I call it like I see it… and I called this one right.
After initially screwing up my analysis of the Speaker race, I managed to get part two correct.
That being that I did not see a path forward for Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) as Speaker and that he would be better off pulling out and either nominating a new candidate or expanding the powers of the Speaker Pro Tem so we can pass legislation.
Time to Withdraw
Rep Don Bacon (R-NE) is among the resisters to Jordan. For Bacon, siding with Trump on the results of the 2020 election was something that he could never forgive Jordan, so he will never support him.
This is not a “maybe he can convince me,” either, but a hard “no” for Bacon.
On the first vote, Jordan got 200 ballots, then slipped back to only 199 the second time around, which led me to believe there is no path for Jordan moving forward and we need to find another candidate that all three factions of the GOP caucus will support.
Bacon came to the same conclusion, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper, “I believe he’s done. He needs to withdraw from this. He’s going to lose more votes tomorrow. I know it. I know who is going to cross over and change. He doesn’t have a pathway forward to 217.
“There’s two different reasons why. We have some in the group that worked with him going back ten years. They worked with him on appropriations, more senior folks. He’s created a lot of chaos. I’m in the other camp where I don’t like how he got here.”
Bacon added, “The straw that broke my camel’s back was when five Jordan folks said they would never vote for Steve when he won the majority. Jim was there, and he didn’t speak up, which means he is somewhat complicit.
“You can’t play a game where I’m the only guy playing by the rules and the other guy is not. It’s not American. We believe in fairness, and the law applies to everybody. That wasn’t the case with a small group of individuals here.”
The fact that Rep. Scalise (R-LA) never even got his chance of a vote really bothered me as well.
I honestly thought, as I noted at the time, that either Scalise or Jordan would get a unanimous vote, but a lot of people sat on their hands after Scalise won the first nomination.
Jordan at least backed Scalise after the vote, but he did not really talk to his supporters to do the same. Rep. McCarthy (R-CA) was basking in the glory of the resistance against Scalise, even though Scalise had been fiercely loyal to him as his Majority Leader.
The actions taken with Scalise set the table for Jordan to fail, and now we are in a position of having the majority but not being able to nominate a Speaker that everyone can agree upon.
On Thursday, Jordan canceled the scheduled third vote and announced that he would support giving more power to the Speaker Pro Tem while he either gathers more support or identifies another candidate the entire party can get behind.
It is not the ideal situation, but it is probably the best move for now. However, it should by no means be a permanent solution.
As soon as possible, they need to identify and elect a Speaker or they will be threatening the GOP's ability to keep the House in the 2024 cycle.
If they show they cannot govern, nobody will vote for them, and we suffer yet another crushing defeat when we should be absolutely crushing Democrats.