Tuesday, April 23, 2024

VIDEO: Jim Jordan’s Nomination Of Kevin McCarthy For House Speaker Might Have Backfired…

…and by saying this I’m not criticizing Jordan.

Because at this point the congressional superstar from Ohio is beginning to pick up the votes of the 19 dissenters from McCarthy – 15 more than he can afford if he’s to get to 218 and a majority to assume the Speakership – even though he’s publicly saying he supports the prohibitive favorite for the job.

McCarthy has a real problem. He needs those 218 votes and he only has 203 of the 222 Republicans in the 118th Congress. He’s trying to get 15 more, but he’s largely botched the job.

The House Freedom Caucus, the group of principled, anti-Establishment conservatives who have been gaining momentum within the Republican electorate even if they’ve yet to translate that into power in Washington, made demands on McCarthy that he didn’t fulfill. Those demands weren’t unreasonable; they were process reforms aimed at restoring the House of Representatives to something akin to a functioning legislative body. Things like a single-subject rule on legislation, so you wouldn’t be voting on marijuana legalization in a border security bill, or regular order in the budget process, or to allow members to offer amendments to bills on the House floor.

These are things state legislatures manage as a matter of course. They’re hardly radical demands. And yet McCarthy stonewalled most of them, only relenting here and there when it was clear he wasn’t going to get to 218. Along the way he managed to convince his critics that he wasn’t an honest dealer. Now he’s got 19 Republicans who have voted for others – most of them for Freedom Caucus member Andy Biggs of Arizona, but a half-dozen on the first ballot for Jordan.

This despite the fact Jim Jordan has said he’s supporting McCarthy.

Jordan gave the nominating speech for McCarthy on the second ballot, and as I said it might have been counterproductive…

That’s a speech so good it makes you want to see Jim Jordan, not McCarthy, as House Speaker.

Which was a sentiment Florida congressman Matt Gaetz expressed in immediately nominating Jordan on the second ballot…

McCarthy’s supporters are raising the specter of Democrats combining with moderate Republicans to form some sort of left-leaning coalition in charge of the House and blaming the Freedom Caucus in advance for that possibility.

Which is absurd. It seems obvious that Jordan would be able to get to 218 votes long before something like that would happen. No moderate could give as compelling a rationale for leadership as Jordan was able to do on McCarthy’s behalf, much less what he could do for himself if it became obvious McCarthy can’t get there.