54 AM on January 5 [7 favorites]


And any Republican who defects and votes to allow the Democrats that kind of functional equality will be excommunicated from their party immediately.

We all know that.

I mean, we can argue all day as to whether it's a nonzero possibility or not, but let's at least be clear as to its impact.
posted by delfin at 11:55 AM on January 5 [1 favorite]


that is: it's not a "dems vote for a slightly-less brain-poisoned speaker", it's "dems agree to support any speaker in return for power-sharing codified in the House rules." Maybe you could include a rule that lets the Democrats force a vote to pick a new Speaker. All sorts of possibilities!

The Senate already has power-sharing rules when there is a tie; this would be something vaguely similar, except without the numerical tie.
posted by BungaDunga at 11:55 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


If they can leverage the GOP's inability to fill the speaker's chair into something they would never otherwise have gotten (defanging the debt ceiling, equal memberships on committees including the inevitable Special Committee on Hunter Biden's Laptop) then that's a win.

There is literally no mechanism to enforce the delivery of promises like that after the vote has been made. Do you expect Democrats to vote for a Republican speaker on the basis of a pinky swear that maybe they'll keep their word and grant equal control of committees? Especially when there's still a Republican majority?

Moderate Republicans can just vote for Jeffries if they want a functional House. This is exactly the same situation as with the impeachments. Republicans can suck it up, do the right thing, and put country ahead of party. They can end this now. The responsibility is on them.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:56 AM on January 5 [10 favorites]


@drvolts:
The current GOP farce is naturally sparking a lot of process stories, but everyone in media should be making it clear that the substantive stakes here are huge. A tiny, radical minority wants the ability to grind the US gov't & economy to a halt at will. It's insanely dangerous.

There's nothing more characteristic of US politics than this: angry white people are indulged. They receive a degree of latitude, an assumption of good faith, & a permanent offer of forgiveness that are not extended to any other political faction.

And as always, I invite everyone to reflect on what the reaction might be if, say, AOC & 19 of her socialist colleagues insisted on the ability to tank the entire US economy if their demands for, say, universal healthcare are not met. Just let that scenario play out.
posted by gwint at 11:57 AM on January 5 [70 favorites]


You really believe this of roughly half the people in the USA?

They keep voting for the people who write those bills. Whether they fully endorse it, or just don't care, fundamentally doesn't matter. They support evil people doing evil things, as long as they believe it benefits them in some way.

So, yes, I do believe that roughly half the people in the USA are complete shitstains. They've proved it time, and time, and time again. I'm not guessing here, I'm listening to what they say and watching what they do.
posted by curious nu at 11:58 AM on January 5 [38 favorites]


Democrats should not have to vote for a Republican just so Republicans can save face by not having to vote for a Democrat.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 11:59 AM on January 5 [46 favorites]


I'm mentally picturing Trump's response after he watches himself nominated for a job that he doesn't want and outvoted by a tremendous margin for it,

To be fair, he hasn’t actually received the most votes in a popular vote in ever.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:01 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Do you expect Democrats to vote for a Republican speaker on the basis of a pinky swear that maybe they'll keep their word and grant equal control of committees? Especially when there's still a Republican majority?

Supposing they don't keep their word, it's not actually made anyone worse off than the alternate universe where they eventually manage to cobble together a majority to support Jim Jordan or whoever.

The universe where the Dems somehow get a majority in the House is so unlikely as to be not worth thinking about, in my opinion.

The universe where nobody gets a majority in the House and we just don't have a house for two years seems worse than even a Republican House. The government needs funding, the debt ceiling needs raising, both of those things might happen with a Republican house, and won't happen if there just isn't a House.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:01 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


You really believe this of roughly half the people in the USA?

I feel like I'm on Card Sharks, and I'm being asked to guess whether the actual percentage is higher or lower than 50%. (I'll go lower -- millions do not vote and/or are politically apathetic. The American Crazification Factor of 27% remains a potential guideline.)
posted by delfin at 12:02 PM on January 5 [41 favorites]


Democrats should not have to vote for a Republican just so Republicans can save face by not having to vote for a Democrat.

Sure, but imagine how humiliating it would be to win your Speakership with Democratic votes? That's worth the price imho
posted by BungaDunga at 12:02 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I think finding enough Republicans willing to enact a power-sharing agreement with Democrats is about as likely as electing Mr. Ed to the Speakership, but I'd be happy with either outcome. I imagine there are all sorts of crazy plans being proposed in back channels that we're never likely to hear about. But House primaries are not designed to sort for reasonableness, so expecting these people to enact a reasonable plan is WAY more of a reach than you seem to think it is.
posted by rikschell at 12:07 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Sure, but imagine how humiliating it would be to win your Speakership with Democratic votes?

Is it any more humiliating than not being able to elect a speaker in 8 rounds of voting? Any more humiliating than not repudiating an obvious con-man who was just elected? Any more humiliating than not speaking out against party members who openly supported an insurrection?

And to my earlier point: Is it any more humiliating than casting a vote for Jeffries?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:10 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


You really believe this of roughly half the people in the USA?

That rough-half of the country voted for Trump, who conspired with others to overthrow the United States government and install himself as a dictator.

We can all have a good laugh about the chaos unfolding these last two days, but that fact about our neighbors remains as true as it did when they attacked our country two years ago — even if by proxy.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:12 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


I am doubtful about any negotiations with the few not-completely-fascist-but-eager-to-appear-fully-fascist-in-order-to-not-get-primaried-from-the-right Republicans, but I have faith that this party led by so-old-he-still-sees-bipartisanship-as-a-good-thing Biden is already on top of it.

Yeah, current events are sure confirmation of how much Democrats suck! Yeesh.

For the record, it's the Republicans who are allowing Congress to be held hostage by their most extreme fascist wing, while the Democrats -- all of them, across a broad coalition -- have held together as a bloc each time.

Which signals that the Democrats do have the power to help the Republicans out of this mess, and some seem to be on record saying they're willing to listen to Republican terms of surrender offers, but no one at all is talking about capitulating to the Republicans or unilaterally bailing them out of this mess, and putting the Kevin McCarthy who joked about hitting Pelosi with the Speaker's gavel into the position he's wanted all his life.

Sheesh.
posted by Gelatin at 12:13 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


You really believe this of roughly half the people in the USA?

well 74,223,975 of them for sure
posted by poffin boffin at 12:15 PM on January 5 [36 favorites]


Like Brexit, the PM Crises of 2022, Trump, and 1/6, this is part and parcel of Putin's attack on the West. What he lacks badly in meatspace war he adroitly has made up for in the digital/propaganda space.

This kind of rabid self-paralysis, self-immolation is his only chance, still we continue walking down this path he's built.
posted by riverlife at 12:16 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


If this goes on long enough, there might be six Republicans who say "fuck it", and simply switch parties.

Been watching these Congress-critters for a long time and I rarely see anybody switch parties. When one gets angry enough they leave their party and become Independent but they never 'cross the aisle' -- if they did, they'd have to leave any Committee they belong to, losing power. And people with it never give up power voluntarily.
posted by Rash at 12:17 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I don't think Democrats need to extract too many concessions, because having a Republican Speaker from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus elected with 212 D votes and 6 R votes would cause the Republican party to tear itself apart even if that person said "I'm still totally a Republican, planning to do Republican Speaker things and Hunter Biden Hunter Biden Hunter Biden".

Just get a deal for the basics like no legislative terrorism (debt ceiling or government shutdown), and maybe "if you want to impeach someone, there has to be a non-Infowars explanation of what they've done wrong".
posted by allegedly at 12:19 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


The problem with having turncoats on your side, as the saying goes, is making sure that they keep your coat on.

This is not a single vote we're talking about, where a Speaker would be elected bipartisanly and after that, everyone would go on as previously aligned. This is something where the ability of that nominally-Republican-aligned Speaker to remain Speaker would be challenged early and often, and those who helped them in the first time would face many, many repetitions of voting with the Democrats to thwart full Republican control, remove Republican advantages, and drive their conservative constituents into a full-on frothing frenzy of betrayal.

That's dozens of Republicans becoming Independents and being cut off from funding and party support overnight. Even if there's a secret groundswell of rank-and-file GOP Congresspeople willing to make that sacrifice, Jello Biafra's First Law of Rioting applies: there's more of us, but who goes first? (And who goes second, after they see what happens to who went first?)

I mean, I get it. The only way for the national MAGA fever to break is for not a handful of Rs to defect, but a full-on sea change where the neo-Birchers are rejected as being too extreme and a different faction rises with sufficient muscle. That involves not just their winning selected races, but full-on cultural change as well -- different messaging from conservative news media sources, open challenges by prominent right-wingers to Trumpoids, and a willingness on their part to stick to their defiant stances long-term. Forty Repubs agreeing in private that Scott Perry is a putz and Matt Gaetz shouldn't be allowed in public without a handler isn't enough; there has to be a wave, and it has to be a tidal wave on many levels.

And I don't know how that happens.

But this isn't the catalyst that'll do it.
posted by delfin at 12:20 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


But House primaries are not designed to sort for reasonableness, so expecting these people to enact a reasonable plan is WAY more of a reach than you seem to think it is.

Ah, we may not be as far apart on this issue as it seems, then. I don't think this is an easy thing to achieve, or even particularly likely, but the opportunity must be pursued. Even just the attempt may help to widen the cracks in the Republican party, by deepening distrust between the magahat wing and the fuck-you-got-mine wing. There are both tactical and strategic issues here. Tactically, if Democrats can extract a deal by which the next two years aren't spent defaulting on debts and investigating Hunter Biden's laptop, that would be a huge step forward. Strategically, if the factions within the Republican party become unable to work together such that the party splits, we might actually drive fascism and conservatism both into the political wilderness for a generation, which would give us an opportunity to finally start dealing with climate change and other critical issues instead of always fighting rearguard actions on basic human rights. I don't think either of these outcomes is likely from this Speakership battle, but it's still a better shot at both than I expected us to get in this Congress.
posted by biogeo at 12:25 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


This just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.
posted by Splunge at 12:26 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


well 74,223,975 of them for sure

Everyone knew what Trump was before they voted for him. Every last one of them. He said he was going to do what he did, long before he did it. They all knew.

So the sooner the stream of bullshit about Republicans being innocent of their involvement in the insurrection evaporates, the sooner we can get to a path forwards that preserves our democracy in some bruised form.

A few Republican lawmakers finally had the courage to stand up to Trump and their own voters and impeached the would-be tyrant. It should not be impossible to reach out to them and offer power-sharing deals in exchange for their support for a centrist-right Democratic candidate, who would otherwise give them what they need to satisfy their constituents, anyway, if extremists did not dominate the public narrative.

Beyond the popcorn theatrics, as enjoyable as they are, I honestly hope that the Democratic Party is not only pragmatic enough to reach out to those folks behind the scenes, but be smart about what will keep our country from devolving into further chaos, the way that most Republicans and their Russian handlers would like it to.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:34 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


I mean, I understand the real problems involved here, but this discussion just made me realize that I'm kinda sorta getting a respite of sorts for a bit where Glenn flippin' Grothman is not my Congressperson. Ahhhh.
posted by TheFantasticNumberFour at 12:36 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Glenn flippin' Grothman is not my Congressperson.

God damnit why did I disable my Glenn Grothman joke account.
posted by charred husk at 12:41 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


A few Republican lawmakers finally had the courage to stand up to Trump and their own voters and impeached the would-be tyrant. It should not be impossible to reach out to them and offer power-sharing deals in exchange for their support for a centrist-right Democratic candidate

Of the ten republicans who voted to impeach Trump, only two remain in Congress. All of the others either conveniently retired or lost their respective primaries.

There is literally no one to reach out to.
posted by RonButNotStupid at 12:45 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


Of the ten republicans who voted to impeach Trump, only two remain in Congress. All of the others either conveniently retired or lost their respective primaries.

There is literally no one to reach out to


Yeah, probably the most likely R "moderate" candidate would be someone in one of the few remaining swing districts, or who managed a surprise win in a normally D leaning one.

So . . . George Santos.
posted by soundguy99 at 12:52 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


And one of the two remaining Republican Trump impeachers, David Valadao, shares representation of the Fresno/Bakersfield area of California's Central Valley with Kevin McCarthy. They are best friends. Valadao will never abandon McCarthy.
posted by Scarf Joint at 12:58 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I would really love a round of all D's voting Santos. Seems harmless. Would any R's have the gall to join them? (besides, they could challenge him later)

Question for the experts: how much does the speaker position itself matter vs the subsequent rules package? Could the rules package remove most of the speaker's discretionary powers?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:01 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


And you all thought there was no way to blame Democrats for this? Welp, Dan Crenhaw found a way: "It’s almost like, [the holdouts are] being paid by Democrats to force us into a deal with Democrats. Like I don’t know what else to think at this point." Link
posted by zaixfeep at 1:05 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Okay okay, hear me out.

Dems let this go on until McCarthy is so demoralized he drops out. On the next vote the Dems all vote for McCarthy and he ends up Speaker. He will be demoralized, humiliated and broken.

It achieves nothing practical, it's just needlessly cruel which I think fits this political moment.
posted by charred husk at 1:07 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


Could the rules package remove most of the speaker's discretionary powers?

The House rules are just that, the House rules and can be anything the majority of the House wants at any given time. They can't change things dictated in the constitution i.e. Speaker of the House is behind the Vice President in the succession order, but the rules govern everything of House internal business.
posted by mmascolino at 1:09 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


According to the ABC News live stream pundits this vote suggests that the House won't be able to raise the debt ceiling and that the US will have a short term default and will have to see the market reaction before people come to their senses. 2023 looks like its going to be a hell of a year.
posted by interogative mood at 1:12 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


They can't change things dictated in the constitution i.e. Speaker of the House is behind the Vice President in the succession order,

Only the VP’s place in the succession order is defined constitutionally. The rest is by statute. There’s almost nothing in the Constitution or its amendments describing the actual role of the Speaker.
posted by jedicus at 1:20 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


US will have a short term default and will have to see the market reaction before people come to their senses

I feel like the Freedom Caucus folks would see the market tanking as a sign they're doing a good job.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 1:23 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Republicans don't constitute "roughly half the country", they are a minority with vastly disproportionate power because they control a disproportionate share of property and money. 75 mil is not "roughly half" of 350 mil.

The repeated claims that support this "roughly half" horseshit erase the non-voting majority of Americans, which is composed of minors, felons, people who can't cope with the process, and the unaccounted but large number of people who attempt to vote but are rebuffed or have their ballots spoilt through Republican voter-suppression efforts.
posted by Rev. Irreverent Revenant at 1:24 PM on January 5 [53 favorites]


I wonder if "refuse to seat a Speaker" is going to be the new vector to shut down the government.

Like the debt ceiling thingy.
posted by NoThisIsPatrick at 1:30 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I feel like the Freedom Caucus folks would see the market tanking as a sign they're doing a good job.

More likely they short or otherwise hedge the market in anticipation, as was done by prominent Republicans in the timeline between December 2019 and March 2020.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:32 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Sounds like McCarthy lost a ninth vote.
posted by box at 1:36 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


"so, the Republicans are eating their young"

They always have.
posted by jgirl at 1:38 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Is there a breakdown on whether the votes totals have moved at all in the past 48 hours? Do vote #6, 7, 8, and 9 all have the same totals?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:39 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


This is a group of people who believe their own views and (among other things) think it is more important to not raise the debt ceiling than it is to have a functioning United States. They are signalling this week their utter willingness to break the economy in September - and a particular pettiness that they won't be allowed to break it sooner.

They are going to hold up any nomination that doesn't go along with a promise of rules changes that allow them to enact exactly this same farce in the fall when the stakes are that much higher.

That part is truly scary. I do hope that there are some open channels of communications behind the scenes, if only to hopefully avert that eventuality. For the same reason that even in the depths of the cold war the White House and the Kremlin had a phone line.

Meanwhile, I do hope that Dems take every advantage of this opportunity to advance their agenda. I disagree with the hopelessness expressed by some. I think 'craven' is a better descriptor of many of the Republican politicians and that if the right offers and deals can be found there may be a way to secure better opportunities for Democractic initiatives (or even basic good governance). The alternative is that McCarthy finally decides he wants the name despite losing most of the power and slides all the way to the radical edge of his party.
posted by meinvt at 1:39 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Is there a breakdown on whether the votes totals have moved at all in the past 48 hours? Do vote #6, 7, 8, and 9 all have the same totals?

Kevin Hern picked up two votes from #8 to #9 (Donalds voters moving to him for a different protest vote). Otherwise it's pretty static.
posted by mightygodking at 1:41 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile Don Bacon (R) just said: "We need to consider at some point how we're going to work across the aisle if this small group will not cooperate. There is some concessions that the other side will want and there may be some grounds that we can provide a more bipartisan structure this this House and eventually get to 218"
posted by aramaic at 1:45 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


> Is there a breakdown on whether the votes totals have moved at all in the past 48 hours? Do vote #6, 7, 8, and 9 all have the same totals?

NYT has stats: McCarthy has been sliding slightly.
posted by Westringia F. at 1:45 PM on January 5


They are best friends. Valadao will never abandon McCarthy.

That's nice, but it's at least worth asking a Republican if he's willing to stab his best friend in the back. The answer may surprise you! (Or not!)
posted by The Tensor at 1:52 PM on January 5 [16 favorites]


I haven't been this enraptured watching nothing happen since Marina Abramovic was at MoMA.
posted by heyitsgogi at 1:54 PM on January 5 [26 favorites]


Byron Donalds, along with Indiana's Victoria Spartz (who's voted 'present' the last couple rounds), are the only two that have left Team Kevin.

The chart in that article is a good one--almost everyone's voting along party lines, except for twenty Republicans who, having failed to make Andy Biggs, Jim Jordan, or Donalds a thing, are presumably looking around the room for the next name to throw at the wall.

I hear this Santos fellow has been getting a lot of buzz.
posted by box at 1:56 PM on January 5


Metafilter: We're professionals and also we have popcorn.
posted by Melismata at 1:58 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


Of the ten republicans who voted to impeach Trump, only two remain in Congress. All of the others either conveniently retired or lost their respective primaries.

There is literally no one to reach out to


Are there not a number of brand new representatives, a few of whom are from generally blue districts (like the ones from NY state)? Ones who won mostly because the Democratic party dropped the ball, or there were some unusual circumstances about their opponents? Ones who aren't so likely to get reelected anyway, or who might consider cooperating with the Dems, or even declaring themselves maverick Independents, without inciting pitchfork mobs in their districts? (Maybe there aren't - this is a genuine question, I haven't done any research on e.g. the new NY reps. Although Santos is one, and he seems more self-interested than rabid fanatic; maybe he's not alone in that.)
posted by trig at 1:59 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I'm reading that in lieu of actually electing a speaker a "U-S-A!" chant has broken out, which is Peak 2023 Republican, what with the empty, jingoistic sloganeering in place of governing and all.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:59 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


The last time the Speaker election went more than 9 rounds was 1859, at 44 rounds, and the previous time was 1855, at 133 rounds.

The divisions in Congress during the 1850s led to some... historical events, that make for rather unpleasant comparison.
posted by biogeo at 2:02 PM on January 5 [43 favorites]


As entertaining as all this is, I'm concerned that the people's business cannot move forward until after a Speaker's chosen, and that includes things like:

1. swearing in the members-elect before they can carry out key governmental duties, such as
2. certifying the results of the next presidential election (2024).

Maybe the GOP is testing out this "let's just not choose a speaker" nonsense now as a potential path to successfully subvert democracy and execute the coup they failed to pull off in 2020? I mean, assuming the national votes don't go their way and they manage to keep control of the House after all this.

A disturbing but plausible thought.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:10 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Sure, but imagine how humiliating it would be to win your Speakership with Democratic votes?

Not nearly as humiliating as democrats helping whichever republican win the speakership, and then have the republican immediately “forget” whatever concessions they supposedly made to the democrats and instead carry-on dismantling democracy.

The only outcome of democrats helping a republican to the speakership is, yet again, being played like dupes.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:11 PM on January 5 [17 favorites]


2. certifying the results of the next presidential election (2024).

I thought all the important bits for that was in the Senate.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:13 PM on January 5


If you have nothing better to do you can watch the tenth ballot live right now on YouTube.
posted by WalkingAround at 2:15 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


it wouldn't be THIS congress that certified the next presidential election, but the NEXT one
posted by pyramid termite at 2:16 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


BungaDunga, I think you're right - I'm simply remembering some House reps trying to block certification of the vote in 2001. However, if someone DOES lodge an objection, it looks like the House and the Senate both need a member to sign off and then vote on it.

Interestingly, it looks like the House of Representatives gets to choose the next president if the electoral college remains deadlocked:
In the case of an Electoral College deadlock or if no candidate receives the majority of votes, a “contingent election” is held. The election of the President goes to the House of Representatives. Each state delegation casts a single vote for one of the top three contenders from the initial election to determine a winner.
I'm just wary of the GOP probing for weaknesses they can use to refuse to certify future elections, throwing our entire democratic process into chaos and essentially subvert the federal government. Because the hostage-takers (the 20 refusing to budge on McCarthy) have repeatedly proven that's the real goal.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:23 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


swearing in the members-elect

Pelosi said to the press yesterday that she believes the members can be sworn in without a speaker, and I would bet she's right. Which would solve some problems (like constituent services, for example, and also probably security briefings) if not others.
posted by anastasiav at 2:24 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


What happens if two nominees each get exactly 50% of those present? I assume there's just a re-vote like we're doing now, but it would be more fun if it meant there were now two speakers, and they have to share the speaker's office, and one is neat & tidy and the other is a slob.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:27 PM on January 5 [16 favorites]


She's probably right, I know the speaker swears in everyone else, but someone has to swear in the speaker, so maybe that person could just do everyone.

If there's no President picked for some reason and there's no Speaker, the next in line is the Senate president pro tempore: Patty Murray. So, not something to worry about until 2028.
posted by BungaDunga at 2:27 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


How members-elect can be sworn in, and in fact how they have any kind of power at all in this weird state where the House does not exactly exist, is a fascinating topic that is the subject of this substack post.

I expect Pelosi is well aware of the fact that although the Speaker swears in the other members, she is herself sworn in by someone else who is not a member and there is nothing special about this process that could not be used for everyone else.
posted by allegedly at 2:29 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


The only outcome of democrats helping a republican to the speakership is, yet again, being played like dupes.

Beau of the Fifth Column has opinions about that: Let's talk about Dem leverage, McCarthy, and the Speaker....
posted by Pendragon at 2:29 PM on January 5


@saturday_morning, I'm no parliamentarian, but I like to imagine one of the "winners" becomes an Antispeaker and has to move to Avignon.
posted by baltimoretim at 2:30 PM on January 5 [35 favorites]


Guy on the live stream just said there were 5 or 6 'Never McCarthy' Republicans (my dude, 'Never Kevin' was right there), which means that there are 14 or 15 'We Need to Talk About Kevin' Republicans, which is a few less than the 18 or 19 additional votes McCarthy needs to get to 218.
posted by box at 2:30 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Is there a breakdown on whether the votes totals have moved at all in the past 48 hours? Do vote #6, 7, 8, and 9 all have the same totals?

Adapted from the NYT:

BALLOT ROUND.....McCARTHY.....JEFFRIES.....OTHER.....PRESENT
First............203..........212..........19........0
Second...........203..........212..........19........0
Third............202..........212..........20........0
Fourth...........201..........212..........20........1
Fifth............201..........212..........20........1
Sixth............201..........212..........20........1
Seventh..........201..........212..........20........1
Eighth...........201..........212..........20........1
Ninth............200..........212..........20........1

One R absent for the 9th vote.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:32 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


212 holds firm tho
posted by anastasiav at 2:33 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


So after another 200 rounds, he'll be down to zero?
posted by Melismata at 2:36 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


Guy on the live stream update: in an interview, Pete Sessions (R-TX) has referred to the current vote as both the ninth and the eighth one (it's the tenth), blames the 18-20 for not putting up a better candidate than Waterbed Kev.
posted by box at 2:37 PM on January 5


and then have the republican immediately “forget” whatever concessions they supposedly made

This might actually be a bit tricky. At this rate they might need Democratic support to even pass the new rules package. The Republicans don't exactly seem to have a functioning whipping organization at the moment. Could they all form up and vote as a bloc to screw the Dems? Well, sure, but their organization thus far doesn't make it a sure thing at all
posted by BungaDunga at 2:37 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


One McCarthyite is sick and had to go to a medical appointment. That's the reason he lost one vote this round.

Rumours that a deal is close between McCarthy and the dissidents, but very unclear if that includes the 5-6 NeverKevins, and the carousel doesn't stop as long as they keep showing up to vote against him.
posted by saturday_morning at 2:38 PM on January 5


C-SPAN commentator said that we've had one family member death and one birth among the incoming House membership, and now they're having to make a choice between voting here or being with family. I can only assume those pressures will grow over time. I didn't catch which members or which party they are in, though.
posted by hippybear at 2:38 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


if it meant there were now two speakers, and they have to share the speaker's office, and one is neat & tidy and the other is a slob.

they would rock-paper-scissors to be the front half of the pantomime horse
posted by BungaDunga at 2:39 PM on January 5


Beau of the Fifth Column has opinions about that: Let's talk about Dem leverage, McCarthy, and the Speaker....

This video is very interesting. I don't agree with everything he says, and I'm not sure what he proposes would work, but I do think what he's saying is very pragmatic, particularly about the complete lack of power of the current House to do anything but obstruct (instead of enact).
posted by anastasiav at 2:39 PM on January 5


I assume the "never Kevin" five are bad faith actors and are thus, at most, "Kevin but only if we get to destroy the economy" people.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:40 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


So after another 200 rounds, he'll be down to zero?

At this rate--losing one vote every three ballots--600 rounds. That'd take us to about the historic three month mark.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:41 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Stephanie Miller was wondering aloud on SiriusXM's Progress channel this morning about what happens if a bunch of members get covid and can't come to the floor. Given the age of the members and the latest variant this isn't at all unlikely if this drags on.
posted by interogative mood at 2:43 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Dems could order a bunch of tainted pizzas for the Rs to have during their next planning session, knock out enough of them with gastrointestinal distress to win, maybe.
posted by hippybear at 2:44 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


pizzagate 2 - emetic boogaloo
posted by pyramid termite at 2:47 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


Based on history the Democrats are not the party that would deliver tainted pizzas. Only GOP operatives are that brazen and horrible to try some stunt like that.
posted by interogative mood at 2:51 PM on January 5


Thankfully no one else seems to be taking on Gaetz's Trump vote.
posted by corb at 2:51 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Not even Gaetz (he's now switched to Hern)
posted by mcstayinskool at 2:57 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


However, if someone DOES lodge an objection, it looks like the House and the Senate both need a member to sign off and then vote on it.

They did manage to pass Electoral Count Reform as part of the spending bill, so it's now 20% of each chamber.

I think if Republicans don't figure out a speaker by tomorrow, they will over the weekend. They don't want to delay all the Biden investigations and absurd talking-point bills any more than they have to.
posted by netowl at 2:58 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


His proper title is "drunk driver and alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz."
posted by biogeo at 3:02 PM on January 5 [34 favorites]


Just by bare coincidence, I've been playing Hades during all of this. You know, the game where you try to escape from hell, over and over again, fighting through the exact same enemies every time, and always ending up back in the same place.
posted by meese at 3:15 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


The spirit of 1923?
posted by mmmbacon at 3:16 PM on January 5


French Hill R from Arkansas just called the Democrats "The Popcorn Caucus". HAHAHAHA.

One thing about this period of time -- C-SPAN has control of the cameras (usually controlled by the party in control), so we're seeing things in the chamber that are not usually shown. It's some of the most interesting getting nothing done I've ever watched because you see people with their heads together, doing deals etc. Who knew the US version of nordic "slow television" would be this?
posted by hippybear at 3:24 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


I haven't been this enraptured watching nothing happen since Marina Abramovic was at MoMA.
Rep. Spartz Is Present
posted by dannyboybell at 3:27 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I am not sure an agreement will be reached soon. This is not day three of this crisis for the republicans - they have had almost two months since the election to get themselves organized around leadership, committees, rules, whatever. Tuesday was the first day that their impasse was forced into the public eye, but they have been stuck like this for what, sixty days now? If the public scrutiny on these first failed speaker elections has not changed votes by now, what new pressure is going to appear to force anything to change?
posted by rustcrumb at 3:29 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


I'm waiting for a Democrat to get up to nominate their candidate and say "Look, Republicans. You all know what's going on. We aren't going to budge. This is your problem to solve, and we're going to keep voting this same way until you come up with a solution. Here's our person, we're voting for them, and so what are you going to do?" And then sit back down.
posted by hippybear at 3:35 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Oh god, Gaetz is speaking to formally nominate DJT. Why is he even still in office?
posted by hippybear at 3:36 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


> Not even Gaetz (he's now switched to Hern)

Well that didn't last long.
posted by Westringia F. at 3:37 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


This Wikipedia page gives a good overview of the various ballots.
posted by WalkingAround at 3:39 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Kevin, Kev, Kevster. Sit down brother. We need to talk. You know I'm a Californian too and I've been through some things. I've seen some things and I think I can help you. Kevin, it's time for you to move on. Find another legislative body, one that will love you like you deserve to be loved. I hear the UK just broke up with someone a month ago. Maybe you should ask them out.
posted by rdr at 3:40 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Oh god, Gaetz is speaking to formally nominate DJT. Why is he even still in office?

Is this some sort of "Q" scheme to make Trump president again? As JFK jr prophecized?
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:42 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Well, vote #11 has begun now. They've nearly worked a full normal workday of 8 hours, which I hear is rare for them. Someone is going to vote to adjourn soon, I figure.
posted by hippybear at 3:46 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


You call sitting around waiting for your name to be called work? Guess I didn't need to use PTO on my DMV trips then.
posted by stevis23 at 3:49 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


It's an interesting dynamic watching this, where McCarthy is mathematically eliminated before they even get out of the Bs in the alphabet.
posted by mcstayinskool at 3:50 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


Dems need to start pushing Republicans to vote for Jeffries. Forget about getting Democratic votes for McCarthy. Change the narrative. Offer up investigations into the Freedom Caucus traitors. It's been 2 years now, this is what happens when you don't address the miscreants in your midst immediately...
posted by Chuffy at 3:57 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


What happens if two nominees each get exactly 50% of those present?

the parliamentarian lays out the cured hides between the hazel posts so they can meet in the hólmgang
posted by poffin boffin at 3:58 PM on January 5 [30 favorites]


I'm finally watching one of these votes and it's completely hypnotic. It's also amazing how many of these people need to have their names Buellered two or three times before responding. Also: someone just gave an impromptu speech?
posted by phooky at 4:00 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Also watching the vote for the first time, and it was hilarious when Jeffries' name was called and he didn't notice at first, presumably because he's heard his name in these things so many times in the past few days.
posted by May Kasahara at 4:05 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Interestingly, it looks like the House of Representatives gets to choose the next president if the electoral college remains deadlocked:

In the case of an Electoral College deadlock or if no candidate receives the majority of votes, a “contingent election” is held. The election of the President goes to the House of Representatives. Each state delegation casts a single vote for one of the top three contenders from the initial election to determine a winner.


This was one prong of Trump's attempt to steal the election - even before the Jan 6th insurrection and the attempt to get Pence to intervene during the formal Congressional recognition ceremony, the idea of putting forward "alternate" (fake) elector slates from a handful of states was considered, the idea being that if they sowed enough confusion the whole electoral college would be bypassed, and the election would go to the House, where the Republicans controlled 28 states.

Wikipedia: "On November 5, Donald Trump Jr. sent a text message to Meadows outlining paths to subvert the Electoral College process and ensure his father a second term. The message said: "It’s very simple. We have multiple paths. We control them all. We have operational control. Total leverage. Moral high ground. POTUS must start second term now." It continued, "Republicans control 28 states Democrats 22 states. Once again Trump wins,"
posted by soundguy99 at 4:06 PM on January 5 [5 favorites]


Is this some sort of "Q" scheme to make Trump president again? As JFK jr prophecized?

It's Gaetz. It's because Gaetz thinks that doing this will somehow benefit Gaetz.

This will annoy Trump, because some will point and laugh because now everyone had a formal invitation to vote for Trump and no one but Gaetz did, in opposition to the candidate that Trump specifically ordered everyone to vote for instead.
posted by delfin at 4:09 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


drunk driver and alleged sex trafficker Matt Gaetz
Professional stuntman Matt Gaetz.
#TBT
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:13 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


08. the repubs bite each others dicks off. they rip into one another like sharks in a frenzy of chum and it's live on c-span.

Damnit, MetaFilter, stop giving me weird new fetishes I didn't want or need.
posted by loquacious at 4:14 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


I'm loving that they append the state to disambiguate members with the same last name. "Rogers of Kentucky" is a good one, sounds like a spicy leather goods brand. Who was that hanging out with Santos, and then hurrying away when they saw his name was coming up, perhaps to not be seen when the cameras were on him? Why am I still watching this?
posted by phooky at 4:18 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Why am I still watching this?

An even better question, why haven't fiddles been distributed to play while watching it?
posted by hippybear at 4:19 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


So is this McCarthy guy running for Speaker
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 4:21 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


because the house can't pass a motion to authorize fiddle distribution until a speaker is elected
posted by phooky at 4:22 PM on January 5 [15 favorites]


At some point, Kevin is going to invite the dissidents to his "Speaker's office" for pizza and a talk, tell them "Look, Donald's here!" and point at a mirror. When they all look he'll dash for the door, push one of the busts in the Capitol in front of it as he runs to the floor shouting "Start the vote! Start the vote now!"
posted by LostInUbe at 4:31 PM on January 5 [8 favorites]


Right now they're arguing over who gets his watch and car keys.
posted by adept256 at 4:34 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I was brought up on the idea that conservatives were always the adults in the room. The sober, serious, morally-upright, men of honour whose fiscal policies were so clearly superior to those empty-headed, bleeding-heart, liberals.

I have lately become suspicious of this proposition. Can’t quite put my finger on why.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:41 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


Does the House clerk control the tunes? Cisco hold music or Swan Lake?
posted by credulous at 4:48 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


This is going to make #RomneyDeathRally seem like a pleasant day at Walley World.
posted by delfin at 4:50 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Cisco hold music

How about Sisqo, actually.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:51 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


push one of the busts in the Capitol in front of it as he runs to the floor shouting "Start the vote! Start the vote now!"

That gives the speakership to Jeffries though.
posted by Mitheral at 4:53 PM on January 5




That gives the speakership to Jeffries though.

I didn't say it was a good plan.
posted by LostInUbe at 5:01 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


Voting to adjourn now, until noon tomorrow.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:03 PM on January 5


Are they really going to have this chaos in the a House on January 6th once again? That’s crazy. I thought they would at least adjourn until Saturday to avoid the disaster.
posted by interogative mood at 5:06 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


For whatever reason, McCarthy seems to want the job enough to relinquish much of the control of said job to a tiny minority within his caucus. I think tomorrow we're going to see a deal where he gives in to almost all of the major demands of the HFC, and becomes the most neutered speaker in modern US history, while giving the fascistic wing of the party maximum leverage for the next two years.

The fact that it will happen on Jan. 6 will be no accident.
posted by gwint at 5:14 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


The alternative is that he may do all of that and still get denied unless Democrats decide to put him over the hump, either directly or via Present voting games.

Which they absolutely should not.
posted by delfin at 5:16 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


What an absolute shitshow. As Nancy Pelosi said, it's a good thing they weren't in power on January 6. The schadenfreude is there but what's also there is the absolute joy of the Democrats remaining publicly united behind Hakeem Jeffries.

What's concerning is what Kevin McCarthy is willing to give to get this position. If he gets elected, the house is likely to be so unwieldy that nothing will get done.
posted by bluesky43 at 5:20 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I think tomorrow we're going to see a deal where he gives in to almost all of the major demands of the HFC, and becomes the most neutered speaker in modern US history, while giving the fascistic wing of the party maximum leverage for the next two years.

Given that one of the demands has been the lowering of the requirements for ousting the speaker, I can easily see the HFC almost immediately acting to oust McCarthy and starting this insanity all over again.

Chaos is the point.
posted by Thorzdad at 5:25 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


she is herself sworn in by someone else who is not a member

Newt chose to be sworn in by John Dingell, because Dingell was dean of the House.

So a member can do it.
posted by jgirl at 5:25 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Twitter now making Kevin McCarthy - Susan Lucci comparisons.
posted by LostInUbe at 5:26 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


while giving the fascistic wing of the party

THEY ARE ALL FASCISTS.

They all keep voting to ban abortion, to deny healthcare, to expand prisons and the military, to defund schools, to turn a blind eye to an attempted coup. They do it as a group. It’s what defines the Republican Party.

They are all fascists.
posted by curious nu at 5:31 PM on January 5 [22 favorites]


A) “blind eye” was shitty of me and ableist, I apologize.

B) Just to be clear, there are Democrats that do this stuff too. And they are also fascists and miserable human beings.
posted by curious nu at 5:35 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


If you sit down at a dinner table with five fascists and socialize and eat with them in peace, what does an observer witness? A table of six fascists.

Some of the Rs are more openly abusive and vindictive than others, while others put a more civilized veneer over the goals they share with the first group. But when the rubber hits the road, far more often than not, they're standing shoulder-to-shoulder in opposition to the rest of us.
posted by delfin at 5:38 PM on January 5 [11 favorites]


Standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the road is dangerous!
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:47 PM on January 5


I cannot believe that the Tiger King of year 3 pandemic is being broadcast on C-SPAN. Wait, no. That totally tracks, actually.
posted by Ruki at 5:49 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Adjourned.

3023AD: The 632nd HoverCongress begins by ceremonial telepath vote against Kevin for speaker. No-one knows how this tradition began.
posted by adept256 at 5:56 PM on January 5 [22 favorites]


You can see them all as morally equivalent. That's totally fine, I'm not going to argue with that. But they are not all equivalent in terms of their goals and motivations. The "never-Kevin" wing wants different things from McCarthy, and very different things from the RCG. The parable of the fascists at the table is all well and good for judging people, but if you have to fight those five fascists, and the sixth person is only at the table because he's stupid and greedy and thinks that he can get rich from the fascists and doesn't care who it hurts, then you damn well ought to be trying to find out if you can bribe him to fight with you instead of against you. Otherwise you'll get killed by six fascists, when maybe you could have fended off five of them with one helper on your side.
posted by biogeo at 6:04 PM on January 5 [22 favorites]


It is just amazing that in this mob of so-called politicians there is not a one who can figure a way out of the corner they have painted themselves into. Fucking idiots. We can only hope that this mess will somehow stink enough that the public will start to notice.
posted by charlesminus at 6:09 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


The more I think about this (ugh!) the more convinced I am that a resolution won’t be achieved by some grand negotiated result. Particularly if McCarthy isn’t going to recuse himself, which I don’t think he would.

It seems far more likely that life will intervene to draw enough folks away from attendance — family or health or just fatigue — that shifts the number needed to win, just by enough.

McCarthy is mathematically in the most likely position to benefit from playing the congressional version of “Hands on a Hardbody” while waiting for 8-10 people to drop out of this contest.

Of course, McCarthy could just decide fuck it, I’ll give the kooks everything they want and then some, if they just give me a taste of that sweet, sweet gavel.
posted by darkstar at 6:19 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I'm seeing several unsourced reports via the Guardian liveblog that McCarthy is getting close to a deal with at least some (though possibly not enough yet) of the "freedom caucus" holdouts. If so, I hope the rest of the party will be taking a close look at that deal and deciding if they can stomach it. Otherwise it really is just a total capitulation: always was the most likely outcome in my opinion, but still the worst.
posted by biogeo at 6:26 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


But they are not all equivalent in terms of their goals and motivations.

Sweet, I'll be comforted that even though some of them will be voting to end abortion because of wild fringe religious beliefs and hatred of people with a uterus, others will be voting to end abortion because it'll help them get re-elected (by people with wild fringe beliefs and hatred of people with a uterus). I'm glad that I can weigh their goals and motivations separately and ignore what the actual results of their actions are.

Otherwise you'll get killed by six fascists, when maybe you could have fended off five of them with one helper on your side.

They are never, ever going to help. They're not. They're not going to do it. They have no conscience, and no drive beyond power, which they will wield to benefit themselves alone. It is what they do. It is what this group of people are fundamentally about. I do not understand how you or anyone can possibly believe that they would do ANYTHING differently. This is their actual voting record.

I am definitely at the point where I'm just going to start yelling at individuals, so I'll step away now before a mod has to get involved.

Please, for the love of every god above and below, if you're reading this and thinking, "Well, we gotta dance with who's here" -- no, you don't. Don't get trapped in thinking that these are the only options. That's (part of) what got us to this place.
posted by curious nu at 6:31 PM on January 5 [14 favorites]


If so, I hope the rest of the party will be taking a close look at that deal and deciding if they can stomach it. Otherwise it really is just a total capitulation: always was the most likely outcome in my opinion, but still the worst.

Of course the rest of the party will stomach it. I don't see how there can be any honest doubt about that.

The question is whether total capitulation and subsequent peer-pressure can really peel off the core 5-6 bomb-throwers, or whether they just want to watch the world burn. I honestly think it's a coin flip.
posted by saturday_morning at 6:33 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


It is just amazing that in this mob of so-called politicians there is not a one who can figure a way out of the corner they have painted themselves into.

This is exactly the problem. Not a one can solve this problem. That's not how you solve problems. But that's exactly what they're trying to do - they think that if one person can force out a 'bad' speaker, then one good person can fix everything.

But again, that isn't how to solve big problems. You have to collaborate and cooperate with other people. That is an anti-republican belief though.
posted by Garm at 6:41 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


This is their actual voting record.

Their actual voting record has been cited several times above, and it's not uniformly pro-fascist. No one is saying these are good people but their actions show that they are not in lockstep and will, under the right circumstances, even if only rarely, do the right thing instead of the wrong thing, such as voting for impeachment of Trump (2 of them), for the Jan 6 commission (35 of them), for the Respect for Marriage act (46 of them), or for keeping the government funded (not sure exactly how many at the moment, but something like a couple dozen at least). Asserting that their behaviors are all identical is contrary to documented fact.

I'm sorry that you're feeling frustrated, curious nu; so am I. I like and respect you a lot. I think you and I are looking at the same body of evidence but seeing different facts. I think we're both reasonable people, and I don't know how to reconcile that basic disagreement.
posted by biogeo at 6:48 PM on January 5 [24 favorites]


You have to collaborate and cooperate with other people. That is an anti-republican belief though.

I'm pretty sure if you look at the past 40 years of Republican messaging, you'll see they've been exceptionally cooperative. Always adopting the same language, repeating the same phrases over and over until they become part of the national vocabulary... This mutiny by the Taliban Twenty is unusual. But the party has been less and less well whipped (in the parliamentary sense of the word) than they used to be, and they've been compromising with the wrong end of the spectrum for so long, they're now being taken hostage.
posted by hippybear at 6:49 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


> hippybear: "I'm pretty sure if you look at the past 40 years of Republican messaging, you'll see they've been exceptionally cooperative."

Indeed, I believe that it's not cooperation and collaboration in general that is frowned upon in Republican circles, it's compromise that they hate. It seems that Republicans do think that it's totally fine to work together towards a common goal, especially if they're already all in agreement. What I think they truly disdain is cooperation & collaboration with people they don't already agree with since that would require some amount of compromise.
posted by mhum at 6:58 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Libertarians, war hawks and evangelicals all compromise their values to be in that big circus tent. Remember when they nominated a pedophile for senate? Compromised. They square that one by saying better a pedophile than a democrat. That's where the compromise ends.

Evangelicals for that good christian Donald Trump.
posted by adept256 at 7:07 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


The story so far:

BALLOT ROUND.....McCARTHY.....JEFFRIES.....OTHER.....PRESENT.....ABSENT/NV
First............203..........212..........19........0...........0
Second...........203..........212..........19........0...........0
Third............202..........212..........20........0...........0
Fourth...........201..........212..........20........1...........0
Fifth............201..........212..........20........1...........0
Sixth............201..........212..........20........1...........0
Seventh..........201..........212..........20........1...........0
Eighth...........201..........212..........20........1...........0
Ninth............200..........212..........20........1...........1
Tenth............200..........212..........20........1...........1
Eleventh.........200..........212..........20........1...........1


I didn't break out the 'Other' votes, but Trump got one in the last few rounds. That means he got the least votes of any nominee for Speaker in the history of the United States.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:20 PM on January 5 [18 favorites]


If the Democrats and their party machine could be as unified in their messaging as they have been in these votes, we might actually make some headway in the minds of general US citizens.
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I'm old enough to remember when Kevin McCarthy tried to warn us against the pod people.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:28 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


Is it a realistic possibility that these people are just going to keep voting no forever in order to ensure that the United States has no sitting Congress?

Well, with any breaking news, there's a time when it stops being news and starts being boring drudgery. It takes at least two weeks and maybe a month, or it can happen quickly if someone named Kardashian dies or gets married unexpectedly.

I think the Loony Party are doing this partially to enjoy the spectacle, and when the cameras turn off they'll have to think of a new spectacle. After all while they're doing this they can't hold rallies in their home state, or have questionable Mar-a-Lago meetings with Nazis.

So I'm predicting "Kevin wins in 3 weeks but it doesn't make the front page."
posted by mmoncur at 7:41 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


Committee staff paychecks start getting held up on the 13th.

Not sure if that's going to light a fire under any Republicans, but it's worth keeping in mind.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:02 PM on January 5 [1 favorite]


I'm seeing several unsourced reports via the Guardian liveblog that McCarthy is getting close to a deal with at least some (though possibly not enough yet) of the "freedom caucus" holdouts. If so, I hope the rest of the party will be taking a close look at that deal and deciding if they can stomach it. Otherwise it really is just a total capitulation: always was the most likely outcome in my opinion, but still the worst.

I wonder what these concessions would be. I would think this makes a scary debt ceiling fight much more likely. On the other hand, I wonder if the better option for McCarthy might be to just make promises that he then breaks once he is elected. I guess it depends on how the rest of the Republican caucus would act. Still, I have to wonder what it is that he's refusing to give them that the rest of the Republicans seem fine with.

On another matter, it seems like the last two failures by the House to select a speaker preceded a breakdown of one of the United State's six Party systems. I wonder if that means we can expect continued chaos until a new one forms in about 10 years.
posted by eagles123 at 8:04 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


I wonder if that means we can expect continued chaos

Yes, although I have no firm end point.
posted by hippybear at 8:06 PM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Their actual voting record has been cited several times above, and it's not uniformly pro-fascist. No one is saying these are good people but their actions show that they are not in lockstep and will, under the right circumstances, even if only rarely, do the right thing instead of the wrong thing, such as voting for impeachment of Trump (2 of them), for the Jan 6 commission (35 of them), for the Respect for Marriage act (46 of them), or for keeping the government funded (not sure exactly how many at the moment, but something like a couple dozen at least). Asserting that their behaviors are all identical is contrary to documented fact.

And it is also documented that their doing the right thing is indeed rare, unreliable and followed by a return to doing the wrong thing consistently.

Which isn't to say that none of them are physically capable of saying 'no' to the Grunty Twenty and signing onto some kind of power-sharing arrangement (keeping in mind, though, as I have previously stated, that doing so will be viewed as FAR beyond J6 or RFMA votes and be viewed as their resignation from the Republican Party). This is not a one-time vote; any arrangement that could be made, whether for Jeffries or for Upton or for some other intermediary, will be tested repeatedly and those who defect now will be expected to stick to their guns and continue to resist the HFC's ultimatums.

But that door is and has been open. It's not as if anything that DEMS are doing is stopping them from voting for Jeffries, or from voicing loud discontent with both McCarthy and the HFC, or from making it clear that if some miracle candidate can reach a bipartisan 218... while keeping in mind that after a solid bloc of 212 has stood behind him eleven times, getting many Dems to move away from Jeffries will be strenuous... they will be part of that 218.

It is up to them to reach out, to change sides, to disavow the Gingrichian path and declare willingness as a group in sufficient numbers to wield any political might as some kind of centrist bloc. If they can occasionally do the right thing in extremely important circumstances, well, every day is an extremely important circumstance any more. .They are either with us or with the terrorists, as Dubya once bleated.

And I will be very surprised if any do take the plunge, much less enough. Their philosophical aims are much more in tune with HFC terrorists than with anyone else; it's merely their extreme means they frown upon.
posted by delfin at 8:34 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


The schadenfreude is there but what's also there is the absolute joy of the Democrats remaining publicly united behind Hakeem Jeffries.

Oh, the right-wing media are trying to spin that as "see, we in the GOP allow for differences of opinion in the ranks! We're not like those Democrats who all just follow their leader!"
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:43 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Here's some fantasy wishcasting that will never happen but ... OK the federal government is set up with checks and balances. Powers are distributed among different branches of government in a way that could, should, hopefully, maintain democratic accountability, reduce corruption, deliver good decision making with adequate deliberation, etc.

So theoretically, if there's no House, all the of the "checks" that the House is supposed to perform, like constraining the power of the executive branch, are not functioning. These twenty maga republicans think they are bringing the work of the federal government to a full stop, but from another perspective, they are surrendering any power they hold over Biden.
posted by rustcrumb at 8:54 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


The House rules package for the 118th Congress, released last weekend, takes a scalpel to the nonpartisan, independent Office of Congressional Ethics. (Gutting attempt in 2017.) The OCE conducts investigations and, crucially, makes its reports public. This flaying is just as Republicans who ignored subpoenas from the Jan. 6 committee (Jordan, Perry, Biggs, Brooks, McCarthy) and sketch artist Santos likely face inquiry. The new rules attempt to defund the already-skeletonized IRS. I worry about tomorrow; Perry and others don't think the package destabilizes the government enough.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:58 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


Per CNN,
Complicating matters is the fact that at least four Republican members are leaving town Friday because of various family issues.


- House adjourns for third day without picking a speaker in longest contest in 164 years, by Clare Foran, Manu Raju, Melanie Zanona, Annie Grayer and Kristin Wilson, CNN

I'm not saying it's likely, but I would love it if a handful of non-MAGA Republicans decided to end the stalemate already and defeat the reckless 20 by leaving DC to attend to family emergencies - something that MIGHT be defensible to their constituents.
posted by kristi at 9:13 PM on January 5 [9 favorites]


Kevin didn't get the spot the first time he was up for it. Cause he was a little too honest and admitted the investigations into Clinton were only so Republicans could win. And he was proud of it. Republicans back then knew that looked bad and he was bypassed for someone else. I'm sure that hurt him. It seems everyone has forgotten that. He could have been speaker years ago. Now he's desperate to right what once went wrong in his career and it only makes him look worse. It's sad and pathetic but he's a Republican. That's all you can hope for with them.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:22 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


"All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work".

-Calvin Coolidge.

"Growth has its season. There are spring and summer, but there are also fall and winter. And then spring and summer again. As long as the roots are not severed, all is well and all be well."

-Chance The Gardner.
posted by clavdivs at 9:29 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


I wonder if that means we can expect continued chaos until a new one forms in about 10 years.

Please keep in mind we are in the futureshock / speedrun portion of human history, so any new party thing will take maybe 6-18 months.

As for the chaos, is will be 2d6 new fucking things by then.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:32 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


Oh no Matt. What are you doing? Please come back.

GAETZ: If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives.

There is zero percent chance he will follow through if this happens.
posted by LostInUbe at 9:36 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


GAETZ: If Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican, I will resign from the House of Representatives.

You don't threaten someone with a good time.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 PM on January 5 [24 favorites]


Who will keep Gaetz out of prison, when he has no power to speak of?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 9:55 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


His da, like always
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:06 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


What's concerning is what Kevin McCarthy is willing to give to get this position. If he gets elected, the house is likely to be so unwieldy that nothing will get done.

Let's be clear: whoever is elected speaker, nothing will get done in the next two years.
posted by Pendragon at 10:39 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


If far right Republican members of the House can get a hard right Speaker elected, they will then have a very simple and straightforward coup path.

Get rid of Biden and Harris by some ambiguous and deniable means and their guy becomes President.

At that point, they control the House, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court as well as much of the rest of the judiciary.

They might not even need their President to declare Martial Law, and they will have at least two years to undermine the institutions of democracy sufficiently to hold onto power indefinitely.

What other chances really remain to them at this point?
posted by jamjam at 10:41 PM on January 5 [6 favorites]


As for the chaos, is will be 2d6 new fucking things by then.

Shut up! That's supposed to be a 1D20 roll!
posted by loquacious at 10:44 PM on January 5 [4 favorites]


OK are we doing this? We're saying Mitch is lawful evil, Kevin is neutral evil. But he wants the votes of all the chaotic evils and the lawful evils. He needs Darth Vader and The Joker to vote for him.
posted by adept256 at 11:09 PM on January 5 [7 favorites]


I'm a little bit late to this, but: the "should we differentiate between which Republicans are and aren't fascist" derail has gotten real old real fast, imo. It's broken out at least three times in this thread, the arguments for and against are both extremely simple to understand, and there are reasons why different people do and don't find the distinctions meaningful, and that's about as much resolution as we're ever going to come to.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 11:11 PM on January 5 [13 favorites]


Meet Cheryl Johnson, the clerk running the House. Some House members this week have accidentally called her Madam Speaker, instead of Madam Clerk. (BBC.com, two hours ago) Ms Johnson, a New Orleans native who has a law degree from Howard University, a historically black college in Washington DC, is one of only four women to hold the title and the second African American in the role. She was first named clerk in 2018 by former Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The nomination followed two decades in the House, working as an aide to both Democrats and Republicans.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:16 PM on January 5 [12 favorites]


jamjam: removing a president is not that easy. Indeed, despite there being four impeachments, not a single president has been removed from office. It takes a 2/3 vote in the Senate- an such a supermajority has never existed, not for Johnson, Clinton, or Trump.

So your scenario doesn't really work when there's two years left on the clock with a Democratic Senate. Even if a hard-right Congress does get Biden impeached, that just normalizes impeachment as a useless political theater.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 11:23 PM on January 5 [3 favorites]


I don't think jamjam was talking about impeachment.

I'm not particularly concerned that this is a realistic path, but there are other ways for officials to leave office prematurely and I think that's what was being hinted at.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:53 PM on January 5


I was thinking more in terms of an arranged accident, LeRoienjaune; I think an abiding shortcoming of those of us on the left is believing that the Right will restrict itself to lawful means.

Even Jan. 6 has not been able to tear away the veil over our eyes. I begin to think it’s more like a case of cataracts.
posted by jamjam at 11:55 PM on January 5 [10 favorites]


“A mistake plus Keleven gets you home by seven!”

Someone wittier than me at this time of the night make a better joke with that, please.
posted by DeepSeaHaggis at 1:39 AM on January 6


"Fuck, Kevin, stop doing that mate. There's no need for it!"

(Slightly aghast that no-one has linked to this classic and appropriate Kevin yet)
posted by prismatic7 at 2:35 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Wonder how this is playing out in France
posted by trig at 2:53 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I'm waiting for a Democrat to get up to nominate their candidate and say "Look, Republicans. You all know what's going on. We aren't going to budge. This is your problem to solve, and we're going to keep voting this same way until you come up with a solution. Here's our person, we're voting for them, and so what are you going to do?" And then sit back down.

I contend that all 212 Democrats have been doing exactly that all along.

Not nearly as humiliating as democrats helping whichever republican win the speakership, and then have the republican immediately “forget” whatever concessions they supposedly made to the democrats and instead carry-on dismantling democracy.

Well, maybe, but I doubt it's that easy. The so-called "Republican moderates" are pissed at McCarthy for his concessions to the crazies because they'll be written into the House Rules for this session. The Democrats have their act together (see above) enough to presume that any concessions wouldn't be accepted on a "pinky promise" basis, but rather would be in writing, in the rules. And would be widely discussed in the national political media to boot.

Perhaps the Republican caucus could leverage their five-seat majority to suspend any rules and screw the Democrats, and after all that's the only thing that unites the Republicans, but if nothing else it'd be hard to disguise what they're doing, and it's no sure bet that they could pull it off, especially if the Democrats write in a requirement for a supermajority to suspend the rules.
posted by Gelatin at 4:36 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Wonder how this is playing out in France
posted by trig at 2:53 AM on January 6 [+] [!]


Oh, we going there? The Germans have a word for this, (yes, yes, eye rollllll)
Kevinismus, which can result in AlphaKevin. Which, honestly, seems very much the case with what is happening in the House.
posted by From Bklyn at 4:46 AM on January 6


Serious question (and, I apologize if it’s already been addressed somewhere upstream in the thread) Must the speaker be chosen from the body of elected representatives, or can they actually vote for (and potentially seat) any US citizen?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:55 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


any, which is why the single votes for trump were not actually invalid.
posted by Clowder of bats at 5:02 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Serious question (and, I apologize if it’s already been addressed somewhere upstream in the thread) Must the speaker be chosen from the body of elected representatives, or can they actually vote for (and potentially seat) any US citizen?

If memory serves me correctly, there is no requirement that the Speaker be a member of Congress, which is why some Trumpists have discussed (and now, actually voted for!) making him Speaker. However, there has never been a speaker thus far who was not a member of Congress.

It is just amazing that in this mob of so-called politicians there is not a one who can figure a way out of the corner they have painted themselves into. Fucking idiots. We can only hope that this mess will somehow stink enough that the public will start to notice.

Republicans have been painting themselves into this corner for decades, and it all boils down to one thing -- their agenda is unpopular and their natural constituency of white evangelical males is a shrinking demographic. That's one reason for extreme partisan gerrymandering, to create as many "safe" Republican seats as possible.

The problem is, in a safe seat, the primary is tantamount to the election, which encourages the more extremist candidate to win. (And as we've seen in the 2020 election, sometimes that candidate is too extreme for the electorate.) Combined with the rural and small-state bias of the election system, these factors have allowed Republicans to cling to power -- but have made their caucus in general much more ideologically extreme than the Democrats, who have to assemble a broader coalition of voters to win.

Competitive districts would, and have, result in more centrist candidates who actually do value the "bipartisanship" that the so-called "liberal media" pretends to value but only demands from Democrats. But the genie of ultra-safe districts is out of the bottle, so here we are.
posted by Gelatin at 5:09 AM on January 6 [13 favorites]


Gerrymandering doesn't work that way -- partisan gerrymandering is all about spending your party's votes as efficiently as you can while making the other party waste as many votes as possible. A Republican gerrymander maximizes the number of districts that are just barely Republican enough to be a little bit safe-ish but are still broadly competitive, and pushes Democrats into extremely safe districts.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:18 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


That suggests that an unusually large swing against them - something that doesn't happen very often, but can happen, especially if enough of their voters are disenchanted enough to just stay at home - could be potentially catastrophic for them.
posted by Grangousier at 5:42 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Lauren Boebert did just barely -- by a few hundred votes -- win re-election. But Marjorie Taylor Greene is from a district that seems to vote about 75% Republican.
posted by Gelatin at 5:51 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Yup. The recent trend in computer-aided gerrymandering has been maps that don't absolutely maximize the number of seats you expect but are resistant to light-to-moderate waves against you.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:51 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Lauren Bobert was in a safe red district. She won by just 546 votes, because she had pissed off 50% of the voters, who would rather have a sane moderate Democrat than her. Her actions this week have lost her that 546 votes, and she clearly doesn't care.
posted by dannyboybell at 5:52 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


The recent trend in computer-aided gerrymandering has been maps that don't absolutely maximize the number of seats you expect but are resistant to light-to-moderate waves against you.

Which is why voter suppression tactics are also part of the Republican strategy. If a Republican legislature restricts polling locations and resources in likely Democratic areas, forcing voters to wait in line for hours (and outlawing giving any aid like bottled water to them), they help insulate themselves from democracy.
posted by Gelatin at 6:00 AM on January 6 [8 favorites]


But Marjorie Taylor Greene is from a district that seems to vote about 75% Republican.

Obviously there are safe Republican districts. You'll have some safe D or R seats in any map because mappers have to work with the distribution of voters that actually exists. But if you see a whole bunch of safe Republican districts, that's a sign of a Democratic gerrymander, not a Republican one.

If you want evidence for the GA House map being a Republican gerrymander, look at how Atlanta has only a few heavily D districts instead of several districts with chunks of Atlanta that are only 55% D.

Republican gerrymandering absolutely exists but it doesn't work by creating safe R districts. If they weren't constrained by the actual distribution of where people live, some of those people voting for Greene could have been voting against McBath instead.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 6:07 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Georgia is a great example of how gerrymandering led to the current congressional mess: Lawsuit challenges Georgia redistricting of seat held by Rep. Lucy McBath McBath's 6th district went from a diverse north Atlanta suburban district to including mostly white, Republican, and very racist Forsyth County. This led McBath to change districts to challenge in the primary moderate Democrat Rep. Carolyn Bordeaux for the new 7th district, which included many of her previous constituents and which McBath won easily. Meanwhile, the Democrats barely contested the new 6th district, because what was the point. The result was one less vote for Hakeem Jeffries this week and one more vote for McCarthy.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:21 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Republican gerrymandering absolutely exists but it doesn't work by creating safe R districts.

This depends heavily on your definition of “safe”, though. A district that will flip only in a massive wave year is functionally “safe” and is going to suffer from primaries increasingly selecting less centrist candidates.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Also, as I noted upthread, the Republicans have also been painting themselves into this corner by using more and more extreme rhetoric about the Democrats, to the point where any compromise with them is now practically unthinkable. It's okay to compromise with people with whom you disagree about distribution of resources; it's a lot harder to sell a compromise with people you've been telling your voters "hate America" and want to "destroy" it.

Which is in itself a situation they created because they've been keeping their voters hooked on hate and fear for decades, and they always need to escalate, because people develop a tolerance and calling Democrats "socialists" just doesn't do it for them any more.
posted by Gelatin at 6:43 AM on January 6 [14 favorites]


(There's a quote, "I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them," attributed to Adlai Stephenson, who last ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1960.)
posted by Gelatin at 6:47 AM on January 6 [15 favorites]


Gerrymandering is all about stretching as a small amount of butter as far as possible over the most amount of bread. You don't use need to use Gerrymandering (as much) if you already have a majority. It's the strategy of a party that knows it is clinging to power by its fingernails.

It's an "optimization" strategy that is vulnerable to demographic change or political moods changing. And getting polling right.
posted by bonehead at 7:39 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


A compromise to draw some D votes to elect a speaker would be the logical thing about anywhere... except the US. It would marginalize the batsh!tinsane, and clearly signal that the current government intended to Get Stuff Done. But no, even here it seems it's more important to fight the GOP! than it is to pursue specific policies and goals.
posted by Artful Codger at 7:46 AM on January 6


Is there some way to guarantee the lying liars won't be lying and yank the football away like every other time the Dems have tried to make a deal with them?

You're making it sound like the ball is in the Dems court and they just want to fight. That's counter to the last 30-plus years of history.
posted by kokaku at 7:48 AM on January 6 [10 favorites]


You're making it sound like the ball is in the Dems court and they just want to fight.

Who, me? Not a bit of it. All the balls are in the GOP end. It's up to them to reach out or not. I'm just noting that putting party allegiance ahead of pragmatism isn't working.

(and for the record, McCarthy is a spineless weasel, so this all looks good on him. Payback's a bitch)
posted by Artful Codger at 7:56 AM on January 6


What pragmatism is served by some Democrats saying "oh, well, what the hell?" and voting to give McCarthy -- who, again, joked about hitting Pelosi with the Speaker's gavel -- the job he's been angling for his whole political career?

I have little doubt the eventual solution will involve the Democrats -- them holding their coalition together has been a clear signal to the Republicans. But they should do nothing to bail out the Republicans without strong, enforceable concessions (and let's face it, chief among them is probably just "don't let the crazies make the US default on its debt over the debt ceiling issue"). Otherwise, they get no opportunity at all to pursue specific policies and goals; they just help the Republicans pursue theirs.
posted by Gelatin at 8:04 AM on January 6 [16 favorites]


I agree.
posted by Artful Codger at 8:13 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


The crawling text on the bottom of my tv screen during the news said that Elon Musk supports Kevin McCarthy. Maybe this will help.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:19 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


So, what I've seen this morning indicates that McCarthy folded on the "motion to vacate" issue.

Does this mean that House Democrats would also have the ability to try and purge McCarthy from his two-ply throne? If so, could a replacement Speaker purge the crazy-appeasing rules that Kevin climbed shakily to power on?
posted by The Outsider at 8:25 AM on January 6


Does this mean that House Democrats would also have the ability to try and purge McCarthy from his two-ply throne? If so, could a replacement Speaker purge the crazy-appeasing rules that Kevin climbed shakily to power on?

Honestly, I don't think anyone knows what mutant child of Robert's Rules for Order and Hell's guidebook for new arrivals will emerge until some Speaker actually clears the threshold. All else is hearsay at this point.

There is a chaos-agent part of me who would truly enjoy a compromise putting McCarthy in the Speaker's chair, only for the first order of business to be a vote that strips him of it and returns them to square one. "Fine, we've allowed you to be Speaker of the House... for thirty-eight minutes. Now eff off."

I have no illusions that that would be productive in any way or help Democrats restore any kind of relative order to the process or the House itself, but it would be funny as hell to watch McCarthy's goal utterly trivialized beyond "I have the big job, but I'm Chip Roy's hand puppet."
posted by delfin at 8:38 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I've been amused how many people have been turning to clips of the old Sesame Street Pinball Count for their meme game for this - and how they've all realized that "we're about to run out of numbers, NOW what".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:54 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Day 4's streaming now, and there may or may not be a quorum.
posted by box at 9:03 AM on January 6


With all the gerrymandering talk I wanted to point out that one of the fascist shit-birds holding her own party hostage is newly elected rep Anna Paula Luna who won her seat due to Ron Desantis' newly-drawn-up-and-gerrymandered-all-to-hell Pinellas County district. She beat the infinitely more qualified Democrat Eric Lynn for the seat that was recently occupied by Charlie Crist who got smoked by Desantis in the race for governor.

Just wait until Desantis is elected president. This little shit-show in the house is going to look downright reasonable.
posted by photoslob at 9:07 AM on January 6 [12 favorites]


These twenty maga republicans think they are bringing the work of the federal government to a full stop, but from another perspective, they are surrendering any power they hold over Biden.

Bringing the work of the federal government to a full stop is very powerful over the Democratic party. In general, the left expects a functioning government and the past few decades have shown that even when the problems are clearly Republican fuckery, the voters penalize Democrats for shutdowns and reward Republicans.
posted by Candleman at 9:30 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Ballot #12 has just started.
posted by WalkingAround at 9:35 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Mike Garcia (R-CA) nominated Kevin McCarthy, gets some light applause with watered-down talking points (the border, the debt, fentanyl, Afghanistan...)

James Clyburn (D-SC), wearing a 'Remember Jan. 6' button, nominates Hakeem Jeffries, gets a standing ovation from the Dems, goes on to refer to the 'violent insurrectionists' of January 6, gets another ovation.

Matt Gaetz (R-FL) says that McCarthy doesn't have the votes and hasn't earned the position, starts getting heckled, calls McCarthy 'the Lebron James of special interest fundraising,' nominates Jim Jordan, goes on at some length about how McCarthy is insufficiently pure, some of the Rs start walking out. Zero applause.

Lauren Boebert (R-CO) gets up to nominate Kevin Hern, says he's a unity candidate, which might mean he gets three or four votes.

Aaand, here come the votes. Live count on the NYT site, if you're not quite as much of a masochist as I am.
posted by box at 9:35 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Bishop switched to Mcarthy. First to defect TO McCarthy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:38 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Brecheen flips too.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:39 AM on January 6


Cloud, Clyde, and Crane are the next ones to watch.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:40 AM on January 6


Cloud flips. Clyde flips.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:43 AM on January 6


Crane for unity candidate Hern. Gosar and Gaetz can sink the vote between them.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:44 AM on January 6


Cloud with the Buster Sword!
posted by box at 9:44 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Donalds flips back.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:45 AM on January 6


We don't know at this point if 5 R votes against McCarthy will be enough to block him because we don't know how many there this morning. There was rumor early, before the quorum question, of several being absent.
posted by bcd at 9:48 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Bob Good (R-VA) sticks with Jordan.
posted by box at 9:49 AM on January 6


Gosar seemingly ignoring the voice call so he can be Mr. Drama later?
posted by lauranesson at 9:49 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Gozar didn't vote when his name came up. Can't recall if I've seen him walking about on the floor today.
posted by bcd at 9:49 AM on January 6


You know, I wonder if the threshold of "needed votes" drops, it CONCIEVABLY could drop enough to the point that the reliable vote count Jeffries has been getting could give HIM the speakership, maybe?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:50 AM on January 6


the past few decades have shown that even when the problems are clearly Republican fuckery, the voters penalize Democrats for shutdowns and reward Republicans.

My observation has been the exact opposite, actually.

Repubs have been trying the government shutdown gambit over and over again since the Clinton era. Each time, it's been led by a bunch of anti-government extremists, high on their own supply, who charge into it thinking that it will give them total leverage over a Dem president, and each time, it backfires pretty spectacularly on them, Wile E. Coyote style.

It has never -- not once -- resulted in the voters penalizing the Dems and rewarding the Repubs. Generally, it's resulted in a bump in the polls for the Dem president, and a corresponding dip for the GOP.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:50 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Harris, Luna and Miller are the next ones to see if they flip.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:50 AM on January 6


we don't know how many there this morning.

Reports are the Rs are down three today.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:51 AM on January 6


Live vote at realclearpolitics
posted by Glinn at 9:51 AM on January 6


Harris for Jordan, no flip there.

It's worth noting that all of the people who didn't vote in the first round will get a second chance at the very end where the clerk will double check those who didn't respond the first time.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:52 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


CSPAN is saying that another vote will be necessary, now.
posted by meese at 9:52 AM on January 6


Five votes yesterday was quite an accomplishment. They'll have to work extra hard today if they want to get the high score and enter their initials.
posted by delfin at 9:53 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


I assume that every Democratic Party member is present and so they're basing the numbers from that. 6 defections is enough to sink a McCarthy bid even if Gosar is not present.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:54 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


if the threshold of "needed votes" drops, it CONCIEVABLY could drop enough to the point that the reliable vote count Jeffries has been getting could give HIM the speakership, maybe?

If ten Republicans are absent or vote present, and all the Democrats are there.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:57 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) switches to McCarthy, gets big cheers.
posted by box at 9:58 AM on January 6


But of course they'd promptly get the rest of the R's back on the floor and vacate Jeffries speakership, so while technically possible, not meaningful.
posted by bcd at 9:59 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Did anyone catch what Luna said about "pending an investigation"?
posted by cirhosis at 10:00 AM on January 6


Goldman of NY, a D, didn’t vote when his name was called. It’s possible he will at the end of the roll call (thinking about the quorum here).
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:00 AM on January 6


Miller flips.

Norman, Ogles, Perry, and Rosendale are the next 4. Ogles might flip considering he was looking for concessions. If any of the other three flip it'll be a huge eyebrow raiser considering they are three of the OG "Never Kevins".
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:01 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I've gotten into the habit of stopping by a co-worker's office when there's major news going down (it started during the Jan 6 hearings, I needed to marvel about it and saw he was in his office, he later came to ask me what else I'd heard and so we've both agreed I am his "town crier") now. This morning we were discussing the ongoing vote for speaker and I told him about the Pinball Count thing and how that was a common meme, and we both laughed about how they had one more chance to sort things because we'd run out of numbers otherwise.

Just now, when CSPAN announced that we'll need to have another vote anyway, I got up and started walking to his office - and sang loudly as I approached:

"One two three FOUR FIVE, six seven eight NINE TEN, eleven twelve!"

He's still laughing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:03 AM on January 6 [18 favorites]


Norman flips. Holy shit.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:04 AM on January 6


Norman flipped.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:04 AM on January 6


And didn't Norman look so very very happy about the applause?
posted by bcd at 10:04 AM on January 6


Scott Perry (PA) flips.
posted by box at 10:05 AM on January 6


And there goes Perry too.
posted by bcd at 10:05 AM on January 6


Perry flips. The Freedom Caucus is splintering.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:05 AM on January 6


The Gaetz burn the bridges nomination suggests that McCarthy has the votes?
posted by Rumple at 10:05 AM on January 6


The Gaetz burn the bridges nomination suggests that McCarthy has the votes?

He does not right now.

At this point it becomes a prisoner's dilemma for the remainders of the holdouts. Who can extract the most concessions before McCarthy reaches half? Any who are left are going to be consigned to the scrap heap and lose everything.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:07 AM on January 6 [6 favorites]


But Rosendale votes for Hern, with much groaning from the crowd.
posted by bcd at 10:07 AM on January 6


Matt Rosendale (R-MT) says 'KEVIN... Hern.'
posted by box at 10:07 AM on January 6


Rosendale > Hern
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:07 AM on January 6


Rosendale is Hern. Roy and Self are left.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:07 AM on January 6


Chip flips.
posted by box at 10:08 AM on January 6


Roy flips. Self is the last holdout.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:08 AM on January 6


Gozar is as bright as a bag of rocks, but not voting early might actually have been a good play for him. I'm going to assume it was an accident.
posted by bcd at 10:09 AM on January 6


Keith Self (R-TX) says 'We're making progress. McCarthy!'

Even if Kevvy Kev doesn't have the votes this time, I predict he will by the end of the day. This feels like a seismic shift.
posted by box at 10:10 AM on January 6


Ah, the Rs are only down two. Hern will be absent this weekend, but is present today.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:10 AM on January 6


Self flips. So they have 8 holdouts left assuming Gosar sticks to never Kevin.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:10 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Sparks voting McCarthy. She voted from him previously but has also voted present.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:12 AM on January 6


McCarthy is one vote behind Jeffries, and Gosar and Ogles have yet to vote.

The magic number today is 217 (due to absences.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:16 AM on January 6


Gosar flipped.
posted by bcd at 10:18 AM on January 6


Gosar goes with McCarthy.
posted by box at 10:18 AM on January 6


Holy shit Gosar flips.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:18 AM on January 6


Ogles gives McCarthy a long hard look.
posted by box at 10:19 AM on January 6


Ogles flips.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:19 AM on January 6


Wow. Holy effing wow.
posted by dutchrick at 10:20 AM on January 6


Appears there must be one Dem absent, but I haven't caught who yet.
posted by bcd at 10:20 AM on January 6


That's fourteen Never Kevins flipping back.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:20 AM on January 6


Appears there must be one Dem absent, but I haven't caught who yet.

I think it's David Trone.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:22 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]




McCarthy needs to win over three of Andy Biggs (AZ), Lauren Boebert (CO), Eli Crane (AZ), Matt Gaetz (FL), Bob Good (VA), Andy Harris (MD), and Matt Rosendale (MT).

All of these have voted for at least three different candidates in this shitshow (Gaetz has voted for five), so I figure there's some flexibility there.
posted by box at 10:25 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Ah - yes:
Congressman Trone is unable to attend votes due to a necessary surge*l
that could not be rescheduled at a time that would fit the House voting
schedule. The surgery is not related to his previous battle with cancer.
Naturally, we assumed we were in the clear months ago when we
scheduled this surgery for today, which the Majority Leader had
previously designated a non-voting day.

We are in close coordination with Democratic leadership, and Rep.
Trone plans to return to Washington as soon as possible and remain
there for as long as it takes to elect a Speaker of the U.S. House and get
back to working for the American people.
posted by bcd at 10:26 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


One of those eight wants the power trip of being THE VOTE that puts him over, and that will be, I'm sure, closely negotiated. The question is ... who is it?
posted by anastasiav at 10:26 AM on January 6


It'll probably be sooner rather than later. The caucus has been split. It's basically every person for themselves at this point and Gaetz looks pretty green next to Boebert. Whoever gets in with a deal will have their term saved. Whoever is one of the three left will be out in the cold.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:28 AM on January 6


Daily Show’s list of concessions McCarthy has proposed

• Can only bang gavel on his own crotch
• Build the border wall and he has to be on the other side of it
• Install those Wild West saloon doors on Capitol to make future insurrections easier
• Subpoena Hunter Biden's penis
• Once a year, Lauren Boebert can hunt him for sport
posted by inflatablekiwi at 10:29 AM on January 6 [25 favorites]


The concessions McCarthy is going to give to get the votes, once enumerated, are going to be completely bonkers, because the ones we already know about that haven't worked are already bonkers.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:30 AM on January 6 [8 favorites]


Daily Show’s list of concessions McCarthy has proposed

Good call on leaving out the last one - it was in poor taste.
posted by bcd at 10:31 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I'd say that the concessions might be too much for the moderate wing of the GOP and turn the tide the other direction, but oh yeah there is no moderate wing of the GOP any more.
posted by mcstayinskool at 10:31 AM on January 6


The concessions McCarthy is going to give to get the votes, once enumerated, are going to be completely bonkers, because the ones we already know about that haven't worked are already bonkers.

I don't even know what McCarthy promised to Gosar for his vote. I assume somewhere between bringing a vote to legalize the rich shooting poor people for sport to the floor and his eternal soul.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 10:32 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Who is the woman in the purple suit and ponytail CSPAN keeps showing?
posted by lizjohn at 10:42 AM on January 6


It sounds like one of the concessions McCarthy made was to agree to reduce Defense spending, so as to reduce support for Ukraine. Liz Cheney is not amused.
posted by darkstar at 10:45 AM on January 6 [5 favorites]


If McCarthy finally gets the job, and swears in all the other reps, the first order of business is adopting the rules, right? (and who wrote those?)
Is there any reason to believe that the voting on the rules will be any less of a Scheissausstellung?

I was hoping the Justice Department would help things out by extraditing Santos and arresting Gaetz and the other insurrectionists in Congress.
posted by MtDewd at 10:46 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

P. J. O'Rourke
posted by Artful Codger at 10:50 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I don't even know what McCarthy promised to Gosar for his vote. I assume somewhere between bringing a vote to legalize the rich shooting poor people for sport to the floor and his eternal soul.

Legislation to prevent Representatives' siblings from publicly stating that they hate their dentist brother and think he should be out of Congress. Kind of specific but whatever works.
posted by LostInUbe at 11:05 AM on January 6 [8 favorites]


It has never -- not once -- resulted in the voters penalizing the Dems and rewarding the Repubs. Generally, it's resulted in a bump in the polls for the Dem president, and a corresponding dip for the GOP.

Power matters, not polls. The tea partiers behaved farcically and hobbled the Obama administration's ability to get things done. And were rewarded with continued control of the House (actually increasingly power the last two years of the Obama administration).

Look at how many people blamed Biden for gas prices and inflation. Did you ever hear a rational explanation for what specific policies of his they thought caused it? Because the Democrats are the grownups in the room, they get a disproportionate amount of blame when things don't happen in an expected manner.
posted by Candleman at 11:08 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it.

P. J. O'Rourke


In 1991.
posted by Gelatin at 11:08 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


If McCarthy finally gets the job, and swears in all the other reps, the first order of business is adopting the rules, right? (and who wrote those?)

On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn't been done in years.

posted by LostInUbe at 11:11 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


This vote calculator from the folks at DKE seems helpful.
posted by Not A Thing at 11:13 AM on January 6


I know I'm an hour late, but for those who'd like to celebrate the latest vote, a bunch of variations on One two three FOUR five ....
posted by MollyRealized at 11:15 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


No one but Jeffries & McCarthy nominated for the 13th vote, but we already have two votes for others in the early C's.
posted by bcd at 11:16 AM on January 6


Rep.-Elect Trone tweets that he's back at the Capital. Does that bump the needed number up by one person?
posted by stevis23 at 11:17 AM on January 6


And Trone is apparently back on the floor.
posted by bcd at 11:17 AM on January 6


Who are the "others" people have voted for?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:20 AM on January 6


On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn't been done in years.

Sure, fine, whatever, it's not very long. I'm sure for a lot of them this is the first time they'll have read any of it at all.
posted by biogeo at 11:20 AM on January 6 [14 favorites]


People like Gaetz are saying that McCarthy is the embodiment of evil but are voting for Jordan, who has voted for McCarthy in every round. I'm not sure how to square that.
posted by Rumple at 11:22 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


I hope they linger over the disqualification for office section of the 14th Amendment.
posted by hippybear at 11:22 AM on January 6 [10 favorites]


> Who are the "others" people have voted for?

the wikipedia summaries are handy for that (and for percentages needed)
posted by Clowder of bats at 11:23 AM on January 6


Among the 'Others' are a vote for Jordon by Gaetz and for Hern by Boebert. I didn't catch the other two. Anyone who wasn't nominated this round goes in that bucket, even if they were nominated previously.
posted by bcd at 11:23 AM on January 6


I was speaking more of in the 13th round in the specific, but I found that the NY Times live vote count does track that.

5 people still stubbornly voting for Jordan so far.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:24 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


On the very first day of the new Republican-led Congress, we will read every single word of the Constitution aloud from the floor of the House—something that hasn't been done in years.

I hope that includes the Reconstruction Amendments.
posted by Gelatin at 11:25 AM on January 6 [7 favorites]


A potential wrinkle:

NOW: a senior dem member has shared that moderate Rs have reached out suggesting that if McCarthy wins by making these Freedom Caucus concessions, some moderates will work with Dems to vote down that rules package.

Remains to be seen if it will actually happen, but... in case anyone thought that things might get dull after this ends.
posted by delfin at 11:30 AM on January 6 [19 favorites]


Aww... Trone is still wearing his slippers and hospital socks, plus a sling, but will be voting. That is commendable dedication.
posted by bcd at 11:30 AM on January 6 [12 favorites]


From Slate:

In an Instagram stream Wednesday, Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a similar point: “I’m not gonna lie, some of the points that are made [by the anti-McCarthy GOP holdouts]... there is actually some common ground on. Like for example, democratizing the rules of the House and kind of breaking up that concentration of power that is so focused in a handful of leaders in both parties.”
posted by Artful Codger at 11:35 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Harris flipped to McCarthy, so there's only six left. All of whom except Rosendale have already voted.
posted by bcd at 11:37 AM on January 6


snofoam: "mainstream republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene."

The worst part of this thread is having to face the idea that MTG is now what we expect from Republicans
posted by caution live frogs at 11:37 AM on January 6 [19 favorites]


Sure, fine, whatever, it's not very long. I'm sure for a lot of them this is the first time they'll have read any of it at all.
I'm pretty sure they've read at least part of the 2nd and 5th amendments.
posted by MtDewd at 11:37 AM on January 6 [4 favorites]


The way that everyone cheers after Jeffries votes for himself, and when McCarthy votes for himself? Only word that comes to mind for it: adorable. It reminds me, somehow, of a bunch of dogs doing zoomies.
posted by meese at 11:37 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


And there's Rosendale for Jordon now, so this round is over with just one more flip.

And then there were six.
posted by bcd at 11:41 AM on January 6


With only 5 votes for Jordan, ABC News is going with the chiron 'Rep. McCarthy Appears to Lose 13th Speaker Vote.'

And, hey, there's a sixth Jordan vote.
posted by box at 11:41 AM on January 6


It's going to be a busy first day as McCarthy has also promised to fire 87,000 IRS workers on the first day; hope none of them voted for the leopards eating faces party.
posted by Mitheral at 11:42 AM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure they've read at least part of the 2nd and 5th amendments.

I see what you did there.
posted by Gelatin at 11:44 AM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Trone got a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle. At least a tiny bit of humanity there.
posted by bcd at 11:46 AM on January 6


Thing is AOC actually means what she says. The holdouts will change their tune again if it's expedient to do so. Or will annoy someone else. Or embarrass them. Or score points with the talk shows.
posted by bonehead at 11:49 AM on January 6 [11 favorites]


NOW: a senior dem member has shared that moderate Rs have reached out suggesting that if McCarthy wins by making these Freedom Caucus concessions, some moderates will work with Dems to vote down that rules package.

Even if that’s not true that throws a huge wrench in the works. The Republican holdouts already suspect shenanigans like this. That’s why the don’t trust McCarthy. That fact is if Republicans can’t get these holdouts onboard then they don’t have a majority.
posted by interogative mood at 11:50 AM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile Biden giving a hell of a speech today giving medals to the people who out down by the insurrection on January 6th.
posted by interogative mood at 11:51 AM on January 6 [8 favorites]




... and even that isn't extreme enough to get him all the votes he needs.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:13 PM on January 6


The final holdout, in addition to what they really want, should make McCarthy go on C-Span and sing “I’m a Little Teapot.”
posted by marxchivist at 12:14 PM on January 6 [10 favorites]




Scalise moves to adjourn til 10 pm, looks like it's going to be a party-line vote.
posted by box at 12:26 PM on January 6


The remaining holdouts become more powerful as McCarthy strips away some, but not enough, of them. The ones who hold out longer than the others have more power, but of course they're incentivized not to play TOO hard to get, lest the other holdouts give in for less, ending the game.

I don't know enough about game theory, is there a term for this?
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 12:29 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I don't know enough about game theory, is there a term for this?

Rope-A-Dope
posted by notoriety public at 12:31 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


on pushing for national debt default.

Which, when translated into small words for those of us who don't follow economics means ____?
posted by aniola at 12:44 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Which, when translated into small words for those of us who don't follow economics means ____?

Likely collapse of the entire global economy since the dollar is the global currency?
posted by hippybear at 12:50 PM on January 6 [13 favorites]


Or at least non-US people and companies transferring their holdings in US dollars to another currency, maybe the euro, which devalues the dollar.
posted by kerf at 12:52 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


To grab a more-precise (but larger-word) explanation from the House Committee on the Budget, and then work it down:
If Congress were to ever allow the debt ceiling to lapse and Treasury was forced to default, the consequences would be severe. Interest costs throughout the world would likely increase. Investors would demand higher rates on future Treasury bonds, increasing the interest costs to taxpayers. There would likely be ripple effects throughout the financial system that would increase interest rates on mortgages, student loans, car loans, credit cards, and other debt. A long impasse could prompt a financial crisis and ultimately threaten the US Dollar’s central role in the global financial system. All of this could trigger a severe economic depression, bringing job losses and serious hardship to millions of families in the United States and around the world.
More simply, we've stacked everything economically on "The US Federal Government will always be good on its debt". So long as that can be assumed to be true, lots of things the US likes comes from it. If that assumption breaks, then everything gets real chaotic as everybody has to reassess what's going on & there's opportunity for things to reorganize when the dust settles around a *different* country's debt/currency.
posted by CrystalDave at 12:52 PM on January 6 [17 favorites]


Or at least non-US people and companies transferring their holdings in US dollars to another currency, maybe the euro, which devalues the dollar.

Putin has a lot of rubles no one wants. Using his Republicans to destroy the US economy would be good for his interests.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 12:55 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Or, from last year a White House post, Life after Default, which gets into what "things get real chaotic" might look like in practice

* Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans disability might not get paid out. So ~60-70 million people might not get the income they need to stay off the street. Also their healthcare might go away.
* Military pay & spending goes away. This'd probably get some priority in what's left, but there'd be a lot of confusion on what it means on the ground
* FDA approvals & medication facility inspection shuts down. We've seen what hiccups in this can do.
* Mail goes away, air traffic control stops, national parks shut down, weather prediction stops, GPS starts drifting without the official timeclocks, etc.

Now, some of this they may try prioritizing within what funding there is. But that would be very unprecedented ground, even beyond government shutdowns.

Market stuff:
* Interest rates on everything goes up
* Global depression likely

Geopolitical stuff
* This part's much more unpredictable, since it'd depend on what other countries do
posted by CrystalDave at 1:04 PM on January 6 [17 favorites]


It's going to be a busy first day as McCarthy has also promised to fire 87,000 IRS workers on the first day; hope none of them voted for the leopards eating faces party.

Yeah, not so much. The whole "87,000 IRS agents" is more Republican bullshit. The Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 22 sends more money to the IRS, but not all of it is for more agents, and it's not clear how many additional agents have even been hired yet.

Reuters Fact Check - Social media posts miss key context on Inflation Reduction Act’s provision for thousands of new IRS agents
posted by soundguy99 at 1:08 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


It's not surprising to me that the people who want to keep the US from paying the bills it's already accrued are also the people who want to further cripple the revenue collecting arm of the government. The whole "drown it in a bathtub" thing keeps coming to mind.

If the Rs want to lose all the future elections, they cripple the government.

Also, why are the insurrectionists still allowed to hold office?

(I'm going to keep asking this for the rest of my life, I suspect.)
posted by hippybear at 1:12 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


If they need just a reduction of a few seats. What would happen if the democrats went to Kevin and offered to vote as a block to remove Biggs, Boebert, and Gaetz. It only takes 2/3rds so if MCcarthy could get half of the people who want him as speaker to dump those 3. Those seats would likely get filled with republicans anyway. I would think everyone would benefit from getting 3 of the fringiest house members out, or maybe they should just vote Gaetz out. That would scare the rest in line I imagine.
posted by ill3 at 1:17 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Gaetz already promised to resign if McCarthy is elected. I'm not holding him to that, but he did.
posted by hippybear at 1:19 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


You're going to have a hard time getting anyone to even begin to want to normalize "change in leadership -> vengeful ejections." (I mean, there are plenty of OTHER reasons to expel Biggs, Gaetz and Boebert, starting with insurrection, but that would hang an embarrassing bullseye on many, many other Rs.)

If anything, one of the kooks' demands is that MTG be restored to committees and that Omar and Swalwell be removed from theirs, so the forces of relative sanity are already lined up to battle to keep vengeance from going the other way.
posted by delfin at 1:24 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Even if there's not an actual debt default, any threat of the possibility of default, which seems more and more likely, would have huge costs, as it did in 2011.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 1:27 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Meanwhile Biden giving a hell of a speech today giving medals
One recipient of the Presidential Citizens Medal is Officer Brian Sicknick, who died on Jan. 7, 2021 from a series of strokes. Yesterday, his estate filed suit against Donald Trump for wrongful death. The lawsuit also accuses Trump of violating Sicknick's civil rights, assault and negligence. Two Jan. 6 protesters, Julian Elie Khater and George Pierre Tanios, accused of assaulting Sicknick with chemical spray during the breach, were also named in the suit. The estate seeks $10 million in damages.
(NPR, Reuters)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:37 PM on January 6 [25 favorites]


Yesterday, his estate filed suit against Donald Trump for wrongful death.

I wish them well in the endeavor. We all know Trump with simply throw an endless supply of lawyers at them and bury them in counter-suits and expensive delays. SOP for that asshole.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:55 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure they can't expel anyone in the traditional sense until they've been sworn in, anyway, and by that point the speaker question has been at least temporarily settled.

While they're still members-elect they could challenge their elections and refuse to seat them, but again, I think you need a speaker for that.

More importantly, Rs deliberately making their tiny majority tinier for even a single vote is extremely risky. They are for sure not going put themselves in that position indefinitely. (Same reason they won't challenge Santos's election, which they actually maybe should). This is something to keep in mind while coming up with outside possibilities.

Right now all they seem to be able to do is vote for speaker or vote to adjourn. A member-elect choosing not to vote only helps whoever they don't want to win.
posted by lampoil at 1:56 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I don't know enough about game theory, is there a term for this?

Good question. Arguably it's a form of the traveler's dilemma game, where both players get to make a bid, the lowest bid is accepted, the winning player gets the accepted bid plus a bonus, and the losing player gets the accepted bid minus a penalty. Of course this is really an iterated 3-player game; TD approximates the 2-player interaction between members of the never-Kevin faction. And if you consider the RCG Republicans who could break if they don't like the concessions that McCarthy offers, it's a 4-player game. I don't think there's many standard named games of the n-player variety when n>3, but I could be wrong.
posted by biogeo at 2:23 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


What would happen if the democrats went to Kevin and offered to vote as a block to remove Biggs, Boebert, and Gaetz

What would not happen is the expulsion of Biggs, Boebert, and Gaetz.

The most likely result is just that McCarthy turns down the deal and the Democrats end up embarrassed, having switched their brand from "defending democracy" to in favor of overturning election results just because they can.

Were McCarthy to actually accept the the deal, same thing, because Republicans would not support him.
posted by mark k at 2:48 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


In case you're just joining us, this is a ChatGPT summary of the last 24 hour(ish)s of commentary here, summarized in 3 paragraphs:

In this thread, there is discussion about the ongoing vote for the Speaker of the House in the United States Congress. It is noted that Kevin McCarthy, a Republican from California, has lost nine votes so far in the voting process. Some speculate that McCarthy's vote total has been slipping over the past 48 hours, and others provide a breakdown of the vote totals. It is mentioned that of the ten Republicans who voted to impeach former President Trump, only two remain in Congress and the others either retired or lost their reelection campaigns. It is also noted that some Republican members of Congress may be willing to work across party lines and make concessions in order to achieve a more bipartisan structure in the House.

There is also discussion about the Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative Republican members of the House, and their hardline views and efforts to push for smaller government. It is suggested that the Freedom Caucus may be using the Speaker vote as leverage to demand policy concessions, and that they may continue to obstruct the Democratic agenda. Some express concern about the potential for a deal in which McCarthy agrees to almost all of the major demands of the Freedom Caucus, becoming a neutered Speaker and giving the extremist wing of the party maximum leverage. It is also noted that Democrats should not assist McCarthy in becoming Speaker, and that the Republican Party as a whole is fascist.

There is mention of the potential for delays in the voting process due to family emergencies and the risk of members contracting COVID-19. Some suggest that Democrats could try to sabotage the process by ordering tainted pizzas for Republicans, or by using the opportunity to advance their own agenda. There is also a reference to the video game Hades and the feeling of being stuck in an endless cycle of fighting the same enemies. Finally, there is a discussion about Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, and his involvement in the Speaker vote as well as accusations of drunk driving and sex trafficking.


I personally appreciated the consensus around: It is also noted that Democrats should not assist McCarthy in becoming Speaker, and that the Republican Party as a whole is fascist.

(If this breaks some sort of community guideline, of course delete - just bringing a bit more awareness to its existence, use cases, etc )
posted by CPAnarchist at 2:51 PM on January 6 [21 favorites]


I feel honored that my tainted pizza suggestion was singled out by an AI as notable enough to be a solid part of the narrative.
posted by hippybear at 2:56 PM on January 6 [23 favorites]


Solid ending in the discussion of Gaetz.
posted by eviemath at 3:01 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


hippybear: "It's not surprising to me that the people who want to keep the US from paying the bills it's already accrued are also the people who want to further cripple the revenue collecting arm of the government. "

Don't forget, these are the same people who would LOVE to make it harder for the average person to get out from under debt, and the same jerks who march in lockstep against any attempt at student loan reform or forgiveness. The cognitive dissonance should make their heads explode.
posted by caution live frogs at 3:08 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


The cognitive dissonance should make their heads explode.

Oh no, it's completely consistent when you realize they just want to break things and hurt people.
posted by joannemerriam at 3:42 PM on January 6 [10 favorites]


I don’t think Biden will allow the country to default. If the House tries to force it Biden will have to issue an executive order based on some legal reasoning that allows Treasury to honor the commitments made by Congress. The debt ceiling, like the filibuster is seen by the institutionalists as something useful and good, because they can’t imagine the level of nihilism present in the small group like these 20 Republicans.
posted by interogative mood at 3:45 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


The conservative mantra is simple: Prosperity and happiness are zero-sum. I'm all right, Jack, get your hands off of my stack.

If the government collects taxes, that's money potentially out of my pocket (bad) and money that the government might use to benefit someone who is not me (also bad). So that's a no. If debt/loan relief happens, that's lifting someone up who is not me (very bad), and helping them reach better jobs, better standards of living, better lives in general -- which means that I'm falling behind in the great race for prosperity, happiness, power, jobs, influence and control over society (unthinkable).
posted by delfin at 3:51 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


Among the demands: supermajority for any tax increases.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:54 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


There is also a reference to the video game Hades and the feeling of being stuck in an endless cycle of fighting the same enemies.

I'm glad ChatGPT found this notable as I have also been playing a lot of Hades this week, and last night after 76 escape attempts I was finally successful! Hopefully not an indication of how may votes it's going to take to select a Speaker!
posted by Jawn at 4:06 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


We all laugh at the Republican incompetence and celebrate the Democrats discipline in opposition, but game theory would say the D's should just vote him in and not allow the crazies to subvert the process and demand the concessions that they are getting. Democratic obstructionism isn't serving the long term goals of the D's agenda. They could strike a deal saying "limit the shenanigans and we'll let you through". It's a foregone conclusion that a Republican will be Speaker, it's just a question of how rabid he'll be forced to be.
posted by karst at 4:22 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


bob good managed to get himself into the nyt

I’m One of the Last Holdouts Against Kevin McCarthy — and I Won’t Back Down

...buddy, that won't do anything if you're alone.
posted by Clowder of bats at 4:33 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I think McCarthy will eventually concede anything he must to become speaker, because the post-Congressional opportunities for a former speaker are surely far more lucrative than for "guy who tried his best to be speaker but couldn't get there." He'll be nearing 60 at the end of this term and, unless Republicans really sweep in 2024, probably looking for boards to sit on. If it requires America getting 2 years of shitshow to make that happen, I don't think he has a problem with that.
posted by dsword at 5:05 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office? How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter? - Gaetz Sends Letter to Architect of the Capitol Asking Why McCarthy is Occupying Speaker’s Office (WGNTV, Jan. 3, 2023)

This was a real letter the congressman signed, sent, and posted to his house.gov website (as "Matt Gaetz Demands Answers from Architect of the Capitol on McCarthy Occupying Speaker of the House Office") on Tuesday night.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:15 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I wonder how the party in power bosses CSPAN around. Does someone write a memo saying "only boring shots of the person speaking, please," or is it more nuanced? And who does writes the policy? Who enforces it?
posted by The corpse in the library at 5:18 PM on January 6


I believe the party in power had their own camera operators while C-SPAN has their own staff in place now. Here's The Hill on the matter from yesterday.
posted by hippybear at 5:21 PM on January 6


What is the basis in law, House rule, or precedent to allow someone who has placed second in three successive speaker elections to occupy the Speaker of the House Office?

Capitol staff squared that circle by removing the "Speaker" signage from the office.

Does someone write a memo saying "only boring shots of the person speaking, please," or is it more nuanced?

That's up to the Speaker. Generally they just want shots of the well, so people can't see how few members are present at any given time.

Newt Gingrich used that to his advantage by giving speeches and pointing as if he was dressing down members (who weren't there.) Tip O'Neill made them use wider shots in response.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:44 PM on January 6 [8 favorites]


They could strike a deal saying "limit the shenanigans and we'll let you through". It's a foregone conclusion that a Republican will be Speaker, it's just a question of how rabid he'll be forced to be.

And whether or not he will hold to his word on what the terms of the deal were. Or that he won't take absolutely anything (no matter how innocuous) as a provocation three weeks later and declare, "Well, we WERE going to adhere to the terms of the deal, but given the Democrats' behavior I have no choice but to renege" because Chip Roy has a Bowie knife held firmly to his nutsack in case he doesn't, and because he knows that the mainstream media will report uncritically about it.

Kevin McCarthy was in open warfare with the Democratic Party before he made 69,105 concessions to the terrorists to chip away at their numbers. He is on the hook already for allowing Freedom Kooks to run the show from the fringe, or he'll face open revolt and another Speaker's-chair brawl just like this one. Even if he made any overtures at all towards Democrats as to what he'd offer for that last critical vote-tweak, there is no reason to believe that he'd either mean what he said or be capable of following up on it for any length of time.
posted by delfin at 5:48 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


I mean, I'm sure that if Kevin McCarthy went out with one of us to Applebee's one night for a round of riblets and a beer or two, he could be a perfectly sociable and reasonable human being for a couple of hours. Kind of like how people look at John Boehner now and see something resembling a human these days, or note that Paul Ryan seems less toxic and more critical of Republican nutballery now that he's long out of office, or go, "Hey, look at Dubya! He paints now. He doesn't like Trump. How nice."

But in a leadership role, they've got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. They don't even seem to be livin' until they lunge at you and bite at you and call you a Godless Communist and a Maniacal Megalomaniac and a Demented Traitor. It's what they do. It's all they do. And they absolutely will not stop. Because they can't stop, because they're not herding cats; they're herding barely-controllable ideologues and grifters and maniacs with armies of badly-misinformed-and-taught whackadoo voters backing them up.

This has been my TED Talk.
posted by delfin at 5:54 PM on January 6 [30 favorites]


Only an idiot would make a deal with Kevin McCarthy, and only an idiot would make a deal with any of the "freedom caucus" Republicans. So they probably will manage to make a deal together, if not tonight then soon enough.
posted by biogeo at 6:01 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


How long will he remain there before he is considered a squatter

Did you send the same letter when the QAnon Shaman was dancing around the place?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:02 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


That was a command performance.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:23 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-TX): "I am a NO on the house rules package. Welcome to the 118th Congress."

Let's see if that alters the calculus any.
posted by delfin at 6:23 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Can anyone provide a knowledgeable summary of how the rules voting works?

Assuming Rep. McCarthy proposes a rules package with everything he's offered to the anti-McCarthy folks to flip their votes - what happens if some of the less radical Republicans won't countenance things like the single member call to oust the Speaker, or any of the other extreme and dangerous concessions?

Is it possible (it actually seems likely) for McCarthy to get 218 votes for Speaker but not be able to pass a rules package?

If so, what happens then?

Can rules be voted on in smaller chunks?

I'd greatly appreciate an explainer from anyone who knows how this stuff works.
posted by kristi at 6:32 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


On the upside, at least now we know this wasn't just a sideshow to distract us from the anniversary of the attempted coup.
posted by peppermind at 6:35 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Many livestreams seemed to cut away from the House voting or split screen it while Biden gave the medals of freedom and gave a speech talking about the insurrection. The House drama helped give Biden a boost and could not have set a clearer contrast for the viewers. The insurrectionist holdouts score yet another own goal against their fellow House Republicans.
posted by interogative mood at 7:01 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


I wish the C-SPAN feed came with an overlay telling me who is on camera at any given time. I don't know most of these people by sight, and it's so rare to get footage of the deal making and conversations in the seats, I'd find that useful. Maybe Apple's new mixed reality goggles could do something like that.
posted by hippybear at 7:02 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


I wonder how many 3 martini dinners were had before this.
posted by hippybear at 7:03 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


We're back in session.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:03 PM on January 6


If this doesn't happen tonight, the optics are going to be... um... problematic.
posted by hippybear at 7:08 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


What I don't understand is why a blue district Republican would not torpedo this deal? They can say that all the deals that McCarthy made are not in the interest of the country, blah, blah, blah. Just wait until the vote gets close and switch your vote. Force the process to start again. McCarthy wouldn't be able to hold his votes and the Freedom caucus will learn that they're not the only people who have weapons and if you're from a blue district you're golden.
posted by rdr at 7:14 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


The guys in swing seats need more money and support for their re-election so while they are often more easily whipped on votes like this than other Reps to vote for these party line votes.
posted by interogative mood at 7:19 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Oh good. Aguilar is speaking the real truth about the insurrectionists, a little bit anyway.
posted by hippybear at 7:19 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I think he's got it this round. No one wants to spend the weekend in DC.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:26 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


The guys in swing seats need more money and support for their re-election so while they are often more easily whipped on votes like this than other Reps to vote for these party line votes.

That make sense except if you're in a blue district the GOP can support you fully or risk giving the seat to a democrat. The Republican most likely to win a primary over you is going to be a foaming at the mouth Trumpy non-incumbent and that doesn't seem like a good bet for the GOP.
posted by rdr at 7:28 PM on January 6


Boebert voted present, Gaetz isn’t there. It looks like 14th time might be the charm.

ETA: NYT says Gaetz is there, but isn’t voting until the end. Because of fucking course he is.
posted by Ruki at 7:36 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Down to Gaetz and Rosendale. One voting Kevin or both Present would end this.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:39 PM on January 6




Gaetz is there, he just didn’t respond.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:45 PM on January 6


Gaetz is there, he just chose not to vote, which is the same as voting present.
posted by biogeo at 7:45 PM on January 6


He'll get another chance after they go through the list.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:47 PM on January 6


Presumably he wants the drama and attention to be on him. Look for some BS grandstanding.
posted by biogeo at 7:50 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


he's just waiting for that big star moment to perform
posted by pyramid termite at 7:50 PM on January 6


And holy shit Rosendale twists that fucking knife.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:52 PM on January 6


Rosendale votes Biggs. Up to Gaetz to vote Kevin or not.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:52 PM on January 6


Rosendale just voted for Biggs. Alleged pedophile and sex trafficker Matt Gaetz has the swing vote.
posted by adept256 at 7:53 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


That noise you hear is McCarthy's closest allies dragging Gaetz into a closet and gagging him.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:54 PM on January 6


Any other Republican still to vote should just vote present, just to steal his spotlight.
posted by biogeo at 7:56 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


It's amazing to me how openly groveling McCarthy has been willing to be. I get that this has been his ambition for quite a while, but surely maintaining a modicum of dignity would be worth something, too?
posted by Dip Flash at 7:57 PM on January 6


I get that this has been his ambition for quite a while, but surely maintaining a modicum of dignity would be worth something, too?

He moved into the Speaker's office over the holiday break, so I'm not sure what dignity he has left after losing 13 votes.
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Any other Republican still to vote should just vote present, just to steal his spotlight.

All the others are McCarthy votes, so that would also rob him of a vote.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:59 PM on January 6


And Gaetz and Bobert are sitting together huddled with a couple of others. I notice Matt is wearing a black tie tonight, unlike everyone else who has colors on.
posted by hippybear at 8:00 PM on January 6


Yeah but it would be totally worth it just to stick it to the alleged sex trafficker. But I wouldn't make a very good Republican Congressperson.
posted by biogeo at 8:00 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Gaetz votes present?!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:00 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Fascists love black.
posted by biogeo at 8:00 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Nope nope nope nope nope nope
posted by sammyo at 8:02 PM on January 6


Is Gaetz just stupid? Present isn't enough.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:02 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


It's fine, Gaetz just likes democracy so much he figured what better way to spend Jan 6 than voting, over and over again.
posted by pwnguin at 8:02 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Gaetz will NOT vote for McCarthy. He's made that clear repeatedly, and he's a man of his convictions. He hasn't been convicted of nearly enough, IMO.
posted by hippybear at 8:03 PM on January 6 [13 favorites]


On cspan it looks like McCarthy is gunna get in fist fight with Gaetz
posted by sammyo at 8:03 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Mike Rogers got up in Gaetz' face!
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:04 PM on January 6


I couldn't tell who he was going after, but it got shouted and gaveled down.

I wouldn't mind seeing Gaetz get punched in the face a couple of times on live television.
posted by hippybear at 8:05 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Dang I wish we could hear what was happening!
posted by meese at 8:05 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I…am not sure I want to know what concessions McCarthy would have to give Gaetz to get his vote.

Something related to an arcane scroll in which is written the secret blood sacrifice ritual used to unseal an ancient tomb, or something.
posted by darkstar at 8:07 PM on January 6


Guaranteed immunity for his underage sexual contact business.
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on January 6


McCarthy will have to do the Truffle Shuffle
posted by credulous at 8:08 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


All Mike Rogers needed was a cane and we could've revisited another historic House moment.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:09 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


Odd that they're working on Gaetz instead of one of the other five. He seems like the least liked anyway. One of the freshman might be more workable with a committee assignment, and Boebert is dumb enough to fall for a Rabbit Season/Duck Season style trick.
posted by stevis23 at 8:09 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


The rare shots I've seen of Santos have been of him by himself or sitting next to kids. I wonder if anyone has spoken to him at all over the past 4 days.
posted by hippybear at 8:09 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Wow I thought this was the push for it to be over. Do they hold another vote tonight or come in tomorrow?
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:09 PM on January 6


I do not understand where we are with regard to votes right now. How many are needed for this specific vote?
posted by meese at 8:09 PM on January 6


I wouldn't mind seeing Gaetz get punched in the face a couple of times on live television.

If they have to go through all of this again, it'll be like the hysterical passenger scene from Airplane!.
posted by delfin at 8:11 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]




217, he got 216
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:11 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


It'll be either 218 which is a majority of the entire chamber, or it'll be 217 because 2-3 people are missing. I think this round was 217, but am not sure.
posted by hippybear at 8:11 PM on January 6


McCarthy needs to get one more vote for present from no voters or get one more vote directly. He’s one short.
posted by interogative mood at 8:12 PM on January 6


I do not understand where we are with regard to votes right now. How many are needed for this specific vote?

217. McCarthy got 216.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:12 PM on January 6


I do not understand where we are with regard to votes right now. How many are needed for this specific vote?

McCarthy needs a majority of people who voted for a person. Not a tie, a majority. "Present" is "I do not choose to vote for a person."

So with 434 members voting and 2 voting Present, he needs 217. It is 216-216. Hence all the hubbub over trying to persuade Gaetz or Boebert to change their vote to McCarthy, and neither will budge.

What a bunch of fucking mole people.
posted by delfin at 8:13 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


If I were running C-SPAN and had use of my own cameras for the first time in forever, I'd have a bunch of those parabolic microphones and do tight shots in on conversations with one of those eavesdroppers on them for 2-3 minutes at a time. Hehehe.
posted by hippybear at 8:13 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


If the number of people voting present, or who are absent, is X, then the magic number to hit is 218 - (X/2). There were just two "present" votes (DDAAST Gaetz and Boebert) and no absences, so X=2, so the magic number was 217.
posted by biogeo at 8:14 PM on January 6


Yep, 220 votes this time. 50% + 1 is 217
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:14 PM on January 6


There seems to have been an expectation that Gaetz would vote for Kevin, which is why they were laying into him and not any of the others.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:15 PM on January 6


The honorable Kevin Phillips Bong has received naught. Not a sausage. Bugger all.
posted by stevis23 at 8:16 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


They're getting rowdy!
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:16 PM on January 6


LOL, adjourning until Monday. Great politics, beautiful idea.
posted by meese at 8:17 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Now voting to adjourn until Monday. So, another vote...
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:17 PM on January 6


i want to see them brawl. i want to see noses broken and expensive bridgework smashed. glasses snatched off faces and stomped on. mccarthy throttling gaetz with his own tie. boebert foaming at the mouth and biting someone's ear off.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:17 PM on January 6 [11 favorites]


And now we have to do it all again for adjournment. Oh, this is fun.
posted by hippybear at 8:18 PM on January 6


Will they go all night long? (at least the vote to adjourn will take them past midnight)
posted by sammyo at 8:18 PM on January 6


what even is the POINT of watching it live if there will not be comical mayhem. where are the steel chairs.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:18 PM on January 6 [8 favorites]


Oh wow. both sides are adamant they do/do not want to adjourn
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:18 PM on January 6


Can the clerk just ask for the detailed vote directly, having heard two roughly equal volumes? Or does she have to pick one?
posted by stevis23 at 8:18 PM on January 6


where are the steel chairs.

This is not a Waffle House.
posted by hippybear at 8:19 PM on January 6 [16 favorites]


at least the vote to adjourn will take them past midnight

Not a roll vote, so much quicker.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:20 PM on January 6


Yay/Nay is a button push vote. It's not a roll call vote. Unless specifically requested for some reason.
posted by hippybear at 8:20 PM on January 6


Oh god, someone request it, please.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:21 PM on January 6


Legislature of the country with the world's largest economy, military, and nuclear arsenal:

"How do all of you vote on this thingy?"

*general screaming and scraping of chairs*

I gotta say, I admire the...artisanal nature of it.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:22 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


So why do the dems want to keep going?
posted by sammyo at 8:22 PM on January 6


This is not a Waffle House.

This might go faster if it was left up the the random clientele at one.
posted by May Kasahara at 8:22 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Now they'll have a couple of days where Gaetz will be watching his back and ignoring phone calls and emails. Unless he's really trying to deal, which I don't think he is.
posted by hippybear at 8:22 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


This is not a Waffle House.

of course not - it doesn't take 4 days to make waffles
posted by pyramid termite at 8:22 PM on January 6 [16 favorites]


if it goes another round tonight...at least 2 or3 vote not present and get him elected. if it goes to tomorrow, who knows
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:22 PM on January 6


Because getting a Speaker elected and Congress running is the simplest job, and it's an embarrassment that the Republicans have had all week and failed to do it, and now they want to go home and take the weekend off. The Republicans will be able to pass the motion to adjourn, but the Democrats get to make the point that they're failing to do their jobs.
posted by biogeo at 8:23 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


So why do the dems want to keep going?

They didn't just spend the afternoon and evening doing wheeling and dealing. They got rest, and they're ready to go. They can win through attrition if they keep it going long enough. Like a filibuster, only they keep voting on it over and over and over.
posted by hippybear at 8:23 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


It looks like at least one R vote is in the Nay column on the vote to adjourn, so...
posted by ChrisR at 8:24 PM on January 6


> So why do the dems want to keep going?

They'd like to finish the process as quickly as possible so that the house can start their regular business.

... ... ...

or they just enjoy watching the GOP writhe in agony. Not sure which.
posted by merzy at 8:24 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


So why do the dems want to keep going?

Don't interrupt your enemy when they're making a mistake.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:24 PM on January 6 [32 favorites]


this thread needs a CAPTCHA
posted by lalochezia at 8:26 PM on January 6 [14 favorites]


So why do the dems want to keep going?

If the crowd of people who bullied you had all of a sudden started turning on each other, without your really having to do anything to make them do it, wouldn't YOU want to keep watching them fight?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:26 PM on January 6 [12 favorites]


Oh motion to adjourn is for Monday. welp. yeah Monday if he loses again, it's gonna be apparent he bows out.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:26 PM on January 6


Is part of the strategy during this to engage people in conversation deeply enough that they forget to vote in the 15 minutes allotted?
posted by hippybear at 8:28 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


They can change their vote to adjourn at the last second, right? I thought I saw that happen last night.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:29 PM on January 6


I may have spoken too soon...
posted by biogeo at 8:29 PM on January 6


This Is Just To Say

I have counted
the votes
that were for
the speakership

and which you
had assumed
were going
to Kevin

Forgive me
they were ridiculous
so defeated
and so few
posted by donatella at 8:29 PM on January 6 [17 favorites]


Why do the Dems want this to continue? Because it is really fucking funny.

Inconvenient as hell, but hilarious in a gallows vein.
posted by delfin at 8:30 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


[insert Blue Monday joke here]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:31 PM on January 6


From the reporting from various outlets and watching the C-SPAN feed, it really looks like McCarthy’s people thought they had the votes—which means either Gaetz told them he would vote for McCarthy and did a last second double-cross, or unbelievably, McCarthy and his lackeys didn’t understand that 216 votes wasn’t enough.
posted by skewed at 8:32 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Why do the Dems want this to continue? Because it is really fucking funny.

when a republican is being viscerally humiliated again and again on live tv you don't vote to STOP
posted by poffin boffin at 8:32 PM on January 6 [20 favorites]


They can change their vote to adjourn at the last second, right?

Yes. Sometimes they just vote wrong by accident and correct it once they (or their whip) notice.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:32 PM on January 6


Well that's it, they're taking the weekend off after a hard week of doing nothing.
posted by biogeo at 8:33 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Interestingly, the adjournment vote isn't a straight party line vote, but proves the Rs CAN get 218 votes if they want.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? The vote tallies changed while I tabbed over! Oh snap!
posted by biogeo at 8:33 PM on January 6


Going again, woo!
posted by sammyo at 8:34 PM on January 6


And there's R switching to Nay. They may have flipped Gaetz.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:34 PM on January 6


no, votes have changed

maybe after the time? but they now read Nay winning on my screen.
posted by hippybear at 8:34 PM on January 6


This is some drama. They had the votes to adjurn and then took them back (after time was up?!) after Gaetz approached McCarthy.
posted by joeyh at 8:34 PM on January 6


Is that what those red slips are -- people changing their votes?

(We seem to be liveblogging this. I hope that's okay. Let's not vote on it.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:35 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


McCarthy just changed his vote to adjourn - saw him approach the bench just now. I think this means a deal.
posted by adept256 at 8:35 PM on January 6


TV LISTINGS WEEK OF JAN 2

Weds. 6 PM Kevin Can Wait
Thurs. 6 PM Kevin Can F**k Himself
Fri. 6 PM We Need to Talk About Kevin
posted by mmoncur at 8:35 PM on January 6 [9 favorites]


Yea
posted by sammyo at 8:35 PM on January 6


But it's interesting that the countdown clock is just advisory, not a hard cutoff.
posted by sammyo at 8:36 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


4.35am here and I am glued to this. Mostly in the hope Gaetz gets beaten up.
posted by essexjan at 8:36 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Apparently Gaetz can be bullied when all else fails. Rogers was going to beat the fuck out of him.
posted by interogative mood at 8:36 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


oh yeah the NAYs are in solid lead. He gets it this round.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:38 PM on January 6


Wait, WHAT votes have changed? What is going on?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:38 PM on January 6


I can't remember the last time C-SPAN was this fucking awesome.
posted by adept256 at 8:39 PM on January 6 [7 favorites]


With the metal detectors removed, would a member be allowed to bring in a favorite baseball bat?
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


okay, you don't need to keep changing your votes, we know you're not adjourning
posted by Clowder of bats at 8:39 PM on January 6


I can't wait to hear this roll call for the 15th time.
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, and Matt Rosendale all voted for someone other than McCarthy. I wonder why Gaetz gets all the attention. It can't just be that smarmy face.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:40 PM on January 6


Now, they just need to go through the roll call one more time.

And have every one of them, Gaetz and Boebert included, vote the exact same way, 216-212-4-2 again.

And then the clerks will start using that gavel to inflict Richly Deserved Justice.
posted by delfin at 8:41 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


> okay, you don't need to keep changing your votes, we know you're not adjourning

They need to make sure the record shows them as being on the winning side, whatever side it is.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:41 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Rs chanting "One more time!"

MSNBC saying Gaetz flipped.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:42 PM on January 6


Part of me knows that I shouldn’t be enjoying this (geopolitical consequences, uncomfortable thoughts about this rhyming with the prelude to the civil war, etc etc) but as a trans person I appreciate getting another day’s reprieve from the house passing a bill to legalize throwing rocks at me
posted by The demon that lives in the air at 8:42 PM on January 6 [20 favorites]


And have every one of them, Gaetz and Boebert included, vote the exact same way, 216-212-4-2 again.

Charlie Brown will surely get the football this time.
posted by Literaryhero at 8:42 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


well, i have to go to bed - i've decided to go out of town tomorrow to watch sausages be made
posted by pyramid termite at 8:43 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I can't wait to hear this roll call for the 15th time.

The only thing I can be sure of is that the remixes of this will bang pretty hard.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:44 PM on January 6


I wonder why Gaetz gets all the attention.

He surprised them.

Now we'll see if Gaetz flips to McCarthy, or if they got to another holdout.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:51 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


CNN's reporting that Trump phoned Gaetz to persuade him to switch.
posted by essexjan at 8:52 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


Is that legal under lobbying laws?

With the metal detectors removed, would a member be allowed to bring in a favorite baseball bat?

Though aluminum bats are more common at the rec level I bet anyone wanting one in the chamber could spring for a wood bat.
posted by Mitheral at 8:54 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Bets on whether Gaetz accidentally votes for Donald Trump again?
posted by mmoncur at 8:55 PM on January 6


Biggs voted Present. If everything else stays the same, McCarthy has it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:55 PM on January 6


Biggs and Boebert - present. That's it, I'm calling it.

Somewhere, Kevin's cursed monkey paw just curled into a fist.

I'm off to buy a lettuce.
posted by adept256 at 8:57 PM on January 6 [11 favorites]


Looks like all the holdouts are switching to Present.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:59 PM on January 6


McCarthy should turn to Gaetz in about an hour and say "Now that I'm speaker, I accept your resignation, as you promised."
posted by stevis23 at 9:01 PM on January 6 [11 favorites]


If Gaetz actually kept his word and resigned, that would certainly be a silver lining. He won't, though.
posted by biogeo at 9:03 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


There’s a photo of MTG holding a phone out to Matt Rosendale. The caller is DT. Rosendale didn’t take the call.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:04 PM on January 6 [6 favorites]


Dems should have reversed their adjourn nays to yeas after seeing mccarthy’s group switched to nay - delaying till monday would have hurt monentum or put deals in question
posted by brendano at 9:04 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Don't forget that even after McCarthy gets his gavel they still need to pass the rules promised to the nut jobs. The shitfight for that will be epic.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:07 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]




Gaetz needs to be worried. He has many, many enemies on his own side of the house, that much is apparent from what happened tonight.
posted by essexjan at 9:09 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


The Republican tradition of winning with a minority of the votes is alive and well.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:09 PM on January 6 [14 favorites]


My hope is that whatever political influence that's keeping alleged pedophile and sex trafficker Matt Gaetz out of prison evaporates.
posted by adept256 at 9:16 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


No vote from Rosendale. Not that it matters at this point.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:21 PM on January 6


I think about what they did to Madison Cawthorn. But I suppose as much as Gaetz is hated, he's not hated that much.
posted by Teegeeack AV Club Secretary at 9:22 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


"I've... seen things, you people wouldn't belie..."

"Oh shit, nevermind."
posted by porpoise at 9:27 PM on January 6 [5 favorites]


Gaetz is probably hated more, now. But Cawthorn was spilling the beans about GOP coke orgies, and they couldn’t have that.
posted by darkstar at 9:28 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Kevin gets his portrait painting.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:30 PM on January 6


Exactly, Gaetz is despised, but not only is he a made guy, Cawthorn blabbed about cocaine orgies.

posted by Iris Gambol at 9:30 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


I feel like they should have more grace than celebrate like him finally getting the votes is a victory.
posted by meese at 9:30 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


It'll be interesting, as CNN is speculating, if Gaetz ends up on the Armed Forces Committee.
posted by essexjan at 9:31 PM on January 6


Well, that's it, the thread title is finally wrong. Took a long time, though.
posted by biogeo at 9:33 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


I mean one for 15 is below the Mendoza line.
posted by stevis23 at 9:33 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Rosendale votes present, like all the other holdouts.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:33 PM on January 6


ugh they're all smiling. republicans should never know happiness.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:33 PM on January 6 [18 favorites]


Aw, they think they did a good job, that's adorable. Let's get them participation trophies.
posted by biogeo at 9:37 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


"The war is over — the rebels are our countrymen again"
posted by pwnguin at 9:37 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


How the speaker impasse is impacting US national security (CNN) Since no one's been sworn in, no one has the security clearance to attend meetings and briefings -- including committee members.

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, a Pennsylvania Republican who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, also said he is concerned about the national security implications of the impasse: "A third of our government’s offline right now. It’s very dangerous." Not only are those members barred from briefings, the key national security committees they would normally sit on cannot even be formed yet – including the House Intelligence and Armed Services committees, which oversee the intelligence community and the Pentagon, respectively.

In a small but revealing detail, the House Armed Services and GOP Foreign Affairs Committee websites were still offline as of Thursday.

posted by Iris Gambol at 9:37 PM on January 6 [3 favorites]


Oh Jeffries has a whole ABC book prepared this is delightful.
posted by otsebyatina at 10:12 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Better vote again, just to be sure.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:14 PM on January 6 [4 favorites]


Not only do they have to pass rules if one of the rules ends up enabling new speaker elections by a single member than this shit fight is going to break out regulatly.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Well, shit.
posted by BlueHorse at 10:21 PM on January 6 [2 favorites]


Damn.
> Andy Biggs, Lauren Boebert, Eli Crane, Matt Gaetz, Bob Good, and Matt Rosendale all voted for someone other than McCarthy. I wonder why Gaetz gets all the attention. It can't just be that smarmy face.
They're all pathetic weasels. When the vote was 216-216, any one of these 6 could have gone full spite: invoked the Maverick ghost of McCain, looked Kev in the eyes, and with a thumb down for the cameras, cast a vote for Jeffries. Their spite is weaksauce.
posted by Fiberoptic Zebroid and The Hypnagogic Jerks at 10:39 PM on January 6 [12 favorites]


This is a body where James Madison, Abraham Lincoln, and Thaddeus Stevens once served. I don’t buy the GOP’s whole attack on science, but this week definitely casts doubt on the theory of evolution. - Rep. Jamie Raskin tweet from a couple of hours ago
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:07 AM on January 7 [7 favorites]




Mike Rogers' anger at Matt Gaetz likely stems from a potential offer, floated by Republican leadership, that would give Gaetz the gavel of a subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee
Ah, so that's how Putin gets the flow of weapons to stop!
posted by pulposus at 2:17 AM on January 7 [19 favorites]


We are so many different flavors of fucked. I knew that but somehow seeing the grifters gritting on TV over several days made the horrors more real to me (and I say that as someone with tremendous privilege, which I acknowledge).
posted by Bella Donna at 3:13 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]




Fun tangent:

At some point yesterday, a journalist caught a picture of Democrat Rep Katie Porter reading a book in the chamber: her book of choice was "The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A Fuck".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:27 AM on January 7 [38 favorites]


Aside from its concerning implications for our democracy, it is still gratifying that the first effort at governance by the incoming Republican Representatives — simply trying to get their own House in order — has been such a visible reminder of their buffoonery and inability to govern. It calls attention to just how ill-suited they are to be given power, and hopefully that theme will still be in folks’ minds when they launch an investigation into Hunter Biden’s penis, or when the MAGA insurrectionists decide to blow up the full faith and credit of the US.

I’m also immensely gratified at the way the Democrats exhibited such self-control and maintained rock-solid cohesion during these votes. I hope that is a harbinger of the next two years, as well. There was definitely no “Democrats in disarray” anywhere to be seen this week.
posted by darkstar at 5:42 AM on January 7 [11 favorites]


Habemus stultus!
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 5:52 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


I don't want to let this thread end without mentioning Victoria Spartz's slip of the tongue last night, saying "Present" when she meant to say "McCarthy". I know that it was because she had fallen into a pattern of responding "Present" when the roll was called, but I'd love to think it was a shot at the holdouts: "Who do you think you are using "Present"? I invented "Present"!"
posted by dannyboybell at 8:37 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


...but I'd love to think it was a shot at the holdouts: "Who do you think you are using "Present"? I invented "Present"!"

(Indiana’s own, and, unfortunately, my representative) Spartz isn’t that clever. I can guarantee it was simply a brain fart.

FWIW, Spartz first won her seat by campaigning against *gasp!* the dreaded Socialism! supposedly taking over our nation. Her hook was that she and her family escaped from socialist USSR. She helped found my county’s Tea Party group. She’s originally Ukrainian, and I kind of wonder how she feels about the nutjobs in the party wanting to cut military aid to Ukraine.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:14 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


I don’t know who this fellow is but during last night’s late roll call, his two young children were sitting next to him and when his name was called, all three stood up to say “Jeffries”.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:21 AM on January 7 [4 favorites]


I think about what they did to Madison Cawthorn. But I suppose as much as Gaetz is hated, he's not hated that much.

As hated as Gaetz is, he understands how the game is played -- that it IS all one big game. He's slowly learning who needs stabbing for him to advance in it, and who gets stabbed in the back or in the chest.

Cawthorn, well, the jury is out as to whether he actually grasped any of that; he seemed like he actually MEANT it in his "let's take our guns and go free the J6 political prisoners right now" posturing. At the very least, he did not show any signs of understanding that this is the House, this is not 'Nam; there are RULES.
posted by delfin at 9:23 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


he is concerned about the national security implications of the impasse: "A third of our government’s offline right now. It’s very dangerous

In what sense could it be dangerous for the House to go a couple weeks without getting any National Security briefings?
posted by straight at 9:41 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


We just rewarded the insurrectionists, 2 years to the day after they actively attempted a coup.

I was of the opinion that the DOJ was moving too slowly, and that has not changed (lawyers and people smarter than me will tell me that I'm wrong. I know, in terms of the DOJ that this is a lightning quick pace...but the DOJ pace is far too slow. We needed to stomp this out in 2017, and it just kept getting worse). It looks like the bums won. All I have now is the hope that my expectation of "nothing's gonna happen to them" is unmet, and justice actually happens. Barring some miracle of growing a spine by DOJ and Democrats, I also fully expect the next 2 years to be awful.

Always happy to be wrong, but I haven't been surprised by much for the last 30 years, so...
posted by Chuffy at 9:55 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Thanks, EmpressCallipygos; that pic is hilarious.

Katie Porter has been my current fave CongressCritter for a while but that definitely clinches it.
posted by mediareport at 10:04 AM on January 7 [1 favorite]


Well, I guess I'm gonna spend the next couple months trying to figure out how to hedge against a debt default.
posted by aramaic at 10:16 AM on January 7 [8 favorites]


perhaps a good time to invest in the semi-preciouses of brass, lead, steel
posted by glonous keming at 10:51 AM on January 7 [2 favorites]


Matt Gaetz says he finally flipped his vote to “present” on the House speaker vote after Kevin McCarthy caved to every one of his demands.

“I ran out of things I could even imagine to ask for,” the Florida Congressman told CNN reporter Melanie Zanona in the early hours of Saturday morning after a rowdy post-midnight vote finally saw Mr McCarthy elected to House speaker.


(insert the OH MY GOD, HE ADMIT IT! gif here)
posted by delfin at 11:15 AM on January 7 [3 favorites]


If Democrats decide to play the game, they could just invoke the new "one member can trigger a recall vote" part of the rules every single day, make the Rs have to be there to vote every single day to keep McCarthy as Speaker.

The Rs would do it if they were in power.
posted by hippybear at 12:03 PM on January 7 [22 favorites]


There is almost assuredly a "one member of the majority caucus" clause to that; else, as you noted, ultimate chaos.

But there is nothing stopping Gaetz or Boebert or someone of their ilk from doing exactly that any time that they desire additional fluffing.
posted by delfin at 1:06 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


If Democrats decide to play the game, they could just invoke the new "one member can trigger a recall vote" part of the rules every single day, make the Rs have to be there to vote every single day to keep McCarthy as Speaker.

They could, but it would start looking pretty petty. Also, Democrats do occasionally try to get something done in the house.

They should absolutely use it anytime McCarthy appears to be abusing his position as speaker (e.g., refusing to bring a clean debt ceiling increase to the floor, or something like that). How this differs functionally from just doing it every day, remains an exercise for the reader.
posted by mrgoat at 1:14 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


As hated as Gaetz is, he understands how the game is played -- that it IS all one big game. [...] Cawthorn, well, the jury is out as to whether he actually grasped any of that

Cawthorn brings loaded guns to airports, knives to school board meetings, and was fined by the House Ethics Committee in Dec. 2022 for promoting cryptocurrency while in Congress. Cawthorn also bragged that he'd been armed during the Jan. 6 insurrection; he was one of the speakers ginning up the insurgents during the Save America March, just before the breach -- and at a Turning Point USA conference two weeks earlier.

The cocaine invites were issued in hopes of relaxing the guy.
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:25 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


In what sense could it be dangerous for the House to go a couple weeks without getting any National Security briefings?

Yeah, quite honestly, House MAGAheads not getting intel briefings for a couple weeks is probably a plus from a national security perspective.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:36 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


We just rewarded the insurrectionists, 2 years to the day after they actively attempted a coup.

Who's "we"? Looks to me like Republicans won a very narrow House majority, and elected a speaker, as is their due. How can this be spun as "us" "rewarding" them? They did what they had every right to do.

Please resist the self-loathing, doom-laden framing in which only Dems/progressives have agency, and all gains by the other side must be attributed to some failure on "our" part. If this is how it's being portrayed by the sources you get your political commentary from, consider seeking out better sources.

Heather Cox Richardson and Teri Kanefield are 2 excellent, well-informed commentators I can recommend. They offer useful historical and legal perspective that I find lacking in many quarters.

Barring some miracle of growing a spine by DOJ and Democrats, I also fully expect the next 2 years to be awful.

This narrative that due process, rather than extraconstitutional kangaroo court-style justice, is equivalent to "spinelessness" really needs to go away once and for all.

The insurrectionists wanted to junk the Constitution and the rule of law. You do not win against people like that by adopting their methods.

So far, a number of Jan. 6 insurrectionists have in fact been prosecuted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms — all by the book, in meticulous, legally bulletproof fashion. And the prosecutions continue.

The wheels of justice may grind too slowly for some people's tastes, but they most assuredly are grinding on.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:48 PM on January 7 [27 favorites]


Please resist the self-loathing, doom-laden framing in which only Dems/progressives have agency, and all gains by the other side must be attributed to some failure on "our" part.

As much as I agree with this in general, failures of the New York State dems probably singlehandedly lost the House this time around. George Santos managed to run his race without any of his many lies catching up to him and that's not not the Dems' fault.
posted by BungaDunga at 3:05 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


The wheels of justice

This is a debate we've had way more times than McCarthy's failed elections - the need to follow the letter and spirit of the law without cutting corners, versus the need for wheels to not grind so slowly that insurrectionists at large can just bypass or dismantle them before they're done grinding. Both arguments have merit, and have been made and made and made.
posted by trig at 3:09 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]




Honestly, it would have been better for the country if McCarthy had gone entirely with his gut and not his political machination brain and had gone for a compromise with Democrats. As it stands, he's now hostage to some 20 people of the most extreme in nature. If he'd compromised with Democrats, he could have ended up as one of the most effective Speakers in history as he worked with Democrats and centrist Rs to pull together a coalition that would have passed bills that met with Senate approval and got signed into law.

The way this split in the US party system is playing out is taking it to levels of, like, rival high school football teams, and is not how actual thinking adults deal with each other. The further our country's social and political landscape retreats into high school cultural construct, the less we will be able to make truly grown-up decisions about how our country should be guided.

I'm going to end this derail here, but I'm having Deep Thoughts about how humans were socialized earlier and given responsibility and adult status much earlier in life than they are now, and how we've been extending adolescence and "being childlike" more and more, and how maybe that's tracking with how ineffective our political and social movements have been across the past 40-50 years.
posted by hippybear at 3:31 PM on January 7 [16 favorites]


he could have ended up as one of the most effective Speakers in history

But he doesn't want to be anything near this. He wants to destroy the country.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:39 PM on January 7 [6 favorites]


Honestly, it would have been better for the country if McCarthy had gone entirely with his gut and not his political machination brain and had gone for a compromise with Democrats.

He does not, on a visceral level, believe that Democrats have a legitimate right to govern. Any compromise with them would make him disbelieve in his own power.
posted by Etrigan at 3:50 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


how ineffective our political and social movements have been across the past 40-50 years.

That assumes they were more effective before that, which I don't think is true except in a few (lucky?) cases. I think it's more likely that modern communication has just made it more evident in recent decades that lust for power, greed, corruption, and ineptitude are the driving force behind most politicians; while intelligence, heart, and high-minded civic duty are disappointingly rare.
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:55 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


The way this split in the US party system is playing out is taking it to levels of, like, rival high school football teams, and is not how actual thinking adults deal with each other. The further our country's social and political landscape retreats into high school cultural construct, the less we will be able to make truly grown-up decisions about how our country should be guided.

This is a horrible framing that ignores that the parties do, in fact, have ideological beliefs that both drive their actions and attract followers. Despite what Bowling For Soup may have sung, high school does in fact end, and in the real world these sorts of rifts are actually driven by actual beliefs.

And yes, that should scare the fuck out of you.
posted by NoxAeternum at 4:22 PM on January 7 [1 favorite]


I am of the belief that this was an entertaining diversion, but we have reached the inevitable, shitty conclusion and are in for plenty of pain. I think the Democrats did exactly as they should throughout the voting. Although I empathize with the wishful thinking in this thread, I never noticed anyone with experience in politics thinking that the Dems could have realistically done anything else.
posted by snofoam at 4:42 PM on January 7 [5 favorites]


The Daily Show: Fox on GOP Speaker Votes with Jan. 6 Footage [1m] "Fox News talking about the House Speaker votes like they should've talked about January 6th, so we switched the footage for them"
posted by hippybear at 4:42 PM on January 7 [11 favorites]


he could have ended up as one of the most effective Speakers in history as he worked with Democrats and centrist Rs to pull together a coalition that would have passed bills that met with Senate approval and got signed into law.

This is wishful thinking, passing bills into law that would be signed by Biden is NOT how Republicans win elections. Their whole goal for the next 2 years is to do absolutely nothing legislatively and scream as loud as possible with their "investigations."

The Democrats did nothing wrong during this farce. I guarantee that offers were made in private for a variety of compromises with "moderate" Republicans but the R's are not interested in passing bills and are under tremendous political pressure to obstruct and never ever compromise.
posted by being_quiet at 4:51 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


This is a horrible framing that ignores that the parties do, in fact, have ideological beliefs that both drive their actions and attract followers.

I apparently need to be explained to like I'm five years old how exactly the blind adherence to party loyalty amongst the Rs is at all different from teenage sports rivalries. Because the only thing I'm seeing from them as a whole unit is "own the libs" as a party platform.

I will grant you, a certain percentage of that side of the party loyalty are also Christian Dominionists/White Supremacists/Insert Group Name, and they ARE driven by ideology. And some of them are involved in various elicit matters and bought in for protection, so I guess that's an ideology.

But honestly, I live in the middle of a small town in a fairly red area of a majority blue state, and the conversations I have with people, rare but they do happen, are not that there's anything thought out. It's just a knee-jerk reaction, go against the Libs, make their lives miserable any way possible. If you can get them into a conversation in a sideways way, you'll discover they don't believe a lot of those things, they just want THEM to lose while WE can win.

So, maybe it's tribalism. I guess that's an ideology, but it's not a modern one. And if it is to be practiced it must be with diplomacy, not all out warfare. Otherwise we have no civilization.
posted by hippybear at 4:52 PM on January 7 [15 favorites]


This is a horrible framing that ignores that the parties do, in fact, have ideological beliefs that both drive their actions and attract followers.

so do high schoolers - not only that, but they're quite often the same beliefs the parties have - bigotry, sexism, classism and all sorts of oppression are there - and all that doesn't end at high school, in fact, high school is often training for the big league of life, including how to persecute your "inferiors" more subtly and with less witnesses

perhaps high school as changed a little since the 70s - all the same, i would remember that our high school culture is a major influence on the society at large and the people running things want it that way and it's ideological beliefs that are motivating them

that's why we're seeing so much fighting about our school systems these days - people feel like founding part of the society they want to have is now under siege
posted by pyramid termite at 4:57 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Honestly, it would have been better for the country if McCarthy had gone entirely with his gut and not his political machination brain and had gone for a compromise with Democrats

McCarthy threatened Nancy Pelosi with violence, that he would hit her with a gavel. This is not paraphrasing or hyperbole, but his own words. In what world would a thug like that want to compromise with others who do not share his extremist ideology?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:13 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


The question I always have is, "How do we make them grind faster?"

The fact that the wheels of justice grind slowly is always a given, why? I don't think it should be assumed, I think we should spend more time asking how they can grind just as fine but faster.
posted by VTX at 6:28 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.
posted by delfin at 6:44 PM on January 7 [9 favorites]


This isn't a miracle though, that's entirely the point. It's mundane, every day stuff that regular people do for their jobs. That's how we want it, justice gets served all day every day for everyone should be what we're going for.

I suspect the answer is money. Mostly for more and better staff in all parts of system.
posted by VTX at 6:59 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


As much as I agree with this in general, failures of the New York State dems probably singlehandedly lost the House this time around. George Santos managed to run his race without any of his many lies catching up to him and that's not not the Dems' fault.

I don't disagree that the NY Dems appear to have been sloppy with their redistricting effort, and that contributed mightily to the Dems' loss of the House.

Santos is more complicated. From what I've read, the Dems did some oppo research on him and did raise some issues about him in the campaign. They just didn't have enough time or resources to uncover the full extent of his deceptions. The NY Times only found about Santos' criminal record in Brazil because they had someone down there who could do research locally.

Of course Santos could do the honorable thing and step aside, or the GOP could do the honorable thing and refuse to seat him. The fact that none of that is happening is on the GOP.

The Nassau County DA -- a Republican -- is investigating Santos, and says that she's willing to press charges if her office finds that he committed any crimes that she can prosecute. We'll see.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:39 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


W/r/t the wheels of justice, I keep coming back to one of Omar Little's famous sayings: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

To bring a really strong criminal case that is likely to get a conviction that won't be overturned on appeal takes time. The first stage is investigating what happened.

The Jan. 6 investigation is the largest criminal investigation the DOJ has ever conducted. The amount of evidence they've had to gather and review is immense. And the investigation has expanded as, for example, one person's texts or emails lead them to other suspects they didn't even have their eyes on originally, and as plea deals and immunity deals with lower-level suspects get them dirt on higher-ranking people.

It's like an organized crime investigation -- or rather, it is an organized crime investigation. There's only so fast this kind of work can be done.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:44 PM on January 7 [4 favorites]


W/r/t the wheels of justice, I keep coming back to one of Omar Little's famous sayings: "You come at the king, you best not miss."

My own go-to is a paraphrase of that adage: "you can have this thing done fast, or well; pick one."

The reason the wheels of justice grind fine is because they're slow - because in this case, the slowness is because they are THOROUGH.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]


Good/fast/cheap pick two is standard in my line of work.
posted by skyscraper at 8:03 PM on January 7 [3 favorites]




POLITICO Playbook: Inside the 28 minutes that saved Kevin McCarthy
Trump angrily told the group to knock it off, according to a person familiar with the conversations, arguing that the televised mayhem was making him look bad. “He ripped them a new asshole,” the person said.

Amid the full-court press, the holdouts ping-ponged between huddles before finally agreeing that McCarthy would ultimately get the gavel one way or another and that they should let fate take its course.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:05 PM on January 7 [2 favorites]


CNN is leading their website with this picture of Kevin appearing to hit himself on the head with the gavel while grinning like an idiot. I cannot think of a more perfect image to summarize these events.
posted by mmoncur at 9:09 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


Please keep in mind we are in the futureshock / speedrun portion of human history, so any new party thing will take maybe 6-18 months.

As for the chaos, is will be 2d6 new fucking things by then.


On the other hand, though, the US government was designed in the late 18th century when sailing ships and horses were the fastest modes of travel. Moreover, the US government was designed to move slowly by even the glacial standards of that time period - remember the much ballyhood "checks and balances" we all learned were so awesome in gradeschool (assuming you went to gradeshool in the US).

So, while other aspects of our terminally online 24/7 media culture might indeed be sped up, the US government will continue to move slow as ever.

Party system changes generally are theorized to occur due to economic, political, technological, or I guess one could even say polito-economic changes in the US. To me, the 2008 finanicial crisis is the clear change that will be the primary driver of the next realignment because it marked the final end of the US government's ability to provide stable opportunties for upward mobility or at least offer (some) citizens the ability to maintain their parent's living standards. And indeed: Millenials aren't getting more economically conservative with age unlike past cohorts. Add to that trend the fact that younger US generations are becoming progressivekly less white, and you have the clear ingriediants for a shift in the structure of US poilitics: a party system change.

Working against that, though, is the aformentioned glacial speed of the US government, as well as the fact that people tend to live longer, so more people are going to continue to vote who were able to accumulate wealth when the US economy was better able to provide a "middle class" lifestyle (e.g., home, 2.5 kids, afforable college education). So, you have a generation primed to expect instant change (the future shock effect) running head long into a 17th century institution designed to slow that change as much as possible.

To me, that slows polticial relignment , which sucks because it also means widespread alientation, which in turn leaves the field wide open for the collection of grifters, racists, sexists, homophobes, and general kooks that currently just managed to elect a speaker.

Even worse, standards seem to just keep getting lower. I was in high school when Gingrich was a weird extremist that cost the GOP power with his witch hunts and desire to cut popular government programs. Then came George W. Bush and his stolen election, war sold on lies, and economic crash, followed by the Tea Party and Mitch McConell's vow to obstruct everything Obama tried to accomplish in order to ensure Obama's presidency's failure. Then comes Trump and McConell's continued obstructionism during the COVID crisis, not to mention McConell's campaign to prevent Democrats from nominating judges, which contributed to the disastrous makecup of the current courts.

But Bush condemns Trump and has a positive interaction from Michelle Obama, so he's absolved of his crimes. At least he's not as bad as Trump. Gingrich gives interviews condemning the current GOP infighting while McConnell goes on a trip to Kentucky with Biden and Trump backs McCarthy, so does that mean they all eventaully become absolved too? Will we long for Trump when President DeSantis tries to use his power to control what professors in US colleges teach, like he's currently trying to do in Florida?

I'm as entertained by the near brawl amongst the GOP as the next guy, but the last time we had fist fights in the house was during the lead up to the Civil War.
posted by eagles123 at 9:15 PM on January 7 [10 favorites]


I don't disagree that the NY Dems appear to have been sloppy with their redistricting effort, and that contributed mightily to the Dems' loss of the House.

The New York Democratic congressional performance was worse than the rest of the country independent of redistricting. I'm not someone who thinks the winning message is necessarily one I agree with, but it really seems as if trying to draw a distinction between themselves as "tough on crime" and otherwise centrist Democrats--which might have been valuable in Republican wave year--backfired when the Democratic brand wasn't really that bad.

Santos is more complicated. From what I've read, the Dems did some oppo research on him and did raise some issues about him in the campaign. They just didn't have enough time or resources to uncover the full extent of his deceptions. The NY Times only found about Santos' criminal record in Brazil because they had someone down there who could do research locally.

The local paper was documenting stuff about Santos that was serious. The Dems ignored it, apparently focusing in their oppo package on standard "he supports MAGA and Trump" type issues. (Here's a paywalled TPM link documenting some of this; I'm basically channelling Josh Marshall's take. This is a the papers endorsement that some of their other reporting on him and calls him a "fabulist".)

It certainly wasn't only a failure of Democrats, as the NY Times and Politico and other NY news organizations could have picked up the local reporting before the election. (Being too important to read local papers is very on brand for the NYT.) But in a swing district, not digging into this stuff it was a total breakdown of the party too.
posted by mark k at 10:01 PM on January 7 [7 favorites]


"Immediately after his victory, McCarthy thanked the members who stayed with him through all the votes, but told reporters: 'I do want to especially thank President Trump. I don’t think anybody should doubt his influence. He was with me from the beginning…. He would call me and he would call others…. Thank you, President Trump.'

"Aaron Rupar of Public Notice pointed out that 'McCarthy going out of his way to gush over Trump at a time when his influence is clearly diminished & political brand is more toxic to mainstream voters than ever—especially on the anniversary of the insurrection—is notable & indicative of who he'll be beholden to as speaker.'

"I would go a step further and say that embracing Trump after his influence on the Republican Party has made it lose the last three elections suggests that, going forward, the party is planning either to convince more Americans to like the extremism of the MAGA Republicans—which is unlikely—or to restrict the vote so that opposition to that extremism doesn’t matter." - Heather Cox Richardson at Letters from An American, added bolding.

She excerpts the rousing "alphabet" speech Minority Leader Jeffries gave during the ceremonial gavel-pass from Democrats to Republicans; C-SPAN has video & transcript.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:01 PM on January 7 [8 favorites]


Way back in the thread, otsebyatina noted, Oh Jeffries has a whole ABC book prepared this is delightful.

I wasn't watching, so I didn't know what that meant.

But the wonderful Heather Cox Richardson took the trouble to quote it in her latest Letters from an American:
In contrast to McCarthy stood Minority Leader Jeffries, who used the ceremonial handing over of the speaker’s gavel from the Democrats to the Republicans to give a barn-burning speech. He began by praising “the iconic, the heroic, the legendary” former House speaker Nancy Pelosi as “the greatest speaker of all time,” and offering thanks to her lieutenants Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

He reviewed the laws the Democrats have passed in the past two years—the American Rescue Plan, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, gun safety legislation, the CHIPS & Science Act, and the Inflation Reduction Act, among others. “It was one of the most consequential congresses in American history,” he said, accurately. He called for Democrats to continue the fight for lower costs, better paying jobs, safer communities, democracy, the public interest, economic opportunity for all, and reproductive freedom.

“As Democrats,” he said, “we do believe in a country for everyone…. We believe in a country with liberty and justice for all, equal protection under the law, free and fair elections, and yes, we believe in a country with the peaceful transfer of power.

“We believe that in America our diversity is a strength—it is not a weakness—an economic strength, a competitive strength, a cultural strength…. We are a gorgeous mosaic of people from throughout the world. As John Lewis would sometimes remind us on this floor, we may have come over on different ships but we’re all in the same boat now. We are white. We are Black. We are Latino. We are Asian. We are Native American.

“We are Christian. We are Jewish. We are Muslim. We are Hindu. We are religious. We are secular. We are gay. We are straight. We are young. We are older. We are women. We are men. We are citizens. We are dreamers.

“Out of many, we are one. That’s what makes America a great country, and no matter what kind of haters are trying to divide us, we’re not going to let anyone take that away from us, not now, not ever. This is the United States of America….

“So on this first day, let us commit to the American dream, a dream that promises that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to provide a comfortable living for yourself and for your family, educate your children, purchase a home, and one day retire with grace and dignity.”

In this moment of transition, he said, the American people want to know what direction the Congress will choose. The Democrats offer their hand to Republicans to find common ground, Jeffries said, but “we will never compromise our principles. House Democrats will always put American values over autocracy…

“benevolence over bigotry, the Constitution over the cult, democracy over demagogues, economic opportunity over extremism, freedom over fascism, governing over gaslighting, hopefulness over hatred, inclusion over isolation, justice over judicial overreach, knowledge over kangaroo courts, liberty over limitation, maturity over Mar-a-Lago, normalcy over negativity, opportunity over obstruction, people over politics, quality of life issues over QAnon, reason over racism, substance over slander, triumph over tyranny, understanding over ugliness, voting rights over voter suppression, working families over the well-connected, xenial over xenophobia, ‘yes, we can’ over ‘you can’t do it,’ and zealous representation over zero-sum confrontation. We will always do the right thing by the American people.”
I know the real work of Congressfolk is legislating (and oversight), and stirring oratory - especially these days - is just an ancillary skill, like being able to juggle. But MY GOD, it gives me chills when someone is able to use words to craft that kind of call to unity, activism, duty - love.

Congressman Jeffries may not have been named Speaker, but I am honored and elevated and uplifted when he speaks for me, and for my country.
posted by kristi at 12:43 AM on January 8 [40 favorites]


Will we long for Trump when President DeSantis tries to use his power to control what professors in US colleges teach, like he's currently trying to do in Florida?

He's being successful, at least so far.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:00 AM on January 8 [2 favorites]






@CheeseDigestsAll - DeSantis has asked all colleges and universities to submit a report on all initiatives they have taken related to Diversity, Inclusion etc. The rumor mill says that state appropriations for the colleges and universities will be based on the results of these reports.
posted by wittgenstein at 10:57 AM on January 8


If only they'd all say "We're working to eliminate Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in every aspect of our work. We believe state-funded education should benefit only the following groups: ..." and publicize the administration's reaction.
posted by trig at 11:16 AM on January 8 [6 favorites]


... And right now Bolsonarists are holding their own Jan. 6.
posted by trig at 12:05 PM on January 8 [2 favorites]


> My own go-to is a paraphrase of that adage: "you can have this thing done fast, or well; pick one."

Good/fast/cheap pick two is standard in my line of work.


That is indeed the adage I was paraphrasing; I adapted it to "pick one" because the cost of the thing has already been chosen or is out of our control.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:50 PM on January 8 [1 favorite]


Part of me wants to reply to every question posed here, and another part of me is content to just let it go. Here are some of the reasons why:

I follow politics closely, and yes, there is likely bias in the sources of information that inform my opinions. That said, I've been online for going on 3 decades now, and in the last few years, have engaged people IRL as well as online. A LOT of the people I've engaged over the years are what I consider hard-right wing conservatives, but also includes radical leftists, whatever Bernie supporters consider themselves to be, Libertarians, moderates and, pretty often, apolitical people who dip their toes into politics when sufficiently outraged about something.

The questions posed here bend towards Libertarian rhetoric (I am not making any judgement about the politics of the poster), Socratic questions that seem reasonable and direct, but are full of assumptions and logic holes. We can go down the rabbit hole, and as I type this, I'm leaning towards doing that, but honestly, I'm tired. I'm tired of having to sift through the assumptions, the emotional attachment, the defensiveness...likely to wind up about arguing over things that I largely agree with the person I'm arguing with about. That part of me just wants to bail, because, really, I've had enough of those arguments.

I'm tired of being frustrated. I'm tired of Party homers misreading, misinterpreting or completely misunderstanding my comments. I don't really need to be proved fucking right about everything every time always. I don't mind being challenged, but the not-subtle attacks that have accompanied the otherwise reasonable questions posed in your comment makes me hesitant to bother...mostly because the end result will likely be a pissing match instead of mutual understanding, regardless of agreement/disagreement.

I'm old enough to have been arguing politics during the Reagan presidency. Not my first rodeo, and no, I didn't just wander into this thread with a knee-jerk, unfair opinion/assessment of what's going on here. Fuck it, here we go:

Let's start with my comment:
We just rewarded the insurrectionists, 2 years to the day after they actively attempted a coup.

I was of the opinion that the DOJ was moving too slowly, and that has not changed (lawyers and people smarter than me will tell me that I'm wrong. I know, in terms of the DOJ that this is a lightning quick pace...but the DOJ pace is far too slow. We needed to stomp this out in 2017, and it just kept getting worse). It looks like the bums won. All I have now is the hope that my expectation of "nothing's gonna happen to them" is unmet, and justice actually happens. Barring some miracle of growing a spine by DOJ and Democrats, I also fully expect the next 2 years to be awful.

Always happy to be wrong, but I haven't been surprised by much for the last 30 years, so...

Now yours:
Who's "we"?

A lot of members of the Blue are not Americans. I am an American, so the "we" in my comment is American citizens. Included in the "we" are Republicans.

Looks to me like Republicans won a very narrow House majority, and elected a speaker, as is their due.

OK. This seems kind of obvious, are you insinuating that it doesn't look that way to me?

How can this be spun as "us" "rewarding" them?

Interesting choice of words…"spun." Right off the bat, you are attacking my comment as though I'm trying to "spin" a narrative about something. Leading up to January 6th, the president of the United States and his cronies conspired with State legislators, members of Congress, organized neo-fascist groups and not-liberal media entities to overthrow the will of the people and it got violent. The violence was based on lies. In order to have a common understanding of meaning, I'll include this:

insurrection
ĭn″sə-rĕk′shən
noun
1. The act or an instance of open revolt against civil authority or a constituted government.
2. A rising up; uprising.
3. The act of rising against civil authority or governmental restraint; specifically, the armed resistance of a number of persons to the power of the state; incipient or limited rebellion.

There are ~20 members of the House of Representatives who, claiming freedom of speech, have aided and abetted the insurrectionists and the conspirators in the plot to overturn the election results (Again, factually based on lies). These members of the HoR held up the election of McCarthy to Speaker. On the second anniversary of the insurrection, these members of Congress eventually "allowed" McCarthy to ascend to the Speaker role. As an American, I understand that our government consists of people I agree with, and people I disagree with. I accept the results of elections, although I have opinions about the dirty tricks and rules-gaming that goes on to make it so. The current majority Party has failed to condemn, discipline or otherwise address the insurrectionists in their midst. By failing to do so, they have given this small group of people unbalanced power. We're not talking about ideology or policy here, we're talking about traitors to the Constitution being allowed to actively participate in, and affect the outcome of, important governmental procedures and legislation. The reward is pretty obvious - you can participate in an attempt to overthrow the will of the people, and still have enough power to gum up the works of 1 of the 3 branches of government. That power is the reward. Not having to face consequences for your actions is the reward. It's too early to tell, but I'm assuming that McCarthy agreed to plenty of concessions which will reward them with committee seats, etc..


Please resist the self-loathing, doom-laden framing in which only Dems/progressives have agency, and all gains by the other side must be attributed to some failure on "our" part.

Man, this is both a great argument and a shitty argument all at once. The first part about agency assumes a lot, and I don't think applies to me. I'd argue that the opposite is more true than not…Dems/Progressives lack agency more than I think they are the only ones who have it. The second assumption is that I am somehow blaming Democrats for the gains of Republicans. I get your point, but again, don't think it applies to me. I have been a people manager since my late teens. When an employee is openly insubordinate, or is otherwise toxic, the best course of action is to address that employee's behavior immediately. Yes, you have to follow the rules, but if you just allow that person to continue to poison the environment, it spreads to others, and inaction acts as a reward for that behavior. The employee may not be doing anything that is technically illegal, or against the written rules of the company, but there are plenty of ways to handle this type of situation without allowing the toxicity to continue.


If this is how it's being portrayed by the sources you get your political commentary from, consider seeking out better sources.

Well, again, you've kind of straw man'd me here - I did nothing to portray this perspective, you've put that on me. I made a small comment about the Dems growing a spine (this comment is already way too long, so I won't belabor the point…I have about 40 years of examples, I can't be the only person to be critical of Democrats for this). The source of my political commentary here is me. I have formulated it all by myself. I even, you know, watched CSPAN and everything.

Heather Cox Richardson and Teri Kanefield are 2 excellent, well-informed commentators I can recommend. They offer useful historical and legal perspective that I find lacking in many quarters.

I'm familiar with Heather Cox Richardson, but not Teri Kanefield. Thanks for the recommendation. No thanks for assuming I don't have the "right" selection of sources for political commentary and analysis. That's just, like, your opinion, man.


Barring some miracle of growing a spine by DOJ and Democrats, I also fully expect the next 2 years to be awful.

This narrative that due process, rather than extraconstitutional kangaroo court-style justice, is equivalent to "spinelessness" really needs to go away once and for all.


It's a good thing I am not promoting that narrative, then, isn't it? There are a lot of ways to exhibit a spine that don't require extra-Constitutional kangaroo court justice. I'll give some recent historical examples of Democratic Party spinelessness: Iraq, Torture, and the financial meltdown in 2008. If you want to look up the people who have been held accountable for any of those things (torture is a great one, we arrested plenty of low-level participants of that regime, but nobody who was calling the shots), I'd love to see the extensive list.

My point still stands, though, that the next 2 years is going to be awful. The spine I'm looking for is accountability - Democrats get interviewed, right? In those interviews, they can present opinions, ideas and factual statements, right? Maybe we'll see some of them being frank and honest, instead of trying to weave a complex explanation about means testing and 3 dimensional chess that takes great pains not to offend Joe Six Pack in a diner in Ohio.

The insurrectionists wanted to junk the Constitution and the rule of law. You do not win against people like that by adopting their methods.

You do not win against people like that by ignoring them, either. If you think the Democrats have "won" against insurrectionists in Congress over the last 2 years, or have examples of how you actually do win against them, I'm all ears. As far as I see it, aside from a couple of lost Committee assignments, there haven't really been any consequences for anyone in Congress.

So far, a number of Jan. 6 insurrectionists have in fact been prosecuted, tried, convicted, and sentenced to prison terms — all by the book, in meticulous, legally bulletproof fashion. And the prosecutions continue.


I will add, with zero leaks from the DOJ. Garland's calling card. Al Capone eventually went to prison. Based on the J6 Committee referrals (which are largely symbolic, again, not exactly exhibiting a lot of backbone), can you point me to the members of Congress that you are confident will be prosecuted? IMO, it's not really controversial to have doubts that anything will happen to them at this point, given recent history, including hard-line DOJ policies that are based on nothing more than a memo written in the 70's.


The wheels of justice may grind too slowly for some people's tastes, but they most assuredly are grinding on.

I admitted that my opinion about the pace of the DOJ is debatable, possibly even provably wrong. My frustration with the pace is largely tied to the fact that we have allowed the insurrectionists to continue to poison the information well for 2 years. Plenty of them are active members of the majority in the House (some, even newly elected). After Iraq, torture and the financial crisis of 2008, I'm not holding my breath. Like I said, happy to be proven wrong about that. I'll believe it when I see it. George Bush paints cute doggie pictures now, from the comfort of his home. We have a tendency to forget how awful people are when enough time has passed. The Democrats in the House are now the minority Party. They had 2 years, and got a lot done for the American people, but not dealing with Republican insurrectionists means they have punted to the DOJ. I imagine I'm not the only one who has doubts that the DOJ is going to hold anyone in the insurrection caucus to account.
posted by Chuffy at 3:08 PM on January 8 [4 favorites]


Teri Kanefield was a new name to me, too, so for anyone who'd like to begin reading her work, it looks like she mostly posts to her blog at https://terikanefield.com/ . She also has a Things to Do page, which has some standard recommendations and some I've never seen anywhere else. I will be reading her posts with great attention. (Looks like there's typically a new post once a week or so.)

Thank you very much for the recommendation, Artifice_Eternity.
posted by kristi at 5:14 PM on January 8 [3 favorites]


In contrast to McCarthy stood Minority Leader Jeffries, who used the ceremonial handing over of the speaker’s gavel from the Democrats to the Republicans to give a barn-burning speech. He began by praising “the iconic, the heroic, the legendary” former House speaker Nancy Pelosi as “the greatest speaker of all time,” and offering thanks to her lieutenants Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

McCarthy was no doubt hoping for a photo of Pelosi handing him the gavel, but he got it from Jeffries instead.

The Democrats' ability to stymie the Republicans will be limited, but I expect and trust them to have their act together enough to block Republican extremism to the extent they can, and the recent Republican clown show in contrast to Democratic solidarity is evidence in favor of that concept.
posted by Gelatin at 5:53 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


but the last time we had fist fights in the house was during the lead up to the Civil War.

IIRC, wasn't there a sit-in for gun control in 2016? And John Lewis was shoved or something? Can't remember the details.
posted by Melismata at 7:34 AM on January 9


Good/fast/cheap pick two is standard in my line of work.

This adage used to be mentioned in software programming, but the new adage is "move fast/break things/initial low cost" because clients don't know their needs, you shouldn't pretend to be omniscient, and the world generally moves around and independent of whatever work you are doing. So just saying that slogan in most industries is dreadfully out of date.

2 of those 3 apply to the Justice Department.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:17 AM on January 9


RE: The world turns around you:
See this tweet: Will Stancil

"
Merrick Garland has delayed doing anything about high-level Jan. 6 conspirators for so long that they’ve had time to get re-elected and then create an entirely new committee dedicated to fighting their own investigation
"
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:49 AM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I read that Teri Kanefield post, and am of the opinion that Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel.net) is a better resource on the legalese.
posted by Chuffy at 12:14 PM on January 9


Merrick Garland has delayed doing anything about high-level Jan. 6 conspirators for so long that they’ve had time to get re-elected and then create an entirely new committee dedicated to fighting their own investigation

I guess, but state-level investigation of election interference in Georgia literally just today had a grand jury issue a recommendation and I don't see people complaining that Fani Willis is deliberately moving too slowly.

(I also think it's entirely possible that the circle of high-level Jan 6 conspirators is too small and too good at communicating with self-deleting Signal chats and voice calls that there was never going to be a criminal case to be made- none of them will ever flip and it seems like the top-level Proud Boys and Oath-Keepers either won't flip or don't have any actionable information for the feds)
posted by BungaDunga at 12:22 PM on January 9


I guess, but state-level investigation of election interference in Georgia literally just today had a grand jury issue a recommendation and I don't see people complaining that Fani Willis is deliberately moving too slowly.

The crime Fani Willis is prosecuting happened on January 2nd, and is far less complicated. They're not equivalent investigations.
posted by Chuffy at 12:37 PM on January 9


Well exactly: nobody is going around complaining that she's moving too slowly, and look how long that's taking.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:48 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


The crime Fani Willis is prosecuting happened on January 2nd, and is far less complicated. They're not equivalent investigations.

I'd say they are taking too long, and here's the Reuters Headline: "Georgia grand jury probing Trump ends work, unclear if charges coming". So I'm not sure it's an example expressing what you are suggesting, though it does say that pursing charges is up to the DA Willis, who created the special grand jury. But it definitely means that they haven't even determined if any laws were broken a full year later.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:45 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


Is a grand jury about determining if laws were broken, or is it about determining if there's enough evidence of a crime to warrant a prosecution? I thought they were a sort of pre-screening process but I may be wrong, and would welcome correction.
posted by hippybear at 2:24 PM on January 9


Update on the Rogers/Gaetz near dustup that had Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala), "poised to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee," lunging at Gaetz on the House floor. He was possibly taking issue over McCarthy possibly promising a less-than-qualified Gaetz an Armed Services subcommittee spot during the voting tumult; Rogers had "stormed over and leaned angrily toward Gaetz. Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) restrained him, grabbing Rogers by the chin and shoulder and leading him away."

Rogers apologized yesterday:

@RepMattGaetz and I have a long and productive working relationship, that I am sure will continue. I regret that I briefly lost my temper on the House Floor Friday evening and appreciate Matt’s kind understanding. - Rep. Rogers on Twitter.

@RepMikeRogersAL and I have a six-year productive, working relationship. We're going to work together wonderfully going forward. I don't think there should be any punishment or reprisal just because he had an animated moment. He has my forgiveness. - Rep. Gaetz's response
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:01 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Is a grand jury about determining if laws were broken, or is it about determining if there's enough evidence of a crime to warrant a prosecution? I thought they were a sort of pre-screening process but I may be wrong, and would welcome correction.

It's a "special grand jury", which apparently means it just recommends whether or not Willis should seek charges using a normal grand jury. Apparently the utility here is that 1) they need a grand jury to issue and enforce subpoenas, but 2) a normal grand jury is time-limited to 2 months.
posted by BungaDunga at 4:34 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Fani Willis is locked and loaded. Indictments are likely forthcoming, but of course, we'll have to wait and see.

Part of the frustration here is, we all saw the crimeing. They did it out in the open. Why T***p wasn't hauled off to a jail cell on J6 still bothers me. They're all free, still. Even the guys who got arrested have been pardoned. Of course, should Garland actually indict, it will be slam dunks all around. Matt Gaetz got away with sex trafficking, doubtful he's going to be indicted, so who knows who else is going to skate, given the kid gloves in that separate case? Take long enough, and it's just as bad...these guys are free to do stuff like what's going down in Brazil.

Used to be a time you saw someone committing a crime, you arrested them on the spot.
posted by Chuffy at 5:11 PM on January 9 [2 favorites]


That has rarely been the case for the connected and/or powerful.
posted by Mitheral at 6:13 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Merrick Garland has delayed doing anything about high-level Jan. 6 conspirators

This is purely hearsay on my part, but Sarah Kendzior—author of They Knew, host of the "Gaslit Nation" podcast, and generally a person who has seemingly done very extensive research into the corruption of America's political class—has been very critical of Garland over the last few years.

She described him back in 2021 as a "mafia state enabler" and over time I have begun to think this is probably a reasonably fair description.

He's at best a coward and a fool, obsessed with maintaining the appearance of neutrality in order to appease Trump's supporters and the rest of the hard right—a coward's move to begin with, and a fool's because they will never, ever be appeased, and will only see an attempt as weakness and vulnerability—and at worst he's dirty, plugged into the same oligarchical cliques that have funded and enabled Trump and other members of the new right, in order to profit from the chaos and breakdown of government.

I see no reason at this point to afford him the benefit of the doubt.

So the fact that he's done nothing about the January 6 conspirators should come as no surprise. "Doing nothing" seems to be exactly what he does. That's his job: maintain the appearance of propriety while ensuring that nothing actually happens that will rock the boat and possibly lead to significant disruption of the balance of power.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:46 PM on January 9 [3 favorites]


I trust Merrick Garland 1000% more than Sarah Kendzior.

She's got one tune and she plays it nonstop.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 8:55 PM on January 9 [5 favorites]



That has rarely been the case for the connected and/or powerful.


Unless you commit the heinous crime of stealing from other wealthy people. That gets you arrested pretty quickly.
posted by Chuffy at 9:25 PM on January 9


Any substantial punishment for the J6 conspirators will come, as my sister used to tell her kids when they were little, "after later."
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:56 AM on January 11


He's at best a coward and a fool

At best he's a coward and a fool? Words mean things, you know, and this doesn't read like the resume of someone who has spent his life at home, afraid and stupid. You may not like how he's doing his job as a Attorney General, or on this specific set of cases, but that makes no man a coward or a fool. Those are words that simply dismiss a person's entire humanity! And that's your best case assessment of someone like Merrick Garland, who has spent his life stepping up to the plate of public service and at least taking some swings? You need a less hateful media diet, if your primary listening is calling this AG a "coward and fool at best". Just wow.

We don't even expect basic moral behavior from our enemies, why expect our allies to constantly have the wisdom of Solomon and to make only perfect, perfectly effective choices? Garland may not be the Greatest Attorney General to Ever Grace the Department of Justice, but his demonstrated public record is that he is neither a coward nor a fool, and that he is on the side of accountability and justice. Words mean things, and allies need support.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:24 AM on January 11 [9 favorites]


Used to be a time you saw someone committing a crime, you arrested them on the spot.

You may wish to look into how many of those people got out of jail on some kind of weird technicality, though, because of a dearth of evidence that would hold up in court. Which may be why we stopped arresting people on the spot as much as we used to.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:11 AM on January 11 [6 favorites]


Wow. I think this is the longest thread I've ever seen in my time on MeFi.
posted by wandering zinnia at 7:01 PM on January 12 [1 favorite]


Wow.

I'm going to leave this for someone else to play with, but wandering zinnia welcome to metafilter (US) politics threads!

Please, the rest of mefi is quite nice also.
posted by porpoise at 8:10 PM on January 12 [7 favorites]


Here's the list of record holders; the two longest threads are about 10x the length of this one (for now?).

And we're only halfway to the length of 9622.

(man, I've been on this site for... a while.)
posted by kaibutsu at 8:21 PM on January 12 [8 favorites]


Does anyone read the posts down here?
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:49 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]


I did! I'm bored!
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:24 AM on January 14


Stop feeding my RSS reader :-)
posted by Pendragon at 8:42 AM on January 14


Does anyone read the posts down here?

Doesn't everyone mash Recent Activity?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:38 PM on January 14 [14 favorites]


“Merrick Garland Must Resign, or Be Fired”Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 13 January 2023
posted by ob1quixote at 4:45 PM on January 14


And that's your best case assessment of someone like Merrick Garland, who has spent his life stepping up to the plate of public service and at least taking some swings?

He's the goddamn Attorney General of the United States. Spending your professional life in public service is table stakes if you want that job. So, yeah, I'm grading on a tough curve, because he apparently has long aspired to be, and currently is, arguably one of the most powerful people in the world. He's playing the game at a very, very high level.

His resume, his career, his entire life up to this point: it got him the job, full stop. It's up to him how he wants to be judged for actually doing it.

And yeah, foolishness or political cowardice are among the more benign criticisms I can think of for what, if you look at it less charitably, could be construed as something suspiciously like softballing an investigation into a criminal conspiracy to literally overthrow the government.

Given the alternatives, I hope he's merely naive about the ability to argue and reason with Team Trump—as though they care about or will be dissuaded by anything other than people with windbreakers and guns—as opposed to having decided to become Mr. Softball, the guy you call when you want to make it clear that you're Deeply Concerned but also that nobody should be alarmed that anything significant is going to change.

Maybe it's just because I've spent too many years at this point in the DC orbit, but I'm flat out of credit to extend to the intentions of anyone holding high office who even momentarily appears to be more interested in playing the Great Game with the rest of the let's-not-call-it-an-oligarchy than doing their job on behalf of the public.

Garland is a lawyer; he should know that the appearance of impropriety is often as destructive as the impropriety itself, and he's certainly creating the unpleasant appearance that he doesn't have the appetite for Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum that an AG in the current environment ought to have.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:28 PM on January 15 [6 favorites]


McCarthy's paying his debts; from yesterday's Letters From An American:
Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who was removed from committee assignments in the last Congress for her racist and antisemitic conspiracy theories as well as her encouragement of violence against Democrats, has a spot on the Homeland Security Committee. Such spots are usually filled by those with experience in either the military or intelligence, neither of which she has. And security is an odd fit for her: voters in her district tried to get her disqualified from running in 2022 because of her participation in the attempt to overthrow the results of the 2020 election.

Greene has not just that plum assignment, but another on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee. That committee manages investigations and has emerged as a coveted spot for the far right as its members prepare to go after figures in the Biden administration. It now includes right-wing figures Greene, Lauren Boebert (R-CO), Scott Perry (R-PA), Byron Donalds (R-FL), and Gary Palmer (R-AL), all of whom refused to acknowledge President Joe Biden’s 2020 election.

Representative Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who was removed from committees two years ago after threatening Democratic lawmakers on social media, is now back on the Natural Resources committee. He also is now on the Oversight Committee.
[Santos was appointed to the House Committee on Small Business and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.]

Also: Greene has her sights set even higher. She called today for the impeachment of President Biden, advising him on Twitter to “resign now.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:32 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


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