Dems Make Their Offer: Nothing

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The different parties are lining up on this Speakership showdown. House Democrats position appears unanimous and categorical. No help for McCarthy whatsoever. Every member of the caucus will vote to oust McCarthy.

A couple points.

Point One: If you’re wondering, yes, I’m a bit less clear how McCarthy holds on with the news of the morning. It’s not this move by the Dems. I assumed that. It’s the moves inside the GOP caucus. All that said, I don’t think the big picture has changed. Once Gaetz and co oust McCarthy they need to replace him with someone else. The House is frozen in place until there is a new Speaker. For the reasons I’ve outlined over the last couple days I think it will be extremely difficult for Republicans to get to unanimity minus four for any other potential speaker. The biggest backstop for McCarthy is the undeniable fact that ousting McCarthy means a big, big increase in power for Gaetz and his faction of the Freedom Caucus.

Point Two: The Democrats’ decision shouldn’t surprise us. In parliamentary terms, this is how it’s supposed to work. If a parliamentary leader can’t command a majority he loses power. The ability to command that majority is the basis of being a parliamentary leader. It’s also easy to forget just how much ill-will McCarthy has courted from the Dems. By any objective measure McCarthy’s Speakership and Speakership-in-Waiting have been an absolutely scorched earth march against the Democrats. This gets obscured by people saying, not unreasonably, that he’s had little choice. But it’s still totally scorched earth.

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