Is Matt Gaetz going wobbly?

Kevin McCarthy's bid to win the speaker's gavel should have been a cakewalk with the GOP having a majority in the House.  But a few Republican House members used their votes as a tool for negotiation with McCarthy.  

The de facto leader of the rebel movement was Florida rep. Matt Gaetz.  Last December, Gaetz said, "I'm not voting for Kevin McCarthy for speaker because I think he's just a shill of the establishment. ... We need someone like Jim Jordan as the speaker of the House."

If you want to drain the swamp, you cannot put the biggest alligator in charge.

I'm not voting for Kevin McCarthy. I'm not voting for him tomorrow. I'm not voting for him on the floor.

I resent the extent to which he utilizes the lobbyists and special interests to dictate how political decisions, policy decisions are made.

Gaetz also made his case against McCarthy on the House floor.

YouTube screen grab.

During the second round of voting, Gaetz nominated Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio for speaker, and during the seventh ballot, Gaetz nominated President Donald Trump.

Gaetz vowed to resign from the House of Representatives if "Democrats join up to elect a moderate Republican."  Gaetz claimed that McCarthy was threatening and pressuring incoming freshmen.

In the 14th round, it was Gaetz's "present" vote that prevented McCarthy from winning, forcing a 15th round.

Gaetz's antics in the 14th ballot led to a rare display on the House floor, when McCarthy walked up the steps seemingly to confront the Florida lawmaker.

Gaetz seemed to tell off McCarthy while animatedly pointing his finger at McCarthy.  McCarthy walked away in dismay, but suddenly turned back around and approached him again, perhaps irked by something had Gaetz said.

Georgia rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene claimed that Gaetz and others were using their power of the vote to get plum panel assignments.

South Carolina rep. Nancy Mace (R) called Gaetz a "fraud" for fundraising off his efforts to block McCarthy from becoming speaker.

But Gaetz, who was obviously enjoying the spotlight, insisted that his actions were based on principle.

He voted "present" in the 15th, but with five other holdouts voting "present," the threshold for a majority dropped, and McCarthy was finally able to win a majority.

When Gaetz was asked what prompted him to change his strategy, which allowed McCarthy to become speaker, the Florida congressman claimed that he had "run out" of additional concessions to ask of leadership.

There was nothing wrong with this display.  House members are not supposed to function as robots who blindly vote as ordered.

The pressure probably worked.

McCarthy has agreed on some valuable concessions.  McCarthy promised to change the House rules to make it easier to oust a sitting speaker.  McCarthy also pledged to include members of Congress outside the top leadership having more say over how bills are proposed, amended, and passed.  McCarthy has promised to restrict spending and not to raise the debt ceiling.  The issue of congressional term limits and border security have been frequent topics of conversation among the Republican holdouts. 

These "rebel" Republicans caused McCarthy to achieve the dubious distinction of needing the most voting rounds in the last 164 years to become a speaker.

Some claimed that Gaetz's hostility towards McCarthy emanated from not receiving adequate political support when he was the subject of a sex-trafficking investigation, which was dropped last year.

So how has McCarthy been doing so far?  Very promising.  McCarthy recently removed Democrat hoaxers Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee.

Next McCarthy also plans to remove Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.  However, a group of House Republicans has already opposed the move.

I attempted to make a case that the GOP must learn to be fighters and give as good as they get.  The Democrats no longer regard them as political opponents but as domestic terrorists, insurrectionists, bigots of all varieties, and traitors.  There is no need for the GOP to return back the rulebook of fairness have long been discarded by the Democrats now that they are in a position of advantage.

Monica Showalter in her excellent piece made the case that McCarthy needs to go after these RINOs who vote against the public interest before their numbers multiply.  She rightly pointed out that he has a slim ten-vote majority, and experts are predicting that he's in for a tough slog.

Well, who would have thought that the leader of the rebels, Matt Gaetz, who almost blocked McCarthy's bid for speaker, alleging that McCarthy was unprincipled and corrupt, would also join the group that wants Omar to remain on Foreign Affairs Committee?

During an appearance on Newsmax, Gaetz said he is open to listening to McCarthy's case against Omar.  Yet he insists he is undecided whether or not he would vote to remove her.

The Democrats have voted unanimously to retain all their party members of their committee assignments.  McCarthy can afford only four GOP defections in order to successfully garner the votes needed to keep Omar from holding committee seats.

Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) has said he will be out of D.C. for "several weeks" due to injuries sustained from falling off a ladder.  McCarthy abandoned the practice of voting by proxy once he became speaker.

If Gaetz joins House Republican reps. Ken Buck (Colo.), Victoria Spartz (Ind.)David Joyce (Ohio), and Nancy Mace (South Carolina), all of whom plan to vote against evicting Omar from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, it will bring the total to six, including the one on sick leave.

Why does Omar not deserve to be on the Foreign Affairs Committee?

Omar is a known anti-Semite who also supports the notorious anti-Israeli BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement.  Omar also trivialized the 9-11 terror attacks by claiming that "some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."  Omar was also accused of illegal ballot-harvesting,

The choice in this matter is plain as a pikestaff: Omar must go.  Yet Gaetz claims to be undecided.

Does he really think Omar deserves a place?

During his Newsmax appearance, Gaetz seems to suggest that Omar is better than Swalwell and Schiff because she didn't peddle as many hoaxes.  That is like claiming that arsenic poisoning is better than cyanide poisoning.

Perhaps this is another ploy to torment McCarthy and grab a few headlines before he falls in line and votes to evict Omar from her committees.

When anyone has doubts about an issue that is obvious, the inference is that the individual is either vacuous or nefarious. 

These are qualities you do not want in any congressman, especially since Gaetz claims to be a man of principles.

It also makes Gaetz seem like a hypocrite, for violating the very principles he opposed McCarthy.  Draining the swamp is impossible with Ilhan Omar on a committee.



I hope Gaetz will abandon these theatrics and focus on the MAGA agenda.

The stakes are simply too high for frivolities!

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