The birth pangs of a Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives have generated references more tragic than each other, like: nothing like this since the Civil War!
Indeed, it is necessary to go back to the 36th Congress, that of 1859-1861, to find an election of president in the Chamber longer still. Moreover, among the lessons to be learned from the present mess in Congress, there is the answer to those who wonder – to see the political tensions which are tearing the United States apart – if our neighbors are heading for a new civil war : the chicanery, do not forget, it is with the Republicans that it is caught.
Kevin McCarthy deserves no sympathy. Since his first election 16 years ago, he has made a name for himself as a politician of pats on the back, a man without principles, ready to do anything, to do anything to become President of the House.
Kneeling before each other
It's just a matter of remembering his reaction to the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021. He d first asserted, a week after the incidents, that “the president [Trump] bears responsibility for the attack on Congress by rioters. He should have immediately reported the mob when he saw what was happening. »
Two weeks later, he would grovel before Trump at Mar-a-Lago, seeking his blessing to continue leading Republicans in the House. Today, not even the former president has managed to moderate the revulsion of the twenty elected Republicans towards him, elected officials whom Trump nevertheless supported in the last ballot.
Kevin McCarthy had already squandered his virtue in the quest for Speaker of the House; he ceded his last shred of authority this week, allowing only one elected official to seek an impeachment vote. Nothing good to expect from it, these elected officials only behave like dogs in a game of skittles, sowing disorder for disorder.
They claim to be anti-establishment and promoters of an order new, but only perpetuate chaos.
The “king” of chaos
Which brings me back to Trump. Immense chaos is what his presidency has generated. Outside the White House, he once again proved his insignificance. The Republican rebels, who swear by him, paid no heed to the message he delivered to them on Wednesday morning: they continued to vote in solidarity against McCarthy.
This message, it must be said, called for ridicule, even by its most fanatical supporters. “REPUBLICANS”, he wrote, in capital letters, “DO NOT TURN A GREAT TRIUMPH INTO A GIANT AND EMBARRASSING DEFEAT. IT'S TIME TO CELEBRATE, YOU DESERVE IT. Kevin McCarthy will do a good job, and maybe even a GREAT JOB.”
“A great triumph…” when they lost the Senate and won just a handful of House seats? “Maybe even a GREAT job…” That's what Republicans have become for the past few years: a party of “almost” and “nearly”.
That it will be interesting to see them quasi govern over the next two years!
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Second in the line of succession to the presidency, after the vice-president.
Since 1789, the House of Representatives has chosen a president 127 times, the “Speaker of the House”.
Only 14 times did it take multiple rounds of voting to elect him; 13 of those 14 times before the Civil War.
Difficulties electing a Speaker of the House
- 118th Congress ( 2023-2025) ???
- 68th Congress (1923-1925) 9 rounds
BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR OF 1861- 1865
- 36th Congress (1859-1861) 44 rpm
- 34th Congress (1855-1857) 133 rpm
- 31st Congress (1849-1851) 63 rpm
Source: Archives, US House of Representatives