Jay Weber Show transcript 1-9-23 6:40am
So-Kevin McCarthy is finally the house speaker. After fifteen votes. Fifteen ballots.
It happened at two-am, Saturday, after a late, late night of wrangling. Their day of activity started around noon on Friday, and it played out about as described on Friday’s show: Kevin McCarthy’s side-did in fact-have a deal in writing with about a dozen hold-out members that moved them to being ‘yes’ votes...and that left a core of rebels that amounted to only six members...and it totally changed the momentum.
Those six could no longer claim they were ‘winning’ this, after four days of standoff. They could no longer claim that if they held out long enough, the McCarthy faction would cave.
The swift reversal of more than half of that ‘hold out caucus’ of 20 members- was the game changer, even if it still took another 12 to 14 hours before the final few members caved.
It even got a little heated after the fourteenth vote, when the ‘win’ was clearly supposed to have occurred...but matt Goetz didn’t cooperate as promised.
At least that’s what it looked like to me. McCarthy went over and talked to him directly, with both men rather animated.... then a third member lunged at Goetz....as if he was going to physically assault the little weasel...and had to be restrained by others...
Then the ‘win’ came on the fifteenth vote. So now the question is- has this standoff made Kevin McCarthy a weaker? Or stronger? Speaker.
Virtually everyone in the glitterati media-on both sides of the aisle- thinks this makes him a weaker speaker: I’m not so certain.
It just might make him a stronger speaker because all the personality conflicts and personal bitterness has been hashed out ahead of time-and the process caused about 215 members to really examine where they stand and re-unify behind Kevin McCarthy.
I think this makes McCarthy stronger.
And while it is true that it still means that six angry holdouts could scuttle the GOP’s house majority on any given vote...or detail the caucus on any given issue...
It also makes it far less likely, now, that they are going to be able to build any larger coalition of fellow republicans to side with them-against McCarthy.
I hope you know what I mean: I believe last week showed republican caucus members- in technicolor- that these holdout members like Matt Goetz and Andy Biggs simply-hate- Kevin McCarthy....and that further ostracizes them from the majority group.
After all-if your opposition to any bill that might come up is ‘just because I hate Kevin’...well then.... why would I even cooperate with you.
I think these final hold-out rebels have damaged their standing in the larger caucus and are likely to end up holding less way in that chamber, rather than more.
They have proven themselves to be tantrum-throwers. And no one takes the tantrum thrower seriously.
They also proved that-when it comes to Kevin McCarthy for them- it’s personal.
Their holdouts were personal-and after day two- were well beyond-any point at which it was productive...and the other caucus members saw it and lived it.
Sure, this larger holdout group of twenty got a few concessions related to how the house is run, but for all of their wrangling and demand-making, they didn’t get anything significant.
They really didn’t.
Their supporters are still dug in on this notion that they got changes on...a vote to remove the speaker...a regular order process...the removal of metal detectors at the capitol and an end to voting by proxy.
Okay-but they got those on day one.
They then held out for another three days-for nothing.
Kevin McCarthy had promised to do most of those things well before this standoff. Aside from the vote to vacate the speaker and a vow to get back to following regular order- all these holdouts got was stuff that McCarthy had already agreed to, or could readily agree to.
For example: they demanded a vote on term limits and a balanced budget.
Okay. Great. Conservatives support both of those things. McCarthy does, in theory.
So, McCarthy will hold a show vote on them if they really want it, sure.
But it doesn’t mean anything: no legislation on term limits or a balanced budget is going to be taken up by Chuck Schumer in the senate, nor signed by President Biden.
So, they-are- show votes, and amount to nothing.
You can argue that day one of the holdouts was to try to get some substantive rules changes that the larger 20 wanted to see...but days two thru four of wrangling and preening were a complete waste of time...and no... these rebels didn’t ‘win’ anything additional, even if they want to pretend, they did.
Matt Goetz was on Hannity Friday night and admitted that he ran out of things to ask for. He was trying to puff himself up as having ‘won’ something here, but the admission was interesting, because everything he ‘asked for’ amounted to almost nothing.
And after four days of moving the goal posts and trying to come up with silly new demands because his real motivation is that he -just hates- McCarthy...even Goetz admitted that he ran out of nonsense to ask for.
And apparently, Donald Trump-did- play a role behind the scenes and was calling and talking to the remaining holdouts. That was confirmed both by various congressmen on the house floor-and by Kevin McCarthy afterward. He went out of his way to thank president trump.
So, trump -is-invested in a McCarthy speakership, here.
And for the record? Four of the last six holdouts changed their votes to ‘present’ to allow McCarthy to win the speakership with 2016 votes, instead of the mathematical majority of 218 members.
Those changing to present-at the bitter end-were Andy Biggs, Loren Boebert, Elijah Crane, and Matt Rosendale.
I think this wrangling has further united about 215 members behind McCarthy...and identified about six as impossible, bitter preeners....and that’s likely to make McCarthy a stronger speaker over the coming two years-not a weaker one.
But we’ll see. That part is just a guess. These six could also decide to triple down on being an impossible thorn in his side...but i think any tolerance for that by the others is going to be very small, indeed.
They all know how critical 2024 is...and how short a time they must get prepared for it.
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