So where do the Republicans go from here? Who the heck knows? House members are headed home for the week, with Republicans reportedly looking to hold a forum for speaker candidates next Tuesday and, with a little luck, the actual election on Wednesday. Maybe by then they will have identified a unifying candidate. But don’t hold your breath. It’s not like the interparty fissures have been helped by this latest stunt.

If anything, after all this, Mr. Gaetz and his fellow disrupters are going to be more full of themselves than ever. They have done what no other rebel band has managed before. They are triumphant and empowered, which bodes very poorly for the coming speaker’s race — not to mention the future functionality of this Congress.

As for the Democrats, before the ouster vote there was much speculation that they might cut a deal with Mr. McCarthy to help him keep his fancy title. That obviously didn’t pan out when he publicly declared that he would not offer them anything. But if the Republican dysfunction going forward gets bad enough or lasts long enough, maybe Hakeem Jeffries, the Democratic leader, should consider wading into the negotiating pool — offering support for a candidate palatable to the Republican conference’s nonwingers. Provided, of course, that Mr. Jeffries’s team gets something substantive in return.

Which raises another fun question: If you were a Democratic lawmaker in a position to help the Republicans dig themselves out of this hole, what would be your price? Would you try to extract policy concessions? Political ones? What about changes to the way the House operates?

In recent days, ideas from all of these categories were whizzing around Washington as people speculated about what the Democrats might try to squeeze out of Mr. McCarthy. Some of the possibilities were largely policy-focused, such as continued military support for Ukraine — or, say, sticking with the spending levels Republicans agreed to in this summer’s debt-ceiling deal.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *