What the Hell is Going on with Kevin McCarthy and the Speaker of the House?!?

Bear McCarthy

We try to unravel the details surrounding the insanity of Rep. Kevin McCarthy stepping down from the Speaker of the House race. Also FYI, that bear is from the Freedom Caucus. How fitting.



In times like these, it’s important to keep your cool amidst all the insanity and try to unravel what actually is going on. Let the cinematic masterpiece that is Bad Boys II, show us the way.





Now that’s settled…






Ok… so here’s the chain of events.


  • Current Speaker of the House John Boehner decides to step down in late-October. Which means the House – which is currently Republican controlled – would have to pick a new GOP Speaker.

  • Current House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California looked to be the obvious pick, because he’s currently second-in-command, but that would also mean he’d have to win the acceptance of the far-right faction of the Republican Party (aka the “Freedom Caucus”), which Speaker Boehner was never quite able to do.

  • Along with Rep. McCarthy, we start to hear about other Republicans wanting to get into the fray to become the next Speaker of the House, which includes Rep. Daniel Webster of Florida and Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah. While Rep. McCarthy was still the favorite to become the next Speaker of the House, many in the far-right empathized more with Rep. Webster and Rep. Chaffetz than with Rep. McCarthy, which posed a problem, for Rep. McCarthy’s nomination.

  • The Republican Conference for GOP House members was held today to pick a nominee to bring forward for a full House vote in late-October. Some in the Freedom Caucus decided not to go with Rep. McCarthy, but with Rep. Webber.

  • Hours before the Republican Conference, out of nowhere, Rep. McCarthy stepped down from his nomination as Speaker of the House. Now the Republican Conference is postponed to figure out what the hell is actually going on.


So everyone’s question is simple.


What exactly happened? Why does Rep. McCarthy – who looked like a shoe-in for the Speakership – all of a sudden have a change of heart?


This morning there were stories saying how Rep. Boehner was even going to vote for Rep. McCarthy as the next Speaker of the House. Now, he’s not even going to stand as a nominee?? As you may have guessed, for the time being, this is causing chaos within the Republican Party. Especially when it looks like NO ONE wants the Speaker of the House job!


Yet on the question of why Rep. McCarthy stepped down from the race, Rep. Charlie Dent filled in some important details. In an interview with CNN, Rep. Dent says Rep. McCarthy withdrew because he wouldn’t have won the majority at the Republican Conference.


This actually makes sense if you were to think about it. Rep. McCarthy was looked at as the “establishment pick” by many in the Freedom Caucus. To them, Rep. McCarthy was no different than Rep. Boehner, who they had trouble seeing eye-to-eye on in many issues. While in the general House vote, Rep. McCarthy would have had the 218 votes to gain Speakership; it would’ve had to come from the Democrats.


Now think about that. As a GOP Speaker that says he wants to heal and “unify the party”, how would’ve that looked if you needed moderate Democrats to become Speaker in a GOP controlled Congress!!


We all know the answer to that.




The Republican Party would have looked in disarray going into an election year where people decide on a new non-incumbent president! For Rep. McCarthy, the only smart move here would be to step down from the race or gravely hurt his party. Which as a “party establishment” guy, he wasn’t going to hurt the GOP brand.


While there are some in the media that are suggesting that moderate Republicans and moderate Democrats from House just ignore the Freedom Caucus and pick a moderate Speaker of the House from the Republican Party. While in theory this all sounds nice, there’s only one reaction to that suggestion.


the simpsons laughing




This is DC politics! Do you seriously think this the Republican Party is going to give that image of a party so divided that they can’t even choose a Speaker of the House, when they CONTROL CONGRESS???


So the question now becomes, what now?


To be honest, no one really knows. To our knowledge, Rep. Webster and Rep. Chaffetz are still in the running for Speakership, but except for the Freedom Caucus, no one’s really hot for either of the two candidates.


There’s Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin that both the Freedom Caucus and the GOP Establishment seem to like, so why not him? Well… he doesn’t want the job. Rep. Ryan is a policy wonk and Speakership is essentially a management job. You can see why he wants no part of that shit show.


It’s hard to say what will happen next. But it’s important to remember, Congress still has a budget to pass come mid-December. So whatever the GOP has to figure out, they have to do it soon!


Till then, all you can really say to them is…




(Photo and Video Credits: repkevinmccarthy Instagram, Google Images, YouTube)


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  1. Pingback: Who the Hell Is… Paul Ryan | The Post Turtle

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