Pelosi Gives McCarthy A Good Ol’ Thumping And The DC Press Is Very Confused

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 03: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
July 22, 2021 7:28 a.m.

A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things.

It’s Not the Size Of The Gavel …

A flurry of moves and countermoves over the Jan. 6 select committee left the DC political press badly exposed.

  • Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of two of Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the committee was such a power move that McCarthy et al. could only sputter at an afternoon news conference.
  • The GOP had already succeeded in avoiding any kind of Jan. 6 reckoning via an independent commission, but Pelosi’s move kept them from turning the select committee into a Jim Jordan clown show.
  • Pelosi’s checkmate gave McCarthy few options: In one fell swoop, she delegitimized the 3 remaining McCarthy picks AND whomever he picked to replace her two rejections.

The DC political press has Stockholm syndrome when it comes to the GOP’s aggressive use of power. So it’s as if political reporters can’t quite process Democratic power moves (which are rarer) as anything other than a GOP win.

Get TPM in your inbox, twice weekly.
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.
No matter Pelosi’s reasoning, her decision to reject Jordan and Banks, the two most high-profile Republicans put forward by McCarthy, dooms even the possibility of the committee being perceived as bipartisan or its eventual findings being seen as independent.
  • It’ll make you crazy, if you let it:

The journalistic pearl-clutching over bipartisanship looked especially silly after Liz Cheney – a Republican Pelosi herself appointed to the Jan. 6 committee! – convened a press conference on the Capitol steps (nice symbolism):

  • Cheney applauded Pelosi’s move.
  • Then she just let it rip, saying McCarthy isn’t fit to be speaker:

Jan. 6: The Big Picture

Biden is saying the right things about Jan. 6: “I don’t care if you think I’m Satan reincarnate, the fact is you can’t look at that television and say, nothing happened on the 6th.”

But as we sit here on July 22, the only people charged with trying to overturn the 2020 election are the low-level followers who stormed the Capitol:

It’s Still Happening

A “constitutionalist” sheriff in Michigan has launched his own investigation of bogus 2020 election fraud claims.

We’ve Entered The GOP Hostage-Taking Phase

The procedural maneuvering in the Senate this week over infrastructure is a bad proxy for policy and politics. It doesn’t tell us much. But stepping back a bit, we should assume the GOP is pulling out the same old playbook until it proves otherwise:

  • Delay, Delay, Delay? Check. The GOP blocked the bipartisan infrastructure plan that has been the focal point of the delay strategy.
  • Negotiate Dems Down, Then Walk Away? So far so good. Even the Republicans who have expressed support for a bipartisan bill refuse to commit to it.
  • Debt Ceiling Redux!  Now Mitch McConnell is threatening to blow up the whole thing over the debt ceiling he forgot about for the last four years.

Biden On The Filibuster

This may be the clearest distillation of Biden’s rationale for not forcing a confrontation over the filibuster, from last night’s CNN town hall:

There’s no reason to protect it other than you’re going to throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done, nothing at all will get done. And there’s a lot at stake.

I read that as saying, “Not yet.” Not never.

Long Time Coming

A bust of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, an early KKK leader, is expected to be removed from the Tennessee Capitol before week’s end.

No Joke

New detail in the domestic violence case against the FBI agent who investigated the Whitmer kidnapping plot: He allegedly beat up his wife after they returned home from a swingers party.

‘I’m Sorry, But It’s Too Late’

An Alabama doctors’s heartfelt account of treating unvaccinated COVID patients amidst the new resurgence of infections.

Do you like Morning Memo? Let us know!

Latest Morning-memo
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Senior Editor for Content Strategy and Audience Development:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: