The Gaetz of Republican Hell

Florida's Rep. Matt Gaetz instigated the ouster of Speaker McCarthy with no other plan than to create continual mayhem. It's working.



October 23, 2023 - 3:02 PM

U.S. Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina), left, talks to House Majority Whip Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minnesota), center, and Rep. David Joyce (R-Ohio) as the House of Representatives ultimately denied elevating Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to Speaker of the House on Oct. 20, 2023. (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)

The eight House Republicans who ousted Speaker Kevin McCarthy two weeks ago are getting exactly what they bargained for, whether they knew it then or not. The instigator, Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, thinks a better Speaker would be Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan. But on Friday Mr. Jordan lost another floor vote, making it three this week, first with 20 defections, then 22, and finally 25.

Some of the Jordan dissenters are still angry about the shabby treatment of Mr. McCarthy and the conference’s No. 2 choice, Rep. Steve Scalise. Others seem to believe Mr. Jordan is too much of a firebrand to serve as the party’s frontman. 

The no votes Friday included half of the Republicans in districts carried by President Biden in 2020. Mr. Jordan lost ground despite some notable attempts at sausage-making.

October 20, 2023
October 17, 2023
January 5, 2023
May 7, 2021