It’s Kevin McCarthy’s big, potentially disastrous, day

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He’s also reportedly prepared to stand his ground during the voting, however many ballots and hours or days it takes. That means staying on the floor for the entirety of what could be an exceedingly humiliating process for him (if we’re lucky!). The McCarthy supporters are supposedly arguing that his presence on the floor will prevent the opposition from getting him into backroom conference to try to force him into going along with their coup.

There’s just out and out civil war now, with some pretty bizarre foes lining up against each other. For instance, QAnon queen and Jan. 6 insurrectionist Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is out and out attacking fellow deplorables, calling the hardliners against McCarthy “destructionist.”

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MTG, who backs McCarthy, said tonight: “If my friends in the Freedom Caucus, Matt Gaetz and others, will not take the win when they have it, they’re proving to the country that they don’t care about doing the right thing for America. They’re proving ..they’re just destructionist”

— Manu Raju (@mkraju) January 3, 2023

Sure, Marge.

McCarthy has already made massive concessions to the whack jobs on the rules, but that’s proven to be not good enough. Nine of them wrote an open letter Monday saying that it’s just not good enough. “Despite some progress achieved, Mr. McCarthy’s statement comes almost impossibly late to address continued deficiencies ahead of the opening of the 118th Congress on January 3rd,” they wrote. One of the nine, Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC), bitched in a tweet that all these concessions from McCarthy took too long. “Why didn’t we get McCarthy’s proposed rules package at least 72 hours in advance?”

Those rules he agreed to , by the way, are bad. One would reinstitute the archaic Holman Rule, enacted first in 1876. It allows Congress to punish specific federal employees or programs but cutting their funding. Think FBI, IRS, or federal prosecutors going after Donald Trump or insurrectionists. Those funding cuts would not be passed by the Senate nor signed by President Joe Biden, but the House GOP will use it to threaten things like government shutdowns and debt ceiling defaults. Because that’s what they do.

Speaking of investigations and protection certain bad Republican actors, they put a provision in to get rid of most of the Democratic-appointed board of the Office of Congressional Ethics by imposing term limits on them. It would also make it a lot harder to hire staff. Think of it as the Insurrectionist/George Santos Protection rule. There’s a ton more that’s in turns destructive and ridiculous detailed in a thread here from Aaron Fritschner who works for Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) and tracks all things procedure.

None of what McCarthy will agree to, though, seems to be enough for the hardliners. That’s got threats coming from the McCarthy team, spanning from MTG to what passes for moderate in this GOP, Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE). “If a few won’t be part of the 218 members we need to govern, we’ll then find other ways to get to 218,” Bacon wrote in a Daily Caller op-ed.

It’s just possible that the maniacs will crumble after the first vote on Tuesday, if there aren’t more than a handful voting against McCarthy. They’re not really known for their organizational skills or their stick-to-it-iveness. They also haven’t managed to find another viable candidate in the weeks that they’ve been opposing McCarthy. But over the past few weeks, opposition to McCarthy has been growing. It’s certainly going to take more than one vote to get this done. How many more is anyone’s guess, but what’s certain is it’s must watch C-SPAN. Also that, should McCarthy emerge with the gavel, he’s going to be the weakest speaker in decades.

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