Donald Trump Brings Kevin McCarthy to His Knees on Truth Social After Speaker Humiliation
Donald Trump helped Kevin McCarthy win the gavel for Speaker, but at what cost? When Republicans took the House majority
Donald Trump helped Kevin McCarthy win the gavel for Speaker, but at what cost?
When Republicans took the House majority for 2023, it seemed like a moment that could have galvanized the GOP.
They should have walked away from last week’s Speaker vote united, determined, and ready to legislate.
Instead, the Speakership vote turned into a multi-day circus that may well have dealt Trump the most humiliating defeat of his career – even if it looked like a victory in the end.
And Trump took to Truth Social to beat Kevin McCarthy over the head with his involvement in the Speaker vote, turning McCarthy’s already pyrrhic victory into another kind of defeat.
It may well be a sign of what the GOP can expect in 2024 – Trump bringing the party down with him, one “at what cost?” win at a time.
Did Donald Trump Win or Lose with McCarthy’s Speaker Vote?
My father always told me: It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. And now we need to finish strong for the American people. pic.twitter.com/GoWs7cbegn— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) January 8, 2023
If one spends time on Twitter this week, you’ll find a lot of jockeying back and forth over what the Speaker vote means for the GOP.
Some say it shows they’re disorganized and chaotic, and will be ineffective over the next two years.
Other suggest that the extremist fringes of the party have taken hold and they will be effective – but extreme.
Many are speculating how much influence Trump had over the vote’s conclusion and McCarthy’s ultimate victory.
But to understand why people are saying what they are, you have to go back in time to when the voting first started.
It’s not uncommon for future Speakers to go into the confirmation vote with a divided caucus.
Former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, for instance, wasn’t the top choice for progressive in the Democrat party. But Pelosi was able to get her party in line, so when they took to the floor to vote, she won easily.
McCarthy should have done the same. All of the convincing and dealmaking should have gone on in the weeks before the vote took place. The fact that McCarthy showed up to the floor with a divided caucus and no clear path to victory made him look weak, and it made the party look vulnerable.
It took a record 15 votes to confirm McCarthy as Speaker, as between 10 to 20 extremist MAGA Republicans held out for more concessions and deals, essentially holding Congress hostage to get their way.
Heading into what would be the final votes on Friday, McCarthy said he was confident they had reached the agreements necessary to secure his Speakership, and the vote went into round 14.
But Florida Rep Matt Gaetz and Colorado Rep Lauren Boebert did what they had been doing all week – planted themselves firmly in the way of progress. Eventually, Boebert changed her “anyone but McCarthy” vote to “present,” which lowered the threshold McCarthy needed to clinch the Speakership.
But Gaetz stood firm. As midnight Friday approached, the floor erupted in chaos. Rep Mike Rogers lunged at Gaetz, McCarthy looked shaken – it was the kind of drama you expect in a political tv drama, not the sacred halls of the House of Representatives.
As all of this was occurring, Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene was filmed trying to connect Trump to a number of Republican representatives, fueling speculation that he was trying to intervene in the vote.
A motion to adjourn until Monday was introduced, until suddenly Republicans began reversing course. It was clear a deal had been struck at the literal 11th hour – and McCarthy called for another vote.
This time, he squeaked by with a pyrrhic victory. Although he’s been all smiles ever since clinching the win, the week looked like an embarrassing circus – and it may have been the worst for Donald Trump.
Donald Trump Tries to Intervene – and Gets Ignored
Looks like Kevin McCarthy conceded all the power of his office to the crazies to finally get their votes.— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 7, 2023
He had to give away the house to do it, and that was a sacrifice he was willing to make — for the title.
He will be a speaker in name only.
Last week, when it became clear that the Republicans were having trouble settling on a winner, Trump took to Truth Social to endorse McCarthy.
He instructed the hold-outs – MAGA followers to a person – to confirm McCarthy so they could move on with the job of legislating.
Trump was roundly ignored.
Boebert went so far as to scold him from the floor, telling Trump to get the other Representatives in line instead of wasting time trying to change the minds of the hold-outs.
As the votes cycled on and Trump’s orders went on unheeded, it became clear that Trump’s reputation and McCarthy’s Speakership were in a life-or-death fight with a few Representatives who should have been their biggest supporters.
Undoubtedly, Trump’s intervention in the end helped sway enough people to win McCarthy the Speaker gavel.
But it took 15 votes, multiple days, and who knows what promises to achieve that ending.
Instead of being a show of Trump’s strength, it was a show of just how far his influence has fallen.
McCarthy was quick to thank Trump for the win, telling people not to doubt Trump’s influence.
Trump responded by beating McCarthy over the head with post after post on Truth giving credit to Trump for McCarthy’s win.
It was the biggest slap in the face imaginable, and indicative of just how strained Trump is feeling after his party ignored his directive so blatantly and publicly.
The posts Trump is sharing all have similar titles; “Kevin McCarthy credits Donald Trump for House speaker victory,” “McCarthy thanks Trump after House speaker vote: ‘He was with me from the beginning’,” “Trump Credited With Calling in to Close Deal for McCarthy,” and it goes on and on.
It’s a humiliating start to the Speakership for McCarthy who will now never be able to step out of Trump’s shadow, and a humiliating show for Trump who now has to say he won – but only after he was completely ignored and scolded.
However, the bigger question still lingers on many people’s minds: what did McCarthy promise to bring the hold-outs over to his side?
Committee appointments will become apparent in the coming weeks, and many questions will be answered.
Unfortunately for McCarthy, one concession already made public was conceding to a “one member vote to vacate” rule. Which means at any point, any one member can call McCarthy’s Speakership into question, and throw chaos back into the ring.