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Reality Check USA

Speaker On The Brink
• James Campion
The Sad Tale of Kevin McCarthy Continues

Kevin McCarthy

It’s weird, right? Doesn’t it seem like Republicans are trying to not get elected ever again for anything? First, they have a criminal, who already lost an election three years ago by nearly eight-million votes coughing up former red states in the process, at the top of their presidential ticket. And they repeatedly send doomed candidates to the slaughter who mimic his “stolen election” craziness. They ban abortion, which six-out-of-ten Americans abhor. They deny climate change after five of the hottest years on record, which most Americans want addressed. They defend gun manufacturers and block sane gun regulations in the wake of dozens of mass shootings annually, which is gaining support among voters. And in all states that they run they make it more difficult for citizens to vote.

And now they’re going to shut down the government in the middle of a childish and very public inner-party spat that makes it look like their whole plan is to wreck America. Or as the current Speaker of the House, California Republican Kevin McCarthy put it this week, “They just want to burn the whole place down.”

Mind you, Republicans do not control two-thirds of the federal government, and yet, for some reason only known to six or seven MAGA Morons, they are going to do the one thing that is guaranteed to bury them in opinion polls and further motivate Independents and moderate Republicans to vote them out next fall. You would think the Speaker could wrangle enough votes to at least provide the Senate with a budget to fund the government, the most important job of congress, instead of floating strange evidence-free impeachment inquiries and trying to embarrass law enforcement on Capitol Hill for hours on end, before giving his colleagues a week off with two weeks left to the deadline.

But, nah.

These appear to be the actions of someone who just wandered into the Capitol, like that guy who’s going to prison for four years for putting his feet on Nancy Pelosi’s desk on January 6. But McCarthy, nearly 60 years-old with a marketing degree, has been in congress for 17 years. You would think he could envision the shit storm he is orchestrating. But wait, why is he Speaker in the first place? Ah, right. He needed to persuade these MAGA Morons to get him enough votes to gain the gavel after a record-shattering 15 votes (longest such proceedings in 164 years). And what did McCarthy give up getting those votes? Oh, right. He handed the majority party the right to have any member call for a motion to vacate the speaker’s chair. This was unprecedented idiocy that no Speaker has had to face in the 234 years of the U.S. House of Representatives, but what choice did he have? It was either that or go home. He wanted the damn job, and now he has it, and it comes with essentially no power. He cannot get the requisite votes for anything. He didn’t even have the votes for his sham impeachment inquiry, which means that it’s a toothless political exercise that is also wildly unpopular. Seven out of ten Americans don’t want it, so, of course, Republicans are doing it. They apparently are begging to get shellacked at the ballot box again.

Let’s review: McCarthy is fucked. His party is fucked. The country, as long as Republicans are in charge of anything, is fucked.

I am going to reiterate what I have written here since January 6, 2021, and the ensuing striking down of Roe v Wade by the corrupt Supreme Court jammed with lunatics by scheming Senate Republicans, who moved heaven and earth to rob women of their reproductive rights; the first elimination of citizen rights in my lifetime: No one should vote for Republicans until they right this ship. Which sucks, because it fails to put a check on Democrats, who continue to have it easier because the Grand Old Party doesn’t seem to want to compete in the political arena anymore. They merely want to make Donald Trump and his 38-percent of the national vote happy. They show no desire to expand their voter block, which is shrinking by the generation, or work in a sane construct. They are fooled by conservative media that this is the way forward to govern. It is not. And if Democrats winning every special election in the last six years by an average of 11 points in a polarized atmosphere is any indication of what is coming next year, then I’m not sure what is.

When Republicans return with one week to go before the shuttering of the federal government due to their incompetence, McCarthy has one move left; work with Democrats on a bi-partisan bill that can pass a Democratic Senate and be signed by Joe Biden, a Democrat in the White House. Or watch those polls, and with it, Republican prospects for 2024 sink further. And with the end of gerrymandering in six states by next year and many of the members of congress fortunate enough to gain seats in purple districts in 2022 facing an ousting, this would be bad. For them. Good for people who don’t want American “burned down.” But to accomplish this would mean a revolt in the party and McCarthy’s eventual removal as Speaker.

It’s all so Shakespearean. But it’s what McCarthy signed on for: Fund the government or take a powder. Either way, as I see it, things go further sideways for the Republican Party; shutdown, backlash, or dump McCarthy and then who becomes Speaker? Bozo the Zealot? And can that person get enough votes from moderate Republicans, many of whom have taken to the airwaves and the D.C. press to deem this a “clown show” and “unserious” and “politically suicidal?”

All of it is a terrible look for Republicans, who prove they are a mess and continue to entreat Americans to vote the other way.
*Update 10.13.23: McCarthy is gone and temporarily replaced by Patrick McHenry (whose first decision was to evict Nancy Pelosi). Jim Jordan just put his hat in the ring to be the next speaker but is McCarthy really gone??

James Campion © James Campion 2023
email: realitycheck at

Do yourself no favors and “like” this idiot at or, if you dare, follow on Twitter (@FearNoArt) and Instagram (@jamescampion)

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of “Deep Tank Jersey”, “Fear No Art”, “Trailing Jesus”, "Midnight For Cinderella" and “Y”. +, “Shout It Out Loud – The Story of KISS’s Destroyer and the Making of an American Icon” + “Accidently Like a Martyr – The Tortured Art of Warren Zevon” and published on June 1st, 2022, “Take a Sad Song…The Emotional Currency of “Hey Jude". 

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