We are heading for a government shutdown, and besides it being solely based upon Republican dysfunction and bad faith, it will be also happen because Kevin McCarthy is too cowardly and stupid to take the only path open to him. To wit, McCarthy will have to be saved by the Democrats. Now, this is the part where media nitwits will clamor for Democrats to cave to Republicans to prevent a government shutdown. However, House Democrats are not in the mood to capitulate. They had a deal with McCarthy, and a deal is a deal. If McCarthy wants to keep his speakership, House Democrats have a list of new demands for any political lifelines they throw to McCarthy. And the price is extremely steep.
The terms are entirely reasonable from a Democratic perspective though.
House Minority Whip Katherine Clark has floated a list of demands:
A top House Democrat suggested that members of her caucus could vote against a motion to boot House Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his job. But the price for that vote is probably too steep for him to accept.
In a podcast interview with POLITICO, Rep. Katherine Clark of Massachusetts was asked what it would take for Democrats to bail out the top Republican as he faces the ongoing threat of a "motion to vacate" vote from Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida…
"We want to get disaster aid out, we want to continue our support for Ukraine, and we want them to end this sham of an impeachment inquiry," said Clark. "If Kevin McCarthy chooses to... get back to work for the American people, to do the right thing, we're going to be there to, you know, meet and compromise with him."
Emphasis is mine.
I will lose income because of a government shutdown (I work for the Census Bureau), but I must say I like how Congresswoman Clark thinks. Watching McCarthy squirm on that particular demand would be delightful. But it also signals that Democrats are not going to meet McCarthy half way as he fuckin’ reneges on the debt ceiling deal.
This was backed up by Congressman Jim Clyburn on MSNBC last night. Clyburn repeated that Democrats already had a bipartisan deal with McCarthy, and he was breaking his word. And because of McCarthy’s duplicity, Clyburn stated that Democrats might vote for a CR, IF MCCARTHY COULD GUARANTEE 200 OF HIS OWN CAUCUS VOTING FOR IT. Clyburn repeated that number of Republicans for any further negotiations with regards to McCarthy keeping his job.
Basically, Democrats are stating that McCarthy must corral a lot Republicans before any movement from House Democrats. And the price of Democrats helping McCarthy will be high. In other words, the Freedom Caucus will get hosed if Democrats help McCarthy. And frankly, I think Democrats should hold out for abandoning any Biden impeachment.
Now, how will this end? I’m betting that it will be the end of McCarthy’s so called speakership. If Democrats in any way help McCarthy and extract concessions, Republicans will throw him to the hungry mob called the Republican base. It’s why most predict that McCarthy will not be able to accept any help from the Democrats.
Besides, even House progressives have stated that they would vote to throw McCarthy out:
Meanwhile, several progressive Democrats told Insider recently that if the vote comes up, they'd gladly vote to tank McCarthy.
"I mean, if that vote comes up, I'll vote to vacate," Rep. Maxwell Frost of Florida said last week. "I think Kevin McCarthy is a horrible speaker."
I don’t see a way out of government shutdown. The only question is for how long will they end up hurting me directly and everyone else indirectly? They way out depends upon isolating the Freedom Caucus, and the other House Republicans, for now, will not shaft members of their own “tribe.”