Politically Speaking — January 10, 2023
Late Friday night while awaiting the critical 14th vote, the tension was high, ugly and unbelievable. I guess, in watching this play out, my only observation was the Republicans had good teachers: The Democrats!
Friday evening the House reconvened as Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) moved closer to winning the required number of votes to take over as the new Speaker of the House.
Sadly, this craziness left a lot of animosity and division within the Republican Party.
This hasn’t happened in a hundred years, making it incredibly historical. It proves there’s a group of Republicans as bad as some Democrats, with Republican Matt Rosendale (R-MT) voting for Biggs and Matt Gaetz (R-FL) voting present, not helping McCarthy. It led to McCarthy having words with Gaetz on the House floor.
Personally I’ve never seen anything like this. If Gaetz wanted to change his vote that would have been one thing, but he wanted to hold it over till Monday. Was he trying to make a point? This was nothing less than a civil war within the Republican Party. Nothing like burning your own house down, leaving no member of the House as Speaker.
McCarthy had 216 votes, Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) had 211, and others had 4, leaving McCarthy with his 14th defeat. McCarthy needed one more vote present, one more vote yes as Gaetz requested all be adjourned till noon on Monday.
The irony of history is there was chaos on January 6, 2021 and chaos on January 6, 2023. And, bingo, in the final hour, votes were changed. In the end, all I can say is wow! The history books in 50 years will have fun with this one, if there is such a thing as history at that time.
I’ve never seen anyone win uglier than Kevin McCarthy for Speaker of the House on Friday night. I can’t imagine what McCarthy is going to go through in the next two years. I certainly wouldn’t want to walk in his shoes.
The final vote was 215 votes for McCarthy, 212 for Jeffries, and 6 present. The presents don’t count. Kevin McCarthy won ugly.
It could have been worse. In 1856, it took 56 rounds in two months of votes to elect Nathaniel Banks as Speaker of the House.
However, before turning over the gavel to Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Democrat Leader Hakeem Jeffries (a wannabe Barack Obama) delivered an inappropriate partisan speech that sounded like he was at the Democratic National Convention.
I’ll close by saying what we saw was mob rule at work. I just wish the Republicans could have come together prior to the vote and hammered out their differences. Now is not the time for more division. Now is the time for unity.
Until next week.
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Pictured above is Kevin McCarthy.