Jim Jordan Wrestling His Way to Speaker [Updated]

The crazies are this close to a complete takeover.

POLITICO Playbook (“Jim Jordan’s day of reckoning“):

We can’t believe we’re writing this, but Washington is waking up this morning to the real possibility that it will end the day with Speaker JIM JORDAN wielding the House gavel.

It’s by no means a sure thing, and we’ll get into all that in a moment, but it’s worth reflecting on the mere possibility that the conservative movement’s most relentless brawler stands on the cusp of the speakership and all that it entails — a place in the presidential succession, Oval Office meetings, photo ops with global leaders, a portrait in the House lobby and real, undeniable power.

Should Jordan ascend into the speakership, it would mark the culmination of a near-decadelong power grab by the far right and the breaching of a new frontier for MAGA’s reach inside the Capitol. It was Jordan who helped organize a band of misfit conservatives into the House Freedom Caucus, using their voting cards and the fire of the conservative grassroots to push GOP leadership to new ideological extremes, while setting their sights on committee seats, then chairmanships and leadership posts, and now the speaker’s gavel itself.

That power was put on display yesterday, in a remarkable cascade of caving from mainstream House conservatives who have aired grave concerns with Jordan, who has spent his career in the partisan hothouses of the Judiciary and Oversight committees, not in the clubbier confines of Appropriations or Ways and Means, where angles are worked and deals are cut.

First went House Armed Services Chair MIKE ROGERS (R-Ala.), who was thought to be plotting with appropriators and other defense hawks to block Jordan from the gavel. Then Jordan flipped another big fish: Rep. ANN WAGNER (R-Mo.), who last week said she was a “hell no” after accusing Jordan of sabotaging her friend STEVE SCALISE’s speakership bid.

So followed Reps. KEN CALVERT (R-Calif.), VERN BUCHANAN (R-Fla.), and DREW FERGUSON (R-Ga.) — all Jordan skeptics we’d been watching closely — and by the evening he’d even picked up a key frontliner, Rep. MARC MOLINARO (R-N.Y.), who declared, “We have to get back to governing.”

To be sure, Jordan still has work to do. He didn’t have the necessary 217 votes as of last night. Reps. CARLOS GIMENEZ (R-Fla.) and MIKE LAWLER say they’ll call KEVIN McCARTHY name at the noon vote, while Reps. MARIO DIAZ-BALART (R-Fla.) and MIKE KELLY (R-Pa.) are planning to shout Scalise. Rep. DON BACON (R-Neb.) said he’s “not budging,” while Reps. KEN BUCK (R-Colo.) and JOHN RUTHERFORD (R-Fla.) said they’re still in the no column.

Jordan can afford to lose only four Republicans, and many more are waiting to announce their intentions — with many of those bristling at the intense pressure campaign they’re facing from Jordan’s fans in the GOP base, some campaign donors and even media figures like GLENN BECK and SEAN HANNITY, who called the holdouts “sensitive little snowflakes” on his Fox News program last night.

Still, Jordan allies think they’ve got this. Some members might want to blow off steam on the initial vote, the thinking goes, denying him the honor of a first-ballot victory. But they are confident he’ll get there eventually — and well before the 15th ballot. Most, though not all, closet Jordan critics privately told us much the same — they think he’ll have the gavel tonight.

While this outcome seemed incredibly unlikely just 24 hours ago, it makes sense. The crazies have literally taken the caucus hostage:

But in making calls last night, we did pick up a note of high tension around how this whole thing has gone down. Conservatives have effectively taken the gavel hostage, refusing to give it to anyone except one of their own — tactics that should be plenty familiar to anyone who has followed Jordan’s career.

As of last night, it seems as though many of his longtime critics are going to do what they’ve always done: fall in line while bitching privately about the hard right’s antics.

When every vote matters, the craziest people have all the power. The normies need to get the Congress open for business to deal with things like passing a budget and funding support for Israel while the nuts are happy to let the whole thing burn down if they don’t get their way.

But the cost of capitulating is high:

But if things do fall apart today, it will be that dynamic driving the backlash — you either stand up to minority-of-the-majority rule now, or never.

It’s hard to underplay the stakes. Electing a Speaker Jordan would mean installing a firm DONALD TRUMP loyalist atop the House — one even more willing to embrace the former president’s desires and tactics than McCarthy was, a “significant player” in the plan to undo JOE BIDEN’s presidential victory.

It’s easy to imagine the House moving appropriations bills that would defund DOJ’s Trump probes or zero out various Biden Cabinet officials’ salaries. Or voting to impeach Biden. Or shutting down the government over policy fights with Democrats.

None of that will get through the Senate, much less get President Biden’s signature. But for those interested in performance and happy to wreak havoc, it’s all in good fun.

Jordan has virtually no relationships with key leaders he would be negotiating with on a regular basis. In addition to leading attack after attack on Biden, he’s led a cadre of conservatives that has long pummeled Senate Minority Leader MITCH McCONNELL as an establishment pushover. And he’s had little to no dealings to speak of with HAKEEM JEFFRIES, the House’s top Democrat.

That’s to say nothing of the politics. Democrats are salivating over prospect of saddling vulnerable Republicans with Jordan’s record — from his history opposing abortion rights and pushing entitlement cuts to his links to the Ohio State University sexual abuse scandal that he has figured into. Already the DCCC is blasting swing-district Republicans as “spineless” and kowtowing to “a Trump-endorsed extremist.”

As Rep. DAN KILDEE (D-Mich.) quipped to us in the hallway yesterday, “There’s probably only one Republican who could be worse for Republicans: GEORGE SANTOS.”

All of this will be weighing on wavering Republicans as they vote today.

Some sort of coalition government that relies on Democrats voting “Present” would surely be a better outcome for the party—not to mention the country—than a Speaker Jordan. But it sure looks like we’re going to find out.

UPDATE (1346): There are enough (20 at this moment) Republican votes for other-than-Jordan that he won’t make it on the first ballot. Time will tell whether those folks cave in subsequent rounds or Jordan’s bid is ultimately defeated.

Oddly, both Kevin McCarthy and Steve Scalise voted for Jordon, with the former not only predicting that he’ll ultimately prevail but vowing, “I’m doing everything I can to help him.”

Amusingly, if votes for Speaker were under the first-past-the-post rules used for many American offices, Hakeem Jeffries would have won since he got more votes than Jordan.

UPDATE (1402): Here’s the final tally via NYT:

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    I see you grabbed a photo of Jim showing off his famous party trick of controlling the width of his smile with his fingers.

  2. Not the IT Dept. says:

    So now the so-called “moderates” have been exposed for what they really are: go-along-to-get-along types who want everyone else to do the heavy lifting of standing up for the country’s best interests and defending the constitution. They should retire – they’re clearly not doing anything worthwhile in Washington.

    OTH, Rick Wilson of The Lincoln Project has always said Jordan would be a disaster for GOP fundraising purposes. McCarthy, for all his many faults, was really good at that and put in the time and energy to talk to donors – Jordan won’t do that. This might be very good news for the election.

  3. Not the IT Dept. says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    More likely it’s a demonstration of the length of an appendage that’s near to his – well, whatever.

  4. Moosebreath says:

    Missing from this analysis is Jordan’s role in planning January 6th with Trump. By elevating Jordan, the House Republicans are effectively saying that January 6th was acceptable conduct.

  5. Rick DeMent says:

    I hate to be the one to mention this but that means all a motivated MAGA need do is kill Biden and Harris and Jordon becomes president.

    Far fetched? Sure, but that was exactly what everyone was telling us about Trump refusing to concede the election. It’s no different then staging an insurrection trying to get the election thrown into the house where the peculiar rules about one vote per state delegation elects a president and that is a solid GOP vote.

  6. Chip Daniels says:

    It would only take 5 or so Republicans to vote with the Democrats to elect a sane Speaker.
    But those 5 votes don’t seem to be in existence.

    Which is one of many things that demonstrate that there no Republican at any level of government who can be trusted with power. Even if they themselves are not crazy, they will always bend to the ones who are.

  7. Jen says:

    A man who was an active participant in Trump’s attempt to subvert the will of the people, and who ignored the abuse of young people happening right under his nose, is about to secure the Speakership.

    I thought I couldn’t become more appalled at Republicans and yet here we are.

    GOP delendus est.

  8. Scott says:

    You got to wonder if anyone Republican is waiting in the wings to stab Jordan in the back. Is there anything Jordan has done in the past to anyone to deserve that? What are the deals being made behind closed doors? McCarthy ran a busy bazaar but no one ever published the final results.

  9. Jax says:

    @Rick DeMent: That thought had crossed my mind, as well.

  10. Charley in Cleveland says:

    Nutjobs + cowards = GOPers in the House. “Sane Republican” is an oxymoron. The sad part of this is the fact that the nation has to suffer the consequence of the Republican party’s indulgence of a proudly ignorant collection of nihilists.

  11. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: As I told Luetkemeyer, a self avowed and adjudicated sexual predator as the head of their party and a sexual predator’s enabler in the speaker’s chair. The ads, they write themselves and in this post Dobbs era, they will hit twice as hard.

  12. gVOR10 says:

    People keep saying Jordan’s been in the House for sixteen years without passing any legislation as though that were a bad thing on his side of the aisle. They want stasis. That’s the basic asymmetry between the parties.

  13. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: A message they all need to hear. I remember Luetkemeyer from his time in the MO House (along with Graves and Hartzler). They have all gotten way more conservative/intractable over the years. I was really surprised to see Wagner cave, I thought she was made of stronger stuff.

  14. KM says:

    @Rick DeMent:
    Biden’s on his way to an active warzone soon. Considering that Russia and other countries have actively tried to interfere with our government extremely recently and the SS is *cough* less then trustworthy, there’s a non-zero chance someone tries something and succeeds. All someone in the States needs to do is get to Harris then- a more achievable task then two high profile targets. Seditious minded people have an opportunity here and Jordan’s the icing on the cake.

    Hamas pulled off more with less. If the goal is destabilization of our nation, this is the week to push it.

  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: I was really surprised to see Wagner cave, I thought she was made of stronger stuff.

    The last thing any of them want is to be forced into getting a real job, one where they are just another nobody, a mere cog in the machinery. As a Rep. they have a whole slew of people telling them how important they are.

    Going with the flow is SOP for them.

  16. Scott says:

    Listening to various news sources, I suspect Stockholm Syndrome has settled in and the deed is done.

  17. Jen says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Ann has been essentially a King maker in MO and the GOP for decades. Her husband was the CEO of Enterprise. She wouldn’t need a “regular” job–she could land a cushy gig just about anywhere. What this says to me is that she’s eyeing something else–either a run at the Senate or Governor, or a cabinet position in someone’s administration.

  18. Scott says:

    You got to wonder if the bullying campaign is going to backfire.

    Inside the pressure campaign to get Jim Jordan the House speaker gavel

    Siccing the “base” on your fellow congressmen may actually strengthen their spines? Nah.

  19. Jen says:

    @Jen: Edit: Ray is an SVP at Enterprise, not CEO. Mea culpa.

  20. Kathy says:


    I call it the Julius Caesar Principle: Power isn’t everything. It’s the only thing.

    His life wasn’t at risk, and neither was his wealth. His power would be gone, though. And so he went to war against Rome to save it (for himself).

    Of course, he then placed his life and wealth at risk, as well as the lives of his legion. Many of his soldiers did die, along with troops on the opposing side.

    The GQP critters aren’t even risking their lives, just the country’s.

  21. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jen: either a run at the Senate or Governor, or a cabinet position in someone’s administration.

    As much as I would enjoy the food fight, I don’t see her challenging either Hawley or Schmitt. Parson is out in 2024 so the governorship is a possibility. If she is as ambitious as I’d always assumed, I can’t see a Cabinet post as anything other than the swan song of her political career.

    Of course, she might think otherwise.

  22. Tony W says:

    @Chip Daniels: I keep saying that if you call yourself a Republican at this point, you may not be a rapist, a racist, a traitor, or an insurrectionist yourself – but those traits are also not deal-breakers for you.

  23. becca says:

    @Rick DeMent: I thought the same thing. I bet Biden and his team has considered it, too.

  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    Did anyone bet on GOP ‘moderates’?

    Morons, cowards and liars. That is the entirety of the GOP.

  25. Raoul says:

    Selecting Jordan as speaker will have the same consequences as Russia invading Ukraine: an unmitigated disaster. These people are really begging to lose their majority. Let me put it this way, Democratic Party operatives are actually hoping Jordan gets selected. Every bill will be stalled, the government will shut down (that’s a guarantee) and the “investigations” will become more farcical. I mean seriously, the GOP is going to select as their top leader a pedophilia friendly insurrectionist?

  26. CSK says:

    Is there a bigger horse’s ass than JJ?

  27. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: When I first read that I thought you were talking about our JJ, the Blogmaster.

  28. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Raoul: I long for that optimism. Trump destroyed it. I thought he didn’t have a chance. I thought he’d sunk the GOP, but he won. I find I can be hopeful still, but I can’t take anything for granted.

  29. al Ameda says:

    I’m completely shocked that there were no GOP moderates to be found.

  30. charontwo says:

    @al Ameda:

    Like these people?


    Trump in Iowa describes military officials as “some of the dumbest people I’ve ever met in my life” — and gets big applause for it

    The whole party is Dunning-Krueger exemplars.

  31. Mister Bluster says:

    McCarthy has one vote so far…

  32. MarkedMan says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I’m pretty sure the percentage of voters that actually follow politics enough to form an actual opinion about anything is no greater than 30%. And those are divided up between rational people who look for government to help people improve their lives, and nihilistic tear-it-all down lunatics. Given that, in any given election there a crazed loon is on the ballot and has even moderately strong backing from their party the difference between electing the loon rests on maybe 5-10% of the voters.

  33. CSK says:



  34. Mister Bluster says:

    Per C-Span there are 9 votes for “others” so no candidate can win on first ballot.
    290+/- votes cast so far.

  35. Mike in Arlington says:

    13 defections so far (I’m watching the AP feed).

  36. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: It didn’t take me long to realize my misinterpretation.

  37. Mike in Arlington says:

    15 defections.

    I don’t know if this will prove to be too many for Jordan to flip.

  38. SC_Birdflyte says:

    This is proof that the House MAGAts have a collective death wish.

  39. charontwo says:

    Bulwark newsletter:

    Republicans have 14 House members from districts Biden won. Republicans also have a 5-seat majority in the House.

    If the party were focused on retaining power, then it would be doing everything possible to protect these members—because if they vote for Jordan it’ll be a serious liability in their 2024 reelection campaigns.

    But the Jordan wing of the party does not seem to care about what happens to these Republicans or their House majority. Why is that?

    There’s a simple explanation.


    Incentives are everything and the dynamic in the House GOP caucus puts us back in Muad’Dib territory.

    “Normal Republicans” want the Republican party to win power. They would prefer it if it was their version of the Republican party, but this preference is a secondary factor. The outcome they want to avoid at all costs is Democrats holding governing power.

    MAGA Republicans want to control the Republican party itself. They would prefer to also control the government, but the outcome they want to avoid at all costs isn’t Democrats holding governing power—it’s letting “Normal Republicans” run their party.

    And that’s why we are where we are.

    The MAGAs are happy to lose those 14 swing seats if it means that they get to lead the party, even a minority party.

    And so the Normal Republicans will give them what they want, because they are afraid that if the MAGAs are in charge then Democrats will probably win. But if the MAGAs get angry and blow up the GOP then Democrats will definitely win.

    If I had to guess about this afternoon it’s that Jordan will lose the first floor vote and will then adjourn to wrangle people behind closed doors. Then we’ll have another vote, either tonight or tomorrow. And my guess is that he’ll win that. But we’ll see.

  40. Mister Bluster says:

    Per C-SPAN 20 Republicans did not vote for Jim Jordan.

  41. ptfe says:

    Watching the follow-ups vote against him is just sweet sweet icing. If the McCarthy/Scalise votes for him weren’t going to draw the fence-sitters across, he’s not doing it without giving something away.

    I really wonder what he needs to (and is willing to!) give away at this point.

  42. EddieInCA says:

    20 defections.

    If they go to a 2nd ballot, expect this number to rise. A lot of people held their nose and voted for Jordan on the first ballot. Now they’re free to say “I gave you my vote and you didn’t succeed. I’m now going to vote my conscience.”

    Don’t see how Jordan gets there.

  43. Mike in Arlington says:

    How could their whip count be so far off?

    That’s just ridiculous. Unless they didn’t care about losing the vote? Maybe? But I think that makes him look weak.

    ETA: unless there was an intent to force him to realize just how many people were against him being speaker so he’d drop his attempt.

  44. Mister Bluster says:

    Amusingly, if votes for Speaker were under the first-past-the-post rules used for many American offices, Hakeem Jeffries would have won since he got more votes than Jordan.

    I suspect that if first-past-the-post rules were the order of the day those 20 Republicans would have voted for the nominee of their party.

  45. Gustopher says:

    Time will tell, but I’m sticking to my prediction that he keeps falling short and never closes the deal.

    He’s just the type of person who creates enemies, and spite is a very powerful motivator.

  46. Mister Bluster says:

    @EddieInCA:..“I gave you my vote and you didn’t succeed. I’m now going to vote my conscience.”

    I sincerely hope that there are Republicans in the House of Representatives who think like you do.

  47. just nutha says:

    @charontwo: Interesting analysis. Not sure MAGAt thinking is even that sophisticated, though.

  48. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Given the House Fascism Caucus’s penchant for making deals and then breaking them as soon as they get what they want, perhaps it was a tit-for-tat where reps told Jordan he had their vote even though they had no intention of doing so?

  49. Matt Bernius says:

    Jordan got 200 votes for speaker in Round 1.

    In January, McCarthy got 203 votes on his first of 15 ballots.

    Two weeks ago, McCarthy got 210 votes — and was removed.

    Not an auspicious start.

  50. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: While that would be logical, there are a handful who said they would vote for someone else first round (to get that on record), but would support Jordan in a second round.

    @Matt Bernius: Don’t underestimate a bully…I’m not sure if he will prevail or not, or if he’ll last a week if he does, but there’s a lot of pressure to “do something” spinning around out there.

  51. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Yeah, I saw that TPM had an article about how the Jordan supporters kneecapped Scalise’s attempt, and how that caused even more bad blood in the caucus.

    Add to that the hard ball tactics deployed over the weekend, I could see a lot of hard nos, but the reporting I saw yesterday seemed to imply Jordan’s attempts at lobbying were effective. My interpretation of that was obviously wrong.

    Jordan’s office is saying they will hold another vote soon, but who knows if they’ll follow through or not.

  52. Scott says:

    Sigh. If I lived just a couple miles west Tony Gonzalez would be my Congressman. A sane Republican, I could live with him. Instead I get Chip Roy who laughingly demands that we need to unify and vote for Jordan. The irony that the Freedom Caucus is asking for unity.

  53. Jen says:

    Kevin McCarthy out there babbling about this whole mess being the Democrats’ fault.

    Is there ANYONE dumb enough to believe that line? Anyone?? JFC.

  54. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: When the announced plan is to harass no-votes up until the vote, why not just lie until the vote?

    There has to at least be the temptation.

    But the strategy was always to force a vote, on the record, and then gear up the harassment campaign, so this is less of a failed whip count and more the way things were planned to start. Maybe the 20 no-votes was a surprise.

    I hope the no-votes hold firm. I want Gym Jordan covered in loser-stink in hopes it limits his career.

  55. anjin-san says:


    If we did not already have the expression “empty suit” we would have to create it to describe McCarthy.

  56. Scott says:

    @Jen: They are all Trump now. Never take responsibility. It is always someone else’s fault.

  57. Jay L Gischer says:

    Ok, reading through this I have a theory. It is a hypothesis, a thing that fits the facts, but for which I have little evidence.

    My theory is that, first of all, Kevin McCarthy thinks he still has a shot to become Speaker. Again. But he has to not burn bridges. Voting against Jordan would burn a bridge. So he voted for, but only AFTER counting votes and finding people who were willing to be out there in voting against Jordan.

    Remember, this kind of thing is quite common, especiallly with a bigger majority. The majority leader whips a vote, but allows some people to vote for, because they are vulnerable, and the measure will pass (or fail) anyway.

    Is this a situation like that? Inquiring minds want to know.

  58. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Jay L Gischer: I think that’s exactly what McCarthy’s thinking. I remember when Newt Gingrich was deposed as speaker, and he was out that same day, but McCarthy has been hanging around, so I think he believes that he is the closest to a consensus candidate in the republican party. Right now, I think he’s waiting for republicans to come back around to him after several failed attempts (hitting rock bottom, as it were). He may well be right about this, and I think there’s at least a chance of this working out but I’m not sure what those chances are.

    The only thing is that it seems that there’s a lot of bad blood in the republican caucus right now, so I don’t know if there is a consensus candidate to be had right now.

  59. just nutha says:

    @Jen: I don’t think intelligence plays into it. People will embrace whatever viewpoint suits their biases about how this should resolve out. Depending on how much people believe Democrats are the only side with agency, for example, a significant number of independents may well be willing to blame the Dems because someone needs to compromise so things don’t fall apart. We saw this a little on the budget impasse a few weeks ago.

  60. Kathy says:

    How come Gym gets to go home and pressure his marks privately, while Kevin had to endure round after round of pointless votes?

  61. Beth says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    I think that’s a good hypothesis, but doesn’t that also mean that McCarthy is dumber than we think he is? In absolute terms, not just political terms. Like, he should have vacated his seat in embarrassment by being deposed and then having Jim Jordan take the job. He should be hounded out of his seat by the press making fun of anything that comes out of his mouth.

    I just can’t understand how so many Republicans think that Jim Jordan is at all capable of doing that job. He’s the kind of guy that would piss in the swimming pool while the Republicans in it watch him. They have to know that if he’s speaker, he’s steering straight into a shutdown while forcing votes on total abortion bans. The man is not subtle.

    Or what happens if this goes on a couple rounds and some MAGA gets it into his head to take out one or more recalcitrant Republicans? It just seems to me that the Hard Right is trying to normalize political violence against other Right leaning people. That seems like a disaster.

  62. Michael Cain says:


    How come Gym gets to go home and pressure his marks privately, while Kevin had to endure round after round of pointless votes?

    Back in January, there was no functioning House. The unelected Clerk presided (or if the Clerk was unavailable, the unelected Sergeant at Arms). Rules had not been adopted, no committee assignments had been made, etc. Today, there’s a Speaker pro tempore chosen by the previous Speaker, the rules have been adopted, committees are up and functioning… The Clerk couldn’t do things like McHenry can. The Clerk had to put decisions about staying in session, or when they would resume, to a vote. The Democrats and a handful of (leaderless) Republicans could say, “Let’s do it again.” McHenry can simply declare the House in recess subject to the call of the Speaker.

    Being on the permanent staff of my state legislature was… educational. My first year I let the (new) chair of the Senate appropriations committee break some rules. When I got back to my office my staff director was waiting for me. “I know,” I said, “I let the chair do bad things. Explain it in detail to me so I don’t make that mistake again, and so I can figure out what I need to get the chair to do to fix it.” Two years later as the lead staffer for House appropriations, I could see that sort of problem coming and avoid it without hurting anyone’s feelings. Like many states, Colorado has amateur legislators with a professional staff.

  63. Kathy says:


    While not all revolutions follow the same stages, most tend to do so. In that case, either we’re at the phase of the violent power struggle that leaves behind corpses and one clear dictator winner. Or we’ve skipped that stage, and the revolution begins to devour its children.

    I thought the presidential primary would be the power struggle. after all, none of the would-be tinpot dictators can get to dictate if they don’t take out the Orange would-be tinpot dictator. It’s plain common sense (and basic physics: two bodies cannot occupy the same space at the same time). But that isn’t happening.

    So, perhaps the power struggle is shaping up in the House, as the rest of the GQP thinks or assumes El Cheeto is dead politically. That is, he won’t be elected, and he may reside in the best federal penitentiary ever before the end of 2024. So they let him run the party rather than take him out, because he’s taking himself out. So, until Biden’s second term ends, the real power will be in the House.

  64. Kathy says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Thank you. That was very helpful.

  65. ptfe says:

    “Frankly, no one in our conference wants to see any type of coalition government with Democrats, so we’re going to keep working and we’re going to get to the votes. … We’ve got to have a speaker and it can’t be some deal with the Democrats. The American people don’t want that.” – Jim Jordan emerging from the Cave of Destiny, clearly having gripped the sword’s handle and decided to Do It Another Day, like in all the most heroic stories.

    Someone up-thread suggested that maybe the Dems would be saddled with this, but Jordan just came right out and said Republicans were specifically excluding deals with Democrats. Neutered that argument right quick! And this equally points to a potential Speaker poised to get thingz done in a near-50/50 chamber.

  66. Gustopher says:

    @ptfe: Well of course Gym Jordan is going to say that.

    As Thanksgiving approaches, and we have the potential for a government shutdown during the holidays, there will be an entirely different set of pressures and what seems impossible now may well be plausible or even necessary then.

    Do you want government workers to be furloughed over the holidays and spend time with their families? Think of the families!

    Ok, that probably won’t be the issue, but I stand by the larger point.

  67. Michael Cain says:


    Do you want government workers to be furloughed over the holidays and spend time with their families? Think of the families!

    Keep in mind that in an unusual twist, the DoD appropriation hasn’t been passed. Come mid-November, the armed services and support (mostly) have to keep right on working, but the paychecks stop. Colorado Springs, CO is one of the US cities most dependent on federal spending. Doug Lamborn, their Republican House member, is going to have some ‘splaining to do when ~15% of the paychecks in the area stop.

  68. Beth says:


    I think that assumes that Jordan doesn’t want a shut down. I think he does, and that he’s dumb enough to think this will be the one that finally gets pinned on the Dems.


    I think there is something to this. I can’t put my finger on what. But I also am starting to think the Revolutionaries have deluded themselves to the point where they think they have the overwhelming support of the voters.

    Edited to fix amazing typo

  69. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Beth: I think it makes McCarthy ambitious, and inclined to bob and weave, not dumb. Granted, I don’t think he’s going to win a MacArthur Fellowship any time soon, but there’s a lot of room between there and dumb.

  70. Jay L Gischer says:

    I’m pretty sure that the Jim Jordans of the House think that the other Republican leadership is weak and easily moved, and that they are much tougher, and will make those nasty Democrats do everything they want.

    There are those, such as Ted Cruz, who realize it’s all theater, and stir up trouble because it’s good for fundraising. But I don’t think that describes Jordan.

  71. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @EddieInCA: “I gave you my vote and you didn’t succeed. I’m now going to vote my conscience.”

    That presumes there are Republicans who actually have a conscience.

  72. Kevin says:

    @EddieInCA: That’s one possibility. The other possibility is they can go back to their voters and say “I tried voting for someone else, but that didn’t work, so I had to vote for the abuse enabler. What choice did I have? Vote for a demonrat?”

  73. Kathy says:


    I think he does, and that he’s dumb enough to think this will be the one that finally gets pinned on the Dems.

    I wish. I think he’s dumb enough to think it will be good for the country, or that it will get Benito off the hook.

    ut I also am starting to think the Revolutionaries have deluded themselves to the point where they think they have the overwhelming support of the voters.

    I’m sure they’ve been sure of this since November 2016.

    Remember the autopsy after Romney’s loss in 2012? Pretty much it indicated they should tone down the rhetoric and appeal to a larger number of voters. Instead Benito did the opposite and won.

    It doesn’t take much to brush away the nuance, and see he won in a very unlikely fluke, given his choice of opponent, and Comey’s letter, and the peculiarities of an arcane XVIII century legalism that never even worked as intended*. And even so, he was behind in the popular vote by around 3 million votes.

    I wonder how many in the House, Gym included, do believe the 2020 election was “stollen”.

    *I sometimes wonder if the intent of the framers was to have a system akin to the Holy Roman Empire**. It’s about the only major one I can think of that made use of electors.

    **Yes, I know it was neither holy, Roman, nor an empire. But that’s what it’s called.

  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Cain:

    Like many states, Colorado has amateur legislators with a professional staff.

    Do you really think that Colorado legislators are any more amateurish than Congressional representatives? I’m not seeing any evidence, myself.

  75. Joe says:

    @Jay L Gischer: While I doubt this was his plan going into it, McCarthy may find a way to use this little side trip to prove to his caucus that he may suck, but he’s the best (only viable) option they have right now. They ditched him and now have nobody. If he gets back in the Speaker chair, he may be quite a bit stronger.

  76. Gustopher says:

    @Beth: you’re assuming that Jordan is anything more than one out of 217 Republicans.

    I’m expecting speakerless chaos until something forces someone to back down. Not sure I would go with a coalition leadership, but something.