On Friday, House Republicans selected a new candidate for Speaker of the House. House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) opted to run again, and he was expected to be the only candidate until Rep. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) decided at the last minute to throw his hat in the race.
“When I woke up this morning, I had no intention of doing this. It took me a long time to even get to my wife to tell her, call our friends, be in prayer because we’re not — we haven’t done any preparation or any whipping,” Scott told the media on Friday. “But I believe if we as Republicans are going to make the majority, we have to do the right things the right way. And we’re not doing that right now.”
Jordan overwhelming won the vote 124-81, but that doesn’t mean we’re any closer to electing a new House Speaker.
Why? Because 55 House Republicans indicated that they wouldn’t support Jordan in a full House vote, and Jordan can only lose four votes and still win the speakership. We won’t have a new speaker this week, that’s for sure.
So in other words, this isn’t going well, and the GOP is once again showing the nation that it is too dysfunctional to govern. This is no time for Republicans to be messing around and fighting among themselves. Why is it that Democrats have been able to handle such issues so much more smoothly? When Nancy Pelosi decided not to be the leader of the House Democrats last year, there was no public drama over the passing of the torch. Nancy Pelosi endorsed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) to succeed her, and Jeffries ultimately became the Democrat leader. But Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) also wanted the position and certainly had seniority. Schiff was first elected to the House in 2000, while Jeffries wasn’t elected to the lower chamber until 12 years later. Neither had anything on Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) or James Clyburn (D-S.C.), who were next in line in leadership ranking.
Despite his efforts, Schiff was unable to secure enough support to be elected Democrat leader in the House, yet the election of Jeffries was completely without drama. He was voted in unanimously by House Democrats. Schiff didn’t even challenge him, knowing he didn’t have the votes. So there were no multiple rounds of ballots, no secret votes. No drama. Democrats elected a whole new slate of leaders, effectively passing the torch to a new generation of progressives tasked with destroying the country with radical leftist policies.
I don’t know how they do it. Democrats in Washington are notoriously more radical than the rest of the country, yet they never seem to have problems getting members of their caucus in swing districts to fall in line. Republicans, not so much. Scalise can’t get elected speaker because some have dubbed him a RINO. Jordan can’t get elected speaker because he’s too MAGA.
What does this tell us? It tells us that there’s almost no chance that a consensus candidate exists in the Republican caucus. I refuse to call every Republican who doesn’t jump on Trump’s orders a RINO, and I don’t see anything wrong with Republicans who have been die-hard supporters of Trump, either. In the end, being a conservative isn’t black or white. There are shades of gray, and we have to acknowledge that. The GOP must use it to their advantage and accept that no speaker will be perfect, he or she just has to be able to lead.
Also for our VIPs: Can Anyone in the GOP Caucus Win the Speakership?
If Adam Schiff could put on his big boy pants and not challenge Jeffries, then surely House Republicans can elect a House Speaker without all the drama, too.