I Guess the Whip Can’t Count
Emmer drops out.
Via the NYT: Emmer Drops Speaker Bid After Right-Wing Backlash.
Mr. Emmer began Tuesday with a scant victory, winning an internal party nominating contest by a vote of 117 to 97 over a right-wing rival, Representative Mike Johnson of Louisiana. The margin reflected that House Republicans were still deeply at odds.
You see, it’s funny because he was the Majority Whip and the Whip’s job is to count votes and make sure the party has what it needs to pass legislation (or, in this case, elect a Speaker).
But, of course, when there are half a dozen plus wannabe leaders, it might mean that your party is in, what’s the word? Oh yes, disarray.
Mr. Emmer began Tuesday by besting six other candidates vying for the job during a series of closed-door votes. Mr. Johnson, a conservative lawyer who is a favorite of the party’s right wing, endorsed Mr. Emmer after his loss, and said he was trying to persuade his colleagues to unite around him.
I would note that in many systems if this was a parliamentary majority that could not pick a government that new elections would have to be called. Alas, the fixed nature of our system has no mechanism to force such an outcome. The inability of the party to govern ought to lead to a recourse to voters.
Likewise, it continues to be true that the Freedom Caucus faction of the GOP is acting almost like another party. But, again, the electoral incentives generated by primaries and the linkages to the presidential contest make an actual schism unlikely.