Breaking: The Drama in the House

As of this writing, Kevin McCarthy has lost two rounds of voting to be the next Speaker of the House, something that hasn’t occurred in a century. Nineteen Republicans voted for someone else in both votes (McCarthy could only lose five votes).

One interesting wrinkle though is that in the first round, the renegade GOP votes were split between Jim Jordan and Andy Biggs, but in the second round all 19 votes went to Jordan, who voted for McCarthy and even made a nominating speech for McCarthy.

This looks like a classic game theory exercise in which the GOP renegades are trying to force McCarthy to withdraw, and then have a compromise candidate emerge. (Steve Scalise perhaps?)

Observations: McCarthy made a mistake in the last couple of days stressing that the new Republican House majority would focus on an “economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that’s built on freedom,” and a government that is “accountable.” This is weak stuff—hardly even business as usual in normal times. We do not live in normal times. McCarthy clearly doesn’t read the mood of the grassroots of the party that is furious with the state of things, and wants leadership that articulates this fact first and foremost.

McCarthy might have saved himself this trouble if he had had the wit to convince the renegades that he’d be more like this McCarthy:

And finally, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if the House never selects a Speaker and does absolutely nothing for two years, since gridlock is almost as good as constitutional government.

Chaser—Unsurprising announcement of the day from the New York Times:

David French Joins The Times as an Opinion Columnist

As I say, we are not living in normal times.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.