Face-Eating Leopards Shocked to Find Leopards in Their Casino

Apparently, it wasn’t obvious to Republicans the problem with nominating a guy who had never passed a bill as their Speaker.

Apparently, it wasn’t obvious to Republicans the problem with nominating a guy who has scant fundraising, so few carrots to offer in exchange for votes, to say nothing of his inclination to deny the existence of carrots as soon as he offers them.

Apparently, it wasn’t obvious to Republicans the problem with nominating someone who elicits death threats as a means of exercising power.

Politico has a delicious article describing how Jim Jordan’s efforts to win the Speaker’s gavel through sticks and more sticks has backfired.

Jim Jordan’s allies attempted to badger House Republicans into making him speaker. Those tactics backfired on Tuesday, and could soon doom his speakership push outright.

The Ohio Republican’s most vocal GOP defectors during Tuesday’s failed speaker vote said they were pressured to back Jordan by party bosses back home and national conservatives with big megaphones. Most of those skeptics viewed it as a coordinated push with a threatening theme: Vote for Jordan — or else.

[snip]

“Jim’s been nice, one-on-one, but his broader team has been playing hardball,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told POLITICO about Jordan’s network of supporters, adding that he’s been getting calls from party chairs back in Nebraska. He added that his wife even received multiple anonymous emails and texts saying: “your husband better support Jim Jordan.”

[snip]

Rep. Carlos Gimenez (R-Fla.), who voted against Jordan on Tuesday despite outreach on Sunday, vowed after the first ballot on Tuesday that he wasn’t switching his position — ”especially now, in the light of these pressure tactics.”

”He supposedly said ‘stand down’ and they haven’t stood down. Leaders are followed,” Gimenez said, lamenting that ”some friends of mine [are] actually believing” conservative claims that he’s prepared to vote for a Democratic speaker.

Another Floridian who also opposed Jordan was more blunt: “The one thing that will never work with me — if you try to pressure me, if you try to threaten me, then I shut off,” GOP Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart said.

[snip]
One of those Jordan-friendly commentators on the right, Benny Johnson, spent the day of the speaker’s race singling out Jordan’s possible opponents. In a move that is likely to further rankle already wary Republicans, Fox News host Sean Hannity’s staff posted a list of the 20 Republicans who didn’t vote for Jordan along with their office phone numbers.

“He’s lost support because of this,” said another House Republican who was granted anonymity to discuss internal conversations, pointing to a barrage of complaints from GOP lawmakers about Jordan allies’ tactics. “Constant smears — it’s just dishonesty at its core.”

There’s not a single one of these Republicans who hasn’t benefitted from decades of similar smear campaigns from Fox News — including the very same ferocity cultivated by Sean Hannity (who yesterday claimed his bullying was mere “straight news coverage“). Almost all grew inured, then resigned, then welcomed Trump similar tactics over the last 8 years.

And those very same Republicans are deluding themselves if they believe, as Politico describes, that “Jordan has publicly avoided” this kind of “strong-arming” in recent years. He has, instead, been targeting it at people who are just as innocent of the smears as Gimenez is — people like FBI agent Tim Thibault, who was targeted as “Public Enemy #1” for a year even after busting two Democratic members of Congress and twice approving the use of partisan propagandist Peter Schweizer as an FBI source, but people who were useful targets to froth up the base. Jordan has targeted such campaigns at government itself, focusing especially on rule of law.

There’s no telling how this will end up — whether, as Politico suggests, it’ll result in an agreement to make Patrick McHenry a caretaker as Republicans try to mend their ways or whether Jordan will somehow pull this out.

But just like serial loser Donald Trump, few Republicans aside from Ken Buck will come to the conclusion that tactics designed to destroy government will eventually destroy your own governance.

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54 replies
  1. Bugboy321 says:

    It is funny, in a “watching a trainwreck” sort of way, but when you make bank on questioning the validity of elections, it’s pretty hard to actually, you know, hold an election…

  2. Ebenezer Scrooge says:

    The Republicans have long been taking a leaf from Jerry Rubin’s Yippie Party, and other destructive elements of the 1960’s. Albeit with far, far more funding.

    • Gimcrackers says:

      This is a test post to see if admin will ding me for using the wrong login. Avert your eyes.

      [Moderator’s note: Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. “Gimcrackers” with a capital G is your THIRD user name; you’ve published (3) comments as “gimcrackers” and one as “gimcrack.” Pick a name and stick with it; letter case and spacing matters.

      You want to test whether you’ll be banned for chewing up comment space and sucking up moderators’ time with this crap? Go for a fourth username. /~Rayne]

    • Rayne says:

      It *IS* a real issue. Food for economically disadvantaged kids is already riding on who will be elected speaker and when they will be elected. The entire federal budget is hanging on this.

      It may look like an inconvenient popularity contest to privileged folks but it’s not — it’s a fight for the opportunity to gatekeep all federal spending and with it the federal government and the US economy. At a minimum, not to mention outright obstruction of government to prevent further investigation into the role some members of Congress played wrt January 6.

      Do better, Eagar.

  3. Peterr says:

    In The Guardian this morning, Jeffries offers some thoughts on face eating leopards.

    One idea floated by centrist Democrats would involve temporarily expanding the powers of the acting speaker, the Republican congressman Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, to allow the House to take up urgent legislation. In addition to the proposed aid package for Israel, the House must approve some kind of stopgap funding measure by 17 November to avoid a government shutdown.

    Jeffries told reporters that he had no plans to meet with McHenry, but added: “High-level members on the Democratic side of the aisle are ready, willing and able to have those conversations.”

    Even as he hinted at a possible bipartisan path out of the current impasse, Jeffries firmly rejected the idea of elevating Jordan to the speakership.

    “I have respect for Patrick McHenry. I think he is respected on our side of the aisle,” Jeffries said. “There are a whole host of other Republicans who are respected on our side of the aisle. Jim Jordan is not one of them.”

    *snap*

    • BRUCE F COLE says:

      Is that comment by Jefferies, that McHenry is respected by Dems, gobsmacking to anyone but me? He’s McCarthy on bath salts.

      • BRUCE F COLE says:

        …or, maybe he’s trying to drive a wedge into their caucus, making the idea of a “permanent temporary Speaker” unpalatable?

        If he’s just trying to soften McHenry up for future negotiations, I can’t see that, no matter how hard I squint.

      • ToldainDarkwater says:

        I have observed that what is said for public consumption doesn’t often match up with how personal relationships and/or negotiations between Representatives or Senators shape up.

        It could be that they think McHenry is a guy who can and will bargain in good faith with them. They don’t think that’s true of Jordan. And the Speaker will very clearly have to carry out negotiations with the other branches of government.

    • GSSH-FullyReduced says:

      So Jeffries says the blue side of the isle has respect for McHenry.
      Including bluest of blues Nancy, right??!
      Just singin’ da Blues.

  4. SB317overthere says:

    I’d love to see Republicans admit what Peter Schweizer did was demonstrably worse than the ” Steele Dossier”.
    Republican opposition researcher who worked for Steve Bannon at Breitbart writes a book ( Clinton Cash) funded by Trump donors ( the Mercers ) to smear the 2016 Democratic Presidential candidate and resulted in several different FBI investigations despite Schweizer admitting he had no proof of criminal behavior.
    He then did it again with ” secret Empires ” to get Hunter.

  5. RitaRita says:

    For Jim Jordan, it may have been a huge mistake to run for the Speakership. The news media had him framed as a conservative firebrand with his trademark jacket off tough guy image, always good for Congressional hearing drama but definitely not a heavyweight. But running for the Speakership has forced the media to take him a little more seriously. October is a good month for skeletons in the closet.

    Ken Buck’s interview with Jake Tapper and team yesterday was interesting. He has not been mincing words about not wanting to put someone in as Speaker who still can’t say that Biden’s win was legitimate. Is he running for something other than remaining in the House? At a minimum, he should get the Liz Cheney Award this year for Courageous Constitutional Conservative.

    • emptywheel says:

      He’s running for a CNN gig.

      And others are making a break for it: Debbie Lesko announced her retirement yesterday too.

    • BobBobCon says:

      When Gingrich was imploding, Tom DeLay had the savvy to work out a deal where Hastert jumped over him for the title of Speaker, but DeLay controlled much of the apparatus of power in the House.

      DeLay was horrible on policy, but unlike the current dolts he knew how to count and cut deals, even deals with the devil in terms of Hastert.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Tom DeLay, with his Texas exterminator business behind him, treated every devil he encountered with the same courtesy he expected in return.

  6. rattlemullet says:

    Patrick McHenry is a tool of the financial industry, he should not be trusted to be temporary speaker. He should be nowhere near the line of succession to the presidency. They should not work with him at all. The democrats should let them flounder in their ideological stupidity until 5 of the cross the line and elect Jeffries as speaker. They should let them display their ineptness until the Republican Party can be “drowned in a bathtub”. The voting electorate needs to understand that a vote any republican is a vote for stupidity and ignorance. However I’m not sure the cult of republican voters can see past the RWNJ Wurlitzer of disinformation. 1984 is in full swing with them.

    • Tech Support says:

      Ds are not going to throw the speakership to McHenry just for kumbaya. There will have to be concessions to before Jeffries allows the Problem Solvers or whoever to push the vote over the finish line.

      While there is certainly a political windfall for allowing the GOP to twist in the wind, there are real serious consequences for the US, it’s citizens, and our partners abroad if this continues to go on for weeks or who knows how long.

      If the Ds were to decide to be the dog in the “this is fine” meme for the sole purpose of humiliating Republicans, governance be damned, I’d be pretty salty.

  7. klynn says:

    There was a series of interviews yesterday after the vote, with members who voted other than for Jordan. The interviewees were all peers on Jordan’s committees. They gave sharp, to the point, reasons for never voting for him. I cannot relocate the interviews but this quote from MSNBC’s Hayes Brown is a great summary:

    “There are three main jobs members of Congress have: writing and passing laws, providing a check and balance on the other branches, and serving their constituents. Jordan, amazingly, is bad at all three.”

    The various peer interviews just tore Jordan apart in terms of his bringing any effectual leadership. One peer called him an “air bag.” As someone from Ohio, I was in agreement. Not one action from Jordan has been for the greater good. Not one.

    The entire Hayes Brown piece is worth reading, should you need reenforcement of the reality that Jordan is a poor performing, ineffective member of congress.
    https://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/amp/rcna120819

  8. Bears7485 says:

    I am curious if these Congresspeople who get primaried for having the audacity to take a stand against Jordan and his willingness to forsake all in deference to Trump have the self-awareness to recognize what the GOP has wrought by riding the Trumpism coattails?

    I won’t be holding my breath.

    • Rugger_9 says:

      They will most likely be primaried, but it remains to be seen how much pull Defendant-1 really does have with the RWNM and the MAGA hordes. Recalling that Jordan was his candidate to keep him out of jail, one has to wonder if Defendant-1’s endorsement will be a kiss of death like it has been for several elections including 2022’s worse-than-expected showing and the special elections since then.

      • RitaRita says:

        The internal divisions among Republicans are on exhibit in the Speaker’s contest. Jordan is Trump’s surrogate and he is struggling within the caucus. The anti-Jordan group seems to be looking for a way to repudiate Trumpist chaos without confronting the big chaos agent himself.

  9. klynn says:

    Oof:

    “Jim’s been nice, one-on-one, but his broader team has been playing hardball,” Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.) told POLITICO about Jordan’s network of supporters, adding that he’s been getting calls from party chairs back in Nebraska. He added that his wife even received multiple anonymous emails and texts saying: “your husband better support Jim Jordan.”

    That last sentence. Threats sent to a wife. Were I in her shoes, I would tell my congressman husband to double down. I might also suggest my husband run for Speaker. Finally, I might REALLY double down and decide the family is moving to Ohio so I personally could run against Jordan for his seat. Go Ms. Bacon! Angie Hardison for Ohio’s 4th Congressional District!

  10. Legonaut says:

    Just watching the “Others” column hit 21 in the second Jordan vote. He’s lost support (as many predicted) with some 40 votes left to count.

    Whatever Jordan’s doing, it ain’t working.

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        Indeed!

        Annnnnnnd… Jordan face plants for the second day in a row!

        That’s gonna leave a bruise, folks!

        • RitaRita says:

          Rep. Stefanik might say that Jordan went to the mat…and was taken down and pinned in short order.

          He’s lost the double elimination round. On to the next lamb.

          • TooLoose LeTruck says:

            I wish I could say I feel sorry for the GOP…

            But I can’t… because I don’t…

            This is a moment when a ridiculous, juvenile moniker like ‘The Klown Kar Kaucus’ is appropriate…

            On the other hand, to have to the House so completely paralyzed by such a pathetic display of ineptitude at this very moment, w/ what’s happening in Ukraine and the Middle East, is both scary and dangerous…

            It funny, and not funny, at the same time…

  11. rattlemullet says:

    I see Jordan is going for a 3rd vote. He will be a three time loser. I doubt he has the courage to go for 15.

    • Leading Edge Boomer says:

      Re Rep. Gymnasiium Jordan (R-Van Heusen): “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
      —Misattributed to Albert Einstein

  12. Overt_Act says:

    Jordan has been a bomb throwing anarcho-fascist since he entered the House. That’s why he has never had a bill passed during his tenure. His only goal has been to destroy governance.
    This strain of Republican legislative anarchy predates Trump and MAGA, going back to 2010 when the Democrats lost the House after their multi-decade reign. The history of this has effectively been erased, due to a great extent to the gross incompetence of the press.
    Here is a video recounting how what was the far-out right wing fringe has come to completely define the Republican Party. For example, in 2015 Boehner, then Speaker of House, called Jordan a legislative terrorist because of his destructive legislative behavior. The hole we are in took a long time to dig, and we are not going to get out of it any time soon.

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