The party that controls the House of Representatives is the party charged with making it work—or governing, as some might put it. And House Democrats staunchly told Republicans Tuesday they must sink or swim on their own.
Specifically, as Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy faced a potential ouster by MAGA misfits in his own party, Democrats told him to pound sand. They wouldn’t bail him out—not even the moderate Democratic members of the so-called Problem Solvers Caucus.
According to CNN's Melanie Zanona, centrist Democrats told Republicans in their bipartisan group early on Tuesday that they wouldn't rescue McCarthy.
McCarthy needed a total of 214 votes to save his job as speaker—meaning he couldn’t lose more than a handful of his own members, or else he would need Democrats to help make up the difference.
But instead of helping McCarthy out of the corner he negotiated himself into when he seized the gavel by putting himself one disgruntled misfit away from being vacated, Democrats called on moderate Republicans to reject the MAGA extremists who constantly threaten to sink the economy, the country, and democracy itself with stunts like allowing a catastrophic debt default and rooting for government shutdowns.
“We are ready, willing and able to work together with our Republican colleagues, but it is on them to join us,” Democratic Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries told reporters Tuesday after an hours-long meeting with his caucus.
As former Republican Rep. David Jolly of Florida told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, McCarthy repeatedly proved to Democrats that he couldn’t be a trusted partner by breaking his promises, routinely demonizing Democrats, launching an impeachment inquiry into President Biden, and refusing to participate in the Jan. 6 investigation last Congress when he was the minority leader.
“He did everything to remind Democrats that Kevin McCarthy, though he walks around with a smile, is really no different than the leading hard-right Republicans like Jim Jordan,” Jolly said.
The cohesive Democratic stand against rescuing Republicans from the MAGA hostage takers who run their caucus and terrorize the country is both good politics for Democrats and good governance for the country.
First and foremost, MAGA maniacs shouldn't be in charge of any legislative chamber when they have demonstrated zero interest in doing The People’s business of governing.
Second, and equally as important, Americans must be allowed to witness and experience the dysfunction of a Republican Party in thrall to MAGA maniacs. This is what voters get if they put the Republican Party in charge of anything—even if they cast their vote for a supposedly sane Republican.
Remember, former Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi governed the 117th Congress with a razor-thin House majority too. But Pelosi kept the lights on and passed a historic amount of legislation, directing tens of billions of dollars to bills addressing COVID relief, infrastructure improvements, American manufacturing, and battling climate change.
As former Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia, a onetime rising GOP star, told MSNBC of the spectacle on the House floor, "This is a very sad day for the institution. This is what MAGA has done, both to the country and to the institution."
Comstock said she was sad for the Republican Party, and added, "but I'm even more sad for the institution and for the country."