House Freedom Idiots Gon' Frag Speaker Kevin McCarthy? Maaaybe!

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was so desperate to wield the gavel he might as well have surrendered his voice to Ursula the sea witch. She at least made her victims sign an iron-clad contract. God knows what sort of deal McCarthy made with the far-right sedition caucus, but we're now starting to see it all unravel.

Members of the House Freedom Caucus railed against McCarthy and the deal he negotiated with President Joe Biden to prevent a global financial crisis. Rep. Chip Roy from Texas was especially furious over the debt ceiling arrangement. He seemed to think he could go full Veruca Salt when Democrats control the White House and Senate. During a press conference that you knew was serious business because Lauren Boebert was present, Roy declared, "President Trump said he thought we should default rather than pursue this kind of lunacy."

Trump wants a default because he's a sociopath who doesn't care what happens to people who aren't Donald Trump. That's his only real policy position, but if Roy genuinely cares about curtailing spending and reducing the national debt, a default won't achieve those ends.


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A default isn't like Michael Scott running around declaring bankruptcy, the US economy would crater, close to eight million jobs would go poof, and the unemployment rate would skyrocket from the current 3.4 percent to eight percent. The resulting stock-market plunge would flush $10 trillion in household wealth. However, fascism thrives in such an environment, so no wonder Trump and Ron DeSantis are opposed to a deal.

Roy insisted that Republicans would "default on the American dream by voting for this bad bill." He's referring to a metaphorical default. Joe Biden and Kevin McCarthy are probably more concerned about the default I just described. That's the one in reality.

Ralph Norman from South Carolina had voted against McCarthy during his speaker hazing session before finally switching his vote. It's not clear what McCarthy promised him, but maybe it was "no reading"? During an appearance on Fox News, Norman seemed really upset that McCarthy had stuck with him such extensive legislative homework.

"We were over Memorial Day and to get a call to come and support a negotiated bill we hadn't even read," he whined. "It's like the Pelosi days. You gotta pass it before you can read it."

That's not what former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. She can read legislative text, even if it lacks pictures and conversation.

Fox News anchor John Roberts reminded Norman that he had three full days to read the bill before reverting back to a mermaid. Norman demanded more time because it's a big, important bill and it's not like it's on Audible.

"It's only 99 pages," Roberts said. "It's not the 2,000-plus that the Affordable Care Act was."

Fellow South Carolinian Nancy Mace claimed to have read the bill twice by Tuesday morning, but Norman doesn't need to actually read nerd words to know that Republicans "gave away way too much and it's time to negotiate and go back to the table." There is no more time. The nation will default in a matter of days, and our creditors will repossess the official government negotiating table.

Nonetheless, these idiots are set to make a big scene, more like an untalented high school drama club than responsible lawmakers. Perhaps realizing he doesn't have the votes to kill the bill — it's passed the House Rules Committee and is to be voted on by the full House today — Roy vowed a "reckoning about what just occurred." Does this mean McCarthy's about to lose his gavel?

Dan Bishop from North Carolina told Politico he's considering a motion to oust McCarthy from the speakership. "It is inescapable to me," he said. "It has to be done.”

Bishop told CNN's Manu Raju that McCarthy was "lying" about the bill's conservative merits. Roy, with a straight face, said that Republicans had been "very successful for five months" before they apparently failed their first big pants government test.

A desperate McCarthy, in his burning yearning to be speaker (why, nobody could figure out), agreed to let a single House member trigger a vote of no confidence, which would then require a simple majority to kick him to the curb. Republicans don't have a majority to remove him, though that assumes Democrats would vote in McCarthy's favor. They are more likely to let him hang and watch the chaos as Republicans try to replace him.

It's also possible that House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries could make a deal with McCarthy to save his skin if he brings the bill to the floor, even without a majority of Republican support. McCarthy reportedly received a standing ovation when he entered a Republican Conference meeting. He couldn't clap that hard for himself, so presumably there are enough Republicans who support the bill.

However, Matt Gaetz, who is curiously in Congress and not prison, warned on Newsmax Tuesday that if "a majority of Republicans are against a piece of legislation and you use Democrats to pass it, that would immediately be a black-letter violation of the deal we had with McCarthy. And it would likely trigger an immediate motion to vacate.” What Gaetz is referring to there is the "Hastert Rule," and it's named for a Republican House speaker who went to prison for money laundering to cover up his financial settlements with teenage boys he'd molested, so it's not terribly curious that Gaetz didn't cite the name.

These assholes are throwing tantrums while millions could lose their jobs, homes, and retirement savings. These are not serious people, but they remain a serious threat.

[Washington Post / Politico]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."


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