“The putative complaint against Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s leadership is that he advanced “incremental cultural Marxism” through government funding. Of course, no such thing exists, which means McCarthy has no way to redress the complaint. The far right is angry about the Biden administration’s continued existence and wishes to blame the leadership for this fact.” So Jonathan Chait sums up the Republican failure to elect a speaker of the house: the Democrats haven’t been crushed and in the words of Plan Nine From Outer Space, “somebody’s responsible!” (LGM has more).
This is a truly bizarre situation. At time of writing, McCarthy has lost more than a half-dozen votes; while the far right has offered alternative candidates, it doesn’t appear anyone’s aggressively running to replace him. He’s literally losing to a “none of the above” movement, and that’s after a shit-ton of concessions. I’m guessing nobody wants to step up and volunteer themselves as an alternative because the pro-McCarthy side will immediately paint a target on their back. Back in 2015 this would have been unthinkable but as Roy Edroso says, they’ve embraced gibbering madness.
I can’t decide if this is a good thing. Amusing, sure, but we do need a functional House of Representatives to get things done. On the other hand, even if the Republicans got their shit together and elected a speaker, it still wouldn’t make them functional. They’re not interested in governing, only in media attention (which seems to be Marjorie Taylor Greene’s raison d’etre), attacking their enemies and culture war. A united House Republican caucus won’t accomplish anything except hearings supposedly showing Hunter Biden’s laptop holds his dad’s secret plan to force all Americans into gender reassignment surgery.
I’m proud that flawed as the Democratic Party is, the members do grasp that elected officials have a job to do (that’s a very low bar but Greene, Gaetz, Boebert, etc. don’t come anywhere near clearing it). For example, the FDA just made abortion pills available with prescription at regular pharmacies. As the article notes, this is a limited win — will pharmacy chains want to deal with outraged forced-birthers? — and I’m sure Republicans will look for ways to scuttle it. But it’s still a win, and one that would never have happened if Trump were in office. Nor would the senate have passed bills to protect pregnant and breastfeeding workers if Republicans ran the chamber.
Republicans, alas, are organized enough to gut the operations of the House Ethics Committee. It’s almost like they’re worried they might be caught doing something unethical. Like, I don’t know, another coup? Ginni Thomas, an active supporter of the 1/6 coup, is very, very upset her seditious texts are public: “Certainly, I didn’t want my emotional texts to a friend released and made available.” Yes, quite understandable, I’m always texting to friends calling for the overthrow of the government when I’m feeling blue.
I’d be worried about government scrutiny too, given the high conviction rate for the seditionists — though I doubt any elected officials who supported the attack will see jail time or even house arrest.
“Conservative complaints about Big Tech are only superficially distinct from their grievances with the so-called liberal media. That is, those frustrations are really about the failure of large media organizations to uncritically repeat right-wing propaganda, as more conservative media organizations do. ” — Adam Serwer on the conservative claims that freedom of speech is about their right to say anything without consequences (including loss of money).
In other news, Tucker Carlson proclaims “my tolerance for atheism has really dwindled to nothing.” There’s something almost comical about this, as if any American atheist cares what Carlson thinks of them.
Roy Edroso blogs about right-wingers eternal homophobia,