The Tide Is Turning
MAGA is in retreat, but still fully engaged. We must continue to defend the House.
Feathers of Hope is a network of ordinary citizens committed to advocating for the removal and replacement of Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House, thereby diminishing the power and influence of MAGA extremists in the chamber.
We have been urging moderate Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives to form a temporary bipartisan majority voting bloc for the purpose of passing a motion to “vacate the chair” and elect a new Republican Speaker who owes nothing to the minority MAGA group.
Note: This site can also be accessed by entering FeathersOfHope.net in your browser window.
Thanks for reading Feathers of Hope! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.
Scroll to the bottom of this post to find contact information for Republican representatives whom we believe may support a bipartisan coalition and a non-MAGA Speaker.
Call one, several or all of them today. Encourage them to break with MAGA extremism, and join Democrats to find common ground for the people, electing a Speaker with bipartisan support.
It’s Monday morning, October 23. There still is no Speaker.
The MAGA assault on our House of Representatives continues.
But the tide is turning, a bipartisan coalition is closer than ever.
This is no time to rest.
Whether you’ve called once, many times, or never at all, today is a new day.
We need to continue our effort. Keep calling. Your voice counts.
Democrats across the country breathed a sigh of relief on Friday afternoon when the Republican Conference voted 112-86 against nominating Jim Jordan (R-OH) for the fourth time as their candidate for Speaker of the House. For one brief moment, we savored the taste of success. So odious was the prospect of this “legislative terrorist” holding the office of Speaker, that we could not help but take a victory lap.
But as we pointed out last Monday (Finding Republican Partners), this was entirely predictable:
“While minority leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) enjoys unanimous support of his Democratic conference, Republican Jim Jordan was opposed by more than 50 of his colleagues in a secret ballot last week, and stands no chance of becoming Speaker.”
Of course, being predictable doesn’t make the victory less sweet. So let there be no doubt:
We are stronger today than we were a week ago.
MAGA has suffered a series of humiliating defeats.
But the extremists are not about to surrender, and we must never lose sight of their objective. It’s no secret that these elected Representatives proudly support convicted January 6 insurrectionists, and fully share their intent to “burn the whole place down”, as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy himself noted.
The audacity of this attack is so breath-taking that most of the media and many traditional Republicans have been slow to recognize it for what it is. Consequently, there’s endless media commentary on the lack of a constructive legislative agenda put forth by MAGA activists like Mr. Jordan and his allies. And among traditional House Republicans, frustration with the obstructive tactics of the minority MAGA faction has been expressed more as bewilderment than as a call to forcefully respond.
In the last few days their bewilderment has been changing to anger.
There is now a growing recognition within the Republican Conference that the MAGA minority will never support a mainstream establishment candidate for Speaker. And therefore, there is no candidate who can attract 217 votes from Republicans alone. Unfortunately, the anger arising from that realization has so far led only to shouting matches behind closed doors.
Moderates are standing up. They need our support.
Of the 22 Representatives who chose not to vote for Jim Jordan last week, only 8 are among the 23 whom we’ve named as potential allies and have been calling. While 8 was enough to deny a Jordan victory, this was a disappointingly small number.
But now it’s been reported by mutiple journalists that there was a coordinated strategy in place for some Jordan opponents to vote for him in early balloting, then incrementally switch their votes away from him in later rounds. The effect would be to create a momentum of opposition.
If true, this represents a sea change in the dynamics at play in the struggle for control of the House.
Until now, moderates, being moderate, have reflexively supported whichever candidate their party chose in caucus. In January that was Kevin McCarthy, as it was again in the vote on a motion to vacate the chair three weeks ago.
But when Jim Jordan out-maneuvered Mr. McCarthy’s deputy Steve Scalise (R-LA) to claim the party’s endorsement for himself, the moderates finally had enough. Not only did they refuse to go along, they apparently devised a deliberate strategy to insure that the party’s designated nominee would fail to be elected Speaker.
Republican moderates have become an organized faction.
They are now an effective counterweight to MAGA extremists.
More senior, more savvy and more experienced than the amateur insurrectionists who’ve been holding the House hostage to their demands, moderates now hold the balance of power in the chamber. Mr. Jordan’s over-reach has backfired spectacularly.
It’s not entirely clear at this point whether these moderate/traditional Republicans have come to understand that dysfunction and paralysis IS the MAGA agenda.
This is why we need to keep making those calls.
Unaccustomed to wielding real power, the moderate/traditional block may continue to focus on identitying one or another potential candidate for Speaker in a vain attempt to find someone who can get 217 Republican votes. It would not be surprising to see them give one more chance to the McCarthy team by voting for Tom Emmer (R-MN), the current Majority Whip, in the next round.
Mr. Emmer has no more chance of winning than anyone else. Because he voted to certify President Biden’s election, he’s been denounced by Donald Trump and will be opposed by MAGA extremists. But some reluctant moderates may want to demonstrate having tried everything else before finally reaching across the aisle.
In any case, still more meetings and more canvassing of members will only result in continued MAGA intransigence, with extremists reveling in the chaos they’ve created. Meanwhile, as the heart of our self-governing democracy is ever more constricted, its vitality will continue to be threatened.
To avoid yet another round of pointless partisan balloting, which just plays into the extremists’ hands, the moderate/traditional Republican faction must be persuaded to exercise their power and make a bold decisive move now.
Only a bipartisan coalition can finally defeat MAGA in the House.
There is no other solution.
And it remains our task to persuade potential Republican allies of this reality.
For those who may have in the past doubted whether making phone calls has any effect, what happened last week provides a powerful object lesson. After the first ballot, when Jim Jordan was 17 votes short of a majority, his allies in conservative media turned directly to their audience.
Just as we’ve been doing for the last several months, they listed names and office phone numbers of selected Representatives. And they made an impassioned plea for everyone to call in support of Mr. Jordan. Obviously, we are not alone in believing that phone calls from ordinary citizens can impact results.
Of course, there is one enormous difference between that effort and our own. Because Jim Jordan’s supporters include MAGA extremists and insurrectionists, many of the calls received by members were crude and threatening. Among the attempts to intimidate and bully, there were even death threats directed at both the Representatives and members of their families. In the end, the calls had the opposite of their intended effect, hardening opposition to Mr. Jordan.
Ironically, that failure improves the chances of ours being successful. Having endured curses and threats last week, aides answering the phones are likely to be relieved as they hear our calm, courteous and sincere requests to join a bipartisan coalition, rejecting toxic extremism.
Unlike the Jordan phone campaign, ours is intended to nourish a spirit of cooperation, “so we can govern in an enlightened way” as Leader Jeffries says.
Feathers of Hope posts are widely shared by our network’s members, both among their contacts and on social media. Together our voices are being heard. Add yours to the growing chorus by calling today.
Call these Republicans now. Urge them to work with Democrats in a bipartisan coalition to elect a non-MAGA Republican Speaker.
(Find more detailed biographical information about the following 8 members in our August 11 post: Updated Contact List )
Don Bacon (R-NE-02): (202) 225-4155 D.C. or (402) 938-0300 District
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01): (202) 225-4276 D.C. or (215) 579-8102 District
Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08): (202) 225-5665 D.C. or (920) 301-4500 District
David Joyce (R- OH-14): (202) 225-5731 D.C. or (440) 352-3939 District
John Curtis (R-UT-03): (202) 225-7751 D.C. or (801) 922-5400 District
Ashley Hinson (R-IA-02): (202) 225-2911 D.C. or (319) 364-2288 District
Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-02) : (202) 225-7896 D.C. or (631) 541-4225 District
Dan Newhouse (R-WA-04): (202) 225-5816 D.C. or (509) 452-3243 District
(The following members represent districts carried by President Biden in 2020)
David Schweikert (R-AZ-01): (202) 225-2190 D.C. or (480) 946-2411 District
Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06): (202) 225-2542 D.C. or (520) 459-3115 District
John Duarte (R-CA-13): (202) 225-1947 D.C. or (209)-226-6880 District
David Valadao (R-CA-22): (202) 225-4695 D.C. or (661) 864-7736 District
Mike Garcia (R-CA-27): (202) 225-1956 D.C. or (661) 839-0532 District
Young Kim (R-CA-40): (202) 225-4111 D.C. or (714) 984-2440 District
Michelle Steel (R-CA-45): (202) 225-2415 D.C. or (714) 960-6483 District
Tom Kean (R-NJ-07): (202) 225-5361 D.C. or (908) 547-3307 District
Nick LaLota (R-NY-01): (202) 225-3826 D.C. or (631) 289-1097 District
Anhony D’Esposito (R-NY-04): (202) 225-5516 D.C. or (516) 739-3008 District
Mike Lawler (R-NY-17): (202) 225-6506 D.C. or 845 743-7130 District
Marc Molinaro (R-NY-19): (202) 225-5441 D.C. or (607) 242-0200 District
Brandon Williams (R-NY-22): (202) 225-3701 D.C. or (315) 233-4333 District
Lori Chavezz-DeRemer (R-OR-05): (202) 225-5711 D.C. or (541) 604-3141 District
Jen Kiggans (R-VA-02): (202) 225-4215 D.C. or (757) 364-7650 District
The following members were not on our original list of potential allies. All voted for someone other than Jim Jordan last week, but their reasons for doing so vary widely.
Van Buchannan (R-FL): (202) 225-5015 or (813) 657-1013
Ken Buck (R-CO): (202) 225-4676 or (720) 639-9165
Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL): (202) 225-4211 or (305) 470-8555
Jake Ellzey (R-TX): (202) 225-2002 or (469) 550-7150
Drew Ferguson (R-GA): (202) 225-5901 or (770) 683-2033
Carlos Gimenez (R-FL): (202) 225-27778 or (305) 222-0160
Tony Gonzalez (R-TX): (202) 225-4511 or (210) 806-9920
Kay Granger (R-TX): (202) 225-5071 or (817) 336-0909
Mike Kelly (R-PA): (202) 225-5406 or (724) 342-7170
John James (R-MI): (202) 225-4961 or (586) 498-7122
Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA): (202) 225-6576 or (317) 848-0201
John Rutherford (R-FL): (202) 225-2501 or (904) 831-5205
Mike Simpson (R-ID): (202) 225-334-1953 or (208) 523-6701
Pete Stauber (R-MN): (202) 225-6211 or (218) 481-6396
Steve Womack (R-AR): (202) 225-4301 or (479) 464-0446
This is a network of ordinary citizens. In a democracy, we exercise our power by raising our voices. To be silent is to be powerless.
Thanks for reading Feathers of Hope! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.