'The Squeaky Wheel Gets the Grease': Is the House GOP Caucus Stronger After Four Days of Wrangling and 15 Ballots?

Now that the dust has somewhat settled after four days, often-heated debates, and 15 ballots, one salient overall question remains to be answered: Is the House Republican Caucus, and Speaker Kevin McCarthy as well, in a stronger position than it would have been if McCarthy had sailed through on the first ballot?


Or weaker? Depending on who’s answering the question, either answer is correct.

Take CNN, for example. Despite assurances from new CEO Chris Licht that “The Most Respected Name in News™” would shed its liberal lapdog media strategy and attempt to become a legit news outlet, the song pretty much remains the same at the network of Jake Tapper, Anderson Cooper, and Don Lemon. CNN’s post-game analysis of the battle for the gavel is a perfect example:

To secure the speakership, McCarthy did what his two Republican predecessors in the job, Paul Ryan and John Boehner, would not: grant concessions to the House GOP’s most militant conservative faction that will vastly increase their visibility and leverage in shaping the party’s agenda.

With that decision, McCarthy is betting that the GOP can maintain broad enough electoral support to defend its House majority even while moving to center firebrand conservative representatives such as Greene, Jim Jordan, and Scott Perry – all of whom the January 6 committee singled out for their roles in Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

Almost universally Democrats believe McCarthy will lose that bet. They believe his concessions to the GOP’s most militant conservatives will compound the problems Republicans faced last November when the party suffered unexpectedly broad losses in swing states and Congressional districts in part because too many voters, especially independents, viewed the party as extreme.


CNN quoted Democratic pollster Matt Hogan:

To win back the Independents they lost in 2022, Republicans should be embracing bipartisanship and compromise, but instead, they are doubling down on the extremism that prevented them from achieving a red wave.

Agree, or disagree?

On the flip side of the coin, conservatives believe that by holding out and demanding multiple pledges and concessions from McCarthy in exchange for their votes, or in some cases voting “present,” which resulted in lowering the threshold number of votes the now-Speaker needed to win the gavel, the conservatives argue that they made the entire Republican Caucus stronger.

One such conservative was the de facto leader of the group of 20 holdouts, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sat down with Fox News host Laura Ingraham Monday night, along with fellow holdout, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert. Here’s Gaetz:

Just moments ago, we passed the rules for the 118th Congress, and those included the one-person mechanism of the motion to vacate (the Speaker’s chair, which would trigger a full House, simple-majority vote). Now, I don’t anticipate that we’ll ever have to use that, but it gives us the opportunity to ensure that our goals regarding policy, procedure, and personnel are met.

We’re going to have votes on term limits, balanced budgets [and] internal enforcement of our immigration laws. None of those things would have happened if we had caved on Monday. But by getting these concessions and coming to a stronger place, the House is in a stronger position.


Agree, or disagree?

One person who agrees with Gaetz and the other Republicans who held out is Daniel Horowitz, senior editor of The Blaze, who on Monday wrote a concise piece on the issue. Horowitz made a convincing argument in his opening paragraph (which I split into three).

Democrats fight like Navy SEALs for their prerogatives. RINOs fight like the dickens for pretty much the same priorities. Establishment Republicans frantically use leverage to keep their seats at the table in the corporatist, globalist system.

But we conservatives are supposed to sit like potted plants and just put out policy papers and never use leverage for liberty the way the bad guys do for tyranny — even within what is supposed to be our own party, in which the overwhelming majority of voters think like us.

A group of 20 or so House Republicans have finally shown us the blueprint for exposing the fraud of the conservative-Republican relationship and have provided a path forward to either take over the party or force a much-needed split.

“There’s a dirty little secret we always knew,” Horowitz continued:

Conservatives who are willing to fight the system represent only about 10% of the Senate Republicans and maybe 20%-30% (including toe-dipping followers) of the House Republicans. The same is more or less true in deep red-state legislatures, although the numbers are slowly increasing in most state Houses.

As for governors, we have just one: the Florida man (Ron DeSantis). In other words, unless we hit the party with blunt-force trauma, we may as well just make it official and install Klaus Schwab as emperor and cut out the middlemen.


I’ve often referenced Einstein’s definition of insanity in articles when relevant, which suggests that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is a fool’s game and indeed insane. Yet the Republican Party has done exactly that for decades — both when in control of one or both chambers of Congress and when in the minority.

The same story has also played out in elections for years, Horowitz opined:

We were told to accept every terrible Republican in a general election, otherwise, we would be blamed for a Democrat winning the seat. We complained how black voters constantly remained loyal to Democrats who treated them horribly, but we were no different, obsequiously serving and slavishly devoted to the GOP plantation.

“Well, the time to defeat bad Republicans is in the primaries,” they tell us. “If you can’t win enough seats, you have no right to demand so much governance within the party.”

This is a true statement with just one problem: The establishment Republicans don’t run on policies they really support in Congress; they run in primaries on our policies. They use their industry money and superior name IDs and organizations to run as conservatives and confuse voters.

As I read the above, only the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan and the 2016 election of Donald Trump came to mind.

While Reagan’s second term was plagued by the Iran-Contra Scandal and other distractions, Reagan’s mental decline had arguably begun. Donald Trump in 2020 carried baggage — self-inflicted, and inflicted by the TDS-riddled Democrat Party — and missing were the millions of not-Hillary votes Trump enjoyed in 2016.


“It appears that we might have gotten our red wave after all,” Horowitz suggested: “Except this time, the wave is driven by the energy of actual “red” officials.”

In this case, I report; you decide.


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