61

The Guardian in the UK reports that:

eight hard-right Republicans joined 208 Democrats in supporting McCarthy’s removal

So it was really the Democrats who ousted McCarthy. But McCarthy seemed as sympathetic to the Democrats as any speaker is likely to be, and his replacement is likely to be further to the right, so it seems an odd thing for the Democrats to do. Do they have some genuine reason or were they just trying to embarrass the Republicans and highlight the factional infighting?

5
  • 7
    Related about why Dems let McCarthy's election run to so many votes in the first place. politics.stackexchange.com/questions/77528/…
    – Jontia
    Oct 4, 2023 at 13:54
  • CNN's answer to this question can be found at cnn.com/2023/10/05/politics/house-speaker-chaos-what-matters/…
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 5, 2023 at 17:32
  • 4
    The answers will say that Democrats are playing 4D-Chess and winning in an optics game, but don't forget that all these answers are written by Democrats who like politics and therefore tend to inflate the value of those optics games. Swing voters are generally not into politics, and are largely unaffected by the optics games. The few who are actually affected, generally forget all of it by the next election. Ultimately, Democrats gain nothing in practical terms; they just had to pick one between 'yay' or 'nay'.
    – user3165
    Oct 6, 2023 at 12:50
  • 2
    @AxiomaticNexus Are there no answers from non-Democrats?
    – nasch
    Oct 6, 2023 at 15:29
  • Half a year later one can say that while "McCarthy seemed as sympathetic" the next speaker wasn't that antypathetic either. I guess it means that looks can be deceptive, although Democrats probably cannot have known that back then with certainty I think. Apr 21 at 20:20

7 Answers 7

89

Question #1

So it was really the Democrats who ousted McCarthy.

Short Answer

No, the Democrats weren't responsible but they did seem to enjoy the spectacle.

Answer

It was clearly the 8 out of 221 Republicans who ousted McCarthy. A Republican issued the vacate motion, triggering the floor vote. 8 Republicans denied him his party's majority support. His ousting falls on them, because without them Kevin McCarthy would still be speaker.

The conservative news media know who's at fault.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican and psycho killer, led the smallest caucus in Congress this week across the aisle and into the lap of Democrats.

Other Media:

The Democrats never voted for McCarthy in the first place; it's not a responsibility of the minority party to keep the majority's officers in place. Kevin McCarthy's position was always dependent on his party's majority, as is every speaker. Kevin McCarthy's majority was smaller and more fractured than most. His days were numbered the moment he allowed a motion to vacate rule with a single vote into the rules of his Congress. That was among the many conditions the Matt Gaetz / Jim Jordan faction wanted, and they always planned to use it. They said as much when they got it.

Really, Kevin McCarthy has only himself to blame. In order to get the support of the "Freedom Caucus" initially, he had to buy them off, and in doing so he gave them the gun they used on him. He gave them important committee chairmanships, a pledge not to work across the aisle with Democrats, and the power to vacate his office over a single vote. These concessions gave the "Freedom Caucus" power which far exceeded their coalition's support and, it appears, competence. Kevin McCarthy needed to do that to get into the speakership, and once having done so he would never get to hold his office for very long.

Question:

What did the Democrats have to gain by ousting Kevin McCarthy?

Short Answer

When your opponent is shooting himself in the foot, don't interfere. Loosely based on a 19th century Napoleon Quote.

Answer

The Democrats have a lot to gain. I guess the main thing the Democrats decided was, they could do better than Kevin McCarthy.

  1. After Jan 6th Kevin McCarthy said President Trump was responsible for the deadly riots. But then Kevin McCarthy visits trump and changes his mind.
  2. House GOP leader McCarthy opposes 9/11-style (bipartisan) commission on Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
  3. Kevin McCarthy gave 41,000 hours of capital surveillance video to Tucker Carlson who cherry picked a few minutes of the tapes and claimed Jan 6 wasn't a riot.
  4. Many Democrats agree with historian and former editor of Politico Garrett M. Graph who said "no single figure is more to blame for the 'rehabilitation' of Trump post-1/6 than McCarthy. His utter lack of honor and courage will be the defining thread of McCarthy’s story in history (see The GOP clownshow rolls on).
  5. The President Biden impeachment witch hunt.

a. Donald Trump was investigating Biden 4 years ago, which was what his first impeachment was about. Manufacturing evidence against Biden.

Impeachment inquiry transcripts reveal shock and concern over Trump plot

Two senior American diplomats warned congressional investigators a White House plot to manufacture political dirt on Joe Biden in Ukraine had undermined US national security interests and shredded faith among foreign service personnel, according to transcripts released on Monday by committees pursuing an impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump.

b. Speaker McCarthy at the beginning of 2023 authorized three important House committees to conduct nearly a 9 month investigation into Joe Biden. Each of which Found nothing.

i. House Oversight and Accountability Committee

Republicans Fail to Find Any Evidence of Wrongdoing by President Biden in Floundering Biden Family Probe

ii. House Judiciary Committee

Republican Congressman Accidentally Admits There’s No Proof of Biden Corruption

Representative Nick Langworthy tried to defend Republicans’ Biden investigation, and ended up rejecting their main talking point instead.

iii. Ways and Means Committee

Republican congressman struggles to answer questions about allegations Biden influenced the Justice Department Jason Smith, the Ways and Means Committee chair, was asked to explain how documents provided by his panel showed evidence of wrongdoing or a two-tiered justice system.

c. Sept 1, 2023, Speaker Kevin McCarthy pledges not to open impeachment inquiry without Congressional vote.

McCarthy says he won’t open impeachment inquiry without House vote

d. Sept 12, 2023, Speaker McCarthy opens an impeachment inquiry on his own authority without Congressional approval

Speaker McCarthy directs the House to open an impeachment inquiry into President Biden without a house vote

With no evidence of any wrong doing turning up after 9 months of three important committee investigations into President Biden. Kevin McCarthy in a bid to gain support from the Freedom Caucus decides to publicly announce an impeachment inquiry with no charges and give it to the same 3 Freedom Caucus chaired committees?

Sept. 28, 2023, House GOP’s impeachment witnesses say there's no evidence yet that Biden committed a crime

Conclusion: House Democrats have reasons to believe Kevin McCarthy isn't someone they can work with. That he is an political extremist ideologue / hack, demonstrated by their previous experiences with him. That Democrats can hope for better.


What else do Democrats get?

Most Republicans supported Kevin McCarthy. Matt Gaetz and the other 7 Republicans who ousted Kevin McCarthy aren't all that popular now among their Republican peers.

Jim Jordan, Matt's spiritual compass, is now running for speaker. I'm guessing the 200 Republicans who voted with Kevin McCarthy will not support Jim Jordan for speaker. So ultimately, the more mainstream Republicans will either have to get down on their knees and bow before the clown car wing of their party, which I think is unlikely, or they will propose a more acceptable option from their faction. Then the Democrats will support that guy. And he will probably need their support too, because the "Freedom Caucus" seems unwilling to compromise.

So beyond someone better for the office, the Democrats now get to expose the dysfunction inside the Republican party, as we repeat the embarrassing 15 rounds of votes it took to place Kevin McCarthy in the speakership in the first place. Their demonstration will be: not only can't the Republicans perform the core function of governance, funding the government, they can't even elect their own leadership.

Politico: The rudderless GOP careens toward 2024

Kevin McCarthy’s undoing underscores a bigger problem — the inability to govern itself — that risks imperilling the party’s chances in 2024.

This time it might be longer than 15 rounds of votes to elect a new leader, as there is no consensus candidate among the Republican majority to start with. So the entire Republican majority will be tainted by a handful of over-empowered extremists, over and over and over again on world-wide TV. Remember it's likely that, after 5-10-15-20+ painful rounds of votes, it will still be the Democrats who will get to play the heroes and decide the next speaker. It's either that, or the "Freedom Caucus" would have to accept someone from the Republican majority, or the majority of Republicans will have to accept a freedom caucus member. Both rather unlikely near-term options.

The Nail in Kevin McCarthy's Coffin

Kevin McCarthy went on the Sunday morning talk shows after the Democrats helped him pass the 45 day continuing resolution on Saturday. On the shows, Kevin McCarthy blamed the Democrats for trying to defeat the continuing resolution. It was an unfathomable statement which even the shows' hosts protested, on air. 90 Republicans voted against the Saturday continuing resolution, 1 Democrat did so. I'm guessing Kevin McCarthy was trying to avoid the vacate motion which had not yet been issued by throwing the "Freedom Caucus" some red meat.

Prior to deciding whether to support Kevin McCarthy in the vacate motion, Democrats played the tapes of these recent statements by Kevin McCarthy along with reviewing a long list of other grievances with the speaker. It was decided that the Democrats could do better than Kevin McCarthy.

Kevin McCarthy's 'original sin': What drove the House speaker's historic downfall.

Inside their closed-door meeting Tuesday (just before the vote to vacate), Democrats watched video of McCarthy’s interview Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” in which he trashed their party as having egged on a shutdown, even though it provided the bulk of votes to keep the government open. Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., called it “a huge misstep” that clarified the thinking of fence-sitting Democrats. “One of the most stupid things somebody could do on the eve of your survival vote,” he said.


From Comments:

Can we stop with the clown car analogy? Clowns are neither incompetent nor evil, the GOP is both.

The analogy is definitely present. I thought about removing that, but they aren't my words. Those are the words newspapers, journalists and Congressmen, including GOP congressmen are using to describe the GOP. That expression is part of the story.

Congress isn't going to get anything done until the GOP works this out. They aren't going to work it out until they realize how much damage they're doing to themselves. At least we're not backed up against defaulting on the national debt like we were last time they tried to shutdown the government, that was the scary clown with a knife to the throat of the nation. Shutting down the government now, while political suicide prior to the 2024 election, it's not akin to defaulting on the national debt.

5
  • What is the "the impeachment witch hunt"? I've heard that phrase before, but probably not referring to the same situation. At this point, there are three different potential impeachments you could be talking about. Oct 6, 2023 at 14:34
  • 1
    @WaterMolecule, A witch hunt is when you look for something which isn't there. It comes from George Orwell who used the expression to describe an investigation in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. I was referring to the republicans failure to wait for any evidence of wrong doing prior to opening their impeachment inquiry into President Biden. It's kind of like what state GOPrs are doing in Wisconsin. They have opened an impeachment inquiry against an elected state Supreme Court judge prior to her ever having ruled on a case. (Janet Protasiewicz). Her election flipped the majority to Dems.
    – user47010
    Oct 6, 2023 at 18:50
  • For item #5, you may want to indicate the target of the impeachment directly in the item's title (you explain it below the item, but the formatting issues make it somewhat hard to follow, and given the obnoxiously frequent abuse of the term "witch hunt" by you-know-who, I think clarity is required in that item's title). Oct 7, 2023 at 11:41
  • 2
    " it's not a responsibility of the minority party to keep the majority's officers in place." -- do the Democrats not have a responsibility to keep the most cooperative chair possible? Even if it has to be a republican they still should aim to get the most left-leaning republican they can find. If McCarthy's replacement is less cooperative then they would have shot themselves in the foot Oct 7, 2023 at 15:38
  • 3
    @SidharthGhoshal Less cooperative than what, precisely? McCarthy has been an obstructive ass to the Dems from pretty much day one. Oct 7, 2023 at 15:42
66

Why would a Democrat vote for McCarthy?

  • McCarthy is not from their party; Democrats are not normally inclined to vote for Republican speakers
  • McCarthy single-handedly opened an impeachment investigation on a Democratic president, against current House rules, in contradiction to McCarthy's own previous statements, and without any evidence of wrong-doing
  • McCarthy actively and vocally opposed Democratic agendas, and enabled the most radical members of his caucus
  • McCarthy tried to leverage both a debt default and a government shutdown for partisan advantages

McCarthy (so far as I can tell) offered Democrats no incentive to vote for him, and gave them lots of reasons not to. Well, aside from offering McCarthy pity votes, I suppose…

Republicans have a majority in the House. They shouldn't need to depend on Democrats to elect a speaker of their choosing, and if they do need to do so they should be ready and willing to offer Democrats compromises and considerations for the favor. The problem is that the GOP is no longer a single party. The GOP is now two distinct parties — Republicans and Trumpists — formed into a de facto coalition government, all within a two-party system that doesn't support coalition governments. Trumpists are too small a minority to accomplish anything on their own, but just numerous enough to monkey-wrench the coalition whenever they feel like it. And they seem to feel like it a lot.

2
  • "The GOP is now two distinct parties — Republicans and Trumpists — formed into a de facto coalition government". In no way is there a "coalition government". The government is the executive branch. It is not a coalition, it is Democrat. The 2 houses invent way to come to compromises, but in no way do any of the houses govern.
    – MasB
    Oct 9, 2023 at 14:50
  • @MasB: The House and the Senate (ostensibly) write laws, pass budgets, and set national priorities. The Executive branch (ostensibly) merely 'executes' what the Legislative branch sets in motion. So the seat of government (ostensibly) is Congress, not the Presidency. The US may have taken a dictatorial turn over the last 20+ years, with more and more power being poured into the Presidency and Congress locked into inaction by endless partisan obstructionism, but that is an illness in the system, not a feature of it. Oct 9, 2023 at 15:46
31

The current dispute over the speaker position makes the Republicans look like they are incompetent, out of control, at war with each other, and unable to perform even the basic functions of government. Even Fox News agrees that this is the case. At the risk of stating the obvious, this situation almost exclusively benefits the Democrats. As Democrat Representative Primalya Jayapal said before the vote:

As much as many people here would like to make this a Democrat problem, it's a Republican problem. They supposedly have the majority and should be able to choose their own speaker. We have our our [candidate for] speaker, Hakeem Jeffries.

They are thinking (with great justification) that any problems resulting from this (including a possible future government shutdown) will be blamed on the Republicans. It's conceivable that if the chaos continues the Democrats may be able to strike a deal with 5 or more Republicans to pass temporary government funding on terms that make them look good.

TLDR: Chaos in the Republican party is good for Democrats.

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  • 6
    "....this situation only benefits the Democrats..." Does it? People may ask why the US Congress is in such a dysfunctional state, not even being able to work during a time when a shutdown looms. Surely, they might blame Republicans mostly, but maybe also a little bit Democrates for not giving in to the right-wing demands (for the sake of the greater good). Not saying people should do this, just saying that some might come to this conclusion. Chaos isn't always good. Simply compare it to a working Congress. Oct 4, 2023 at 17:29
  • 9
    @NoDataDumpNoContribution "The greater good" would be to finally stop the Trumpists from yanking the GOP's chain (and the GOP from tolerating this circus in their ranks to continue). The Democrats are, basically by design, trying to appeal to the more intellectually gifted among the Republican's electorate for swing votes, not the right wing... bottom line, this is the two-party system of the US showing its hard limits. I think that, in the long run, this is where evolution has to happen -- and I fear for the stability of the US on its way to that evolution...
    – DevSolar
    Oct 5, 2023 at 8:52
  • @DevSolar But on the other hand can the Republicans not sort out their problems on their own? What have Democrats to do with it? There is certainly no obligation to vote for a Republican speaker if the moderate Republicans do not have a majority by themselves. In the same way Democrats could suggest that some Republicans may vote for their candidate as speaker. What have moderate Republicans to gain from not voting for Democrat speaker candidates is the same question as here, only reversed. Oct 5, 2023 at 11:07
  • 3
    @NoDataDumpNoContribution Note that you are still arguing two-party, when the actual reality of US politics is, and has been for some time, at least a three-party affair, with Republicans and Tea-Party / "Freedom Caucus" / whatever forming a coalition of kinds, for which the whole US political system is not prepared. It needs to be made explicit that there are 3+ major factions. The Republicans, at the middle of it all, would actually benefit the most from this, because it would allow them to not get hanged together with the right wing (allowing for, e.g., a coalition with the Democrats).
    – DevSolar
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:06
15

Hard to say what their real reasons might be, but regarding McCarthy even though he agreed with them on the continuing resolution, they apparently could not forgive him other stuff:

Democrats blasted McCarthy for going back on his word in the debt ceiling agreement and advancing a series of spending bills at far lower levels. But it didn’t end there. McCarthy’s handling of Saturday, his last-minute decision to put a bill on the floor that kept the government open without giving Democrats the courtesy or time to read the bill and then forcing them to use procedural tactics to do so, became a major point of tension.

“A lot of it comes down to the budget agreement during the debt ceiling,” one member in the meeting said.

McCarthy’s comments this morning on CNBC that he wouldn’t cut a deal with Democrats was another major issue for Democrats. They were never going to save McCarthy for free.

“He just doesn’t keep his word. It is a habit for Kevin to just say things. It undermined what some of us had been leaving open that there could be some exchange. Not only did Kevin say this morning he wouldn’t do that, even if he were to, most people couldn’t trust what he said anyway,” the person said.

Other Democrats said they resented him for walking back his commitments on the Jan 6 investigation and the impeachment inquiry on Biden. Also, some Democrats still seem to entertain the possibility that a more bipartisan speaker might emerge, even if they describe that as a "long shot".

Finally, although this comes from a columnist rather than a Congressperson, another possible motivation is that exposing the inability of the Republicans to make use of their nominal majority (due to internal factions) would perhaps drive some swing voters/districts away from them, in the next elections.

2
  • As for whom to blame for his ouster, if we're going to be deferential to what McCarthy himself said, he equally blamed the Democrats and Gaetz & co. edition.cnn.com/videos/politics/2023/10/03/… Oct 4, 2023 at 23:15
  • 4
    This answer doesn't quite say it, but the underlying point from all these examples is that McCarthy didn't even ask Democrats to support him, and instead took actions wildly incompatible with getting Democratic support, such as saying he wouldn't make any deal with them and relying on Democratic votes to pass a spending bill while trying to refuse to give Democrats time to read the bill first. Oct 5, 2023 at 21:57
9

Well, the top voted answer seems well enough on point:

TLDR: Chaos in the Republican party is good for Democrats.

The Democrats have successfully embarrassed the Republicans and gotten rid of a Speaker they had ample reason to dislike. They've exposed the rabid unreasonableness of folks like Gaetz and Taylor-Greene. Big wins.

What the Democrats haven't apparently cared all that much about is, you know, the effect on the country as a whole.

Consider this:

  • McCarthy's, sin of sins, that of compromising to keep the government running, only lasts for 45 days. Now, a good deal of those days may very well be dedicated to - has to be, by procedure, dedicated to finding a replacement Speaker. Clock is ticking.

For all his faults, Mr McCarthy overcame thin margins during his time in office. In June he managed to raise the debt ceiling, to avoid unnecessarily forcing a default. Then, on September 30th, he pushed through a last-minute bipartisan deal to delay a costly government shutdown. The next speaker may find the job more difficult still, even without the same baggage that some in the unruly Republican Party felt that Mr McCarthy carried.

The immediate task will be funding the government. The deal to avert a shutdown keeps the government going only until November 17th. Without quick action, Mr McCarthy’s replacement will be overseeing a shutdown after a few weeks on the job. The gaping divide between moderate Republicans and hardliners, particularly in the House Freedom Caucus, will not go away simply because a fresh face is running the conference.

  • Not everyone is as thrilled as the Democrats:

By helping to squash the challenge to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, Democrats could save Congress from a lot of wasted time – time that's needed to, you know, govern.

If McCarthy is removed, another speaker has to be chosen. Does anyone remember the last time this question was before the House? It took four days in January to elect McCarthy to the speakership because of the fractures in the GOP. It was the most protracted vote for speaker since the mid-1800s.

The first time US debt was downgraded by another major credit rating agency, S&P, came in 2011. Even though lawmakers were able to reach an 11th-hour deal to stave off defaulting on debt, S&P felt the discourse was so substantial that it called into question the trustworthiness of government when it came to paying its bills on time.

The S&P move had tremendous market impacts, leading to steep stock market declines and rising bond yields.

Fitch reached the same conclusion in August, downgrading US debt from AAA to AA+. The move triggered a stock market sell off and pushed the 10-year Treasury yield to what was then its highest level since November. But it wasn’t long before markets recovered those losses.

Since then, all eyes have turned to Moody’s, which has maintained a AAA rating of US debt since 1917.

A Moody’s downgrade could cause yields on Treasury notes to spike even higher, underscoring the increased risks associated with holding US debt. That would increase the cost of borrowing money since banks and other lenders often base interest rates on US bond yields.

Now, I could very well be eating my words in 6 weeks about this point of view. It could very well be that the House gets its house in order and governs effectively. A better speaker than McCarthy - not a high bar, in theory - could emerge and lead a more bipartisan half of Congress. The spending drama may not materialize. Gaetz and Taylor-Greene may be marginalized.

Alternatively, the next Republican Speaker, because he will be Republican, may very well have been confirmed that any aisle crossing will be the kiss of death from his loonie fringe, while the Democrats will "stand on principles". I find it hard to understand how the most powerful elected Republican official getting successfully ousted by a third rate Sophomore congressman is supposed to lessen the power of Republican extremists myself.

Naively, I would think that the Dems, who can't get a Speaker since they don't have enough votes, would pick a "least worst" Speaker from the Republican camp. This seems obvious to me now, but it the same calculations also applied during McCarthy's initial election a while back (among other things they might have avoided that 1-vote, 1-expulsion procedure concession McCarthy made and gets criticized for).

Didn't have to be "the Democrats" either, only half a dozen congressfolk were needed in this case. I seem to recall that's how government is supposed to work, compromising and getting things done.

But in the meantime the Democrats certainly have shown they are no pushovers!

0
9

This is a really weird framing. The Democrats voted for their leader to become Speaker of the House, just like they always have before. There's noting at all unusual about that, and we'd only require an explanation if they did something else.

Recall back in January there were 15 house floor votes before a speaker was decided upon by a majority vote. In all 15 of those votes, all 212 Democrats unanimously voted for their leader, Hakim Jeffries, to become speaker. Here's what the final (15th) vote looked like:

enter image description here

In fact, McCarthy never really had the majority of House votes required to become speaker. His Republican detractors eventually just started voting "present" to lower the amount of total actual votes cast to a level where his 216 he could get was enough.

As far as that unified Democratic vote, this is typical parliamentary behavior out of the minority party, and can be counted on. In fact, it was counted on by Gaetz and his crew, which is how they got so many concessions out of McCarthy for their abstention, including that sword-of-damocles provision that one person could initiate a vote to oust the Speaker.

The prediction at the time was that McCarthy's tenure wasn't going to last past the first time he did something that Gaetz or one of the other dissident Republicans didn't like. Since one of their demands initially was that he induce another one of the periodic Republican debt-ceiling government shutdowns, speculation was the next time the debt ceiling was reached (at the time predicted to be this summer) was likely when it would happen. Turned out we made it an extra month or two, but otherwise the predictions were dead on.

There was absolutely no reason to expect the Democratic caucus to vote any differently this vote than they did in the previous 15 that were held ten months ago, or than the opposition party voted in any other such vote in the previous 236 years of the Republic. Giving them credit for what happened when Gaetz decided to cut loose his sword makes about as much sense as listing the cause of death of someone who jumped off a high-rise roof as "gravity".

-3

Within the last month there was an impeachment trial in the legislature of Texas for its attorney general. As you can imagine, Republicans dominate this legislative body, and these Republicans ultimately acquitted the attorney general. So why the trial? The Democrats in Texas back the Republican Speaker candidate most sympathetic to Democrats. After observing the Democratic Party's political gains in Texas on the heels of this impeachment trial, the Democrats are looking to generalize the pattern from Texas in Congress. The Democrats believed that they could form a coalition with the softer Republicans in Congress to select a more Democrat-sympathetic Speaker. The temporary Speaker, I understand, is a close associate to McCarthy, so judging by how he threw Nancy Pelosi out of her cushy office space, I suspect that the Democrats may have miscalculated.

6
  • 5
    I don't agree with your last sentence : McHenry (the Speaker pro tem) was selected by McCarthy as a spare wheel, his holding the position likely won't have any relevance beyond office management or slamming the gavel on his desk. His choice is not any indication of who will be the next actual speaker - there's no reason to believe the Dems will have a gain in that, but no reason yet to think their move backfired. Oct 4, 2023 at 22:37
  • @Gouvernathor, my point is that McCarthy are pulling the temporary Speaker's strings. McCarthy retaliated against Nancy Pelosi. This signals that the Republican establishment will be holding a grudge against the Democrats. This is not consistent with the coalition building that you would expect if they were turning outward to the Democrats.
    – popham
    Oct 4, 2023 at 22:42
  • Sure, McCarthy is bitter, but the fact that he is not running again is a signal that his views may not be shared with the rest of the "Republican establishment" as you put it, or I would say the majority of the republican house conference. McHenry is a friend of McCarthy, but who knows what motivated his actions, and if it were McCarthy's sentiments, whether they are shared. The Dems' plan is basically a coalition Speaker, that's not dead in the water yet - certainly not because of McHenry's marks of bitterness at least. Oct 4, 2023 at 22:49
  • 7
    It should be noted that this replacement choice was chosen when McCarthy became the speaker not when it was decided he was getting removed. Also with regards to Pelosi's office there is talk that it was done more to give that office to McCarthy then as revenge.
    – Joe W
    Oct 4, 2023 at 23:27
  • 1
    @Barmar That is a lot of speculation at the motives of McCarthy as picking a secret list of succors required after 9-11 and the person he picked is in line with who would normally get picked as it was a strong supporter.
    – Joe W
    Oct 5, 2023 at 12:43

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