The GOP needs to stop the games and back McCarthy for speaker — or risk handing a big win to Dems

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If Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-Fla.) band of saboteurs does not unite behind Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker of the House in Tuesday’s vote, it will be a massive act of GOP self-sabotage. 

Since admittedly disappointing midterm results, when the Republicans failed to produce a red wave and wound up with a razor-thin majority in the House, fantasies about replacing McCarthy have gained traction. Andy Biggs (Ariz.) — who already lost one vote to McCarthy for speakership — has put himself forward again to replace McCarthy for being too establishment-aligned. 

Yet it was Donald Trump, not McCarthy, who picked fringe candidates and pushed the stolen election canard that lost the 2022 midterms. The answer is not to double down on Trump-esque candidates such as Biggs and Gaetz.

Moreover, Biggs doesn’t command a majority. He barely commands enough people to fill a station wagon. By putting himself up as an alternative, all he’s doing is sapping votes from McCarthy and allowing the Democrats a say in who runs the chamber. Nancy Pelosi is cackling!

Matt Gaetz
Rep. Matt Gaetz needs to join the bandwagon that will grant Rep. McCarthy speakership.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

And keep in mind: Based on House rules, the chamber can do nothing until a speaker is voted in; a hard-fought contest means squandering valuable legislating time.

On policy, the emergency at the southern border is by far the most pressing crisis facing the nation. It’s something the Congress can actually force change on, potentially, and it’s the top issue for McCarthy. Playing political games because he failed some Freedom Caucus purity test is insanity in the face of that. 

McCarthy has also promised to boot deranged Russiagaters Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell (both D-Calif.), as well as America-hating anti-Semite Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), from their committee placements — totally necessary moves. 

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, leads a group of Republican lawmakers calling for the impeachment Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas because of illegal immigrants crossing the border from Mexico, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022.
Rep. Biggs already didn’t gain enough votes to become the House’s next speaker.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Republicans have a unique talent for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. They should not exercise it here. Even Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), no friend to the party establishment, agrees. 

A vote against McCarthy could well be a vote in favor of the terrible Biden & Co. policies that have been punishing America since inauguration. Republicans (and the nation) simply can’t risk that.

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