Less than 12 hours after Republican House leader Kevin McCarthy overcame a challenge from far-right members of his caucus to become House speaker, former Republican National Committee head Michael Steele accused opposition leader Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) of doing irreparable damage to the GOP.
Late Friday night, Gaetz had cast a “present” vote on the 14th round, preventing McCarthy from securing the victory he had believed he had earned. This led to a 15th ballot, where McCarthy eventually triumphed.
Steele compared the situation to the Game of Thrones, saying, “It was for the seat. Who sits in the seat? It wasn’t about — you didn’t hear, people got up and started talking about all this stuff they wanted to do, but that’s not going to happen. There is no policy will for a lot of the things they want to get done.”
He went on to describe how the moderates in the House have been marginalized, citing Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, and Matt Gaetz as examples. He argued that Gaetz had “punked the hell out of this system this week,” and that the other 200 Republicans who supported McCarthy had been made to look weak.
Steele concluded, “Given how they have stripped bare the speakership, I don’t think Kevin is going to be that powerful. I don’t know how he can be, because all it takes is one disgruntled member to say, ‘you know what? I want him out of the chair.'”
Steele makes some interesting points from an insider’s point of view. At this point, it appears that the most powerful member of the House Republicans isn’t Speaker McCarthy, but Gaetz.
McCarthy, in his 1st speech as Speaker of the House after the 15th vote allowed him to squeak in declared that he “never gives up.” America got to watch 1st hand how he does grovel and give in, however. And if anyone thinks that Gaetz and others like him won’t hold him to the fire with glee every time they have any whim for anything, they are more than likely fooling themselves.
Check out the video below: